Saturday, August 17, 2013

Playing Boot Hill again

The day before yesterday I once again played Boot Hill. It was a very old school experience. We had started an adventure, five years ago, and none of us remembered a thing. Our referee looked mystified at his notes while we players tried to decipher our scribblings on the character sheets. What were those abilities again? Finally we figured out what numbers meant we were good at shooting, and our referee rolled back time and we restarted the adventure.

You know how we all say over and over again that deadly systems often have very quick character generation systems? This is a game that should need a very, very quick character generation system! We sat in a cantina somewhere and in came some ruffians, and naturally a fight erupted. My character was a greenhorn and botched loading his musket, and was a sitting duck while the lead was heavy in the air. Finally I managed to get a shot off with my "appropriated" french revolver we had found on some guy during a big kerfuffle in Mexico City. Then a bullet struck my character in the head.

Luckily I survived, but did nothing more in the fight than turning over the table each time someone entered the room, to have some cover during the fight.

The system is really peculiar. You get increases in abilities, but you get bonuses at spaced out intervals. That is interesting, since you can get both the satisfaction of seeing the numbers increase, and the "stair" effect of a level based system. Also, you have stats for sight and hearing, gun accuracy and throwing accuracy. It's really a system where the stats play first fiddle, and the skills are something of an oddity tacked on.

From the reviews I've read, nobody seems to think very highly of the game and I agree that it lacks that something extra. Still, we had fun in a crazy way. My character has 100% speed, 06% in intelligence, 98% in sight and slightly bad of hearing. Naturally I just had to do whatever was the most stupid thing possible, while still trying to stay alive and instant hilarity is guaranteed. Extremes are always more fun when trying to roleplay.

Our GM have created a big pile of tables for weapons, extra rules, tabled and such from decades of playing the game. I'm trying to convince him to type it up for the world to see. Contrary to the deadliness correlation mentioned above, his variant is actually not that quick. But, thanks to all those tables you get to know what you did in the war, where your family is from and all that stuff. I love life path systems!

Maybe our next session will be sooner than another five years...

4 comments:

  1. Sounds like you had fun. The stats don't sound like ones in the ediition I played which was really all about the shooting. I always wondered how much that game may have differed in editions.

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  2. I think this was second edition, but with extensive house rules. we actually had a first edition in the house, but we just looked at it and used smart phones to check out it's going price on eBay.

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  3. This is a play-by-post scenario I ran a few years ago. It has a good breakdown of the mechanics if you are interested in how some other people played the game

    http://odd74.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=makofan&action=display&thread=6677

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