Show Down At High Noon
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This town ain't big enough fer the both of us.

Basic Information

The Show Down is The Western version of a Duel. Two Gunslingers face each other, standing in the middle of the street. The staredown is like a Psychic Duel, and the scene is played up for dramatic tension. The only cover is occupied by Innocent Bystanders (who might also peer out of windows). Suddenly, there's a motion, a sound, and someone collapses to the dirt. Additional imagery and details can be found here.

These traditionally take place at very close range and, despite cinematic conventions, historically involved a lot of firing - the weapons used were usually not that accurate, nor the users often particularly skilled. A fast draw and the first shot are the most desired skills, but actually getting a round on target is what counts: "I never drew first but I drew first blood" is an entirely relevant cliché.

Why noon? Mostly tradition, but it is worth noting that noon is also the only time of day that is easily verified by observation (the sun is at its zenith and directly over the equator).



Game and Story Use

  • An important part of The Western. Getting a PC to play "fair" is tough, though. My players would rather ambush or gang up.
    • This is where reputation and karma can come in - traditionally a reputation for shooting an opponent in the back was enough to guarantee infamy, setting a group ambush against someone who had challenged you to a duel would blacken your name far more.
  • Easily recycled in a lot of other genres, but particularly appropriate to Japanese culture where the iajutsu duelling culture has more in common with it than most.
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