So we talked tonight, and my Saturday night gaming group has said they’d play a Wild West game run using Everyday Heroes after a bunch of them grabbed the recent bundle. There weren’t any complaints about Victorian characters solving locked room mysteries, Martian Tripods roaming the countryside in the 1870s was fine, but one player balked at steampunk sort of and a second said his problem with the genre was knowing too well why the tech isn’t around anymore.
So anyways here’s Wonderwall… I mean everything from the EDH core book that’s probably not fit for the Wild West as well as optional material we’ll probably consider.
Backgrounds: Gamer doesn’t fit, though a Gambler might, Larper doesn’t exactly fit, and the Technophile could be morphed into some kind of Inventor wannabe. Custom background steps are right there and encouraged.
Professions: Counseling would be weird as psychiatry was primitive and not what we think of today. Information Technology: there’s literally one programmer working right now, and very few computation machines are operating. Custom profession steps are right there and encouraged.
Archetypes: All six Archetypes are allowed.
Class: Heavy Gunner seems inappropriate for anything less than a vehicle-based campaign. MMA Fighter could just be a wrestler, boxer, or martial arts practitioner like Sherlock Holmes. In a pure Western setting, the Engineer’s mechanical companion just doesn’t fit. Half of the engineer’s plans work fine; the other half don’t. The hacker’s plans don’t work well. Mastermind and Scientist fit fine.
Equipment: So many packs and kits need to be rewritten.
- Bag Stuff, book, pen, ink and paper, rouge, powder, a fan, perfume, visiting cards, handkerchief, a lady might have any pocket stuff in her handbag, smelling salts
- Carriage Stuff, jackstand, board, rope, canteen or small barrel, buggy wrench, mallet
- Saddle Stuff, rope, canteen, blanket,
- Pocket stuff, watch, cash, compass, matches, keys, pocketknife, handkerchief
- Wagon Stuff; wagon hammer, doubletrees, neck yoke, tool box, jockey box, leather scabbard (rifle not included), rope, canteen, wagon jack, hobbles, wagon tarp, 2 lanterns, block & tackle, water bucket,
- Chuckwagon 2 man saw, coffee pot, washboard, end gate wheel table, kerosene can, small trunk. miners pick, meat saw, Parker coffee grinder, double headed axe, bow saw, meat cleaver, oak barrel, water dipper, pick, shovel, enamelware, crows nest,
Equipment Packs have some suggested things that might translate, if you want something different ask.
- Muscle Car probably translates to a fast horse and good saddle, possibly a 2 wheel buggy or rig.
- Luxury Car could be a nice buggy, or carriage, but it could also just be a nice horse and saddle
- Common car is a cheap but reliable horse, and a well-worn saddle
- Sports cars would be a racing horse, 2-wheel buggy, rigs, or Phaeton.
- Standard car would be a nicer horse than the common car, with a good saddle, but not like the Sports, Luxury, or Muscle car.
- Pickup Truck, direct translation would be a mule team and freight wagon, but it could also be a riding horse and pack horse or pack mule.
- White Panel Van reads similarly to the Pickup Truck, except it could also be a covered wagon like a Milk Truck or Ambulance from the period
- Minivan is the family Farm Wagon which has lower sides than a Freight Wagon and isn’t built for as much weight
- Police Cruiser is a fast horse and standard saddle
- Police Van, the old Paddy Wagon larger than the Milk Truck and sturdier
- 4WD Vehicle is either a Freight Wagon, which had more ground clearance and could sometimes float across rivers, but is more likely Pack Horses or Mules
- Motorcycle is a fast horse and saddle
- Junker Car is a used buggy or wagon, maybe an old farm horse pressed into service as a riding horse with a well-worn saddle
- Sedan with tinted windows becomes a Carriage with curtains
- Leather Jackets mostly become Dusters, Greatcoats, or Oilskins
- Service Pistol is a Revolver in .44 or .45
- 9mm Semi-Auto becomes a .36 Revolver like Colt Navy or similar
- Pocket .38 becomes a .31 Revolver like the Colt Pocket or 2-shot Derringer
- Expensive Watch becomes an expensive pocketwatch
- Hand Cannon might be something like the Colt Walker a saddle pistol for Cavalry
- Hunting Rifle is probably a Buffalo Sharps, Spencer, Winchester
- Large Knife is a Bowie Knife or Arkansas Toothpick
- TASERs, Stun Guns, and Tear Gas don’t have great analogs
- Sniper Rifle becomes a Baker, Whitworth, Sharps,
- Assault Carbine would be more like a short-barreled lever action Henry or Winchester
- Concealed Carry 9mm would be a pocket pistol or short barrel belt pistol
- Tactical Rifle would be a standard barrel lever action Henry or Winchester
Notes on Body Armor: the EDH system only makes armor useful if you’re about to die, so that’s where I’m going to focus on talismans, tokens, and tchotchkes that happen to save your life, which is much more in the spirit of the genre.
- The body armor of the period was terrible, bulletproof vests deemed impenetrable in the newspapers were discarded by Civil War soldiers on long marches as not worth the weight. You’re better off with a lucky dollar, bible, or flask in your vest pocket that happens to stop the bullet. Ned Kelly’s gang wore armor made from stoves, and it stopped rifle rounds, but they didn’t armor their legs.
- EDH’s Historical Armor has an armor value of 1, despite longbows and crossbows having 1 and 2 penetration values, and we know neither could penetrate a contemporary breastplate. If you happened to be in a modern armored Guard, such as the Cuirassiers, you might have a bullet-proofed breastplate as part of your uniform that had to stop a musket ball. It is probably no coincidence that all the modern armored guards were mounted units.
Notes on Western Pistols: came in 4 typical sizes Horse Pistol or Saddle Holster Pistol, Holster Pistol, Belt Pistol, Pocket Pistol
- Burglar’s kit, no spray paint, and an angle grinder is likely an iron file or hacksaw?
- Camping Kit wouldn’t have anything electrical, but a lantern, compass, and canteen are perfectly period accurate.
- Chemistry and Climber’s kits no changes
- Demolitions kit would be a roll of safety fuse, spool of electrical wire, blasting caps (both kinds), blasting machine (plunger), wire cutters,
- Disguise Kit and Electrician’s kit no changes
- Evidence kit, this wouldn’t be much, but fingerprint powder, magnifying glass, camera.
- First Aid kit
- Forgery kit would be old-school razor blades, pens, ink, glue or gum arabic, papers, wax seals
- Mechanic’s Kit wouldn’t have modern power tools, there would be jacks and blocks and tackles, pulleys and rope or chains
- Police Kit, handcuffs or manacles only, uniform, extra magazines become extra cylinders or a cartridge belt, pocketwatch, whistle
- Soldier’s Kit knapsack or haversack, uniform, mess kit, blanket, hard tack, jerky, canteen, rifle with 40 rounds ammunition, travel pass, ration card
- Pocket Stuff of the era will likely include both cash and matches
- Hacking kit and Surveillance kit rely too heavily on electronics
- Survival kit, canvas tarp replaces the plastic sheeting, no water filter, water bottle is a canteen, signaling device is a mirror, flashlight might be a candle or lantern, emergency food is hard tack, jerky, pemmican
- Welder’s kit, both types of welding (gas/arc) existed in the 1800s, but only the gas type was likely to be portable
Feats: Pinning Fire relies on semi-automatic and automatic weapons, so it’s got limited usefulness in the old west, but we’re used to seeing people shooting to keep their opponent’s heads down. Remove any Training feat that relies on a Class that doesn’t work in the setting.
Skills: Computers, electronics-related uses of Security.
Optional Rules: Inspiration is handy for PCs to sometimes snatch victory from the jaws of bad die rolls. Ammunition Tracking, we’ll see how annoying it is; we’re very likely only playing with metallic cartridge firearms because muzzle-loading firearms are just annoying in RPGs. Sudden Death, there’s no coup de grace in the EDH core, but minor characters getting shot in the back is a common Wild West trope. Poisons: There’s a lot of poison in the 19th century. Injuries we’ll see if anyone wants it, maybe a presumed dead bad guy comes back missing some parts. Diseases: There’s a lot of disease in the 19th century. Drugs: There’s a lot of drugs in the 19th century.
The opponents section of EDH has a number of SRD monsters that are regular animals I’m going to check that the EDH version of SRD critters are the same or were modified to be in line with the benchmarks set in the DMG. EDH has a generic mostly harmless critter CR 0 to which you can add 5 templated abilities. Some of the other critter statblocks have variants as well. This allows you to make a Spider and Scorpion from the same generic Venomous Bug.
If you have any feedback about this post or our books, please feel free to contact us.
Evilrobotgames at Gmail.com