Thursday, August 11, 2022

Review & Commentary On Famous Characters of the Old West By John Watts From Independence Games For The Rider & Other 2d6 Old West Rpg's

 "Make new friends (or enemies)!

This book features 19 famous historical characters from the Old West. Each has a full character sheet and a short biography and each is ready to be added to your Rider campaign. Meet such figures as Billy the Kid, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Jesse James, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and Johnny Ringo!"

"Use them as NPCs for your next Rider campaign or even as player characters in an all-star Rider campaign!
Become part of the legend! "

If there's a favorite genre that the 2d6 Cepheus Engine crowd loves it's the American Old West! And why not with the amazing Rider rpg series by John Watts and Micheal Brown's Under Western Skies: 2D6 Adventure on America's Frontier. This is truly a golden age for the 2d6 American West fan like myself. Now the differences between both Rider rpg and Under Western Skies is pretty obvious to the casual Old Western rpg gamer. The Rider rpg series is built on detail and 2d6 campaign driven play. While Under Western Skies is pure 'pick up and play 2d6' action. Now while these games can be combined it might be at cross purposes depending upon the players & dungeon master's purposes. That being the case this brings me to a product that can be used with both systems and that's 
'Famous Characters of the Old West' By John Watts From Independence Games. John Watts is a huge fan of the Old West and you can tell from the author's range of characters that he packs into this fifty six page book. 
We get a solid layout & easy on the eyes text that dives deeply into the cabilities, background, history, & skills of each of these NPC's from real world history. 

Take for example the famous lawman Pat Gerrett; 
"Pat Garrett Strength: 9 (+1) Dexterity: 8 (+0) Endurance: 10 (+1) Intelligence: 7 (+0) Education: 5 (-1) Charisma: 8 (+0) Reputation: 9 Primary Language: English Birthdate: June 5, 1850 Draw 2 Gambler 2 Gun Combat (Revolver) 2 Investigate 2 Recon 2 Streetwise 2 Tactics (Military) 2 Advocate (Politics) 1 Animals (Riding) 1 Carouse 1 Leadership 1 Melee (Unarmed Combat) 1 Navigation 1 Persuade 1 Stealth 1 Survival (Plains) 1 Art 0 Broker 0 Patrick Floyd Garrett was born on June 5, 1850, near what is now Cusseta, Alabama. After his father, John, purchased a cotton plantation in northern Louisiana, Garrett would spend his childhood there. The Civil War would destroy the Garret family’s finances, and this would force Garrett to take work as a cowboy at the LS Ranch in west Texas in 1869. In 1875, he became a buffalo hunter. In 1878, he got into a quarrel with a fellow buffalo hunter, W. Skelton Glenn. During this disagreement, Garret killed Glenn. Garrett confessed to the killing when he returned, but he suffered no reprisals. He moved to Fort Sumner, New Mexico later in the same year and became a cowboy for Pedro Maxwell. The following year, in 1879, he would quit his cowboy work and open a saloon called “Beaver Smith’s”. It is said that it was at this point that he started gambling with and befriended Henry McCarty (aka “Billy the Kid”, see p.45). He would get married to Juanita Martiniez during this same period, but she would die only 15 days later. On January 14, 1880, he would marry Apolonia Gutierrez with whom he would have eight children." 
We get all of the details on Pat Garrett, & the real world history as well as it can be known at this time. And this is one of the places that both Rider & Famous Characters of the Old West excels. We get all of the good & the bad in one entry. The writing is straight forward, matter of fact, and too the point. The DM get's Garrett's history, carreer, and life's journey. Any one of these points in Garrett's life the player's PC's could encounter him for better or worse. 
And this is where Famous Characters of the Old West By John Watts shines because in fifty six pages it gives a fasinating grand tour of the Old West. And Famous Characters does it in a solid, easy to use, and digest way that actually works at the table top level for your 2d6 Old West needs for Cepheus Engine rpg. 

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