Hawgleg News Archive - 2009 < Back to previous page

White Water, Bloody Boulders released
11th Showddowns & Shootouts Adventure ready for download
May 4, 2009

The river runs wild as a straight-shooting lawman tries to evade the notorious Ghost Canyon Gang on a desperate river ride that can only end in blood! Ambushed while crossing the river on a raft, Marshal Thomas knew he was outgunned, so he cut the guide rope and sent the raft racing down the river… with the outlaws on shore in hot pursuit. It's sink or swim in a race to the death on a river in "White Water, Bloody Boulders!"

It is with great pride – and a sigh of relief – that Hawgleg Publishing announces the long-awaited release of the 11th  adventure in their Showdowns & Shootouts Adventure Writing Contest, "White Water, Bloody Boulders" by Tom Reed.

"I must say that I was surprised to see Mike Mitchell's congratulatory e-mail. I feel very honored to have a second adventure submission of mine picked to join company with all of the other authors' great adventures," Tom said when he heard the news.

Tom is also the author of the seventh adventure in the series, "The Great Drygulch Bank Robbery." By coincidence, that adventure also featured a haggard lawman trying to prevent a gang of outlaws from "rescuing" a prisoner from custody.

"I don't think any of us noticed that the two adventures had a similar theme of a gang rescuing their brother from jail," said Hawgleg partner Mike Mitchell. "We just appreciated the fact that this adventure had a great setting that moved the action in a new and exciting direction."

For this adventure, Tom moved the action from a dusty cow town to a moving gun battle between a raft moving uncontrollably down a river and outlaws on horseback racing along, firing from the river banks.

"I had a really fun time writing and working out the details of this adventure. The inspiration for this particular submission came from a couple of places. First and foremost being the John Wayne movie, Rooster Cogburn, in which he & Katherine Hepburn travel by (Gatling-gun-armed) raft down a raging river, all the while being followed by a gang of outlaws. The second was an episode of Gunsmoke, in which Marshal Dillon and several other people traveled by raft down a similar river," Tom said.

Moving the action out of town was definitely one of the reasons Mitchell voted to include this in the Showdowns & Shootouts collection.

"After a while, I just want my cowboys to leave town and shake things up a bit," said Hawgleg partner Mike Mitchell. "It's also nice to have an adventure that doesn't require any buildings.  Speaking just for myself, I really liked the fact that this adventure left the dusty streets and moved the action to a river. I liked the change of scenery."

That change of scenery, while exhilarating, was also a point of concern for one of the judges.

"I was worried that people might not have the terrain pieces they need to run this game," said Hawgleg partner Paul Mauer. "Not everyone has a giant river that they can use."

Paul's concerns were put to rest when, after a late-night phone call, they agreed to create some River Tiles and include them in a separate Map Pack PDF download, similar to what they did for the previous adventure, "I Hit a Vein!"

"The River Tiles and cardstock raft will help people run this adventure," Paul said.

In addition to including a Map Pack of river tiles, this adventure also includes some new rules and game mechanics:

  • New mechanics for using a deck of playing cards to generate a random river.
  • Rules for swimming (or attempting to swim!) in a river.
  • The effects of drowning.
  • A simple d6 table for determining the effects of water on firearms (here's a clue: gunpowder and water don't mix.)
  • A new vehicle: The Raft

"Like all new rules, weapons, and mechanics introduced in the S&S contest, these should be considered as beta rules. At least for now," explained Hawgleg partner Mike Murphy. "Once the new material has been fully tested, it will be included in a future book or edition. For now, people should use this material, but they should be aware that we may tweak or change things in the future."

Contest Conclusion

"First of all, I want to apologize for how late this adventure is, and for how long this contest has been dragging out," Mitchell said. "When we started this back in 2007, none of us guessed that it would take this long to pull together this material and get it out there."

Mitchell added that many factors contributed to the delay, including a hurricane, family funerals, and Mitchell being hospitalized for a life-threatening infection in his leg.

"Another thing is that Mitchell is such a perfectionist," Paul said. "Most people wouldn't spend this much time on free adventures to post on the Website. Most people would just rush something out, especially for a free download. I don't think Mike is capable of doing that. He spends a lot of time on the graphics, typesetting and editing.  He insists that everything is really high quality."

 The 11th adventure almost brings the contest to a close. The contest always had the stated goal of publishing at least 12 adventures for use with Gutshot. The contest generated about 50 submissions, which gave the three judges a wealth of material to choose from.

"We really couldn't be happier with the quality of the submissions," Mitchell said. "We had so many good ones that it was actually difficult to pick just 12. Honestly, we could have doubled that amount… but I don't think anyone would want to wait until 2012 for us to wrap up this contest."

The judges have already selected the final adventure and have started work on preparing it for publication.  At that time, the judges will select the grand prize, and then open the contest to the public and solicit their votes. If all goes well, the contest should be over by the end of June, and the prizes awarded thereafter.

"This has been a great experience for us and it has generated some incredible adventures for people to download and enjoy. Thanks to everyone who participated; you guys really deserve a round of applause for your hard work and imagination."

Thanks to our sponsors and previous winners.

As with previous winners, Tom is eligible to win part of the more than $500 in prizes, graciously provided by the contest sponsors:

The adventure is available for free download from the contest Winner's Page: www.hawgleg.com/2007_contest_winner.asp

So far, the winner's circle includes: Al Theobald, Ross Edwards, Carmen Cerra, Dan Hash, Lance Gamble, Richard Nelson, Tom Reed, Andrew Collins and Carmen Cerra, Dion Duran, and Tom Reed. In addition to the indescribable thrill and glory of having their names attached to a Hawgleg product, each winner will receive a limited edition ‘La Vaquera’ miniature.

And remember, even though we couldn't possibly select every one for the contest, there are still about 50 great adventures posted in the Hawgleg Forums. Mosey on by and pick up some other great ideas that would be easy to use in your own campaigns: http://www.hawgleg.com/snitz/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=17

Special thanks to this adventure's sponsor:

Hotz Game Mats 

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