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TEXAS is a rules-lite roleplaying game for playing Spaghetti Western tales. The system is designed to be narrative driven, aiming to reproduce the cinematic feel of 1960s western movies such as A Fistful of Dollars, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Once Upon A Time in the West

The core game mechanics of TEXAS are based on games of poker - specifically a Texas Hold'em variant. Experienced cards gamers and narrativist roleplayers alike should get a kick out of the game!

As this is a game about western movies, its designed primarily with one-shot adventures in mind. Because of that there's no XP system, and characters can be put together in a matter of minutes. You might want to run a series of movies with the same protagonists, but essentially these are the same legendary characters each time - there's no need to step them up in strength as time goes by.

If you and your game group are looking for something fun, something different and something with that spaghetti western feel, then look no further!

Game Setting: The Spaghetti Western[edit]

What is a Spaghetti Western?

The pedant would say its a specific movie subgenre of the Western, made in the 1960s and shot in Europe, or more typically the deserts of Spain. That's the boring definition.

For TEXAS, we're more interested about what the Spaghetti Western represents stylistically. These are genre films set in the desert heat, with stubble-chinned antiheroes living on the edge, and acting according to their own sets of rules. They're not afraid to fight dirty, or to shoot first, but they have their own sense of justice and have a soft spot for the downtrodden and the down-at-luck.

The classic anti-hero is the Man With No Name, as envisioned by Sergio Leone and depicted by Clint Eastwood. He's a gruff and soft spoken ronin, transposed to the Americas. This is the archetypal character for a game like TEXAS.

But the game doesn't limit itself to this archetype - after all, the Spaghetti Western is too often about the lone hero, and while there's mileage out of one-on-one games thats not the way most of us play.

So we need to look more broadly at western archetypes, and often at the supporting cast as well. We have the saloon gal who has a big heart but a rotten life. We have the huckster whose as fast with words as he is with cards. We have the Navajo Joe style injun who uses his bow as often as his gun. There's more to this genre than the surly gunslinger... not that there's anything wrong with surly gunslingers!

As a GM, you ideally don't want too many players for this game. If you have more than four, for example, then your players start looking less like the protagonists and more like the bandido gang. Hell, even if you have just four players you probably want to make at least one of them the bandido chieftan.

So you have your cast? Now what? Well here's where you get to set up the story. The classic spaghetti western has the protagonist or protagonists as outsiders. They ride into town, they get involved somehow (perhaps by moving to the aid of some poor sap) and set themselves up as enemies to the big bad guy. Maybe they resist getting drawn in for a while, but sooner or later they decide that they're going to fix things. Thats when the movie moves to the endgame.

That's the basic spaghetti western, but to make a good game you need to have more than that. You need high drama, tense scenes of intimidation, moral dilemmas and tough challenges along the way. Watch a few movies, steal a few ideas and roll on from there.

Character Generation[edit]

This section provides information on creating a character.

Game Mechanics[edit]

This section presents rules systems for the game

A Setting[edit]

The below setting was constructed by BenS of rpg.net.