|You know you want this |
in your Boot Hill Game...
Yet I enjoyed Boot Hill, I've always liked the idea of the system, murderously fast gunfights in the collective American (or possibly Italian) cultural confusion of the Wild West. Playing with the players from Hill Cantons, with Chris K running things (he's clearly run Boot Hill before) makes for a fun game and plenty of jokes about the inherent idiocy of the Western genre. While the mechanics of Boot Hill are strangely sparse, creating only a 'white room' where gunfights between faceless cowboys endlessly repeat, Cantones County (Hill Canton's Western equivalent) has already been fleshed out to a fair degree. Best, these character generating 'Fast Packs' build character backstory almost as quickly as the quirky modifier heavy rules of Boot Hill (Really it only has 3 meaningful statistics so it's not that bad) allow for character stat creation.
When I rolled "calico dress" as a fashion statement, several guns and a "child named William" as my character's possessions, my own fast, frail, accurate and fairly inexperienced gunfighter quickly became "Sally Murder" the last survivor of some sort of old order religious wagon train, loaded down with the guns of her dead fellows and her nine-year old son (at least this is her story, she might just be a mad murderess). The other players were able to concoct equally amusing backstories with equal speed based on the possessions randomly generated by these tables. While this is an important lesson (one I've long embraced) that equipment and a few random items can lay the basis for interesting characterization, the world that the strange gun thugs of Cantones County exist in still seems pretty bare.
Boot Hill's rules cover combat, exclusively and without variation. Almost a page on the effects of exploding dynamite, but nothing sneaking past sentries in the gloaming to take up a position on a rocky outcropping and snipe the local mine boss from cover on behalf of his perturbed workforce (this was the plot of the recent game). While articles in ancient Dragon magazines have some strange errata, mostly stats for fictional TV cowboy gunfighters, even the adventures offered are tactical map based gun battles against outlaws (and a Tyrannosaurus Rex) - individual scenes that may be fun but don't offer much variety or campaign play and suggest no space for expanding ones campaign beyond gunfights.
|A famous US President as Supernatural Monster Slayer - Jason Hauser|