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Author Topic: Boot Hill - Which Edition is Best?  (Read 197 times)

aztecman

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Boot Hill - Which Edition is Best?
« on: September 29, 2020, 12:06:52 am »
Howdy Partners - (see what I did there?  ;)  )


Some members of my gaming group are interested in playing Boot Hill (or at least some type of wild west rpg) - and I wanted to ask the hivemind here if anyone had any thoughts on which version of TSR's classic is the best bang for your buck.


Keep in mind, I have the 2nd edition box set and a few of the early modules.


I know that there are many options out there: Aces & Eights, Sidewinder Recoiled, Deadlands, Down Darker Trails, and the Swedish "Western" game as well. I am looking for something human/historically authentic, so no elves/orcs, supernatural or what not. And being quick and fast is preferred. That being said, I think Boot Hill will be a good choice, but I am not sure which edition I should pull the trigger on.


Is there much support for the 3rd edition? Were there ever any modules put out for it back in the day? I am just trying to get a feel if I should try 3rd or just stick to version I already have (2nd).


If anyone feels like jumping in here to share their thoughts, I'd certainly appreciate it.


Thanks!




David Johansen

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Re: Boot Hill - Which Edition is Best?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2020, 12:23:35 am »
Well, first edition is just a skirmish game really, I've heard third is a skill based roleplaying game.  I'll put up my usual desire to run a Dawn Patrol campaign using Boot Hill for ground combat.
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arcanuum

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Re: Boot Hill - Which Edition is Best?
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2020, 01:02:57 am »
So you want a historical, quick and easy system. In that case I would recommend Coyote Trail by Precis Intermedia. https://www.pigames.net/store/default.php?cPath=59
Playing: Lords of Olympus, Amber Diceless, Tales of Gor
Running: Cha'alt using DCC, Dead Reign, Lords of Olympus

aztecman

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Re: Boot Hill - Which Edition is Best?
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2020, 01:48:30 am »
So you want a historical, quick and easy system. In that case I would recommend Coyote Trail by Precis Intermedia. https://www.pigames.net/store/default.php?cPath=59


haha, I've got that one also! :)

Omega

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Re: Boot Hill - Which Edition is Best?
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2020, 02:03:10 am »
first ed is a skirmish wargame.2nd ed is more RPG-ish.
Not sure about 3rd ed?

Bren

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Re: Boot Hill - Which Edition is Best?
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2020, 02:15:56 am »
I've been running Boot Hill 2E for several months now. 2E is essentially an expansion of 1E.


3E switches from the earlier versions' 2D6 and percentile rolls to 2D10. Beyond the minor dice changes, 3E is a significantly different game. It has a bunch of skills and feats and some kind of experience point system. Some folks will like that especially if that's what they are used to and 3E appears to be less lethal than the other two editions -- which are quite lethal. Personally, I found the 3E combat seemed a little cluttered, the feats and skills seemed more limiting than enabling.  While running 2E, I've found the reversion to an essentially skill-less system rather refreshing. Characters are assumed to be competent. You want to keep them dogies rollin? Your character background included time spent as a cowboy, rancher, drover or some such? Then you can, you don't need to make several skill rolls to succeed. Your character who worked as a bartender buys a saloon? You don't need to make a pour drinks skill roll to see how successful you are. You just do it.

There are five adventure modules (BH1-BH5). All are written for 2E, though the last module, Range War, has the reaction table updated to the 3E version that uses 2D10 instead of 2D6 version as in 1E and 2E.
Currently running: Boot Hill 2E      Currently playing:_D&D 5E and Call of Cthulhu
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aztecman

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Re: Boot Hill - Which Edition is Best?
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2020, 04:07:19 am »
ok, this is good to know. I like the lethality of the 1st/2nd editions, so I am thinking I'd like to keep that. Do you know if there were any third party adventure modules done for 2nd edition? Now that I've checked, I've got BH1-5 in my library. Having a few more to draw from would be helpful.

Bren

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Re: Boot Hill - Which Edition is Best?
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2020, 11:27:47 am »
ok, this is good to know. I like the lethality of the 1st/2nd editions, so I am thinking I'd like to keep that. Do you know if there were any third party adventure modules done for 2nd edition? Now that I've checked, I've got BH1-5 in my library. Having a few more to draw from would be helpful.
  • I'm using Mad Mesa and the suggested multiplayer setup for my main Boot Hill group. I ran the solo version first. I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. One PC was very successful, though when I tried running it again with a new PC, I went through two in very short order. Both dying from a thrown knife in their first real encounter.
  • I believe there were some none TSR modules, but I've not been successful tracking any of them down. I think there were one or two published by a foreign group of Boot Hill folks. I believe they were 3E focused and they did have some free downloads of fan created material. I don't think they had any modules, though I think they did have some town maps.
  • One module I did find a copy of is "The Taming of Brimstone" by Donald Mumma. It was published in Dragon Magazine #71 and was used as an event at an early GenCon or some other convention. I played it through once as a solo. Now I'm running it on and off for a group of players. I find it interesting, but rather odd. I'm curious what choices players at the convention made as it is not at all clear what sort of a strategy the designer anticipated or expected players to adopt..
  • I also found the "Wild West Mini-Module: Shootout in Northfield and Other Famous Gunfights" by Tom Moldvay. I forget where that one is from. (It too may be from an issue of Dragon Magazine.) It's got a 1981 date, but it's the set up for a wargame skirmish battle rather than what we have come to think of as a role playing module. You can add PCs to either side, but either way you're playing out the raid on Northfield.
I'd love to get more modules. If you find any, please drop me a PM or post something here.
Currently running: Boot Hill 2E      Currently playing:_D&D 5E and Call of Cthulhu
My Blog: For Honor...and Intrigue
I now have a gold medal from Ravenswing and Gronan now owes me 9 beers and I owe him 2 beers.
And this just in, jeff37923 has jumped on the beer wagon. He now owes me 1 beer.