New tabletop roleplaying game Gun&Slinger tasks players with seeking answers to important questions. How was the world killed? What manner of beast hunts the Slinger? Why is one character a sentient gun?
Gun&Slinger takes place in what designer Nevyn Holmes describes as a “post-magic” world where the very fabric of reality is constantly mangled by the power of… something. The nature of that existential threat is one of the core mysteries to unravel. Two players take on the role of the Slinger and the Gun - the former is a lone wanderer whose soul is being gradually corrupted by The Twist, while the latter is a consciousness somehow trapped in a metal body meant for violence.
A third participant - and an optional one, as Gun&Slinger can be enjoyed as a duet - fills the role of the Maestro, asking leading questions of the cursed pair and helping to fill the world with strange threats and folks just trying to survive.
"Gun&Slinger is a game that's more important to me than it has any right to be, given it sprang up from a shitpost," Holmes told Dicebreaker. "It's about people, and how they support each other, and also weird fucked-up monsters that want to ruin your day."
Instead of dice, Gun&Slinger uses a deck of playing cards and a “go fish'' model of resolving events. Moves by either character will involve drawing a card from the top of the deck and using the suit, the value or both to define in-fiction how that move affects play. For example, the Gun can move, after a fashion, by blinking itself across the physical world, but doing so is erratic at best. When blinking, the player draws the top card of the deck and shifts a number of feet equal to its value.
The Maestro will use the deck of cards to introduce conflict to the narrative or immediately alter an ongoing scene. The suit and value determines the shape and vector of change, but Holmes explicitly states that all players should collaborate on how it resolves in the fiction.
Holmes launched a Kickstarter campaign for Gun&Slinger last August and achieved full funding in three hours. The project eventually earned $29,545, and a physical core book with three additional expansions from other designers and artists will soon be available to purchase.
Each of these expansions paints the core premise of a cursed, wandering duo with varying thematic hues. The Demon follows a possessed wanderer and the spirit inhabiting their body; Mech x Pilot focuses on a soldier and their machine as they slowly become fused in bitter conflict; and Sword&Bearer pits a defiant revolutionary and their only weapon against the collective will of the ruling class.