Next let’s look at the meat and potatoes (yum-o!) of the book, or the real rules. Westward uses a variation of the OpenD6 system, called Cineme6. It was developed by the guys at Wicked North Games as another flavor of the OpenD6 system. which was popularized by West End Games in their popular game based on the Star Wars movie franchise. Cinema 6 is a method for players to immerse themselves in the action and adventure like they see on movies and TV.
You then have to look at the different factions that occupy Westward. I say factions because there are no separate races on Westward, just different types of factions. You have the Colonials-those who choose to live beyond the main city (Capital City), the Gentiles-those who live within the Capital City, because they know that going outside of the city is dangerous. You have the Settlers, who go out into the badlands to make a go of it. Next you have the Scavengers and the Ferals, who both live either on the fringes of society or well outside society where the strong survive. Lastly you have the Misanthropes-those humans who look normal, but underneath their skin, they have mutations that place them outside of normal Humans. This section spoke to me as the most intriguing, because it gave me a little insight about what you may have to deal with on Westward. Especially the Colonials and Settlers, who to me seem more like the homesteaders of the Old West, braving the wilds to eke out a living and raising a family.
After choosing your trade and faction, next is gender, age, height, and weight. The next thing you choose is your dominant hand which I wondered why at first, then I read further and as I understand it, since C6 is thematic and flowing, defining your dominant hand will affect your gameplay as well as the pace of the game during stressful situations. As in OpenD6, you get 10D to spread among your 5 attributes. If you have any attributes with 3D in them then it is considered an average score. Next you have your derived stats. I am not so sure about derived stats, I see how they make the game more effective, but I still have some issues with them. Your derived stats are HP (STR x3), Initiative (Equal to your DEX score), Move (STR + 3), and Vitality (Equal to your STR score). Players get 7D to spread out among their character’s skills. As in OpenD6, each skill inherits the score of the parent attribute. When you add 1D to the skill, then the skill goes up by that 1D (STR is at 4D, you have the skill JUMP which is at 4D since it’s parent is STR. You spend 1D on the skill, the skill now sits at 5D). Now the kicker is that you can only have at most of 12D in any one skill-you get 6D from the parent, plus 6D worth of training.
One of the things that I am excited about with Westward is the Features section. Features are a way to make characters more distinctive, and for each player to have “their own special snowflake” character. The types of Features are Creation Only, Conditional, General, Dramatic, and Party. They have further defined Features with Limitations because some Features come in multiple versions. Example: Coerce has three levels ( 1, 2, and 3 with their associated costs). When buying a Feature that has different levels, you may only buy it one time, so if you buy Coerce at level 1, then you can’t buy levels 2 or 3.
In my opinion, one of the best aspects is that you can make custom Features for whatever your campaign calls for and what you as the GM will allow. The section on making the Features is short, but information packed, giving concise directions on the steps to create new Features.
What score do I give the guys at WNG for putting out this incredible game? Well let’s be honest…I give the game Westward: a Steampunk Western RPG…A++