The Journal of Robert Cassidy (April 9-10)

Tuesday April 9, 1875; Independence, MO
For a boom town in the wild, Independence is big. It’s a town with a purpose: equipping wagon trains with their supplies and turning a tidy profit.

The day started early; Malachai and I started lining up supplies for the follow up wagons, making good use of our new found wealth. We went from shop to shop, turning over more and more credit from the letter over to the merchants, until it was finally exhausted at near day’s end. Continue reading “The Journal of Robert Cassidy (April 9-10)”

The Journal of Robert Cassidy (April 7, 8)

Sunday April 7, 1875; Several hours outside of Independence
Today was a peaceable day. All three preachers spoke, making for a long morning. The first preacher was like to induce snoring, but Reverend Smith perked things up again. Their zeal for spreading the word to the benighted indians out in the territory was clear; it reminded me that we’re on a holy mission. Continue reading “The Journal of Robert Cassidy (April 7, 8)”

The Journal of Robert Cassidy (April 7, 8)

Sunday April 7, 1875; Several hours outside of Independence
Today was a peaceable day. All three preachers spoke, making for a long morning. The first preacher was like to induce snoring, but Reverend Smith perked things up again. Their zeal for spreading the word to the benighted indians out in the territory was clear; it reminded me that we’re on a holy mission. Continue reading “The Journal of Robert Cassidy (April 7, 8)”

The Journal of Robert Cassidy (April 6)

Saturday, April 6, 1875; Missouri Wilds [1. This was a bad session for timing; people were late and a session break in the middle cut down on the “in world game time”.]
At breakfast, I brought up that thorny topic, the madman’s money. It was not as hard as I thought it would be; the demon dollars couldn’t grip tight on me. I told the Doc and Malachai that they were the victims of the madman’s blade, that they had more of a claim to the cash he was carrying than any other man. So I handed them the fat wad of money I’d taken from the dead man– Lucien’s wallet. They set about protesting, but could not come up with a better plan. They promised to think on a proper division during the day, and we’d talk around our fire tonight. Continue reading “The Journal of Robert Cassidy (April 6)”

The Journal of Robert Cassidy (April 6)

Saturday, April 6, 1875; Missouri Wilds [1. This was a bad session for timing; people were late and a session break in the middle cut down on the “in world game time”.]
At breakfast, I brought up that thorny topic, the madman’s money. It was not as hard as I thought it would be; the demon dollars couldn’t grip tight on me. I told the Doc and Malachai that they were the victims of the madman’s blade, that they had more of a claim to the cash he was carrying than any other man. So I handed them the fat wad of money I’d taken from the dead man– Lucien’s wallet. They set about protesting, but could not come up with a better plan. They promised to think on a proper division during the day, and we’d talk around our fire tonight. Continue reading “The Journal of Robert Cassidy (April 6)”

The Journal of Robert Cassidy (to April 3)

Below is the rough draft of the journal for my character, Robert Cassidy. I enjoyed writing it up, and hope the inspiration clings. Some of this was backstory; the session began in mid-march trying to join the wagon train. Much of the writing prior to St. Louis was finding the character’s voice and explaining backgrounds and flaws. Hopefully, a lot of flavor came through.
Continue reading “The Journal of Robert Cassidy (to April 3)”

Aces and Eights: Characters

We just completed our character generation session, though we were a little short with Dad out sick. Here’s the skinny on the characters to date. [The dice were cold; Kev wound up having to generate 4 sets of stats to finally wind up with one decent set.]

Kev created Dr. Emerson Brown, a wealthy son of a doctor and landlord in New York City. He had a great upbringing, but wants to escape dad’s shadow. He just turned 21, and is headed out west with a few guns and a medical kit. He’s known for his doctoring and has a few other white collar skills. He’s impulsive, short tempered, and has high standards. He has bedside manner, and comes off completely dismissive. He could be interesting to be around.

Mike used his last character, a kid of 15, and just finished up allocating the new building points (for reputation) and buying more gear tonight. He has outdoors and riding skills, and is headed out west to start up a ranch, capture some wild mustangs, and turn a tidy profit. He’s terrible at lying.

I created a boy from rural Tennessee, Bob Cassidy, now 19. He’s got a lot of natural talent [high wisdom], good cooking/fishing/observation type skills, a lot of experience handling a wagon, and some good gossip and talking skills. He won’t say no to food, and can’t lie to save his life. If you hear rustling at midnight, it’s probably just Bob looking for a snack.

We’re going to start at noon on Saturday. We’ll start off in St. Louis and join a wagon train, supply up, and start off for the territories to homestead a town, or build up a struggling town with a lot of new talent.

Late last night, I was thinking about aides that would have streamlined character generation a little more. The core realization is based off of something Fred Hicks wrote about 4e; that the character sheet you use in play is a lot simpler than the character worksheet you use to derive those numbers. I used that insight to create an Aces and Eights character worksheet. It guides you through the process from stat rolls to finishing up skill points and buying gear.

Here’s my character, Bob Cassidy. Without all of the math in between, and by separating the combat and non-combat parts of the character, I think it’s pretty easy to get a feel for him.

Speaking of math, here’s a simple spreadsheet for spending.

Finally, the real easiest way to do it: use the character generator. It does the math for you, and will roll or allow you to input your rolls. If I hadn’t already done things several times, this would be the way I’d enter it all– for the math check if nothing else!

Aces and Eights resources

Our upcoming game is Aces and Eights, and we’ll be playing members of a wagon train heading west. Since there’s a lot of changes from real world history, and it’s a new system to us, I thought I’d dig up some links.

The history of the continent is wildly different, due to a much earlier civil war. This annotated map does a good job of showing the various countries and conflict zones. This timeline is a very short “one page” of differences that setup the map above.

The download page has excerpts from the rulebook and many other interesting references, including objects to hide behind in a shootout, silhouettes, a stage schedule, the alternative history excerpt, and so on.

There are two bits of errata linked on their website: Basic Combat and Wounds Modifiers Primitive Ranged Weapons.

The revised chapter 6.5, detailed backgrounds, is a PDF. It has the 01-92 “parents legitimate” fix, and probably a few more. Kenzerco also posted up tutorial videos for the combat system. For a couple of nice combat reference PDFs, see this post.

From RPG.net, there’s a quick example of play that went pretty well. (If you scroll down, you get the 7 session story.) The play log and characters are here. They just started a sequel game here.

Despite extensive searching, I haven’t found good third party or personal guides to the system. I know that I often appreciate different explanations and guides– sometimes the third time, you hit on the formula that explains it perfectly.