Thursday, April 9, 2015

B is for Boot Hil, Should The Young Men Go West?

Prior to this post, I have only tagged Boot Hill, the 1975 Wild West Role Playing Game created by Brian Blume, and Gary Gygax, and published by TSR, only once before on this blog.

I may have mentioned it briefly a few other times.

That's just wrong.

Hmmm. Wrong might be too strong a word. I'll explain...

Hold it right there partner.
I plum reckon there maybe some clarifications in order.

Before I get into this in depth, I want to note that this is both a Thorough Thursdays entry, and the second installment in the April A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. As you can tell, I'm batting a thousand. I am a week late for both entries, which should have been posted Thursday, April 2nd.

Oh well, life goes on.

On a positive note, the albatross around my neck has finally been removed. I can afford to see a movie once in a while, take a day off, that sort of thing. Not too often of course, but compared to the past several months, it's going to feel like a vacation.

Now, in addition to having only one post tagged with Boot Hill, only three have ever been tagged with the words 'Wild West'. You'll also notice that there is only one previous entry for Deadlands (even though I may have mentioned it more than once in passing).

Truth be told, I am not a huge fan of Westerns. It's not that I really dislike them per se, I just don't list them among my top five favorite genres. I guess I would put them above D&D, Sword & Sorcery, smorgasbord Fantasy, but below Medieval Folklore Fantasy.

It just ain't my thing, the way my things are my thing.

Still, and all, there was that one time I ran a Boot Hill campaign, and it was awesome.

Boot Hill was perhaps the second, or third RPG I ever played. It is also possibly the second, or third I ever laid eyes on. This was back in the day when you could count the number of RPGs in print on your fingers.

Unlike Dungeons & Dragons, I had an immediate frame of reference for Boot Hill, having already seen many a Western film, and TV program by the age of 10. My maternal grandfather (who we called Pop, or Poppy) and my Dad were huge fans of the genre, and I ended up absorbing the tropes, and atmosphere by osmosis. Thanks to my Pop's love of cinema, and my father's fascination for old things, I learned to love the generation of John Wayne pictures as much as that of Clint Eastwood.

Add to the mix Wild West tales in the form I understood best, comic books. From DC's Jonah Hex, Batlash, and Pow-Wow Smith, to Marvel's Kid Colt, and the Rawhide Kid, Western comics were a staple part of my early collection. Actually, they were a staple of my cousin's collection, but I tended to read his comic books far more than he did.

All this exposure pooled together, and helped me create one rootin' tootin', sure an' shootin' Wild West campaign back in 1979.

Thirty-six years is a long time to wait for a sequel.

In my mind that means one of two things. Either, if I haven't made one yet that I don't need to make one. Some epics just don't need a '2'. That, or it's about time. Maybe even long overdue.

Sketch by Alan Robinson

As I toy around in my head with ideas for a new secondary campaign for my primary, New York group, the idea of a successor to my original Boot Hill campaign has crossed my thoughts more than a few times.

What do you think? Worth assembling a posse for, or should I just let the stage coach be on its way?

B is for Boot Hill

Barking Alien

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