View Full Version : Alt history wild west bank robbery ideas!

2013-11-19, 08:11 AM
Hey guys! Been away a while but my group is getting back together for some pen and paper games again and I have volunteered as Gm. The setting I have written is Victorian era wild west but throughout history magic has been real, supernatural creatures roam about etc.

We will be using the FATE system and as none of us have used it before we are going to have a mini learning adventure before we start the real thing.

I want the adventure to be about a group of brothers attempting a bank robbery, the reason that I have come to you guys is that I'm struggling to think of encounters and interesting things to incorporate to make it interesting. FATE also has good rules for non combat problem solving etc and the combat system can even be used to play out arguments. So I want to get nice range of challenges to fully show off the system.

Now this isn't FATE specific thread, any ideas to make a bank robbery in the magical wild west more interesting would be great!

Good to be back and thanks in advance! :smallsmile:

Ps: the setting specifics still aren't set in stone so don't worry if some of your ideas might not fit, I'm open to anything at the moment!

2013-11-19, 09:18 AM
Magicpunk wild west sounds interesting.
Check out http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheWildWest for manyy standard ideas in a wild west.

Shootout in the town as part of the bank robbery.
Getting into a magicpunk vault.
The posse chasing the robbers.
Mexican army, for the spaghetti western feel.
Exotic defensive devices and mechanics to drive any cattle rustler wild.
Explosives and gatling guns.
The gambling den and shootout over cheating.
Robbing trains.
Lots of cattle stampeding.

2013-11-19, 10:25 AM
The double cross argument where the one guy tries to take over the gang and the players need to convince the other gang members to stay loyal.

Firest Kathon
2013-11-19, 11:49 AM
Have a look at Deadlands (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadlands), which has a similar settings, for inspirations.

2013-11-19, 11:57 AM
In terms of prepping for Fate, if you don't have the Fate Core book yet, grab that--it has fantastic advice for running and prepping campaigns.

I would prep three things. One: a list of Wild West tropes to draw from when you're looking for inspiration. Two: a short list of NPCs in the adventure and important locations that the PCs will visit. Three: have a brief list of "scenes", but don't flesh them out much. You'll use the first two things to flesh out those scenes when they come about.

When you're prepping scenes, define each scene with a core question, such as "will the players get to the robbery scene in time to pick up the trail?" Because it's a mini demo adventure, prep 3-4 questions that come together to form one complete story arc. For instance, here's a list I might use.

"Will the players get to the bank in time to pick up the Comstock Brothers' trail?"
"Will the Muldew Desert Raiders capture the players?"
"Will the players locate the secret entrance to the Comstock Brothers' hideout, or have to settle for the more obvious way in?"
"Will the Comstock Brothers escape to rob another day?"

Once you have the outline of that plot, you're ready to start thinking about ways to spice it up. Just remember: because it's a demo adventure, keep it really simple. Players have a tendency to add their own complications. (You can also use Fate's "compels" mechanic to add complications of your own.)

By the by, those Wild West tropes also make excellent inspiration for creating Advantages in Fate, or for exploiting Aspects.

2013-11-19, 12:23 PM
Depending on the level of magic in the setting, you might want to consider a few things:

How does magic affect transportation? Is teleporting an option? If not, do trains run on steam, magic, or some combination of both? What about mounts? Do the settlers ride horses, monsters, magitech machines?
Similar to transportation, what about communication? In traditional Wild West, one of the factors that helped created that sort of society was the lack of communication with the outside world. Individual settlements had to be self-sufficient and deal with their own problems. Sure, the government's army would back them up if the threat were large enough, but that would easily be several weeks or months later.
How does magic affect weaponry? If you still intend to use Winchester rifles and six-shooters, why isn't magic used more frequently? Do cannons and gattling guns exist, or are "normal" firearms magically enhanced to have the same effects? Do cannons shoot cannonballs, magic rays, magically enhanced missiles?
Safety and storage: do bankers keep the valuables and money on hand in a traditional bank vault, or do they store it away in an interdimensional space? Do the vaults have magical wardings? If so, does it prevent mundane (explosives), magical (stoneshape), or both?

I think these are the biggest questions that you'll need to answer before thinking about the specifics for an encounter. How are the players going to break into the bank, how are they going to get away, and how are they going to be pursued?

For some interesting ideas, I'd look at the movies Wild Wild West and Cowboys vs. Aliens. Both are pretty cheesy, but they deal with the gunslinger western genre in unusual ways, such as advanced technology and destructive beams/rays.