The Wild West
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Basic Information

The setting comprising of the American Frontier, circa 1840 - 1890.

What's In A Name?

  • The title The American West is sometimes used to indicate a less cinematic and legendary approach to the historical era.
  • Calling it the Old West is also likely to indicate a little more respect and historical accuracy (at least compared to Wild West), but still with a touch of the mystique and legend.
  • A setting that labels itself the Wild West is full-on theme park and legendry version. It's a land of Indians, grizzled prospectors, scenic bluffs, Conestoga wagons, tough, shotgun-toting pioneers and buxom, be-feathered dance-hall girls. Also home to very lucrative sugar glass and balsa-wood chair industries, judging by the number of bar brawls which occur during a single episode of a typical western series. Bad guys and anti-heroes wear black hats, good guys and sheriffs wear white hats, shootouts on Main Street occur with the frequency of at least one an hour, and everyone drinks sarsaparilla or whiskey.

See Also:


The colorful "theme park" description (most of the text) above came from the TV Tropes Wiki page on the Wild West, also see their page on The Western.

Game and Story Use

  • Instantly recognizable setting and genre. A game set here will connect with the players before the GM finishes describing the first scene.
  • Elements of the Wild West can be incorporated into other settings. See New Old West and Space Western for ideas.
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