Holy kacholey, Dinosaur Cowboys v0.0000001 is fun. Basically I whipped up a character sheet yesterday at work and printed 4 off. Then I got home, set up a bit of terrain and a few mounted figures I had (druid riding a lizard vs. goblin riding a winged lion ftw!) and played 3 small “battles” using only my brainstorm rules. The first two battles were between a Duster and Neotechnoist (Duster won both because of some overpowered weapons), and then both of them against a generic enemy dinosaur (using a plastic toy thing I got from a museum).
But yeah, lots of fun. I honestly feel that the game is a return to my teenage roots of Horizon (a fantasy game I made instead of playing D&D). The combat is fast and simple with minimal rolling before you can apply damage. The character sheets are clean with few stats and plenty of opportunity for (relatively) fast playing larger battles.
I still need to start on the ACTUAL rules, instead of just going off a well defined brainstorm document, but yeah, I bet I could be done a first version of this mofo in a single night. Then I get the exciting job of working up background information and maps and cool stuff like that. Weapon lists and enemy lists will likely be the biggest stumbling block, but since I’m working with new material (dinosaurs!) I think I might be more motivated. Plus the idea of having a giant book of foes is enticing.
Heck I remember my Horizon enemy book, it was about an inch thick and stacked with pages and pages of enemies in a crude, simple format. I don’t even think it was organized alphabetically, and I made all the stats up off the cuff, but somehow everything was still balanced and workable. I got to know that book so well that I could just turn directly to common foes like Black Bears and Goblins and stuff. Man what a blast.
But anyways, here are the notes from my playtest, some of which is painfully obvious but you don’t realize it until you actually sit down and start rolling dice.
+ Notes from December 01 Playtest - Damage Track is written in pencil, and marked off in pencil, so erasing is an issue - Use sliding counters instead? - Write Current AR and Current Movement formula below field? - Need a hint for Armor Name location by Armor Rating - Need a space for Current Melee Attacks under Dinomount - Might want to keep all temporary fields in one place, or formatted the same - Need rules for transferring extra damage from downed Dinomount to rider, before they dismount - All extra damage goes to rider? ie: 5 damage, 2 track boxes left, 3 goes to rider? - Clarify reload rules... - Basically you spend your whole firing phase reloading a single gun - OR you can fire another gun, but the unreloaded weapon remains unreloaded - Recommend just marking an 'R' beside the weapon column on character sheet - Need a second divider line on all Current boxes, to store the starting value - ie: HP: |__|______ - Call firing phase 'Action Phase' and include item use (such as healing kits) - Switch Current HP back to left side so it's easier to write around damage track counter - Consider having Henchmen / Followers on the same "mini sheet" as generic enemies - Makes sheet shuffling less of a hassle - Could even fit 3 Followers (the maximum?) on a landscape spreadsheet full of mini sheets, maybe - Added bolded letters for the 'M' in Movement, for example, to help understand Damage Track markings