One of the reasons the FAR System and FAR Western got started is because I love guns. I’m an unabashed firearm enthusiast and an American who loves the Second Amendment (the whole Bill of Rights, actually, but the First and Second articles are by far the most fun). Weekend trips to the shooting range are a cherished family ritual. As are our gaming sessions–but among all the game systems we’ve seen, my son and I both agreed that there was no tabletop roleplaying system (that we had ever seen, anyway) that did guns right. We wanted to play a game that felt like our favorite western movies. It looked like the only way to find one was to make it ourselves. And that was the genesis of FAR Western and the FAR System.
After we got started, we got deeper into what made roleplaying games so fun to play, and that’s where character and story came in as the fundamental building blocks of our system. No matter how well a system does combat or any number of other things, what makes tabletop roleplaying games—the pencil, paper, and dice type of games—so much fun is the experience of stepping out of our ordinary world and into someone else’s experience.
And story and character are what make the whole thing work. Even crappy systems like Pathfinder can provide awesome gaming experiences—if the gamemaster creates an adventure that gets you into the spirit of your character’s experience. You and your group are telling stories together, and that’s what makes it fun. Not the dice. Not the dungeon. Not the combat or the 19 million feats your character can learn or whatever else.
It’s the stories—that and the experience of creating them together with friends—that makes tabletop RPGs so much fun. (Am I the only one that thinks of rocket propelled grenades whenever I see that acronym? Seems like only terrorists use those things anymore…but if this post somehow leads a Daesh believer or two away from jihad toward the light of shared storytelling and imagination, it’s worthwhile…if it only saves one life, and all that). But I digress…too much Buffalo Trace bourbon.
So our goal became to create a system that was explicitly built around character and story. And guns. But the Old West is a wide, varied, and wild place, with room for people of all types, and of course you don’t have to focus on gunplay if you don’t want to. The system provides (or will provide) for just about any type of combat you want to play. But we love guns (because ‘Murica!), so that’s a big part of what got us started on this game system in the first place. We wanted to build a game that did firearms right for a change. Whether we’ve succeeded or not will eventually, ultimately, be up to you to judge.
And also, we’re trying to build a game that lets you tell fun stories in the classic American Old West. Because ultimately, it’s the stories (and making them with friends) that that makes roleplaying so much fun.
Realistically, it’s going to be a while before you can see the fruits of our labors (Roy, you just blew the shit out of our fruits!), but we’ll keep working on it. Eventually, we’ll have something we can share with you all. After all, the whole point of making a game is for people to PLAY it.