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US Marshals: A Shared Storytelling Game Of Justice In The American Wild WestClick to magnify
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US Marshals: A Shared Storytelling Game Of Justice In The American Wild West

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US Marshals is a rules-light tabletop roleplaying game that assumes the player-characters are Marshals (or Deputy Marshals) in the American Wild West, official representatives of the Federal government of the United States of America enacting the laws, subpoenas, and will of federal courts, Congress, and the President with broad-reaching jurisdiction.

All you need to play are these rules, a few scraps of paper, pencils, at least two six-sided dice (2d6), and a few friends! One person runs the game as the Gamemaster (GM), while everyone else plays as a Marshal; the more the merrier!

US Marshals uses an original game system from Fat Goblin Games, The Difference Engine. All challenges in the game boil down to a simple mechanic known as The Difference Engine; two opposing rolls of a pair of six-sided dice (2d6), each with a modest Bonus added. You compare the results, calculate "The Difference," and use that to determine success directly — the greater The Difference, the greater the effect! In something like combat, that may mean The Difference is added to a weapon's damage, while if attempting something like a long jump across a ravine, The Difference could equal the number of yards your character can make it with a flying leap. Dynamic difficulties that change with each roll of the die and built-in variable success help to inform the narrative with each challenge in The Difference Engine, moving the story forward in exciting ways from moment to moment.

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Reviews (2)
Discussions (3)
Customer avatar
Kevin E March 31, 2020 1:39 am UTC
Does this contain a sample adventure as well? Doesn't appear so from TOC unless I missed something...?
Customer avatar
Lucus P April 17, 2020 2:13 am UTC
The book doesn't include a proper "adventure" -- the nature of adventures is broken down variously in the Gamemastering chapter, with an example that could be played but the overall design of the game and premise largely is "choose/create a target, set a reason for the Marshals to be seeking them, then use the existing rule set and the choices of the player's to determine what can/will/should occur"

So a fully realized adventure could exist but also might not be needed for most Gamemasters.

Sorry it took so long to notice this comment!
Customer avatar
David W J December 21, 2019 4:44 pm UTC
You had me interested until your block of text about minorities, “cis” white males, and the rest of the buzzwords. I know this post will get dog piled on so I’m not coming back here. I’ll give my money to a company that maintains neutrality with its game content.
Customer avatar
Lucus P December 22, 2019 7:07 pm UTC
Lucus Palosaari here, author of the book.

I just wanted to make it easy for anyone curious what the "block of text" said to see it -- in case you are interested what would spark this comment.

I'm assuming it is this sidebar, located on Page 6 of the book:

*-*Begin Quoted Text*-*
Tall Tales vs. Facts From The West About Minorities
In large part due to the popularity of the Western genre of films and television
shows released from the 1940’s to 1960’s (and beyond), a specific image
of “The Old West” likely comes to mind when the term is used. One
thing that is almost always lacking in these depictions however are diverse
cast of characters that include both fair and accurate depiction of the roles
of women in society, and a proper blend of ethnicities that actually inhabited
the land.

On the role of women, depictions would lead you to believe that most
are either “damsels in distress” that...See more
Customer avatar
Mamading C March 01, 2020 5:14 pm UTC
It would seem that the OP would probably have a hard time with the official government website for the US Marshals:
Customer avatar
Michael B March 01, 2020 8:15 pm UTC
It's also to the OP's detriment that he didn't continue beyond the passage that triggered him, or he would've seen all the links and resources the author included regarding the historical record and facts about the Old West.
Customer avatar
Lucus P March 01, 2020 9:52 pm UTC
Michael B & Mamading C -- I wish I could "like" your comments :)

My academic training (in part) is Social Science/History, so I mean I wasn't just making that point lightly and I was more than willing to "show my work/cite my sources" -- especially to make it easier for the potential gamer with interest to follow up on amazing historical figures like Bass Reeves! Man is/was a legend and deserves so much more attention in film/television/comics/media!
Customer avatar
Patrick B March 02, 2020 4:58 am UTC
I think the comment would go over better if not for the "cis white males" part. You can make the same point by simply saying "white men". In today's political climate the phrase "cis white males" is heavy with virtue signaling social justice warrior type stuff and brings to mind modern identity politics. I think from the context, it seems the authors were making a genuine attempt to be inclusive and to let gamers of all types have fun, but that particular phrase is a buzzword and a turn-off for people tired of having racial politics inserted into all areas of life.
Customer avatar
David W J March 21, 2020 7:04 am UTC
Thank you Patrick, you are correct.

Idk why I’m still getting notifications about this stupid game, I took my money elsewhere and I hope the crowd your virtue signaling to buy your game and you are successful. I wish nothing bad on anyone, I just wanted a western rpg game system, but I’ll find one someday,
Customer avatar
August 19, 2019 3:51 pm UTC
Anyway to get a regular full size preview instead of the mini-sized quick one?
Customer avatar
Rick H August 19, 2019 4:44 pm UTC
see if that works for you.
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Gold seller
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25.23 MB
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File Last Updated:
August 18, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on August 18, 2019.