The West – Part III

Ahey, ūüôā

Gun Duels

Gun Duels are handled using a semi-detailed scripted mechanic that lies half-way between a normal conflict and Extended Resolution. Gun Duels always take place between two characters only. Should any third character wish to interfere in the duel, the Gun Duel mechanic is no longer applicable and play should proceed using standard Solar System conflict resolution rules. As long as the Gun Duel mechanic is in effect, no check can be turned over to Extended Resolution.

Phase 1 – The Look –¬†Both characters roll an unopposed Resist (R) check. Intimidate (V) and Cold Blood (R) can be chained into this check, in any order.¬†Make a note¬†of the final result for each check, as¬†it will be needed at later phases of the Duel.

Phase 2 –¬†The Draw¬†– Both characters roll an opposed React (I) check. The¬†character with the lowest¬†Look check gets a penalty die to this check.

Phase 3 РThe Care РTaking care is optional. The character that won the Draw must declare first whether they are taking care. There is no roll involved, but if one character takes care and the other does not, the character that did not take care always shoots first, regardless of who won the Draw.

Phase 4 РThe First Shot РIf both or neither character takes care, the character that won the Draw shoots first. The shot is an unopposed Firearms (I) check. If the character took care, they must use their Look check result to support this check. If the character did not take care, this check is subject to two penalty dice. If the check succeeds, any decent six-shooter should be automatically Declared as +1 equipment. The normal limit of a +6 success level due to equipment is instead set at +7 for this check. Only an actual +3 roll with a Grand Master (4) Ability will cause Transcendance, however.

Phase 5 РThe First Hit РIf the First Shot hits, the victim must make an Endure (V) check. If this check succeeds, decrease the success level of the shot by 1 only. If the check fails, increase the success level of the shot by 1, again, not limited to +6. Apply Harm in Vigor to all levels up to and including the final success level. In this stage, Broken Harm results in immediate unconsciousness, whereas Harm past Broken results in immediate death.

Phase 6 – Shooting Back –¬†If the First Shot failed or the victim survived and is awake, it is time to Shoot Back. Again, this is an unopposed Firearms (I) check, and it works like Phase 4 in every way, except that the victim of the first shot must apply one penalty die if any¬†Harm was suffered, and an extra penalty die if¬†the Harm reached Bloodied.

Phase 7 – The Second Hit – If the Second Shot hits, the victim must make an Endure (V) check. This check works like Phase 5 in every way.

Resolving the Duel

If one character is dead or unconscious, the other has obviously won the Duel, as well as any additional pending stakes. If both characters are awake after Phase 7, then the Duel is drawn and the conflict is over. Any pending stakes are deemed as unresolved, if possible, or in favor of the chalengee otherwise.

Walking Away

Until the Phase 4 Firearms (I) check is rolled, any character may walk away from a Gun Duel at any time. The character is considered to have lost whatever stakes may have been pending on the Gun Duel. Also, the opponent is immediately entitled to create a Coward 6/R Negative Effect on the character. There are, however, a number of Secrets that might let the character walk away from a Duel without being subject to either or both of these two penalties.

Westerner Abilities

Cowboy (V) – wrestling calves, driving cattle, taming horses, or all other tasks undertaken by professional cowboys.

Driving (I) – operating and controlling wagons, carriages, stage-coaches or other animal-drawn vehicles.

Square Dancing (I) – square dancing. (Simple, isn’t it?) This¬† is an artistic Ability.

Cold Blood (R) Рaid Resist (R), either against Intimidate (V), in opposed Resist (R) checks, or in Phase 1 of a Gun Duel.

Dinamite (R) – the handling and use of explosives for any purpose.

Mapping (R) – drawing and reading maps.

Trapping (R) – setting traps to capture prey, whether dead or alive.

Westerner Secrets

Authority – The character wears a badge, either as a sheriff, sheriff’s deputy, or US Marshal. The badge itself, when worn visibly, can be turned into +1 Declared equipment for any non-physical Ability check.
Cost: 1 pool associated with the Ability.

Ice Cold Stare РThe character has eyes of steel and cannot be stared down. This Secret counts as Secret of Training for both Cold Blood (R) and Resist (R). Aditionally, in Phase 1 of a Gun Duel, the character can prevent the opponent from using Intimidate (V).
Cost: 1 Instinct to prevent the use of Intimidate (V) in a Gun Duel.

Maverick –¬†The character has a knack for performing unexpected moves or taking up unexpected attitudes.¬†The character can change their position or situation in the scene, changing the recipient of any bonus or penalty die. This Secret can only be used once per normal conflict or once per round during Extended Resolution.
Cost: 1 Instinct.

Misdirection – The character¬†can redirect an opponent’s attention at critical junctures. In Phase 2 of a Gun Duel, the character can impose a¬†penalty die on the opponent’s React (I) check. Additionally,¬†in Phase 5 or Phase 7 of¬†a Gun Duel, they can elect to take Harm in Instinct or Reason and roll the corresponding Passive Ability instead of Endure (V). Harm of Broken still results in unconsciousness and Harm past Broken still results in death.
Cost: 1 Instinct to impose a penalty die on React (I), 1 Instinct or Reason to reassign damage to a different Pool and Passive Ability.

Quick Draw –¬†The character has a lightning fast draw.¬†This secret can be used to replace rolled dice in a React (I) check¬†in Phase 2 of a Gun Duel, or in any other circumstance where React (I) might be used to support a Firearms (I) check. This secret cannot be used to Transcend with¬†a Grand Master (4) React (I) Ability.
Cost: 1 Instinct for a +1 roll, 3 Instinct for a +2 roll, 6 Instinct for a +3 roll.

Westerner Keys

Duelist –¬†The character lives for the next high noon gun fight.
1xp: The character challenges someone to a duel.
2xp: The character accepts a challenge to a duel.
5xp: The character wins or loses a duel where shots are actually fired.
Buyoff: Refuse a challenge to a duel.

Pioneer –¬†The character is all about taming the wild lands.
1xp: The character helps build something, like a home or a barn.
3xp: The character puts¬†themselves in harm’s way to defend a piece of land for¬†themselves or someone else.
Buyoff: Settle down to a permanent home.

Star –¬†The character is a law enforcement agent, like a sheriff, a deputy or a US Marshal.
1xp: The character upholds the law.
2xp: The character bends the law.
5xp: The character puts¬†themselves in harm’s way in the line of duty.
Buyoff: Resign the commission.
Special: Characters should have Secret of Authority before buying this key.

What’s Next

Next up, the Easterner culture and rules for card games.

Cheers,
J.

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