Sunday, June 23, 2013

First Look - Shotguns & Saddles (Classic Western OSR RPG)

With Shotguns & Saddles+David Bezio (he of X-Plorers fame) brings the American Old West genre to the OSR. There are some notable changes to the system most of use are familiar with, which is why I'm making this post a "First Look"and not a mini review (that will come later). I want to look at the core of the system David is presenting in Shotguns & Saddles.

There are 12 attributes in S&S, not the usual 6 (or 7 for the 2e crew). Athletics, Book Learning, Fighting, Frontier, Grit, Horsemanship, Perception, Presence, Shooting, Stealth, Strength, and Quickness. Some of them are obvious reskins of OSR attributes, others aren't. Rolls range from 3-18 which then get converted to a score from -2 to + 2

The Background table adjusts 2 to 4 of these attributes by +1 depending on your roll. A Teacher would get bonuses to Book Learning and Perception while a Railroad Worker would get Frontier, Grit and Strength.

How fast you more is determined by athletics and a high quickness will help with your Defense (kinda like your AC, but as you don't wear armor, it also gets better with leveling).

Hit Die size is determined by you Grit score.

There is even an alignment system, but it is labeled by hat color: White Hat, Brown Hat, and Black Hat. You can probably guess the generalities of how the hat colors are defined.

You also get a randomly determined Special Ability which helps differentiate your PC from the others.

So, much of the above seem familiar enough and I doubt the the transition would be all that hard. I'll review this when I finish my way through the rest of it. I'm really hopeful that converting some Deadlands stuff, at least in a general sense, shouldn't be too hard.


  1. Nice. I would to get done western genre games going.

  2. You should check out Beyond Belief Games' Go Fer Yer Gun! which has been around for a while - and is currently available as a free PDF (http://www.rpgnow.com/product/19438/Go-Fer-Yer-Gun!?manufacturers_id=522&it=1) - which does the Western genre is a much simpler way than this sounds, while staying very true to its OSR roots.

  3. Erik, thank you very much for this, I'll enjoy trading the rest.

    Tim, Simon is one of my favorite designers and i can recommend both of his western games. S-n-S really is just as simple as OD&D though, i just changed a few things to fit the genre better and cover more gtound with less rules. The attributes are very broad categories designed to allow you to do almost anything you can conceive, and only have to remember a concise list (12).

    Like with X-plorers, i didn't just want to tack on some western trappings on a D&D retro-clone. I wanted to use those solid core mechanics, but change things to completely fit the wild west genre. so the rules are familiar, but it feels more like a western than a generic game system.


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