“He should have armed himself.”

unforgivensplashAfter reading a recent post on 8:05 PM on the Western Genre in RPGs, I got to thinking about it myself. Having grown up playing cowboys ‘n indians as much as we did, it is no wonder I have a fondness for the genre.

In film, I have to say that Clint Eastwood’s westerns really do it for me….particularly the Spaghetti variety as the “Man with no name” trilogy are often called (due to being filmed in Italy). A Fist Full of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good the Bad and the Ugly really are a focal point for my love of Western Films. Other Eastwood westerns worth noting include Pale Rider, Hang’em High, The Outlaw Josey Wales, and more recently Unforgiven.

Of course, tribute must also be paid to the Duke (John Wayne) who consistently played the quintessential western hero to  which Eastwood responded in playing the western anti-hero. The Duke’s performance in The Shootist definitely has some parallels to Unforgiven (which I don’t think are lost on Eastwood, who also directed). In any case, if I were to try to emulate film for Western-style gaming, it would be with Eastwood/Wayne films as the primary source material.

Back in the day, I was pretty jazzed about the existence of Boot Hill in concept and notably less so in terms of practice. It just didn’t do it for me. It didn’t support the boldness, the brashness, or the brazeness that I envisioned in my Western stories. So I put it away. So much so, that I actually missed Deadlands (thinking it was a World of Darkness spinoff…I misjudged it at the cover-level). I may have to delve into that. Not long ago, I’ve acquired GURPS Old West and Western HERO. I think Deadlands needs to enter my possession. It may be time to give Western play another try….perhaps as a one-off session.

For now, I’ve been playing the Outlaws with my brother….now that’s a computer game that may warrant its own post.


Bad Ass Axe

Axe in Face“Hey!” That’s what the Duke said just before he smashed George Kennedy in the face with an axe handle.

This post is not about game design…not really anyway, but it started out that way. For some reason, while working on mechanically differentiating weapon types (in ways other than raw amount of damage) for HAGIS/Aega Mythea, I got thinking about axes.

For some reason, I absolutely love the 60’s John Wayne-style western movie, The Sons of Katie Elder in which the Duke wallops the blacksmith-bullying George Kennedy in the face with an axe handle. I think much of the appeal is actually due to the axe-handle scene. I suppose I should seek help. Anyway, here’s the relevant section of the movie on You Tube:

While I was chuckling, I remembered the uber-useful linguistic site that provides translations in all known languages for the definitive utterance: “Oh my god! There’s an axe in my head!” Now there’s a lesson in multi-culturalism for you all. Please be attentive.

Inevitably, I suppose, that brought my warped mind to the discussion between Gimli and Legolas in the The Two Towers movie as to why a dead orc was still twitching…Gimli w/ Axe

Gimli: 42, now that’s not a bad score. I myself am sitting happily on 43.

[Legolas pulls out an arrow and shoots the Urukhai body Gimli is sitting on]

Gimli: He was already dead.

Legolas: He was twitching!

Gimli: He was twitching because he’s got my axe embedded in his nervous system!

Gimli's Axe

If you’ve seen the movie, you’ve got to admit that Gimli Gloinson does have a point there. Even after Legolas fires his “just to make sure arrow” into the Uruk corpse, Gimli is still able to make the corpse twitch with but a little twisting of the axe…

Anyway, I haven’t gotten anything concrete yet as to how I’d like for a Great Sword to work differently than a Great Axe just yet, but I have some ideas. I don’t think it will be working like it does in D&D3.x though.

And with that I leave you….ok, just one more movie image from The Shinning…..that’sDefinitely Holding an Axe right, The Shinning…..after all, who wants to be sued? Shut up, Boy!Not Willie, let me tell youNow, let’s look at this picture…with an expression on your face like that, everyone knows you’re likely to be holding an axe (and be up to no good). Right?

Eh, I better get back to it….

~Adaen of Bridgewater