Wanton Pinoy Spaghetti


A rules set for running Spaghetti Westerns in 19th Century Colonial Philippines

BY NICO SANTAGOY

About

Be the Spaghetti Western anti-heroes of your dreams in the wild times that were 19th Century Spanish Colonial Philippines. Think of the original Django (1966) or the famous The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (1966) but set during the tumultuous era of the Katipuneros, the novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, and Andres Bonifacio! Navigate the tenuous politics of an era either preceding or amidst revolution as wandering heroes.

Illustrados

Imagine an adventure where you're being paid to smuggle copies of Noli Me Tangere to subversive libraries and book clubs. Aiding Katipunero cells escape Spanish persecution? What about getting hired by Heneral Luna to sabotage American supply routes?You’ll be doing this via the medium of Tabletop RPGs. One player will take on the role of the Game Master (GM) who will generate the world, the flora, the fauna, and the people in it. The rest of those at the table will be the players who each inhabit a single character in the world; they will be the protagonists, for lack of a better word.The succeeding text will help you all achieve the goal of having adventures in a Spaghetti-Westernized Philippines from the 1870s onwards.


Just to set your expectations: know that this rules set was inspired by the rules lite systems of the OSR, the Thinking Adventures scene, with a dash of Free Kriegsspiel. If none of those terms mean anything to you, just expect unobtrusive rules meant to compel creativity in you.Now, if you don't know much about Spanish Colonial Philippines in the 19th Century, I recommend looking at Mitsa! A handy and helpful guide to getting to know the era and how to set your games in those times!

things you need to play

At the time of writing this, the new normal rages on in my country and play is restricted to online spaces. PDF sheets are still under construction, but here are sheets on a VTT platform I like.

Role is the only place to get these sheets. The platform works quite well for my needs and is where I'll personally be running this system. If you have Role, simply click the image above for access to the sheets in question.

CHARACTER CREATION

Think of a character concept. Who are they in this time in history? A foreigner? A local? Regardless, they (and now by extension you) are in consistent company with a group of companions.These companions are the other players (their characters) at the table. Think of how you all know each other in the world. Why are you all thick as thieves? Are you thieves?How many languages do you know? Can't decide? Roll a 1d4 and that's how many languages you know. Wait, what are some the common languages of the time?

  • Bisaya

  • Ilonggo

  • Kapampangan

  • Tagalog

  • British English

  • Cantonese

  • French

  • Spanish

Know that despite the Spaniards' proclivity to classify whole swathes of peoples into racial categories and social classes, the text (and by extension I) won't force you to do that.The world in the fiction will do that, but it's your prerogative as a real person in contemporaneity to choose your character's response.

Now roll 1d4 for each of the three named Tag categories below. Whatever the result for each is how many starting Tags you get per category. Each Tag adds a +2 to a 1d20 roll.You only roll a 1d20 when doing something risky like shooting someone in a firefight or trying to pick a lock under duress. The number you need to beat is often a 10-12 and (optionally) a 15+ in combat.You can apply multiple Tags to a single roll if applicable.

1d20ProwessKnowledgePizzazz
1Iron LiverJurisprudenceGambling
2Quick DrawFolk MedicineExcellent Equestrian
3AthleticismRhetoric and PoetryFabulous Performer
4ReflexesMilitary FilibusterismKeen Senses
5HaymakersNavigationDisarming Allure
6Great ShotSciencesLucky
7Light-footedMedicine and First AidGut Feeling
8Bullseye ThrowInventionsDressed Sharp
9Surgeon's HandsEtiquetteSneaky
10LegerdemainArchaeologyReputation Precedes You

Starting Loadout

All players start with the following:

  • Revolver or Rifle (single-shot or lever-action)

  • 1 Slot of appropriate ammunition

  • Leather Rucksack

  • Hunting Knife or Balisong

  • 3 days worth of rations

  • Water Canteen

  • 30 Pesos to buy miscellaneous items or to keep

  • The clothes on your back

You have 12 Inventory slots. First 6 are quick slots, anything you can pull out at a moment's notice. The next 6 require a d8 roll higher than the item's number slot to be procured immediately under duress, otherwise the item takes 10 seconds or more to find.Just remember: if you look like you're ready for war then expect some trouble with the law.

Luck

Every time you fail a roll, mark Luck to a maximum of 5.You can avoid consequences by testing Luck. To succeed, roll at or lower than your current Luck on a d6.Regardless of the result, remove a point of Luck every time you test it.If you're Lucky then your Luck can't go lower than 1.

Renown

On your character sheets you just have a brief punchy statement about your reputation. You're a myth in the making.

ITEMS

Tools and Guns

ITEMCOSTREMARKS
Balisong5Concealable
Hunting Knife8 
Bolo11 
Kris14 
Sword Cane20Concealable
Revolver18 
Coach Gun222 shots, quick reload
Lever-action Rifle27 
Single-shot Rifles18Quick reload
Bolt-action Rifles35Low capacity, quick reload
Dynamite4 
Improvised Grenade1Price of ingredients only
Revolver Ammunition118 rounds, 1 item slot
Hunting Ammunition212 rounds, 1 item slot
Rifle Ammunition310 rounds, 1 item slot
Buckshot210 rounds, 1 item slot
Slugs210 rounds, 1 item slot
ITEMCOSTREMARKS
15m Manila Rope2 
Doctor's Bag35 
Grappling Hook8 
Leather Rucksack8Adds 6 bag slots
Lockpicking Set1 
Spyglass10 
Ration21 day's worth

Beasts of Burden & Livestock

ITEMCOSTREMARKS
Poor Horse35 
Fine Horse74 
Carabao20 
Native Cattle40 
Imported Cattle72 
Pig12Breeds fast
Goat28 

combat resolution

Initiative

Roll a d20 for each individual or group involved in the combat. Write these down and resolve, highest first.Do this at the beginning of each round. A round is an innumerably fast amount of time. A single moment between life and death.If you've caught your opponents by surprise, you all shoot first and resolve Initiative after the players' turns.The inverse is true if you are ambushed. All enemies take their turns first until Initiative is resolved.

Groups can be used for larger scale actions involving, for example, 3-4 bands per “side” of a conflict.

Melee

Both combatants roll a d12 and add relevant modifiers. Pronounce if intent is to subdue or to kill.

  • If the difference between them is 1 or 0, both are Injured and the fight continues.

  • If the difference is 2-3, the high-scorer is Injured. The low-scorer is Injured and goes Down.

  • If the difference is 4+, the low-scored is Injured and goes Down.

A sword, axe, spear, or other weapon that increases your reach would add +3. A shorter ranged weapon adds +2. Relevant Tags add +2 as always.If Melee is initiated during a round, both combatants have their turns consumed until one goes Down. If any target does something else in the fight like shooting at another target, Disadvantages can be incurred (or consequences arise).

Shooting

To shoot someone, anyone, in a gunfight, roll 16+ on a d20. If they are not in cover or moving, add two Advantages. If firing multiple shots, add +1 per additional shot. Resolve who gets shot: player chooses or we roll randomly.If you've shot someone, roll another d20...

  • Add +2 to the roll for each Injury they have.

  • Revolver calibers add +2 to this roll.

  • Hunting rounds, military calibers, and shotgun slugs add +4 to this roll.

  • Buckshot adds +5 at close ranges and +2 at medium.

If the result is 10+, they go Down. Otherwise, they are Injured.

Sniping

To snipe, you must be at a distance. The target must also be unaware of your position and be either not in cover or not moving. To hit, roll 12+ with Advantage and add relevant Tags.If you hit, roll to check if they go Down or are Injured.If you miss the first shot they act appropriately. They could become aware of your general position and maybe take nearby cover. Roll initiative if so, regular Shooting rules would now apply.

Down

After the violence is concluded, roll a d20 for each person Down. Add +2 for each Injury. On a 10+, they are dead. Otherwise, they are Critically Injured and will die without medical attention.

Suppression

When firing to suppress, no roll is required.When a suppressed target attempts to take an action which could expose them, roll 1d6. If the number rolled is equal to or less than the number of people firing to suppress, the target is shot. The number rolled is how many individuals hit—resolve each separately, determining randomly who hits.If Suppression is at hidden or obscured targets, it only has half effect (i.e. 2 people would have to fire to have a 1-in-6 chance of shooting individuals as they take action.)

Reloading

Account for every shot. Revolvers usually have 6 shots. Lever-actions, about 7-9 on average, more rounds makes for a longer gun. Reloading takes a round.Coach guns only fire two shots. Single-shot rifle, only one shot of course. Bolt-action rifles? 5 shots. The benefit here is that they all reload very quickly. You may reload and fire again within the same round, but every succeeding shot has Disadvantage.

Healing

When you take an Injury and happen to survive a violent encounter due to someone's intervention, you must spend a week resting in a safe place per injury to heal. 3 injuries means 3 weeks for example.After 3 days of receiving injuries, you may move around and act in some handicapped capacity. You will, however, retain those injuries until you heal. If violence ensues and you are still injured, you're in a precarious position.An Injury isn't some light bruising or someone being frazzled. It's legitimately someone hurt enough to the point of debilitation. While there isn't a hard limit to the number of injuries one can take, five is a general guideline: at five injuries, a character might be practically incapacitated. Rule as necessary.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  1. When exactly in the 1800s are these rules for?

If you are running a game using these rules then I recommend setting things in the 1870s onwards. Otherwise, some core assumptions may beget a complete retooling of the Violence rules.Shooting assumes cased ammunition and faster reloads. Paper cartridges, substantially longer reloads, and single-shot muzzle-loaders were the norm in the earlier 1800s.

  1. So when will your games be set?

I'll mostly be running these in the 1890s. Telegram lines were common enough, steamboats made transport easier, and there were enough historic events set in this eve of revolution that are interesting to me and, hopefully, to future players.

  1. I like this a lot! How can I support you?

If you are legitimately thinking about this question, thank you! Any kind of support means a lot.You can always Buy Me a Coffee on Ko-Fi here. A tip is only 2 bucks (USD) and it'll help me stay afloat to create even more awesome things for and beyond this rules set!You'll also, technically, be a part of my creative journey which is cool. I hope 😅