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WIP - Western in my Pocket - Rules Ver 2.1

7 replies [Last post]
Joined: 09/02/2008

So I've been tinkering with this off and on for several years. Western in My Pocket started as a retheme of Zombie in my Pocket by Jeremiah Lee.

I've been toying with different combat mechanics, and that's what was holding me up. That said, I'm aiming ultimately for portability, and dice are an added expense and hard to roll in some areas.

If anyone has suggestions on how to improve combat, please let me know. I haven't found an alternative that I'm 100% happy with.

Dan MacKellar
Howdy Stranger...

You've just become Sheriff in this lawless town and you've captured several members of the notorious Jones Gang. They were in lockup when that new Deputy came to relieve you... then everything went black. You wake up behind your desk with an aching head, an empty holster and an empty cell. You heard the Jones boys talking about plans to rob the Gold Hill Express today at High Noon. Checking your boot, you see they didn't get your trusty Derringer. The Town Hall clock begins to strike 9 A.M. You must find the Gang's hideout in the old mine and blow it to Kingdom Come before they rob that train!


1 Rulebook
1 Set of Character Sheets
10 "Town" Tiles
10 "Country" Tiles
12 Event Cards
1 Item/Weapon Reference Card


1. Set aside the Sheriff's Office and Corral tiles
2. Shuffle the remaining Town and Country tiles into two facedown piles
3. Shuffle the Event cards and discard the top two cards facedown
4. Begin by choosing a name for yourself and record it on the Character Sheet.
5. Record your beginning Health score (6) and Attack (1) Score. These will change throughout the game. The maximum Health you can have is 8
6. Choose 1 SKILL and one TRAIT (See "CREATING YOUR CHARACTER" below)
7. You *may* search the office to see if you can find anything to help you out. (See “SEARCHING THE OFFICE” below)


To create an identity for your character, there are various attributes in Western in my Pocket. You may choose one Skill and One Trait. Skills are learned, whereas traits are physical attributes of your character. If you intend to continue with the same character for additional games, you may add an additional skill after a successful game.


1. Quickloader - No -1 penalty when Running out of ammo if player has Ammo to reload
2. Sharpshooter - Use 1/2 Ammo (Rounded up) with pistol or Rifle, no -1 Penalty facing multiple enemies.
3. Pinkerton - No need to resolve second event when searching
4. Hot Foot - Take no damage from Skedaddling
5. Hunter - +2 ATT against animals
6. Bulldozer –+1 HP at start of game


1. Horseman - 1 Additional Speed burst when you obtain Horse
2. Pistol - +1 ATT using Handguns
3. Rifle - +1 ATT when using Rifle
4. Shotgun - +1 ATT when using the Coach Gun/Shotguns
5. Melee - +1 ATT when using hand weapons
6. Quick Draw - +1 ATT against Gunslingers


When you come to, you can search the office before you leave. If you choose to do so, discard an additional Event card and you receive the item on that card. If you have the Pinkerton skill, you receive the item on the second discarded card and do not need to discard a third.


1. Choose a road into a new section of Town/Country or a section already visited.
2. If a new section, the road on the new tile must match an exit on the previous tile.
3. Draw an Event card, even if visiting a previously explored tile. If there are no Event cards to draw, see 'TIME PASSES'. Follow the text on the card next to the current time and location (Town/Country)

- 'ITEM' - You may draw the next Event card and find the Item on that card.
- 'EVENT' - Add or Subtract Health (if any)

4. Follow the instructions on the tile (if any) only after the Event has been resolved.


MINING SUPPLY - The Dynamite can be found here, and must be used to blow up the Old Mine. Draw and resolve an Event as normal, then draw and second Event while you search for the dynamite.
OLD MINE - The Jones' Gang's Hideout - Draw and resolve an Event as normal, then draw and second Event while you plant the dynamite.
SALOON/FARMSTEAD - If you end your turn on either of these tiles, add +1 to your Health score.
DOCTOR'S OFFICE - If your turn ends here, you may discard a second event card to gain +4 Health
CHURCH - If you draw an encounter on the Church tile, you can evade at no penalty. You gain an additional +1 Health when Recouperating in the Church.
GENERAL STORE/BARN - Draw and resolve an Event as normal, then you may draw a second event card, finding the item on that card. If you choose not to draw, you don't get an item. You may only do this once per game.


You may only enter the Country through the Blacksmith tile. When this is placed, line up the arrow on the Blacksmith tile with that on the Corral. Move to the Corral and draw and resolve an Event card as normal.


The game begins at 9 A.M. An hour has passed whenever you need to draw an Event card and there are none left. Note the new time on the Time card and reference that time on new Events. Reshuffle all twelve cards and discard the top 2 cards. If an ITEM was the last card drawn, draw the top card of the new deck after discarding to find the item.


When you draw an Event with an encounter, the number of enemies and their Attack power will be shown on the encounter.
The enemies you'll face are:
Coyotes (Country Only) - ATT = 1
Hired Gun - ATT = 1
Riflemen - ATT = 3
Gunslingers - ATT = 5


For encounters with all enemies, to resolve combat, take your ATT power (+/- any modifiers) - ATT Power of Enemies = Damage.

If your ATT is higher than your opponents, you take no damage and win the combat. If your opponent's ATT is higher, you take the difference in damage. The maximum damage you can take in a Combat is 4. You can never gain Health in combat.


At times, you may face more than one foe. Against more than 2 human enemies (unless you have the Sharpshooter Skill), you suffer a -1 Penalty to your ATT score. Your ATT score can never drop below 1.


When you draw an Event with an encounter, you can choose to avoid the combat by running into any adjacent previously explored tile. You're shot at as you leave, losing 1 Health point. Gunslingers are better shots, and if you run from a Gunslinger, lose 2 Health points (Take 1 point if you have Hotfoot). If you run from coyotes, take no damage. Do not draw an Event for the tile you run into.

After completing a turn sequence on a tile, you may duck down somewhere and tend your wounds. You regain 2 Health Points but lose time. Discard the top event card without resolving.


When an event card shows "ITEM" for the current time, you may draw the next Event card, gaining the item shown on that card. Keep track of your items on the Character sheet. You may only carry two items at a time (three if you have the Horse) If you have two items you must drop one to pick up another. Dropped items disappear when you leave the tile. You can only use 1 Weapon in Combat (you may however use 2 pistols)

Derringer (Starting Item) - Gives base 1 ATT - Cannot lose/No ammo limit
Colt .45 Revolver - +2 ATT – Holds 6 shots
Smith and Wesson No. 2 Revolver - +2 ATT - Holds 5 shots (Received by event)
Winchester '73 Rifle - +3 ATT - 12 Shots
Coach Gun - Double Barreled Shotgun - +3ATT 2X, +5ATT 1X – Cannot reload during combat unless you have the “Quickloader” or “Shotgun” Skill
Coach Whip - +1 ATT
Cavalry Sword - +1 ATT
Miner's Pick - +1ATT/+2 if carrying no other items or have Brawler skill
Bayonet - +1 ATT/Combine w/Rifle for +2/Carry 1 additional item
Brass Knuckles +1 ATT (+2 with “Bulldozer” Trait)
Spurs - Add 1 Speed Burst for Horse
Baked Beans - Add +2 Health


The pistols, Winchester and Coach Gun have a limited number of uses, but you can get more ammo along the way. The Colt .45 holds 6 shots while the Smith and Wesson holds 5. The rifle has 12 shots, and the Coach gun holds 2 shells. Reduce the number of Rifle shots by the number of enemies you face (Unless you have Sharpshooter) The empty rifle can be used with the Bayonet to get +2 to ATT as a Melee weapon.


Upon reaching the Corral, you may resolve a second event to obtain a Horse. The horse allows you to carry one additional item. The old nag also has one Burst of Speed left in her. When on the horse, if you pick up an item, you must dismount. Discard an Event card when you do this unless you have the Horseman Skill.

If you are shooting from Horseback, there is a -1 Penalty unless you have the Horseman and Sharpshooter skills.


The horse starts with 1 Burst of Speed. Using a Burst of Speed allows you to place 2 Country tiles and immediately move to the second tile. Only draw an Event card for the tile you end on. You can obtain an additional Burst of Speed by resolving a second event on the Blacksmith tile, by having the Horseman skill, or finding the Spurs. These effects are cumulative, so it is possible to have 4 Speed bursts at one time.


You can lose the game by:

- Being killed in a Gunfight
- Losing your last Health point to an Event
- Time running out (No Event Cards left to draw on the 11 A.M. hour)


You win the game by:

- Being alive after blowing up the Jones Gang Hideout at the mine before Noon

ssm's picture
Joined: 04/06/2017

When I read this I think family game. If it is, I think you should add a way to capture the gang. I can see death being the only option as a reason parents would not buy & play with their kids.

Joined: 09/02/2008
It's intended as a Solitaire

It's intended as a Solitaire game, not really "family friendly". That said, I might still make some changes to it.

Joined: 01/27/2017
Multiple objectives

Although having only a single and violent option available to the good guy is quintessentially Western, it might help replayability to have more than one way to beat the gang.

Just spitballing ideas:
Round up a posse (but it has to arrive at the Old Mine at exactly the time the gang needs to depart, simply delaying the gang is sufficient to foil the heist).
Warn the train and its guards (need to get to some specific spot and use a burst of speed to make contact with the train).
Capture a gang member (need to win the encounter and have rope or something).
Blow up the Old Mine.
Any others?

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
Combat Mechanics, End Game, etc.

To keep combat streamlined and portable, have a pair of numbers printed on the Event Deck cards: one on the left side, one on the right. The player would choose "Left" or "Right," use that number as a combat result and modify it by their Ability/Trait/Equipment modifiers, and compare it to the other number + something (maybe a modifier based on the type of unit the player is facing). Then resolve the remainder/difference as it would be in the typical rules.

Once the combat is resolved, move the used Event Card to the bottom of the deck as opposed to the discard. This is kind of like finding items in the original Zombie in My Pocket.

Based on the excellent suggestions in previous comments, you could develop different scenarios for the game with a minimum of setup, but still have customization involved. Using that, you could explore other Spaghetti Western tropes and turn them into different "episodes," each using a different set of end-game conditions, and maybe a few different Event Cards and Location tiles. What about quelling a stampede for the cowboys who love using their Horseman (BTW I would go for "Horseback" as a name to accommodate the Cowgirls) skill? What about a runaway carriage that needs to be wrangled before plunging off an inconveniently-located cliff? Has Dick Dastardly tied the mayor's daughter to the train tracks again...?

Additionally, this would encourage players to use the same character through different episodes, and see what their "end-of-season" score is compared to their friends and/or previous play sessions.

I totally think you should call the game WIMP. Just puttin' it out there...

Joined: 09/02/2008
I do have.additional

I do have.additional scenarios and expansions/areas in development.

Still hoping on finding a way to work out a d6 combat resolution Im happy with as opposed to the "ZiMP" method.

Joined: 09/02/2008
I thought of using the

I thought of using the cards... definitely something to explore. Also, I am definitely calling it WiMP :D

I have 4 completely unique scenarios for the base game and I may add more.

Ill post those a bit later when I get home.

I also like the idea of recycling the card rather than discarding.

Joined: 09/02/2008
D6Lite inspired Combat Mechanism - Also Scenario/Expansion Info

So I adapted the skill progression from the D6-Lite framework. I added another level to skills and changed the "area hit" to "Hitpoints lost"

This also addds more flexibility to the combat and more strategy choosing skills.
Derringer - 1 Dam
Pistol - 2 dam
Rifle - 3 Dam
Shotgun - 3 Dam/5Dam
Melee - 1-3 Dam (depending on item)

Hit rolls

Player - 1-4 hits

NPC - 1-3 hits (1-4 for Gunslinger)

Damage -
1 - Instant Kill
2-3 Double Damage
4-5 - Weapon damage
6 - 1 damage

Skills = Poor = +1 to attack roll. Average = no change. Good = -1 to attack roll, Expert = -2 to attack roll.

Melee - Modifies Hit Roll
Pistol - Modifies Hit Roll
Rifle - Modifies Hit Roll
Shotgun - Modifies Hit Roll
Hunter - Modifies Hit Roll (against animals only)
Sharpshooter - Modifies Damage Roll


Quickloader - No 1 round penalty when Running out of ammo if player has Ammo to reload
Quickdraw - +1 damage with pistol, +2 damage with dual pistols - Subtract 1 from hit roll against Gunslingers.
Pinkerton - No need to resolve second event when searching
Hotfoot - Take no damage from Skedaddling
Bulldozer - Max 10 HP, +2 dam w/Melee weapons
Horseman - Start with 1 extra Speed burst from Horse, No need to resolve second event getting horse and take no damage from horse-related events.

Melee combat might take extra damage from guns.

Now I need to figure out multiple opponents without getting killed all the time.
Also, in regards to scenarios, I have 4 different sets of tiles designed in addition to the base game.

"Mountaineer" - Adds more plains locations as well as Mountains
"Miner 49er" - Adds more mountains and underground Mine tiles
"Cattle Drive" - Adds more country tiles as well as ranch tiles.
"Iron Horse" - Introduces railroads and trains

I also have a few scenarios worked out for the base game and a couple in the works for the "expansions". Character progression is definitely something I want to implement. I'm also toying with multiple player (Posse) rules. I basically want this to act as an RPG without the DM, with the event cards filling the gaps.

More to come.

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