Alternate Rules

The Weird West uses a few alternate rules for combat.

  • Armor is uncommon, therefore we will be using class defense bonus in place of armor bonus. Armor instead grants damage reduction equal to the listed armor bonus, rounded down. Armor check penalty applies to class defense bonus. Magic enhancements to armor increase damage reduction rather than armor bonus.
  • Armor check penalties now apply against fortitude saves made to resist heat, rather than the flat -4 for wearing heavy armor or clothing. Encumbrance also applies the check penalty.
  • Natural armor is likewise converted to damage reduction but at a reduced rate. Natural armor granted by creature type grants damage reduction equal to one-half the listed armor bonus, rounded down. Natural armor granted by spells and items grant the full armor bonus as DR.
  • All other armor class bonus types (dodge, deflection, shield, etc) still apply to armor class.
  • Duel: A shootout is similar to an iaijutsu duel.
  • Fractional BAB. Classes have either +1/2, +3/4, or +1 BAB at each level. When multiclassing, you add them and always round down.
  • Bull Rush, Disarm, Grapple, Sunder, and Trip rules have all been consolidated into a Combat Maneuver Bonus (CMB). This bonus is equal to base attack + strength modifier + size bonus (+ misc modifiers). When one of these maneuvers calls for an opposed ability or attack check, use CMB instead.

Playing with a Full Deck

Ante Up

Each player begins play with 2 poker chips. These chips may be spent to either draw or raise the stakes. As players spend their chips they may win them back in various ways, at the GM’s discretion, such as a reward for good roleplaying, providing exciting action, or when they gain a new character level.


A player may cash in one of his poker chips as an immediate action to draw one card from a deck of 53 cards (including 1 joker) in order to add a special bonus or effect to any d20 roll. The specific d20 check must be announced before drawing the card. The card is drawn and any decisions made before the d20 is rolled. Once used, the cards are discarded facedown unless otherwise specified.

If the card drawn shows a number from 2-10, the player adds that number to his d20 roll.

If the card drawn is an ace, the player has 2 options: he may add 11 to the d20 roll and discard the card as normal OR he may keep the card and add 1 to all d20 rolls for the rest of the session, not including the check for which the card was drawn.

If the card drawn is a jack, the player loses the chip but gains no bonus or penalty.

If the card drawn is a queen, the player does not gain a bonus but also does not lose the chip.

If the card drawn is a king, the check gains no bonus. Instead, treat the check as though the die had rolled a natural 20.

If the card drawn is a joker, the check gains no bonus. Instead, treat the check as though the die had rolled a natural 1. If the joker is drawn, return the card to the deck and shuffle the remaining cards.

All cards are collected at the end of the session and each session starts with a full freshly shuffled deck.

Raise the Stakes

At any time, a player may choose to raise the stakes. Raising the stakes allows the character to accomplish a deed to greater effect. A character may not take 10 or 20 on any action for which they are raising, nor may they draw a card unless otherwise noted. Only one use of raising the stakes can be used simultaneously. Raising the stakes costs the player one poker chip, and must be declared before the check to which the raise applies (usually an attack or skill check).

Extra damage: The character deals an extra 1d6 damage on an attack.
Extra effect: The player can add an extra effect to an attack, such as: shaken, sickened, prone, disarmed, dazzled, dazed, grappled, and so on.
Additional benefit: The player's success on some action inspires his allies to similar success. For example, a successful attack can grant allies a +1 morale bonus to attack rolls, or a successful skill check can grant a +1 morale bonus on the same skill. The effect applies to all allies who observe the successful action, and lasts for one round.
Other variables: The player can propose other added benefits as he wishes.

When a player is raising the stakes, he is attempting to add drama and excitement to an action. The DM is free at any time to decline the raised stakes if he feels the probability of success is too high, if it would trivialize an encounter, or if the plot doesn't allow for it.

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