Pigs in the Graveyard, Rules for Violence

Pigs in the Graveyard, Rules for Violence

November 19, 2022
western, cowboys, violence, combat, rules

It looks fun enough to use so here it is. If you don’t like the feel of Luke Gearing’s Violence for Wanton Pinoy Spaghetti, you could use this instead.

I made this under the assumption that combat’s with the small arms of the 1890s to the very early 1900s.

Character Creation #

The Main Stats #

8d6 to distribute between the three Stat categories below. The lowest possible for a single stat is 1d6.

  • Acuity — Perceptive, alert, savvy, educated, etc.
  • Body — Strong, puissant, dexterous, nimble, etc.
  • Will — Tenacious, confident, aggressive, unyielding, etc.

Roll dice when avoiding consequences or seeing if a risky endeavor succeeds (or not). This is when discussion doesn’t yield an obvious resolution. Rolls are always done as combinations between the three Stats.

  • Resistance, endurance, and athletic feats — roll Body + Will
  • Shooting, quick draws, forceful charisma, and sly salesmanship — roll Acuity + Will
  • Melee, intuition, and danger sense — roll Body + Acuity

To succeed, grab the two highest dice, your Ace, from the pool and match or beat the target number rolled or set by the GM.

Traits #

4d8 to distribute across any number of Traits. Traits are situational bonuses to your dice pool. They’re a brief punchy statement about your character like “2d8 raised by the wilds” or “3d8 fastest draw of the East”. When applicable, add the relevant Trait to your Stat dice pool.

Violent Conflict #

Firefights #

Initiative #

Roll Initiative per Round, a matter of moments. All combatants must roll Acuity + Will and add relevant Traits. The one with the highest Ace goes first. Keep the pool results, don’t re-roll until the next Round.

Shooting #

On your turn, choose two dice from your pool results as your Raise and pick a target in range.

The target must Call the Raise with dice results of equal or greater value.

  • If they Call with two dice or less, you don’t shoot them.
  • If they Call with three or more dice, you shoot them, but they’re still in the fight.
  • If they can’t Call at all, you shoot them and they go Down.

You can Raise as many times as you have pairs of dice. Good luck if you’re out of dice and they shoot back.

Getting Shot #

If you’ve been shot, but not Downed, roll Body + Will next round. On a 10+, you aren’t Downed and fight on.

Every time you’re hit, you take the Damage from the ammo type used. If you went Down, take an additional 1d10.

Type of AmmunitionDamage
Handgun Cartridges1d10
Shotgun Buckshot (12 gauge)3d10
Shotgun Slug (12 gauge)3d10
Hunting Cartridges2d10
Military Cartridges2d10
Arrows and Bolts2d10

After the fight, roll all the damage you took. On a 17+, you’re dying or dead. If you survive, you’re injured and need to see a doctor or healer.

Ambushes #

If you’ve caught your enemy by surprise in a firefight, roll normally, but everyone in your group goes first on a free Round.

Reloading #

Each Raise is a shot. You’ll have to reload after all shots are fired. Different guns have different capacities. Reloading a gun takes one Raise, unless otherwise stated.

Type of AmmunitionShot CountRemarks
Pump-action Shotgun6
Coach Gun2
Lever Rifle (revolver rounds)12
Lever Rifle (hunting rounds)8
Bolt-Action Rifles5
Single-Shot Rifles1Can only be fired once per round, but reloading doesn’t consume a Raise.
Bows1Can only be fired once per round, but reloading doesn’t consume a Raise.

Cover #

Assume most targets are in cover during a firefight. Otherwise, add an additional 2d6 to your Acuity + Will pool against targets out of cover.

Movement #

You can move to different positions on your turn for as long as you have Raises and aren’t Suppressed. Although you don’t need to consume a Raise to move.

Suppression #

Suppressing a target takes two Raises and the target must be in Cover. You pin down a target and, if they move, they must Call against the better of the two Raises.

  • If they Call with two dice or less, they break free and can shoot back on their turn.
  • If they Call with three dice or more, you shoot them, but they break free.
  • If they can’t Call at all, you shoot them and they go Down.

Melee #

Functionally the same with Initiative and hits done with Raises and Calls. However, the rubric for matching Raises is as follows:

  • If they Call with two dice or less, they don’t take damage.
  • If they Call with three dice or more, they take 1d8 damage.
  • If they can’t Call, they take 2d8 damage and are out of the fight.

Healing #

After seeing a doctor or healer, roll Body + Will. If your Ace is 9+, you heal within a few days, otherwise, you need bed rest for two weeks or longer.

Optional Injury Rules #

If you survive right after a fight and are shot, roll Body + Will, on an Ace of 10+, you don’t go into shock and avoid infection.

To see where you were hit, consult the table:

1d10Hit Location

A shot to the head can only happen on a 17+ Damage roll after combat.