The American West genre of roleplaying games is a niche inside a niche. Boot Hill (1975-84), by Brian Blume & Gary Gygax of TSR had just enough of a gamer following to see further editions and adventure modules… for a time.

In 1981, Fantasy Games Unlimited released the Wild West RPG. It is definitely not a copy of Boot Hill, and in some aspects WW is arguably superior to its better known rival.

The rules are complex, using formulas and an “RPC Probablility Chart”. For those interested, the Wild West rules are posted for free at a site even more ancient-looking than my own RPG reference site. Somebody went to a great deal of effort to type all the text in the rules booklet into the site. Very old school. I love it.

Hat tip to Victorian Adventure Enthusiast blog for linking the rules site. I didn’t see it in my web searching.


Wild West: A Role Playing Game Set in the Wild West [BOX SET]

1981 … Anthony P. LeBoutillier & Gerald D. Seypura … FGU 2501

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The Rules Book

Rules are written by Anthony P. LeBoutillier & Gerald D. Seypura. Joe Erslavas is credited with the cover art as well as most of the interior illustrations.

The art by Joe Erslavas is plentiful throughout the book, far more art than found in the Boot Hill rulebook. And more skillful, in my opinion.

This sketch reminds me of William H. Keith’s work.
These Old West guns were drawn by Anthony P. LeBoutillier. Henry lever-action, Winchester 1873, and what’s claimed to be a “sawed-off shotgun” (though the front sight bead is still present).
Cattle Brands
Encounter Charts
There are several pages of floor plans in the back. There is a lot of helpful Wild West source material and aids for the GM.
Errata sheet

The Charts

There are 4 reference chart sheets on heavy paper stock, printed on both sides.
Character Sheet
Even your horse gets a character sheet!

The Map

The poster map is just great. A big part of US Western history was shaped by the cattle drives north out of Texas, as cowboys moved large herds of longhorn cows north to Kansas, where they’d be transported by railroad east to the meatpacking plants.
The Cattle Drive Trails
The reverse side of the map features legendary Dodge City, Kansas. With building interiors.

Trouble on Widow’s Peak

Wild West got exactly one adventure module (sold separately).

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See also:

Original Boot Hill box set: With those TSR Low Impact Dice

Gunslinger: Game of Western Gunfights (1982)

Burned Bush Wells: Boot Hill module BH4 – Original vs. Reprint