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Basic Scrapes

"Gabe Smith coolly tossed 25 pesos into the large pot, raising the perspiring vaquero across from him. He had reason to be confident; no one had seen him pull the ace of spades from his sleeve and aces over kings is a mighty hand indeed. Time seemed to halt as the table sat perfectly silent, waiting for the Mexican cowhand to make his move. Wiping his brow, the cowboy finally called the bet and both players laid down their hands. Gabe had the better hand but stopped himself before he reached for the money: the Mexican's cards read two pair with an ace kicker — the Ace of Spades!"

Looks like ol' Gabe has gotten himself into a scrape. From here, the action could turn ugly in several ways. Gabe could run to his horse, initiating a chase, he could draw a bowie knife and opt for a knife fight, he could draw a pocket pistol or six-shooter and shoot it out or try his luck in a brawl. The Aces and Eights game covers the various ways of getting out of a scrape for better or for worse.

what is a role-playing game?Gunfights

The Aces & Eights gunfight system is a realistic tabletop simulation of a Wild West shootout. The fundamental premise of the system is that a shooter always aims for a specific location or target (e.g., the "rustler's gun hand") rather than an abstract target (e.g., the "rustler"). The worse the shooter's aim, the further from his mark the shot flies. This also means that a very near miss can be just as deadly as a bull's eye. The shooter determines his precise shot location by using the Target Silhouettes and Shot Clocks that come with the game.

A split second during a gunfight can sometimes mean the difference between survival and a painful or even mortal wound. Thus, while time in other areas of the game occurs in terms of seconds, minutes or even days at a time, during a gunfight, time is always handled in tenths of seconds. Each tenth of a second is referred to hereafter as a "Count". Everything from drawing a weapon to mounting a mustang to crawling behind the water trough occurs in tenths of seconds or Counts.

what is a role-playing game?Taking Action

If you're an avid game player, chances are you're used to choosing an action or actions on your "turn" - probably from a list of allowable actions or categories of actions. In contrast, Aces & Eights allows your character to attempt any action he wants, at any time.

In real life, to walk across the room, you think about walking across the room, then you start moving and after a certain number of seconds you accomplish the task. Likewise, in Aces & Eights, if your character wants to take an action (such as crossing the saloon floor), you simply declare his intent and, after a certain amount of time (if there are no unexpected obstacles), he completes his action. Thus, Aces & Eights has no artificial time segmentation such as "turns","rounds", "segments", or "phases". In Aces & Eights, your character's actions are measured by time and time alone. ★