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  • File : 1323624367.png-(12 KB, 628x148, WC_Logo2.png)
    12 KB Wild Cards: Sons of the Guns (Now Playtested) JSCervini !!L+hOixyXrvo 12/11/11(Sun)12:26 No.17177069  
    I'll be proud to announce that I FINALLY scrounged up my group and got a playtest of Wild Cards. The wildest horse race imaginable ensued. Bullets were fired, competitors were taken out, alliances were made, and rivalries formed. It was just about everything I wanted to come out of Wild West game, and the blackjack system seemed to work very well with the major conflicts.

    That being said, there were a lot of snags I will have to deal with when coming up with the next version of the rules. The rules as they stand (version 2.2, http://dl.dropbox.com/u/42061654/WC%202_2.pdf) mad things difficult when trying to keep track of said blackjack at times, especially with splitting cards. It became VERY unnecessary. In general, I also need to make the betting rules a bit simpler, as I had a number of people who wasn't familiar enough with betting card games to keep track of it themselves. Gotta keep those sort of folks in mind.

    Also, the skill system as it was, which would extend the maximum hand limit a player would have in a major conflict, became rather unnecessary. A player would barely ever get to the standard five card limit, much less any further than that. So it made that idea more or less moot. Points in skills need to be able to do more concrete things, such as chip cost reductions in minor conflicts and perhaps free replacement cards (Once Agains), instead of changing the maximum hand limit. At the same time though, they liked the idea of skills being able to be used in different ways, so there is that.

    Speaking of Once Agains, it became a very fate-point sort of issue, so I may make it cost extra chips to invoke in the first place. Have the skill points equal the maximum number of Once Agains that can be done in a hand, then make each one cost a player if they wish to invoke it.

    More following in the next post.
    >> JSCervini !!L+hOixyXrvo 12/11/11(Sun)12:30 No.17177108
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    I also ended up fudging some of the rules during the playtest once I figured out that they wouldn't work as smoothly as anticipated. One such rule was the divvying up of chips. While the even split method worked rather well, there were cases when a character outright killed an enemy with a blackjack or clearly completed an obstacle because I busted with the obstacle's cards. Definitely worked with the Wild West feel, so I decided to give the player which succeeded so well have all the chips the enemy/obstacle bet go to the clear victor of that instance. Otherwise, chips were divvied up the same: all the players' bets went into a pot, then divided among the winners of the hand, with the biggest winner receiving the extra that couldn't have been split.

    Lots of work needs to be done on the game, but the playtest was by and large a success!
    >> Anonymous 12/11/11(Sun)16:51 No.17179791
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    Go on.
    >> JSCervini !!L+hOixyXrvo 12/11/11(Sun)17:10 No.17179965
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    If you insist. It may take a while, as I'm also doing some chores right now.

    >First of all, some background information. http://1d4chan.org/wiki/Wild_Cards for the background fluff.
    1863: For whatever historically inaccurate reason, both Grant and Lee died at the Battle of Gettysburg (not my fluff, but it's general canon for WC).
    1880: Battle of Tombstone; Black Joker decimates most of the Gun-holders at the time, the cards are 'shuffled' once more
    Soon After: Time of the one-off playtest, a horseback race from San Francisco to Sacramento. No one had any of the legendary Guns, as I was more interested in testing the core mechanics.

    >About the race
    Race from San Francisco, through San Mateo and San Jose, through the relatively empty landscape, across some rivers to the north, and into Sacramento for the finish. Top prize is a thousand clams, big money for the late 1800s.

    >And the riders are...
    Yao, the Chinaman: Member of San Francisco's Tong crime group, entered into the race to make some dough for the group.

    Jean, the Rape-Child
    Product of Frenchman and Native American woman, works as a ranch hand, in the race to get some money for the ranch.

    Sarah, the Whore
    Literally, a whore who hates men and with a particularly violent streak. Also doesn't mind showing her boobs to get attention.

    Andrew, the Horsefucker
    Okay, not actually a horsefucker, but called to mess with his player. Surprisingly good diplomatic type who's good with horses.

    >Plot in the next post
    >> JSCervini !!L+hOixyXrvo 12/11/11(Sun)17:20 No.17180060
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    >Also, the NPC riders!
    Elias, the Rich Guy
    President of a shipping company, comes in with two Flunkies and a Dandy of an assistant in the race with him

    Garrett, the Gambler
    Former ranch owner who lost his money and ranch in a bet. In the race for obvious reasons.

    Melvin, the Kid
    Some more or less unknown cook from the local saloon, seeking to get out of obscurity.

    The Former Sherriff, whose name I can't remember at the time being
    Had a beef against the Tong, provided to be a good antagonist against Yao.

    >Ahem, story
    Not much story, except that everyone entered into the race for riches, glory, the usual shit. The race begins through the populated areas of SF and SM. Used this section to teach the players about Minor Conflicts. Pretty much, if they wanted to do something, they needed to pay chips, chips which they wouldn't be able to use in Major Conflicts later on. Unsurprisingly, they stayed chill about betting and they jockeyed for position until they got to the sleepy town of San Jose.

    Once there, Garrett got into a scuffle with Elias for first place. Blows were being traded, but nothing with any significant effect. Jean and Andrew stayed on the outside to avoid any trouble if one rider fell off. Yao stayed some distance behind, readying to strike against one of the Flunkies, as Sarah stuck around the back of the pack to keep an eye on things. Everyone else seemed to bounce back and forth in the pack.

    Then as the riders were leaving San Jose into the open wilderness, bandits! Six of them, all bearing red-and-black checkered bandannas. They were pointing their guns at the pack, whooping and hollering, but apparently Elias didn't seem to give a fuck. Obvious clue the players picked up on.

    So we're into a Major Conflict now, so begin blackjack!

    >Continued in next post
    >> JSCervini !!L+hOixyXrvo 12/11/11(Sun)17:31 No.17180156
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    First snag happened here in the gameplay. Only ONE player has ever played either blackjack or poker, so I had to explain the mechanics. And while they looked good on paper, it was a BITCH explaining it to the players. But we got through.

    In any case, Sarah sprung into action. More like her boobs, but they're attached, so it counts. Her hand is the winner in the whole hand, so all six of them are starting at her, giving Yao and Andrew, who trailed to the right side of the pack to deal with the bandits, blasted holes into three of them. Jean slowly crept up in the pack towards the front while Elias and Garrett eventually broke up their scuffle to make sure they don't get knocked out of the race.

    System note: I ended up giving the chips each of the downed bandits bet directly to Sarah, Yao, and Andrew for beating them. Everything else was divvied up among the winners of the hand.

    During the brief firefight, the Flunkies notice Jean creeping up towards them and Elias, still the leader. They pull out their guns, starting a new hand of blackjack. Jean goes to pull out his gun as well, though the Flunkies have an advantage, as Yao heads back toward the pack in hopes of taking down a distracted Flunkie (as per his original plan) and Sarah tries to get her gun out for shooting too.

    I have a very shooty group. They'd make for excellent Orks.

    In any case, Jean scores a blackjack and ends up popping a bullet into the lead Flunkie's horse, resulting in him taking the other Flunkie out in the aftermath (they both busted). The remaining three bandits swoop back to prey on the downed Flunkies... perhaps they were not afterall tied to Elias!

    >Continued in next post
    >> JSCervini !!L+hOixyXrvo 12/11/11(Sun)17:42 No.17180283
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    With the Flunkies gone, Jean races towards the front, bypassing the Former Sherriff and edging closer to Garrett, the Dandy, and Elias. Meanwhile, Yao and Andrew make their own advances as does Sarah, who passes up Melvin and approaches the others. They race out of town towards the midpoint of the race.

    >Break time
    Horses eventually have to rest, and Elias and the Dandy stop first. Seems like their horses were carrying some extra weight - water for the horses! This allowed them to remain more inland and closer to Sacramento during their rest, while Jean, Andrew, Yao, and Sarah had to pull off a little ways away to water their horses at a creek. Meanwhile, Garrett, the Former Sherriff, and Melvin continued on for a while longer before they rested up. They spent some time resting up. Yao and Andrew agreed for a 1st-2nd finish respectively while Sarah and Jean kept to themselves.

    And off they went again.

    From another minor conflict, Andrew got out first with Yao right behind him. Sarah waited a bit longer to rest, and then Jean, who was ahead of the other PCs, rested longest, but ended up in the back of the pack because of it. Elias and the Dandy were already headed back out from their own resting spot, and the others were still too far ahead. By this time, the sun was starting to set.

    As the riders continued to jockey, a loud bang echoed through the air. Andrew and Yao were close enough to see that Garrett was hunched on the side of the route with a smoking shotgun and Elias getting knocked off of his horse. Afterwards, Garrett got on his horse and hauled ass while Yao, being the thieving bastard he is, takes the time to get off the horse and make the killing blow on Elias, taking his gun and ammo with him. However, this also put him in last as Jean and Sarah sped past.

    >Continued in next post
    >> JSCervini !!L+hOixyXrvo 12/11/11(Sun)17:56 No.17180453
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    Continuing along, the riders were soon going into some higher, more hilly land, with a couple rivers and creeks fast approaching them. More minor conflicts with trudging through the waters. But Melvin was finally making his move as Sarah passed him up. Melvin got pissed, pulling his gun and shooting on a lady, the scandalous brat! Sarah got shot in her leg while she shot Melvin's shoulder, enough for her to pull away to catch up with Garret and the Dandy.

    Yao made up for lost time (by paying a lot of chips to do so), almost wearing his horse out when he catches up with the Former Sherriff, who was actually behind Yao when he stopped to kill Elias and take his goods, which left him as a witness to that part of the situation. The Sherriff, already not liking Chinaman as it is, points his gun at Yao. Jean is around and remembered how Yao dealt with the bandits, not seeing him as entirely bad, points his own gun at the Sherriff. Andrew, not too far ahead not to notice this, turned back to assist, trying to talk down the Sherriff. A bunch of changing gun points from the Sherriff later and Andrew scores the blackjack, dodging the bullet aimed at him while Yao and Jean fired off at the same time, leaving the Sherriff's head a variety of pinkish paste. His lifeless body dropped into the rushing river beneath them and the race continued on.

    >The Final Stretch!
    At this point the standings were:
    The Dandy

    It was getting late so I did one more major conflict to finish things off. Sarah charged past Garrett to take first, who joined the wounded Melvin in a race for second. The Dandy couldn't keep up as Andrew, Yao, and Jean overtook him. And in one final burst of speed, Andrew and his horse managed to bob and weave through the rest of the crowd to win the race in a photo finish against Sarah! (Friggin' blackjack!)

    So much for that 1-2 finish he and Yao talked about.

    >> JSCervini !!L+hOixyXrvo 12/11/11(Sun)17:58 No.17180473
    And that's that. Not bad for a one-off, and certainly not an awesome session story like those I see on here, but I hoped y'all enjoyed it all the same.
    >> Anonymous 12/11/11(Sun)18:04 No.17180532
    I just love to see /tg/ getting shit done.
    >> JSCervini !!L+hOixyXrvo 12/11/11(Sun)18:13 No.17180640
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    Glad it could get done!
    >> Anonymous 12/11/11(Sun)18:18 No.17180694
    So, what recommendations do you have for changes in the system?

    After this, do you think you could consider it finished?
    >> JSCervini !!L+hOixyXrvo 12/11/11(Sun)18:27 No.17180796
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    I outlined my proposed changes in the first couple posts, but I'll reiterate.

    >Betting in Conflicts
    This was the thorniest issue. I had a lot of non-card game players in the group, and they had trouble grasping the idea of raising being double the current bet. Wording needs to improve there. Also, I was originally planning to play out the major conflicts until all enemies/obstacles were depleted of chips. Given how confused the players were at first with betting, the bandits would have taken FOREVER to deal with, so I killed that one. If an enemy or obstacle busts, something will happen to them which takes them out of the action, if only temporarily.

    If said enemy/obstacle busts and the character directly dealing with it doesn't bust - better yet, if they win the hand - they get the chips the enemy/obstacle bet during the hand. Such was the case of the Sarah/Yao/Andrew team up with the bandits. They all got the chips the three bandits they downed had bet beforehand. The remaining chips put into the pot were split up as normal.

    Another issue. I originally had skills to be used to increase the maximum hand limit during a major conflict, but I had nothing, NOTHING for them during minor conflicts other than giving certain characters priority in certain situations. They all more or less wanted something more concrete. Perhaps bet discounts are in order, or maybe a number of allowable redos/Once Agains (bought with chips, of course). Otherwise, they liked the idea of skills having the different approaches as per the suits.

    >Guns with a Capital G
    We didn't use them in this playtest, but I would like to hammer out those rules come the next playtest, as they seem interested enough to try it again after I fine tune things.

    As for it being finished, we'll see how the edits work. If so, I'd like to say that it is. If not, more fine tuning will be required.
    >> JSCervini !!L+hOixyXrvo 12/11/11(Sun)22:22 No.17183677
    A bump so others can read up if they want.
    >> Anonymous 12/12/11(Mon)06:53 No.17187779
    Sounds like a blast, OP

    Thanks for sharing.
    >> Anonymous 12/12/11(Mon)15:23 No.17190876
    Archived at Sup/tg/.
    >> Anonymous 12/12/11(Mon)15:36 No.17191012
    Always thought this setting looked kickass, but the rules were a bit too beta-y for me to use.

    Very excited to see work on it!
    >> JSCervini !!L+hOixyXrvo 12/12/11(Mon)19:42 No.17194044

    Many many thanks!

    Yeah, the rules were beta as fuck. Hence the playtest. As they stand, the rules work well for a narrativist game, but I want to gear them so that some of the number-crunching crowd can get into it.
    >> Anonymous 12/12/11(Mon)20:01 No.17194308
    Have you thought of running a few games on IRC to get the rules perfected?
    >> JSCervini !!L+hOixyXrvo 12/12/11(Mon)20:21 No.17194540
    I actually don't like running games on IRC. That, and it depends on blackjack as a resolution mechanic, which would be difficult to do if the Dealer isn't supposed to know what cards the players are getting.

    As far as I'm concerned, my playtests will be in person. Sorry anon.
    >> Anonymous 12/12/11(Mon)21:34 No.17195240
    You can do that with dicebots. I helped program one for poker for use with the Savage Worlds system.

    Just have it PM the players their hands.
    >> Anonymous 12/12/11(Mon)21:37 No.17195280
    Too bad, I'd love to help playtest a game, and I'm a huge fan of Wild Cards, since I'm a huge fan of both Westerns and Cool magic guns.

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