Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Gonne-Slinger

"The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed."
- Stephen King, The Gunslinger
A gaunt revenant stalks the wastes of the world of Arn.
No one knows what sorcerer summoned this entity from some alternate material plane, nor what sorts of strange magics animate his deathless form, nor what blasphemies are held back by his rawhide-sown lips. Perhaps he was called forth with the sepulchral sorceries of the Tomb-Lords of Amenti, or perhaps he's wandered since the days of the God Makers, themselves.

Whatever the case, the grim walker may be encountered randomly in sparsely inhabited deserts and badlands across the world. He is a tall, almost skeletally thin man.  His weathered skin has the corpse-pallor of the undead. Beneath the wide brim of his hat, his eyes glow with blue-white witch-fire. His dust-colored long-coat flaps in the breeze--even when there isn't one. 'Round his waist is a low-slung leather belt, and odd scabbards--holding even odder weapons--hang on either side, strapped to his thighs.

The sole weapons of the man are cunningly wrought gonnes in miniature. These weapons fire fast, and they never need to be reloaded. Those who don't die on the battlefield from their eldritch shot typically succumb later to a wasting sickness, unless clerical magic is used to cure the disease.

This bounty-killer from the Outer Dark may be hired by leaving a piece of paper, with the likeness of the person to be killed drawn upon it, in a ruined (and so unconsecrated) church of a lawful good deity in a ghost-town in the wilderness, or at the edge of a desert or waste. He will only accept a commission from a person once in their life. The price for the killing is variable, but always includes gold--and ages the would-be employer in the bargain.

Mechanics: The Gonne-Slinger can be tailored to fit the needs of the campaign. Warriors & Warlocks stats for my current game aren't as easy, but here's some Old School-ish guidelines: I'd suggest a rough level of say the AD&D Fiend Folio Death Knight (AC 0, HD 9, Magic Resistance: 75%) though with a number of attacks reflecting the RoF of his guns (3 shots/round, maybe?). The cost of the killing should be based on the hit dice of the target, and perhaps the aging should, as well. Despite his undeadish nature (and the resistances/immunities that might imply) the Gonne-Slinger can't be turned, commanded, or destroyed, and is immune to the effects of holy/unholy symbols, holy water or the like.


Shane Mangus said...

Ever read The Nocturnals comic? If not, you should. This write up reminded me of the character Gunwitch. The artist/writer Dan Brereton who created The Nocturnals even penned a Mutants & Masterminds source book for the setting.

Shane Mangus said...

BTW, I am curious to hear more about your Warriors & Warlocks game. I really like Mutants & Masterminds and considered picking up the W&W book. Have you found any advantage to using W&W for sword & sorcery over using a version of D&D?

Trey said...

P.S.: Yeah, I'm a Nocturnals fan. The two hardback compilations sit proudly on a shelf. Gunwitch was part of the inspiration here--the stitched mouth particularly. Also, the demonic traveller from the (somewhat obscure) film Dust Devil was an influence.

As to W&W:
It of course isn't a class system, so it has all the advantage and disadvantages point-buy entails. It does have some good pre-made archetypes and its thought of some extra feats, and modifications of old M&M feats for the genre.

It has mook rules that allow player's to mow through minions, but still be endangered by a single dagger in the gut. And the same villian you built plays very differently if you class them as a minion or a major villian, which saves on a lot of extra stating.

It abstracts wealth to a roll which allows characters to get what they need but be often broke a la Fafhrd & Gray Mouser. This done have the downside off not serving the acquisitive spirit of some old school players (this means you, Bob ;) )

It uses a damage system rather like M&M (but most damage is lethal), which I find to be pretty fast-paced, and not requiring as number-keeping.

In sort, it has the advantages of M&M, with some little extras to represent comic book S&S--which I think is does pretty well. It emphasizes the fast-paced combat, "named" bosses, and beastmen minions and the like of comic S&S.

Brutorz Bill said...

If your into minis, I think they did a decent 28mm gunwitch mini awhile back.