Back Before Now the world was soft from head to toe and man thought he had beaten back the wild places, the threat of Death, from his door. But that was Before and this is Now, and brother, Death is coming.

The sun bakes the land hot and kills anything too weak to find shade; the nights are bitterly cold and will freeze a man to the bone. Warlords and Bandit Kings rule the wastelands, strange beasts stalk the plains, and folks push West in search of new land and resources every day. They’re still looking.

The world is ending a little every day, and for some places, it ends today. When terror and famine and war come a’knockin, when it’s the do or die times, the Gunmen arrive.

Some say the Gunmen are spirits of the fall, bound up in the destruction of the Old World. Some say they carry weapons that fell from the skies when the earth was young. Some say they’re ghosts, always watching, so someone’s there to see the End. They’re all right, or they’re all wrong. It doesn’t matter.

When the Gunmen arrive, someone’s world is going to end. Just pray it ain’t yours, brother.

Character creation

Write down the following:

(5) GUN: You define your gun, or rather, your gun defines you. Or both. You share the same name. You can’t remember when you came into possession of your gun, or anything of your life before it, but it’s the most important thing about you.

Your gun might have all sorts of fancy powers, but highest amongst them is this – when you pull the trigger, people die. Lots of people. If you and another Gunman duel, the world tears itself apart at the seams – rocks shatter, sand turns to glass, trees catch fire and whole city streets shudder and shake.

Name your gun, and by extension, yourself; try to make it descriptive and cool. Have a think about what outlandish effects happen when you pull the trigger.

Example names: The Black Cannon, Rose Thorn, Dead Eye, Moonshot, Blood Hunter, Heaven’s Mercy, The Void

(4) STYLE: This is how you dress and act and carry yourself; it will inform most of your abilities past those that the Gun gives you. Whether you try to or not, you look badass as hell at all times.

Example Styles: Weatherbeaten Paladin, Pristine Suit and Tie, Wild Man, Bloodsoaked Doctor, Bullet-proof Duster, Chorister Robes, Outlander Punk, Blindfolded Duellist, Tatterdemalion Jester, Angelic Grace, Demonic Menace

(3) LEGEND: Folk tell stories about you, and some of them are even true. Write down the one that people whisper to each other as you walk into town. Whatever you did, you did it with at least one other Gunman in your party, so pick one of them now.

Example Legends: We faced down Mad Dog McAlistair’s army, We wrestled an angel from the sky, We shot a devil through the heart before he drew, We held back the rising tide of the Isis river, We out-drank God and stole His boots

(1) SCAR: A life like yours leaves marks on your body and soul that’ll never heal, even for someone like you. Describe what scars you bear, and what caused ’em.

Example weaknesses: Devil took my leg, I lost my Luck in a game of cards, I was cursed never to harm a woman, Twenty year in solitary done wore away my soul, I saw the Light of God and it took my eyes from me

GAME PROGRESSION:

Each story starts when you ride into town; the world is ending, for these folk at least, and your job is to stop it. To redirect it. To take the side of the have-nots and defend them from the haves; to stave off the Apocalypse for one more day, for one more city.

You’ll fight armies, wrestle great beasts, face down every power of heaven and earth – maybe even some Gunmen who are less honourable than yourself – and do what you can to keep the Good People safe.

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