Far West Weekly Update, June 29th

A very brief one this week, folks, as I sit here in the blast-furnace hellscape of Kansas. Heat indices of 115+ are no kinda fun, especially when you live in a house with no central air — curse these 19th-century neighborhoods! Ah, well — I’ll just take it as “sensory research” for writing about the Thousand Mesas region!

Work continues, getting back onto schedule. I am still expecting to be sending a finished manuscript to layout (and to you) in July.

As always, I’m available via email/twitter/etc.

Stay cool, and to quote Warren Ellis from his email newsletter this past week: “Turn down the volume on the world when you need to. Go outside if you can. Make a fort if you can’t. Do what makes you happy. You’re allowed to, and you deserve to, and never let any bastard tell you otherwise.”

Gareth-Michael Skarka
Lawrence, Kansas
29th June, 2018

FAR WEST Update, June 18th

Hey folks—

Held this one off until Monday — last week was a week of family obligations that kept me pretty busy. My birthday was mid-week, Father’s Day was yesterday, and, unfortunately, earlier in the week we had to put our old lady cat to sleep. She was our last remaining pet, and had inoperable cancer, and she’d made it 18 years, but had let us know that it was time.

Work continues — now that all that is behind me, I have nothing ahead but getting this done (well, that and the World Cup, but I’ve learned to multitask when matches are on!).

I thought I’d take this opportunity to give you a bit of a heads-up on what’s in the pipe for release soon after the core book.

First up, the backer-exclusive release, Legends of the Far West, which is a collection of fully-developed NPCs, each with a collection of adventure and encounter hooks so you can drop them into your games. Since we’ve made the switch over to the D6PLUS system, it’ll also feature a bunch of ready-to-play templates as well — fast-play characters that you can quickly customize, if you don’t want to go through the full character creation process. Great for beginning players or friends who’ve dropped in and want to sit in on a game.

Also ready to go is Black Crow, the FAR WEST card game. By which I mean a card FROM the Far West, not about Far West. It’s an in-setting game — the card game that’s played in saloons and gambling dens all across the Far West. I’ll be talking more about it when we’re ready to release it, but I can tell you that like most things about Far West, it’s a mash-up of Western and Chinese influences. In this case, the game itself is an amalgam of the historical Western card game Three Card Brag, and the Chinese card game Sì Sè Pái (“four color cards”).

Alright — I need to get back to work. As always, I’m available via Twitter, email, etc. if you need to ahold of me.

Talk again soon,

Gareth-Michael Skarka
Lawrence, Kansas
18 June, 2018

FAR WEST – Weekly Check-in

你好, Folks —

Trying to get back onto the schedule, so you’re getting me on Monday AND Friday this week.

Thanks to everybody who contacted me with suggestions for Western inspirography — I’m always open for that kind of thing, so if you’ve got any recommendations, whether they’re shows, films, comics, books, music, whatever… keep them coming! I want the Inspirography section of the rulebook to have TONS of suggestions. I have a bunch already, but the more, the merrier!

One of the suggestions that I got from a few people is a show that I had already seen, the Netflix mini-series GODLESS. It’s so good, I figured I’d pass along that recommendation to any of you who haven’t seen it. The trailer:


A town where almost all of the men died in a mining accident faces predation not only from a wealthy mining company who wants to purchase control of the mine (and hence the town), but from an unhinged outlaw and his gang.

At it’s core, it’s basically the “village must be defended from a bandit army” that has bounced back and forth across the genre lines ever since Kurosawa’s SEVEN SAMURAI, giving birth to THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, SEVEN SWORDSMEN, hell, even BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS — but instead of the trope of ‘hiring professional killers’, the women of the town must save themselves.

Worth checking out.

It’s been a rough week for me — I’m having a devil of a time kicking this cold, and it fired up a bunch of migraines during the week, which has knocked me off my schedule, so I’ll be working through this weekend in an effort to get back in stride.

Before I go, though, I wanted to add this: I’ve been trying to be more open about the trouble I’ve had with anxiety & depression, and today I woke to the news that Tony Bourdain had killed himself. It hit me pretty hard — I admired him as a storyteller and as one of the few folks out there trying to make Americans less terrified and suspicious of other people. It’s a simple fact that when celebrities kill themselves, the suicide rate jumps noticeably. If you’re struggling, please don’t go through it alone. Call 1-800-273-8255 to talk to someone, or text HOME to 741741. (These are in the US — I’m sorry I’m not more familiar with non-US options, which I’m certain exist). The only way to really end pain is to get through it. You’re not alone.

Thanks for listening.

Gareth-Michael Skarka
Lawrence, KS
8 June 2018.