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
eBay | Amazon | DriveThruRPG (PDF)
The Rules Book
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.
Trouble on Widow’s Peak
Wild West got exactly one adventure module (sold separately).
BOOT HILL 1st Ed (1975): Simple and Freeform early TSR RPG
Original Boot Hill box set (1979): With those TSR Low Impact Dice
Gunslinger: Game of Western Gunfights (1982)
Burned Bush Wells: Boot Hill module BH4 – Original vs. Reprint