Download: We Deal in Lead SRD v1.1.zip
Writing, Layout, & Design: Colin Le Sueur
Text © Colin Le Sueur 2022, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.
We Deal in Lead is based on Cairn by Yochai Gal
Online Resources: lead.byodinsbeardrpg.com
Editing: Fiona Maeve Geist
The Dark Tower, Cairn, Into the Odd, The Magnificent Seven, The Man With No Name
Content and Safety Tools
We Deal in Lead is a dark fantasy built around guns and gunslingers and touches on topics of violence, revenge, horror, death, sacrifice, and gore.
The following distressing themes may occur:
Discuss and agree what content should and shouldn’t be included.
Consider safety tools to ensure everyone is comfortable, having fun, and has the necessary support.
We Deal in Lead
An adventure game for one facilitator (the Warden) and 1 or more player(s) acting as hardened gunslingers exploring fallen & crumbling worlds filled with dangerous folk, lost mysteries, and unspeakable monstrosities.
Neutrality. The Warden portrays the rules, situations, NPCs, and narrative clearly as a neutral arbiter.
Classless. A character’s role or skills are not limited by class. Instead, carried equipment and their experiences define their specialty.
Death. Characters are powerful, but also vulnerable to many forms of harm. Death is everywhere but never random or without warning.
Fiction first. Dice don’t always reflect an obstacle’s outcome. The Warden arbitrates success and failure in dialogue with the players, based on in-world elements.
Growth. Characters change through surviving dangerous events and overcoming obstacles.
Player choice. Players should understand the reasons behind choices and potential risks should be provided freely and frequently.
Principles. The Warden and players each have guidelines fostering a play experience defined by critical thinking, exploration, and emergent narrative.
Shared objectives. Players engage with the shared setting, character intent, and party challenges, working collectively toward common goals.
What type of adventures can a player expect?
Die of Fate
The World Has Moved On
The Slip Doors
Roll 3d6 for each in order, swap two.
|Strength (STR)||Brawn, prowess, and resistance.|
|Dexterity (DEX)||Agility, sneaking, and reflexes.|
|Heart (HRT)||Resolve, charm, and force of will.|
Gunslingers are more resilient than others in the Drifted World.
Roll 2d6 for starting Grit, your capacity to endure and survive in a world that’s moved on, not your health or fortitude.
All characters begin with 12 inventory slots for gear and equipment.
Roll on the Starting Gear tables to determine your hat, armour, tools, and equipment.
See the Equipment List for related armour, damage, and slot values.
In addition, all gunslingers carry:
Gunslingers should not start with a full inventory; consider collaborating over what to carry.
Amy (she/her) wants to create a Gunslinger.
Amy rolls a d100 for a first name (76: Rebecca). Amy likes and keeps it (“Becca for short.”) For surname, Amy rolls (52: Kruse). Amy decides Rebecca uses she/her and rolls d10 for background (9: Drifter).
Rebecca Kruse (she/her), Drifter.
Amy doesn’t know much about Rebecca, so she rolls Gunslinger traits with the following results:
She’s short, with pockmarked skin, flowing hair, a chiselled face, and wary eyes. She speaks eloquently, wears road-worn clothing, and is tolerant yet ruthless. She has a boisterous reputation and has been heartbroken.
Rebecca starts taking shape in Amy’s mind as she rolls 4d12+10 for Rebecca’s age, getting 40.
Next, Amy needs to determine what kind of gun Rebecca carries, rolling a d6 for Artefact Guns: (1: twin six shooters). She rolls 2d6 twice for Gun Embellishments, getting walnut grips and sword engraving. Amy decides this should represent Excalibur.
Now Amy rolls Rebecca’s ability scores, rolling 3d6 three times and assigning the abilities in order:
Amy thinks Rebecca is light on her feet rather than tough and switches her STR and DEX:
Next, Amy rolls 2d6 for Grit, getting 6.
Finally, Amy rolls Starting Gear:
She wears a black preacher hat, waxed cotton duster (1 DEF), and bandolier (1 free slot for Lead). Her pack carries 3 days’ rations, a cudgel, lantern and oil, and a bandanna.
Rolling a d20 for her bonus item, she gets (19: compass).
Amy rolls 3d6 for Rebecca’s starting Lead, getting 9.
Hats and bandannas don’t take up any slots, so Rebecca has 3 remaining inventory slots.
Amy’s finished creating Rebecca and ready to set off into the Drifted World.
There are 3 abilities:
Strength (STR): Used for saves requiring physical power like lifting gates, bending bars, resisting poison, etc. and critical damage.
Dexterity (DEX): Used for saves requiring poise, speed, and reflexes like dodging, climbing, sneaking, balancing, etc.
Heart (HRT): Used for saves to persuade, deceive, intimidate, charm, provoke, carry out rituals, etc. and gunslinger duels.
A roll to avoid bad outcomes from risky choices and circumstances.
Roll a d20 against an appropriate ability score. If you roll equal to or under the score, you succeed. Otherwise, you fail. A 1 always succeeds and a 20 always fails.
In some situations, saves are made with a bonus (advantage) or penalty (disadvantage). Roll twice, taking the lower result (advantage) or higher (disadvantage).
Fatigue. Each point occupies 1 Inventory slot and is gained when deprived, by using certain items, monster abilities, etc.
Deprived. Lacking something crucial (such as food or rest) leaves you deprived and unable to recover Grit or ability scores. After one day’s deprivation, add 1 Fatigue to your inventory daily.
Fatigue and deprivation last until you recuperate (a full night’s rest in a safe spot, minimum).
Momentary rest and a drink of water restore Grit but leaves you exposed.
Ability loss restoration requires a week’s rest facilitated by a healer or other appropriate expert.
Some services may be free, while more expedient or advanced means of recovery may come at a cost.
While good at deflecting melee weapon attacks (from knives and clubs, for instance), armour is poor protection against guns, especially gunslingers’.
For melee attacks, deduct Defence from damage rolls. Shields and similar armour provide a defensive bonus only while held or worn. No one can have more than 3 DEF.
Guns fired by gunslingers or harriers impact Grit directly, bypassing DEF.
Items such as leather cuffs and helmets may provide additional benefits through use.
When encountering an NPC whose reaction is not obvious, roll 2d6 and consult the following:
Additionally, you may roll for NPC motivations on the What Do They Want? table below.
|Food/Aid||Hungry or injured, requiring help||1|
|Lead||Want d20 Lead: a tax, a toll, tribute, tithe, or simple greed||2|
|Treasure||Want items (equal to the number of gunslingers)||3|
|Gun||Want one of your guns||4|
|Territory||Will defend their territory; want you to leave or justify passage||5|
|Info||Want info about a rival faction, NPC, monster, landmark or locale||6|
|Help||Require aid: retrieve an item, kill a monster, or clear an area||7|
|Trade||Seek to trade (with high mark-up)||8|
|Mission||Serve the strongest local force and seek to maintain that power||9|
|Direction||Seek a guide or escort to a safe area||10|
Enemies roll a HRT save to avoid fleeing when taking their first casualty and again after losing half their number. Lone foes save at 0 Grit.
Morale uniquely affects your party (see The Order of Gunslingers).
Hirelings aid expeditions. To create a hireling: roll 3d6 for ability scores, d6 for Grit and roll a simple weapon (d6); further flesh them out using the Gunslinger Creation tables.
While not gunslingers, hirelings may quest to join the Order.
Hirelings cost 1-3 Lead daily or a treasure share.
The most valuable currency is ammunition, Lead.
Less common are gold pieces (gp) which are normally mixed with lesser metals.
Treasure is highly valuable, usually bulky, and rarely useful beyond its value. It can be a lure to exotic and even dangerous locations, often protected by intimidating foes.
Villages, strongholds, and ports of call barter and trade based on goods’ local rarity and value.
If playing with 2 or more players, consider forming a gunslinger Order, a fellowship offering strength in numbers.
Roll determining your Order’s name or choose one collaboratively.
One Order member is designated lead gunslinger, the Errant—players should collaboratively choose the Errant. This could be the most experienced, oldest, or any other narratively sensible rationale.
The Errant focuses the Order, shepherding the group on their Quest. When the time comes, the Errant may need to choose between the Order and the Quest.
Some gunslinger Orders eschew an Errant or work collectively on democratic principles.
Even the strongest Gunslinger Order faces trials and adversity. If the unthinkable happens, the Order’s fellowship is tested.
When an Order member dies or loses their gun, the Errant rolls a successful HRT save or the Order is broken.
For Orders sans Errant, the highest HRT gunslinger makes the save.
Fate is cruel to a broken Order. Hands quiver more often. Targets elude you more easily. The wind shifts at the last moment.
Broken Order’s members have a +2 penalty for every roll on the Shoot table.
A broken Order is mended through unity and discovery, for example:
After a significant event, the Errant may attempt to re-forge the Order. Rolling a HRT save, if successful, means the Order is made whole once more, removing the +2 penalty.
Some breaks, like from a sacrifice, cannot be mended. A new Order must be formed with at least two different members.
Drives a Gunslinger forward, the goal propelling them through The Drifted World. The Quest is not an adventure or a campaign but the Gunslinger’s life goal.
The Quest materialises during the Gunslinger’s forging, shaping their past, present, and future.
Fulfilling your Quest is a major achievement, often coming at the end of a Gunslinger’s life, though one Quest may transition to a greater Quest or lead to an end to Gunslinging.
Your Quests may be secret, hidden from your Order, or written openly on your face. The strongest Gunslinger Orders have complimentary, or at least unopposed, Quests.
There will be situations where Quests clash or present a choice between fulfilment and maintaining the Order’s fellowship. In extreme situations, this can lead to sacrifice. Discuss these choices collectively as they may result in conflict.
Your Quest’s goal is within reach, after lifetimes of searching. The resolution is almost at hand but your goal is slipping from your grasp. What final step would fulfil your life’s work? What would you sacrifice?
Sacrifice means something different to everyone, but simply: faced with two outcomes, you choose advancing your Quest at a cost to your Order.
This cost could be tangible (the loss of a gun or a Gunslinger’s death) or abstract (betraying the Order’s trust or crossing a moral line).
Sacrifice can result in a permanently broken Order but can also lead to a major Quest revelation or even fulfilment. Be sure to discuss this collectively, especially if the activity involves another player.
Six shooter: Exceptionally heavy, made of blue-steel with smooth grips and flip-out cylinder
Repeater: Lever action repeating rifle with long stock
Scattergun: Long-barrelled side-by-side shotgun with short stock
Rifle: Long manual bolt-action rifle with open front sights
|Twin six shooters||d8||12 (6x2)||Short||bulky, dual|
Thick furs: Treated for weather and warmth with a deep hood
Waxed cotton duster: Dark brown full-length, waxed cotton coat
Padded poncho: Multi-colour quilted poncho with detachable hood and gloves
Reinforced leather jacket: Reinforced with steel studs and woven plates
|Waxed cotton duster||1|
|Reinforced leather jacket||2||rare|
Bullwhip: Single-tailed, braided leather, 15’
Chakram: Steel circle with a sharpened outer edge and wrapped grip
Cudgel: Stout piece of wood
Dagger: Versatile blade with sweeping edge sharpened to a fine point
Longbow: Long, curved elm wood, tied with strong flax
Machete: Broad tapered blade with wrapped horn handle
Sabre: Elegant, cross-handled, curved, 1-handed
Sledgehammer: Heavy, two-handed reinforced oak shaft with a dense steel head
Slingshot: Folding, steel-framed wrist brace with resilient bands
Spear: Wood shaft fitted with sharp iron head for thrusting or throwing
Bandolier: Multi-pocketed belt slung over shoulder and chest for storing Lead (frees 1 slot)
Compass (unreliable): Worn and weathered steel and glass magnetic compass. Inaccurate reading on a 5 or 6 on a d6.
First aid kit: Compact white tin kit with faded red cross. Contains antiseptic, bandages, plasters, and disposable gloves
Gun care kit: Ancient tin box filled with cleaning rods, brass brushes, and repair tools
Mouth harp (gewgaw): Delicate musical instrument with reed on a frame. Hold in the mouth and twang
Lasso: 30’ rope tied into a sturdy loop, tightens when secured and pulled
Leather wrist cuffs: Sturdy bracelet protecting wearer’s wrists (+1 DEF)
Monocular: Compact, refracting, 8x magnification telescope, extendible and waterproof
Multitool: Battered pocket hand tool with folding implements: knife, pliers, tin opener, screwdriver
Paper: Extremely rare and valuable, symbol of wealth and opulence
Rugged wheelchair: Strengthened and reinforced; dense tires, bumper, and anti-tip back—with saddlebags
Sheath knife: Extremely sharp and strong fixed broad blade for bushcraft and general utility
Steel-toed boots: Aged tough leather with steel reinforced toes added protection
|Cart (+4 slots)||bulky|
|Compass (unreliable)||rare, small|
|Deck of cards||rare, small|
|First aid kit||rare|
|Fishing line and hook|
|Gun care kit||rare|
|Horse (+4 slots)||rare|
|Mouth harp (gewgaw)||rare|
|Lantern & oil|
|Leather wrist cuffs||+1 DEF|
|Mule (+6 slots)||slow|
|Quill & ink|
|Rations (3 days)|
|Rugged wheelchair (+2 slots)||rare|
|Tent (2 person)||bulky|
|Wagon (+8 slots, slow)||rare|
Multiple attackers. Multiple attackers targeting the same foe roll all damage dice, keeping the best result.
Dual and 2-handed weapons. Attacking with two weapons or wielding a weapon with both hands grants damage advantage.
Damage advantage/disadvantage. Roll twice, taking the higher result (damage advantage) or lower result (damage disadvantage).
Diminished attacks. Attacks from a weak position (ie. through cover or with bound hands) are diminished, dealing d4 damage.
Enhanced attacks. Attacks from an advantageous position (ie. against a helpless foe or through a daring manoeuvre) are enhanced for d12 damage.
A gunslinger is nothing without their gun, mostly handed down from elder to child. Firearms are exceedingly rare in The Drifted World but a Gunslinger’s guns, called artefact guns or big iron, are even rarer and draw immediate attention.
Artefact guns stand apart from other firearms—in craftsmanship, materials, and effectiveness. Each is a relic, imbued with ancient magical essence (see Relics) and as magical weapons can hurt and kill those immune to mundane attacks.
Additionally, once daily in combat you can call upon the imbued essence, reinvigorating yourself and strengthening your resolve:
Steel Resolve. You draw resolve from the steel, channelling your will through your artefact gun. Regain your gun’s damage die in Grit with a successful HRT save (+1 Fatigue regardless of outcome).
When travelling between worlds, artefact guns retain their magical properties.
Unlike other firearms, an artefact gun is not guaranteed to hit. When attacking, roll on the Shoot table determining if your aim is true. Non-Gunslingers roll with disadvantage.
Unlike melee weapons, in a Gunslinger’s hands, all guns ignore armour.
Guns have an ammo capacity (d4, d6, etc.). Track shots you have remaining by starting at the die’s highest number and reducing by 1 after every shot.
For guns with 2 shots, use a coin or token.
|Distance and Range Table|
|Close||Smell someone’s breath||Melee weapons|
|Short||In the same room or across the road||Revolvers and thrown weapons|
|Medium||The next hill over||Long rifles and hunting bows|
|Long||Across the valley||High-powered rifles|
Guns are unpredictable, even in an experienced Gunslinger’s hands. When firing in the heat of combat, roll on the Shoot table.
As a Gunslinger, fellowship’s bonds influence how true your aim is or how cruel fates are.
|Graze (d4 damage)||7-9|
|Roll on the Misfire table||12|
|Duff load||-1 Lead||4-6|
|Jammed||Action to clear||7-9|
|Damaged||Inoperable until repair||10-11|
|Explodes||Weapon damage, gun is ruined||12|
A damaged gun is repaired with a gun care kit but ruined guns require a gunsmith (see Gunsmithing).
Over time, Gunslingers attain expert proficiency with their guns, gaining the ability to perform special attacks unique to each gun type.
To use one, roll once on the Shoot table, though this extracts a toll (+1 Fatigue).
Twin six shooters. Two and Two: Fire each gun twice (damage advantage against 2 different targets).
Six shooter. Fan the Hammer: Use both hands to rapidly fire all six shots (blast damage against up to 6 targets).
Repeater. Cry Pardon: Rapidly fire three shots (blast damage to 3 targets).
Scattergun. Give it Both Barrels: Fire both shots simultaneously (double damage blast attack).
Rifle. Dead Eye: Steady, called shot (a successful attack deals max damage).
Additionally, all guns have the following special attack, usable at any time (+1 Fatigue):
Quick Draw: Quicker than the eye, smoothly draw and fire in one motion.
High risk/high reward duels are a tradition for testing one’s mettle against another Gunslinger, whether from an opposed Order or a disgraced harrier, but never entered into lightly.
Contesting who draws and fires first, each side rolls a HRT save (a gunslinger does not kill with their gun but kills with their heart):
Duels directly damage STR, bypassing Grit, and trigger a critical damage save.
Rolling a 1 deals maximum damage.
When two groups face off, the Errant (or lead gunslinger) makes the group’s HRT save.
Scattered around the Drifted World, tucked away in isolated enclaves or behind fortress walls, are gunsmiths, experts who repair, modify, or even forge artefact guns.
These rare individuals keep a low profile and their work commands a king’s ransom.
For a price and with the right components, a gunsmith can repair a damaged or ruined gun and may also sell gun care kits.
For the right price, a gunsmith can modify artefact guns to upgrade certain characteristics.
Expanded Cartridge (rifle). Allows for a higher shot capacity but reduces damage.
Mare’s Leg (repeater). Trimming the barrel and stock reduces weight.
Quick Load (six shooter). Allows faster reloads (reload and fire in one action) but reduces damage.
Sawed-Off (scattergun). Trimming the barrel and stock reduces weight.
|Gun Modifications Table|
|Six shooter||Quick Load||d6||6||reload|
Only the most skilled even attempt forging new artefact guns; the ritual process is intensive, dangerous, and requires inordinate knowledge and experience.
One (or more) of the following is required:
0 DEX and HRT is incapacitating until restored through extended rest or extraordinary means.
Some monsters and environmental hazards inflict poison. Being poisoned adds poison (1 slot) to your inventory. Lose 1d4 STR daily.
Cured by specialised healing or specific items.
All Gunslingers eventually reach the clearing at the end of the path but not all deaths are final. After all, death is but another door.
If your gunslinger dies and steps off the path into the clearing, you may choose to create a new character or take control of a hireling.
As a Gunslinger’s death is a terrible thing, the Errant rolls a HRT save to keep the order together (see Breaking the Order).
Large groups of similar combatants fighting together are a single detachment.
When dealt critical damage, a detachment is routed or significantly weakened. At 0 STR, it is destroyed.
Fleeing a dire situation requires a successful DEX save and a safe destination.
An attack reducing your Grit to exactly 0 uniquely impacts you, often irrevocably. Reference the damage taken on the table below:
|Scarred: Roll d6, 1: Neck, 2: Hands, 3: Eye, 4: Chest, 5: Legs, 6: Ear. Roll d6. If it exceeds your max Grit, take the new result.||1|
|Rattled: You’re disoriented and shaken. Describe re-focusing. Roll d6. If the total is higher than your max Grit, take the new result.||2|
|Concussed: Deprived until you rest a few hours. Then, roll d6 and add it to your max Grit.||3|
|Broken: You take a spill and break something. Roll d6 | 1-2: Leg, 3-4: Arm, 5: Rib, 6: Skull. Lose d4 DEX. Recovery requires extended rest and healing. Once mended, roll 2d6. If higher than your max Grit, take the new result.||4|
|Bloodied: You’ve lost a lot of blood. Lose d4 STR. After extended resting and healing, roll 2d6. If the total is higher than your max Grit, take the new result.||5|
|Touched: You glimpse a vision of another world, another time. Learn the nearest slip door’s location.||6|
|Beckoned: Someone reaches out from another world, visiting your dreams. Resting no longer clears Fatigue and you must Quest to locate them.||7|
|Forewarned: You see a vision of your death. Make a HRT save. If successful, gain 1d4 max HRT.||8|
|Fractured: You’re flooded with memories from another life. Make a HRT save or undertake a ritual to align these realities within a month or go mad.||9|
|Maimed: An eye or limb is severed, destroyed, or rendered useless (Warden’s choice). Then, with a successful HRT save, gain d6 max HRT.||10|
|Haunted: You glimpse the clearing at the end of the path. A cloaked figure stares back, walking slowly towards you. Roll a HRT save against the figure haunting you; a ritual is required to confront and dispel this apparition.||11|
|Doomed: You near the clearing at the end of the path, but survive… somehow. If you fail your next critical damage save, you die. Otherwise, the experience imparts a greater understanding of your Quest.||12|
Rebecca (Amy) and Gred (Ralph) enter the deserted village, guns drawn (six shooter [Rebecca] and scattergun [Gred] respectively).
Amy: Rebecca scans the left side of the street for any movement.
Ralph: And Gred watches the right.
Warden: A thug pops out on the left, dagger raised to throw, but you alertly clock him.
Amy: I fire! (Rolls 2d6 on the Shoot table getting 10: a miss!)
Warden: Bad luck! 5 shots left. (Amy changes her d6 ammo counter to 5.)
Warden: The thug throws the dagger at Rebecca.
The warden rolls d6 for damage (5) But Rebecca’s waxed cotton duster (1 DEF) reduces it to 4. Rebecca reduces her Grit (-4), leaving 2.
Amy: Ouch! I clear my mind, slow my breathing, focus and fire again. (Rolls 2d6 for 7: a grazing hit, doing diminished damage for 2.)
Warden: OK, there’s a round in his shoulder but he’s still coming. Gred, another two pop out on the right.
Ralph: I grit my teeth and fire! (Rolls and gets 5: a solid hit. As he only gets 2 shots before reloading, he flips a token.)
Warden: Nice shot! You hit both!
Gred’s scattergun does blast damage so Ralph rolls damage for each thug. Two 7s! Both have 6 Grit, taking it under 0 and carrying over into STR, reducing it to 9.
Warden: Both are staggered from the force and pretty badly hurt. (For both thugs, rolls a d20 for a critical damage save aiming for 9 or under [their current STR]. The first  succeeds and remains standing. The other , fails.)
Warden: The first thug grits his teeth in pain but still stands. The second collapses, dead.
Warden: The remaining thug, seeing his friend die, feels fear run up his spine. (Rolls the thug’s morale check with disadvantage as they are a coward. The Warden rolls [6, 19] on the HRT save and takes the higher roll, a failure as the thug’s HRT is only 8.)
Warden: His courage breaks and he flees screaming.
Amy: Yes, nice one, Gred!
Warden: A figure in a long duster steps from the shadows, black hat pulled low, hand on a revolver on their belt. They tip their hat, sneering.
Amy: Malachai! Finally decided to crawl out of that hole?
Warden: The figure smiles and says, “The clearing awaits Rebecca. Soon you’ll join your beloved there.”
Amy: Rebecca drops a hand to her six shooter and screams “Fill your hand, you sonuvabitch!”
The warden prepares for a gunslinger duel between Rebecca and Malachai; both sides make a HRT save.
Amy rolls a d20 and gets 10, a success against her 13 HRT.
The warden rolls for Malachai and gets 14, a failure against their 10 HRT. Rebecca wins, drawing first.
Warden: Quick as lightning, you pull your six shooter and blast a hole in Malachai filling the town with the sound of thunder.
Amy deals 5 damage.
Warden: Since it’s a duel, this damage hits Malachai’s STR directly and triggers critical damage.
Malachai’s STR is reduced to 7 (12-5). The warden rolls a d20 for the critical damage save, and rolls a 12, failure!
Warden: Malachai clutches the gaping hole in their chest and collapses, dead.
Amy: Rebecca doffs her hat and nods to the smoking corpse. “You have forgotten the face of your elder, Malachai.”
Ralph: Let’s rest up for a moment. Rebecca looks pretty winded.
Warden: Now that the fight’s over, you have a breather, collect yourselves, and sip from your canteens, restoring Grit.
Amy updates her sheet and changes her ammo d6 to 4.
Ralph: Let’s keep going!
The lands of the Drifted World are treacherous and unpredictable, veering from bleached desert to frozen mountain.
You must rest and consume rations (food and water) during standard exploration, but when wandering the Drifted World, extreme conditions take particular toll on an unprepared gunslinger.
In extreme heat, ration use is doubled as you require more water.
In extreme cold, unless wearing warm clothing or resting within a warm shelter (such as a tent), Fatigue cost is doubled.
Phases follow this sequence:
The party chooses one of the following each phase:
The Warden rolls d6 and consults the location-appropriate table.
Encounter: Roll on encounter table
Sign: Clue, spoor, or indication of nearby encounter, locality, hidden feature, or information about a nearby hex
Locality: Shifts in weather, terrain, or other local changes
Expiration: Exhaustion (camp next phase or +1 Fatigue), hunger (eat ration or +1 Fatigue), or expend another resource
Discovery: Discover something useful (food, treasure, or other resources)
Hidden feature: Discover the hex’s main feature or choose/roll unique hex feature (ie. small dungeons, secret areas, factions, etc.)
|Terrain or Location||d6|
|1||Lone, sun-scorched traveller in tattered clothing|
|2||Cracked ground collapses, revealing a shallow mass grave|
|3||Long-abandoned way station, ancient tram crumbling to rust|
|4||Broken sands shift as a giant barbed worm bursts forth(kulworm)|
|5||Whispers from the dark; a vampire sleeps in a cave beneath the sand|
|6||A starving mule staggers across broken sand, rider slumped over the saddle|
|1||Pair of locals dug into a reinforced foxhole with visibility across the mountain|
|2||A circle of standing stones, imbued with a banshee’s touch|
|3||Half-crazed, emaciated, blood-drenched traveller carrying a severed leg|
|4||A monstrous beast’s ear-splitting roar echoes across the mountain|
|5||Survivors holed up in a ruined communications outpost|
|6||A roost of the Wayward Third, bones strewn on jagged path to barren cave|
|1||Broken-down wooden vardo caravan, rooted by wild growths, with a light burning in the window|
|2||Beasts of the woods gather fruit and meat in offering to a gnarled tree vibrating at high frequencies|
|3||Soothing, calm voice calls out from a deep pit’s bottom|
|4||Crude, worn stone altar scattered with a circle of broken skeletal remains|
|5||Eerie violet light spills from a misshapen tree’s core which burns exposed skin|
|6||Hideous broken deer with 8 spiked legs scuttles from dense brush (spideer)|
|1||Hive of dormant meatkids stacked in bizarre formations|
|2||Giant spider with a child’s face skitters across rooftops|
|3||Parade of mutants in shredded and stained theme park mascot costumes|
|4||Travellers decaying remains, faces grotesquely contorted in hideous rictus|
|5||Lone child in clean white clothing, head shaved and floating 6’ off the ground|
|6||Greykin leading a clutch of thugs retelling ghost stories around a campfire|
|1||Mutated cows drink from corrupted pond teeming with lobstrosts|
|2||Demon in a man’s skin worshipped by desperate residents|
|3||Villagers besieged by marauding greykin led by a harrier|
|4||Gouts of fire spew as a grinding, rust-riven oil derrick burns endlessly|
|5||Pack of bestials chop irregular meat hanging from rusted hooks|
|6||Screams from a crumbling shack woven with howls of bone-chilling laughter|
|1||Grotesque dog-squid amalgam’s charred remains, clawed tentacles reaching|
|2||Glass-eyed sentry robot patrols erratically, trailing infested fluid (serfbot)|
|3||Reinforced walls bulge containing uncontrollably expanding enormous, pulsating pink flesh sacks|
|4||Broken and mangled form hangs suspended from the ceiling, crackling wires leading from weeping electrodes|
|5||Twisted figure lies dormant in observation module, barbed demonic form fused to their chest like a parasitic twin|
|6||Knowledge centre and voice modulator hurls insults from an advanced transport system’s psychotic AI|
The Drifted World endures on fringes of the known realms, though links and portals between existing worlds persist, such as slip doors and magical gateways.
Free-standing doorways leading to other worlds, times, or places in the Drifted World. Like much in the Drifted World, their true origin was lost when the world moved on, but the wise folk believe they’re an arcane amalgam of science and magic.
When closed, most appear like mundane wooden doors constructed from rarer materials like rosewood or ironwood. Typically, an (often cryptic or obscured) engraving or carving indicates where it leads.
When open, allow passage from either side but most are one-way and disappear once closed at the destination.
Thanks to their magic imbued artefact guns, Gunslingers can see and open slip doors which are invisible to most.
Unlike fairly stable and consistent slip doors, the Drifted World’s magical gateways are dangerous and unpredictable, often activated by ritual.
Being imbued with old magic, they often house spirits or demons.
A tear in the Drifted World’s fabric, bleeding into a realm beyond reality. Operate on Slip Doors’ principles but several orders of magnitude more dangerous and chaotic.
Emitting ear-shattering shrieks that repel and attract those close enough to hear them: STR save against temporarily hearing loss and HRT save against moving closer.
Hideous black tentacles burst forth, to envelop then dismember any creature standing within a Chaos Slip’s short range.
Something slithers through the spaces between worlds, consuming and growing, out of focus of mundane existence: the Eater Outside, a colossal entity incrementally eroding structures of reality. The wise folk say one day the Eater will topple the wheel, sending all worlds spinning into the void.
The Eater Outside rarely discerns individual life, though certain activities (ie. a ritual’s catastrophic failure) can draw its unprecedented and obliterative attention.
Travelling outside the Drifted World:
Travelling into the Drifted World:
Organised and written magic in spellbooks no longer exists. In The Drifted World, magic is an obscure, largely lost discipline and there are places of great energies spread across worlds known and unknown.
Other world’s magic operates unpredictably in The Drifted World, often disastrously or monstrously. Some spirits or demons feed on and seek this magic.
When casting another world’s magic in the Drifted World roll on the Lost Magic table.
|Mostly succeeds with unintended effect||4-6|
|Fails with unintended effect||10-11|
|A chaos slip is torn open||12|
Unintended effects depend on the spell’s nature and caster’s intent, including:
Extremely rare items retaining power beyond current understanding, whether magical or technological. Generally with limited use and a recharge condition; use does not cause Fatigue. For example:
Eye of Woden, 1 charge. Crystalline orb with a brilliant red flaw. Glimpses into a chosen world. Recharge: Bathe it in a god’s tears.
Grow Bag, 3 charges. Simple worn leather bag with a polished stone closure, whose depths can manifest a shining gold coin. Recharge: Grant succour to someone in need without desire for reward.
Revalc Box, 1 use daily. Small, unadorned ironwood box with a brass latch. Converts 19 gp into 1 Lead.
Most Drifted World magic is performed through rituals, ceremonies and incantations whispered from one dark practitioner to another, broken and twisted through repetition, true meanings and origins lost.
No two rituals are identical but all represent a tangible threat to those in proximity.
Rituals require a suitable location, steeped in old magic or significance, such as standing stones, graveyards, temples, or churches.
There are (normally) four ritual components: Intent, Cost, Result, and Aftermath.
Intent. What is the desired outcome?
The more complex the intent, the higher the cost and the more difficult the ritual.
Cost. What is the outcome’s price? What is exchanged, manifesting your intent? This can be physical, spiritual, or metaphorical, including:
Result. What is the outcome’s shape? Was the attempt successful?
The Gunslinger undertaking the Ritual pays the cost and seeks inside themselves for the outcome. HRT save to initiate the ritual.
On success, roll 3d6 on the Rituals table. Failure: temporary loss of d6 HRT but the cost is not collected.
As with everything, fellowship’s bonds strengthen an Order. If undertaking a ritual as a group, the HRT save has advantage. Success: roll 3d6 on the Rituals table. Failure threatens the Order’s fellowship (see Breaking the Order).
For an especially complex or difficult intention, roll with +2 on the Rituals table (+4 if nearly impossible).
|Favour and boon; the Great Turtle smiles upon you||3|
|Favour with complication||7-9|
|Sorrow with complication||15-17|
|You draw the Eater Outside’s ire; critical damage save or be torn from this world||18|
Favour is largely positive, representing a successful ritual. Sorrow is largely negative, representing a failed ritual. A complication adds an extra obstacle or development.
The ritual’s intent influences the favour or sorrow’s form. For instance, if seeking to confront an apparition haunting you, favour makes peace with it and sorrow could increase its aggression or drag it into your world.
Aftermath. How are those involved changed? Whose attention is drawn, in this world or others? How has the ritual impacted the Order’s fellowship?
The Gunslinger’s call transcends humanity. Other beings may join your Order and aid in your quest, including rare beasts whose Gunslinger nature is immediately recognisable.
A beast companion bonds to one Order member, forging a lifelong friendship and empathic link.
Newly-bonded beast companions are still wild, though Gunslingers at heart. Their bonded Gunslinger may train them to strengthen the bond and improve combat effectiveness.
Training requires a week’s daily practice. Afterwards, the Gunslinger makes a HRT save to see if the training took. Easily trained beasts grant advantage on the save.
Trained beast companions gain the following benefits:
Untrained companions only attack their bonded Gunslinger’s target and make a Morale check at 0 Grit.
As with any Order member, a beast companion’s death tests the Order’s fellowship. Even if the Errant weathers the hardship, the bonded Gunslinger feels their loss acutely. HRT save or forever lose d4 HRT from heartbreak.
3 Grit, 8 STR, 12 DEX, 14 HRT, claws (d4)
3 Grit, 8 STR, 8 DEX, 12 HRT, bite (d4)
2 Grit, 8 STR, 12 DEX, 10 HRT, claws (d4)
2 Grit, 8 STR, 15 DEX, 8 HRT, talons (d4)
2 Grit, 8 STR, 14 DEX, 8 HRT, bite (d4)
4 Grit, 10 STR, 10 DEX, 9 HRT, bite (d6)
Solo play consists of one player acting as both Warden and Gunslinger.
At moments of choice or conflict, when the Warden would normally facilitate the outcome, consider consulting the provided Oracle (or substitute tarot cards, system from another TTRPG, a mobile app, etc.)
The below tables offer a way to interpret random rolls and Major Arcana tarot cards to determine a choice or action’s consequences.
Chronicle your journey in a journal or diary. Be as brief or descriptive as you like—this is your Gunslinger’s tale whose full details are lost in shifting time and space.
If an outcome is unclear, query the Oracle. For a simple “yes or no” (“Does the outlaw see me?”) or straight-forward check (“Can I convince the seer to help me?”), roll 2d6 on the Favour or Sorrow table.
Favour is broadly positive, sorrow is broadly negative. A complication adds an extra obstacle or development to the outcome.
For instance, you convince the seer to help you but they demand one of your rations in exchange.
|Favour with complication||3-6|
|Sorrow with complication||12|
For more complicated questions, or for more nuanced interactions, consult the cards.
First, gather your will and determine your focus. Narrow it to a singular emotion and concentrate on the Major Arcana’s 22 cards. One card name reveals itself.
Roll d10 on the Focus table and d8 on the Emotion table, before manifesting your Card: roll a d20 on the Major Arcana table or draw from a tarot deck.
Reflect upon the resulting phrase and turn it over in your mind. Focus your emotion on the name of the card. Your answer soon takes shape.
For instance, Amy wants to investigate a decaying colossus staggering around crumbling ruins. She rolls 3 dice: d10 for Focus (4: Greet), d8 for Emotion (5: Crestfallen), and d20 for Arcana (12: Death).
This gives her Greet Crestfallen Death. She interprets this as a sign to avoid the colossus as it would surely lead to her demise.
|The Magician / High Priestess||2|
|The Empress / Emperor||3|
|Wheel of Fortune||9|
|The Hanged Man||11|
7 Grit, 2 DEF, 16 STR, 8 DEX, 8 HRT, bite (d8)
Banshee 8 Grit, 3 DEF, 6 STR, 12 DEX, 15 HRT, ghostly touch (d8)
Bear 6 Grit, 14 STR, 6 DEX, 8 HRT, claw (d6+d6 blast), bite (d8)
Bestial 8 Grit, 1 DEF, 12 STR, 10 DEX, 10 HRT, sabre (d8), bite (d6)
Coyote 2 Grit, 6 STR, 12 DEX, 6 HRT, bite (d4)
Devil Swine 9 Grit, 16 STR, 8 DEX, 6 HRT, gore (d6+d6)
Ghost 10 Grit, 6 STR, 8 DEX, 14 HRT, draining touch (d6)
Greykin 6 Grit, 1 DEF, 10 STR, 9 DEX, 8 HRT, dagger or club (d6)
Harrier 8 Grit, 1 DEF, 13 STR, 8 DEX, 10 HRT, revolver (d6)
Hawk, Giant 4 Grit, 14 STR, 14 DEX, 8 HRT, talons or beak (d6)
Hitchhiker 10 Grit, 12 STR, 10 DEX, 8 HRT, claws (d6), leech
Jack-o-rab 10 Grit, 8 STR, 16 DEX, 12 HRT, antlers (d6), gaze
Kulworm 18 Grit, 1 DEF, 18 STR, 8 DEX, 6 HRT, bite (d10+d10) or poison sting (d8), Detachment
Lizard, Giant 3 Grit, 10 STR, 12 DEX, 8 HRT, bite (d8), acid spray
Lobstrost 6 Grit, 2 DEF, 12 STR, 10 DEX, 4 HRT, claws (d6+d6)
Mayhem Beast 16 Grit, 16 STR, 16 DEX, 16 HRT, mind slice (d8+d8 blast), gloom (d8 HRT)
Mantis, Giant 10 Grit, 1 DEF, 10 STR, 14 DEX, 12 HRT, claws (d6+d6)
Meatkid 2 Grit, 6 STR, 12 DEX, 6 HRT, bite (d6+d6 blast)
Medusa 4 Grit, 12 STR, 12 DEX, 16 HRT, snake bites (d6) or gaze (save)
Mutant 8 Grit, 8 STR, 6 DEX, 6 HRT, claw (d4)
Scorpion, Giant 4 Grit, 2 DEF, 12 STR, 12 DEX, 8 HRT, claws (d6+d6) or sting (d8)
Serfbot 4 Grit, 1 DEF, 14 STR, 6 DEX, 3 HRT, fist (d6)
Shambler 2 Grit, 14 STR, 6 DEX, 3 HRT, axe (d8)
Skinshift 10 Grit, 1 DEF, 10 STR, 12 DEX, 12 HRT, dagger (d6)
Snake, Pit 3 Grit, 10 STR, 12 DEX, 8 HRT, bite (d4)
Spideer 8 Grit, 12 STR, 10 DEX, 4 HRT, antlers (d8), charge (d6+d6 blast)
Spider, Giant 14 Grit, 1 DEF, 15 STR, 12 DEX, 8 HRT, bite (d8), claw (d4)
Spider, Giant Aquatic 9 Grit, 8 STR, 12 DEX, 6 HRT, bite (d6)
Squeeb 4 Grit, 6 STR, 12 DEX, 4 HRT, claws (d4+d4), sting (d6)
Thug 6 Grit, 9 STR, 8 DEX, 6 HRT, cudgel (d6)
Ursborg 14 Grit, 3 DEF, 18 STR, 6 DEX, 4 HRT, claw (d10 blast), bite (d12)
Vampire, Drifted 17 Grit, 12 STR, 14 DEX, 16 HRT, bite (d10)
Wayward Third, The 16 Grit, 12 STR, 14 DEX, 12 HRT, leech (d6)
Werewolf 4 Grit, 12 STR, 14 DEX, 12 HRT, claws (d4+d4) or bite (d6)
White worm 12 Grit, 2 DEF, 13 STR, 10 DEX, 4 HRT, bite (d8), constrict
Wildcat 4 Grit, 11 STR, 14 DEX, 7 HRT, bite (d8)
Wolf 4 Grit, 10 STR, 10 DEX, 9 HRT, bite (d6)
Zebra Beetle 2 Grit, 1 DEF, 6 STR, 12 DEX, 6 HRT, bite (d6)
Use the following template for modelling any sophisticated Monster or NPC:
X Grit, X DEF, X STR, X DEX, X HRT, Weapon (dX, special items, qualities)
Unique quirk, tactic, or peculiarity
Special effect or critical damage consequence
General Principles. Ability Scores: 3 is deficient, 6 is weak, 10 is average, 14 is noteworthy, and 18 is legendary.
Damage dice are roughly equivalent (armed attacks do 1d6 damage, minimum).
Given the Drifted World’s interconnected nature, gunslingers may adventure across vastly different worlds.
Wardens may choose to run adventures from other settings or even genres.
Cairn/Into the Odd adventures:
|Twin six shooters||1|
|Mother of Pearl||9||Dragon|
|Reinforced leather jacket||1-2||Spear|
|Waxed cotton duster||6-11||Machete|
|Expeditionary Gear||d20||d20||Expeditionary Gear|
|Lantern & oil||1||11||Caltrops|
|First aid kit||3||13||Soap|
|Blanket||4||14||Gun care kit|
|Tinder box||6||16||Chain (10ft)|
|Leather cuffs||10||20||Oilskin bag|
|Sheath knife||7||Face paint|
|Fishing line & hook||8||Horn|