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Dark Trails RPG - Bootleg Edition
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Dark Trails RPG - Bootleg Edition

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The "Bootleg Edition" serves to introduce players to the world of the upcoming full ruleset of the Dark Trails RPG releasing in 2020.

Within the pages of the Dark Trails RPG Bootleg Edition, you'll find a majority of the rules for the game in addition to a sampling of all 11 classes and their abilities/powers (from 0 to 2nd level). This preview document also includes a complete adventure designed to take characters from 0-level to 1st is included.


Things have gotten plum weird since the events of The Seven Days of Night brought an end to the war, revealing the presence of an evil thicker than the darkest molasses that’d make the Devil himself blush! You can turn tail, or take the fight to the night, and you ain’t about to be called yeller! So, saddle your horses and clean those irons, ‘cause there’s something slithering across the dark frontier and it’s dead set on making vittles out of you and your ragtag posse.


The Dark Trails RPG is a standalone weird West role-playing game influenced by the works of HP Lovecraft and folklore pulled from all over the world. The game offers a new take on the genre with a rule set based upon and compatible with the popular Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG published by Goodman Games. Within the pages of the Bootleggers edition, you’ll have enough rules, classes, and an exciting adventure “Death Crawls West” to wet your whistle and prepare you for what’s coming in 2020.


Within the 190+ page preview of the upcoming standalone RPG, you'll find-

  • 11 playable classes all touched by the supernatural

  •  A complete rule set that introduces several new mechanics to help throw your players into a haunted west filled to the brim with weird!

  • Spells, contraptions, elixirs, and miracles for those classes gifted with the talent of channeling the arcane/divine.

  • "Death Crawls West" a ready to run adventure written by Peter C. Spahn and Brandon Goeringer.





 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (33)
Discussions (3)
Customer avatar
Henry F June 29, 2020 6:42 pm UTC
$25 for a demo of a game? I looked it up, and this game was Kickstarted and is currently 6 months late on the delivery. Really cool move to be profiting off of the Kickstarter before your backers have the finished product.

Plus, I'm wondering about the legitimacy of the reviews. There's an update on the Kickstarter (UPDATE #53 Dark Trails Contest! on March 24, 2020) where the creator gave away "swag" in exchange for padding the reviews here on DriveThruRPG. If you look at the dates of the reviews, over half of them came in on March 24th and 25th, which is the day of and the day after the creator asked for review padding.
Customer avatar
David B July 17, 2020 10:41 pm UTC
Hey Henry,

I wanted to directly address the negative comment you left after seeing it today. First, the KS is 5 months late, and I'm not sure if you're backer. or not, so I'll assume not. As you probably know, a lot of projects fund late, and I agree that it sucks for a backer on any project. A lot of folks with experience told me not to put a date on the project before launch, but being new to publishing I did it anyway. The book was due in Feb 2020, but I underestimated everything that goes into making a 600-page book. No matter what the reason, excuses are just that, excuses and for that, I'm very sorry. As it stands, the book will be completed by the end of the year, if not sooner. As a backer, I've waited far longer for books put out by much larger companies, so I scratch my head a little at being nailed to the cross when I'm putting out regular updates out that show progress by way of layout, art, etc. , but I do sincerely apologize for letting you, or anyone down with the delay of the book....See more
Customer avatar
Patrick S June 25, 2020 8:13 am UTC
25$ for a printed Bootleg Edition and 4$ for 2 Character sheets ... c'mon ...
Customer avatar
David B June 25, 2020 7:41 pm UTC
Hey Patrick,

I'm sorry that you feel the price is too high, and I can certainly understand your reluctance to join the posse, but consider a few things from this side of the pasture ;0) All the money made from the sale of the Bootleg goes right back into helping purchase additional art, which is something the book is full of. I love RPGs with a lot of art, thus I wanted Dark Trails to be a game that really pulls you in visually. I also use the funds to help pay for swag that I send out to folks who run the game for their friends. This means you get stickers, bookmarks, buttons, and can coolers for just running a game (just drop me a line at Not a lot of companies do that, and those that do probably don't squirt water for a living (I'm a fireman, so my pockets aren't bursting at the seams with the green stuff). The swag is my way of thanking people for just giving the game a shot.

A lot goes into making a book this size, so I had to price the Bootleg to try and...See more
Customer avatar
Joe A July 12, 2020 1:20 pm UTC
Yes this publisher thought it would be a clever idea to take peoples Kickstarter money and then turn around and make a quick buck on a half finished product while failing to deliver to his backers. Now currently seven months over fulfillment date with no delivery in sight.
Customer avatar
Patrick S July 13, 2020 5:46 am UTC
Sorry for you, i didn't know that.
But i can undestand your anger, I'm struggeling myself with more than enough shitty Kickstarters.
Customer avatar
David B July 17, 2020 11:36 pm UTC
Hey Joe,

I really don't understand where you're coming from. See the previous response to a similar comment above. The book is five months late as of July (Not 7) but will be completed before the end of the year. Yes, it's late, but to act like I'm stealing money, a con artist, or not providing regular updates and visuals of what is being done is really unfair and gives folks an impression of the project that's simply not true or deserved.

There were 18 stretch goals that were made during the KS, and to date 11 of those are finished, while four of the remaining can't be completed yet because they relate directly to the physical book (ribbon bookmarks, foil stamping, etc.).

If you need more information on any aspect of this project, please don't hesitate to reach out. I would much rather discuss any doubts or concerns you have than to read a comment like this. I'm probably more accessible than most folks on DriveThru, and that's because I want to put out a game I can be...See more
Customer avatar
David B July 17, 2020 11:46 pm UTC

I'm trying to address these comments (just saw them today) and wanted to let you know that the project is late, but other than that, KS backers are being regularly updated with portions of the book that are complete (layout, art, edited). I can only be genuinely faulted in that the project is late, but I really do scratch my head over some of the other insinuations made if these folks are really keeping up with the KS updates (One of which went out today to announce the 12th class, and two adventures that were turned in, all stretch goals).

Feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns you might have. I'd love for you to try the game.


Customer avatar
JD S March 29, 2020 2:21 am UTC
$12 for a preview?
Customer avatar
Peter S April 02, 2020 8:46 pm UTC
It is a fully playable intro.

Full adventure and full rules for playing a funnel and up to level 2.
Customer avatar
JD S April 03, 2020 11:48 am UTC
When is the full system available, and will those who buy this $12 intro get a discount?
Customer avatar
Mark E April 06, 2020 4:24 pm UTC
I’d like to know the answer to this, too. Definitely not interested in paying $12 for an intro only to have to pay full price for the final copy.
Customer avatar
David B April 19, 2020 3:02 am UTC

David here. I'll definitely look into that. I'm still trying to figure out the workings of DriveThru. The quick start was renamed "thick start" by the time it was ready (192 pages) so it does contain a bulk of the game.

Still, I understand the nature of the request and will give it some thought! Thanks for expressing interest!
Customer avatar
Chad H April 21, 2020 1:24 pm UTC
Thanks for replying. Is there an ETA for the full release? I'll definitely pick it up - you had me at DCC-based and the excellent artwork on this page - but I'd prefer to get the full-fat version.
Customer avatar
David B June 25, 2020 7:27 pm UTC
I totally understand. Something to consider is that the KS is still open if you'd like to back. The benefit of backing is getting the hardback, but also receiving the Bootleg and all digital stretch goal adventures for free. The book will be sent to the printer by end of 2020
Customer avatar
JD S June 26, 2020 2:30 am UTC
Thanks for taking the time to reply, but paying still more money into a potential and unknown game seems unwise. Your prices seem badly out of line with the market averages here. But I wish you good luck with your work.
Customer avatar
David B July 17, 2020 11:54 pm UTC

I appreciate the response and I understand/respect your opinion! I'm not lying to you when I say that folks that have way more products and experience in the industry suggested a higher price tag than I placed on the book. I may try and do something for folks who have purchased the Bootleg once the full version is released, but I don't want to jump to any sort of announcement until the final figures are in, and I can say the project at least broke even.

You can also back the KS late, and get the Bootleg for free, along with the additional stretch goals. If you're on FB check out the Dark Trails RPG group to get some thoughts about the game from those actually playing it. We're nearing 600 members of folks who've slapped leather and joined the posse.

Again, thanks again for the well wishes!
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