Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Character Guide: Lee Van Kliff


Lee Van Kliff BANG! card game character

Character Name: Lee Van Kliff.

Inspired by: Lee Van Cleef, who played in numerous villian roles in Western films, such as the Bad in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Life Points: 4.

Ability Type: Offensive.

Ability: "During his turn, he may discard a BANG! to repeat the effect of a brown-bordered card he just played."

Activation: After he has played a brown card during the playing phase of his turn.

Cards enhanced by Lee Van Kliff's ability: BANG!, Indians!, Springfield, Punch, Gatling, Duel, Beer, Whisky, Tequila, Saloon, Cat Balou, Brawl, Panic!, Rag Time, Stagecoach, Wells Fargo, and General Store.

Good roles for Lee Van Kliff: Outlaw, Deputy, Renegade.

Characters that counter Lee Van Kliff well: Slab the Killer (his attacks are very difficult for Lee Van Kliff to defend, and he doesn't want to store 2 Missed! in his hand anyway), Willy the Kid (Willy the Kid's strong offense can be hard for Lee Van Kliff to respond to), Calamity Janet (her conversion ability allows her to avoid most of Lee Van Kliff's offensive combos), to some extent El Gringo (after taking a hit from his brown card, he has a good chance of stealing the BANG! required for replication from Lee Van Kliff's hand), Jesse Jones (he can steal BANG! from his hand), Belle Star (Lee Van Kliff's defensive cards in play will do him no good against her, and he cannot replicate his cards out of turn), at times Sean Mallory (when he has a good hand built up he can fend off Lee Van Kliff's attacks and fight back), somewhat Apache Kid (when Indians! or diamond BANG! are played against him they have no effect, and neither do their replications; however, a diamond BANG! may be used to replicate the effect of a non-diamond offensive card to hurt Apache Kid), and Flint Westwood (he can swap out a non-BANG! from his hand to hopefully steal BANG! and powerful brown cards Lee Van Kliff was hoping to replicate).

Characters that Lee Van Kliff counters well: Elena Fuente (He can replicate the effects of Duel and Indians! against her, as well as hit her with devastating offensive combos), Gary Looter (Able to discard BANG! to replicate brown card effects makes it quite unlikely he will exceed his card limit), Big Spencer (his ability to almost always produce some sort of offensive combo makes it very unlikely that Big Spencer will be able to protect himself from his attacks).

2-player value: Excellent. While he can no longer gain more life points by replicating the effects of Beer, he should have a very strong offensive position.

General Strategy as Lee Van Kliff: One of the most important things to remember about Lee Van Kliff is that discarding a BANG! does not replicate a card, but its effect. This means that the brown cards that require discarding another card to play them are much more powerful for Lee Van Kliff if he has a BANG! available. If he replicated the card, he would have to discard a card again. But since he replicates the effect, he gets the powerful effect at no extra cost! Thing of how powerful it is to Brawl, Rag Time, or Springfield twice in a row! Or how much health he can regain with a Whisky, or help another ally with a Tequila. Lee Van Kliff should never forget this. One other point on his replicating effects versus cards: if he plays a Wells Fargo or Stagecoach and replicates their effect, a new Wild West Show event card is not brought into play. This only occurs when cards are played, not their effects replicated (see Wild West Show FAQ Q19).

Next, Lee Van Kliff should be aware that he can use his ability as many times as he likes during his turn. No rules in Wild West Show or questions/answers in the FAQ preclude him from doing so. While using his ability more than once is dependent on having 4 brown cards in his hand that can be used during his turn (2 of which would have to be BANG!), this is a definite possibility. This is especially the case when Lee Van Kliff uses cards that allow him to draw more during his turn (besides the obvious ones, don't forget about Derringer or steal cards like Panic!, Conestoga, or Rag Time). Some of these like Wells Fargo and Stagecoach you will definitely want to replicate. The cards drawn will most likely allow you to use his replication ability again during the same turn.

As a final clear up about his ability, when he replicates the effect of a card, he does not have to select the same target with the replication. Thus, I could play a Springfield against one player, and then replicate the Springfield's effect against another player. This is cleared up in the Wild West Show FAQ Q13.

While it is tempting to come out at the beginning of the game with guns blazing, Lee Van Kliff needs to take things slowly if possible. He should not try to make any quick enemies, since his ability will not work in a defensive manner for the most part. He can only use his ability on his turn, and so this eliminates the ability to replicate the effects of out of turn cards like Missed! and Dodge. He can still use his ability to replicate the effects of life point modifiers on his turn, but he cannot use it to replicate last chance Beer (except in rare cases where a last chance Beer was played during Lee Van Kliff's own turn, say to deal with Dynamite or losing a Duel played on on his turn when he is at his last life point). This means that Lee Van Kliff should use the early game to get some important defensive cards in play: defensive sight modifiers, a Barrel, and some defensive green cards. Besides providing defenses, they also keep him from maintaining cards in his hand that he cannot replicate (Missed!, Dodge), making room for more useful cards.

Once those are in place, Lee Van Kliff should try to build up a powerful attack combo. He should try to pair the BANG! with other offensive cards, not wasting a replication on a BANG! unless necessary. Duels are poor choices to replicate as entering into Duels often requires discarding the BANG! he needs for replication. Indians! and Gatling are powerful cards to replicate, but he should remember that they affect his allies as well. Springfield is a beautiful card to replicate if his rival is out of range. Punch can be replicated if it is all you have left. Supplement your replication attacks with green offensive cards if possible. The target of your offensive combo should probably be the weakest link, especially if you are a Deputy or Renegade (or Sheriff), and have a good chance at scoring a card bonus for eliminating an Outlaw. You will probably be able to utilize those cards that turn. You will find that being able to discard BANG! will make it so that you rarely exceed your card limit. Anyway, when hitting your target, think of how your replication ability can be used to weaken his defenses. You can replicate Panic!, Rag Time, Brawl, and Rag Time against your target to remove defensive cards he has in play and that are in his hand. Combine that with an offensive combo and you are in business. When unable to eliminate an enemy, try to keep at least a BANG! in your hand by the end of your turn to protect yourself from Indians!. It is often worth taken the hit from a Duel, if you can afford it, so that you have BANG! ready in your hand.

Playing against Lee Van Kliff: Lee Van Kliff is a very powerful enemy. So powerful, in fact, that many other players—including his unknowing allies—will probably make some efforts to weaken him in the early game. Once it is ascertained which team (if any) he belongs to, there are a few strategies you can use to weaken him. First, remember that his ability only works on his turn. This means that Jail will nullify his ability for a round. It also means that his replicating ability will not work on defensive cards like Missed! or Dodge, and it will not work on out of turn last chance Beers. Of course, he can still use his ability to replicate the effect of Beer (or other life point modifiers) on his own turn. Nonetheless, Lee Van Kliff is more open to attacks than you might expect. He will try to compensate his weaker defensive state with either cards he has in play (Mustang, Barrel, etc.) or a really strong offensive stance. As long as you try to hit him hard, he will be hard pressed to always use his BANG! in offensive ways.

Second, since his replication ability is dependent upon having BANG! in his hand to discard, you can weaken him by removing his BANG!. You can do so by playing Duel, Indians!, and stealing or discarding cards from his hand. Also pay attention to when BANG! appear due to a General Store; make efforts to keep him from getting it, as well as powerful brown cards that he could replicate with a BANG!.

Return to the BANG! Character Guides Portal

General News Update (August 30, 2011)

I apologize that I have not posted on the blog lately with no word of explanation. I have had a wonderful event in my personal life: the birth of my first child, which is definitely (and rightfully) taking the majority of my attention. He is an awesome little guy, and I am a very proud dad (weird word to apply to myself still). However, I did want to post some updates:

Robbers' Roost: I have got Superior POD to commit to developing a color profile for the backs of the playing and character cards. I will mail my copies of cards for them to match this week. This should insure matches to the official card backs as best as possible. As for the custom cutting of the cards, I may have come up with a solution. I will try to front the cost for the cutting of 5 decks to lower the cost of the printing. You will upload the files for your personal copy as a "custom job," which will allow custom pricing to apply to your personal copy (it will add in your share of cutting the cards). Finally, I am trying to convince my sister to draw some awesome art for a tuck box for the expansion.

Death Mesa: Still working on the 12" x 18" French and Spanish translations, and I am working on 8.5" x 11" cardsheets for the Italian translation. A guidebook update should be underway sometime too.

Modding Tools: I am hoping someone will convert the IDML file of the BANG! Master Template for InDesign CS3 using InDesign CS4. Besides this, I have been working on a spreadsheet presenting a detailed analysis of the playing cards used in BANG!, Dodge City, and Robbers' Roost. Should be useful for modders.

Miscellaneous: I am still trying to finish up character guides and card explanations. Lee Van Kliff was put up today as a witness of this.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tutorial: How to Make BANG! Character Cards (Part 2)

News (9/12/11): Added in the missing step for adding in the bullet images for 3/4 life point characters.


With the release of the BANG! Master Template (available for InDesign CS4-CS5), I have wanted to create tutorials that show how to use it. This guide will use the BANG! Master Template, and finish up on the first part of a tutorial that teaches how to make custom BANG! characters. Thus, before reading this tutorial, I recommend you first read the tutorials on how to create and balance a character ability, and how to create a character card image (the first part of this tutorial).

STEP 1: Open up InDesign and load the BANG! Master Template.

I am acting under the assumption that you have downloaded the BANG! Master Template and that you have not made any changes to it. If not, download the template or start with a blank template. Once you have loaded the file, it should look like this (at least in CS5).


STEP 2: Prep the Template for Character Cards.

Make sure the Layers window is open. You should see a list of 28 layers. You should notice which layers are visible due to the eyes being present at the boxes to the far left of the layers. Scroll to the bottom. We are going to prep this character card sheet from the bottom up, making the necessarily layers visible and unnecessary ones invisible. Let's do it in this order:
  1. Turn off the "Brown" layer by clicking on the eye corresponding to that layer.
  2. Turn on the "BORDERS: Character" layer by clicking on the far left box of that layer. An eye will appear, as well as the character border.
  3. Turn off the "Playing" layer.
  4. Turn on the "TITLES: Character" layer.
  5. Turn off the "Playing C" layer.
  6. Turn on the "ART: Character" layer.
  7. Turn off the "Playing Card" layer.
  8. Turn on the "TEXT: Character" layer.
  9. Turn off the "VALUES: Playing," "Hearts," and "Playing Back" layers.
  10. Turn on the "BACKS: Character" layer.

The end result (of the fronts) should be as below.


STEP 3: Add Character Name(s).

Using the Selection Tool (the black looking arrow in the toolbox, shortcut "V"), double-click inside one of the text boxes entitled "NAME." Then, select all of the text (shortcut CTRL+A), and type in the name of your character. NOTE: This you should have picked out earlier; I have tips for this in step 1 of the first part of this tutorial.

If the name is too long for the text box, we will have to scrunch the text. In my example, where I am trying to input "Crazy Wolf" as the name, this is the case. To scrunch the text, select all of the text in the name (CTRL+A inside the textbox again). Then, notice the long horizontal toolbar across the screen, showing typing tool options. We want to adjust the "Horizontal Scale" of the text. The option for doing this is identified by the stretched out T icon.


We want to change the value in the input box to the right. Its default value is 100%. Since our text is too long, we will want to lower that value. Click once in that text box, and then use the down arrow on your keypad to decrease its value until it fits snugly in the text box. For Crazy Wolf, I just had to adjust the Horizontal Scale to 97%.

It is also possible that your name is too short (as in the case of a name like "Jack West"). The names for characters in BANG! are stretched to fit the width of the character art images, unlike the playing cards. To stretch the names, we will again use the Horizontal Scale. Instead of decreasing its value, we will increase the value. Select inside the input box with your cursor and then use the up arrow on your keypad to increase the value. For Jack West, I had to adjust the Horizontal Scale to 108% to fill the text box. The end results look like this.


If you have more than 1 character, keep adding in names into the text boxes entitled "NAME," and adjusting the Horizontal Scales on them as needed.

STEP 4: Add in Character Images.

Using the Selection Tool, select one of the lavender squares undernearth one of the character cards you have named. We are now going to place in the image you created for this character card in the previous part of this tutorial. With the lavender square selected, either select from the top menu File -> Place... or use shortcut CTRL+D.


A window will appear allowing you to select an image to insert. Locate the image, select it, and then click on the highlighted "Open" button.

The chosen image should replace the lavender box, but maintain its dimensions. If the image does not look proportional, then select the image and then use shortcut ALT+SHIFT+CTRL+E. This should fit the content of the image proportionally to the frame. If it still looks off, then your imported image was not square. Either fiddle with it to your liking, or edit the image in Photoshop, so that it is a square. The end results show be like this.


If you have more than 1 character, select on the next lavender box where you want to add a character image, and use the place function to add it in. Adjust the image as necessary.

STEP 5: Add in Character Ability Text.

Using the Selection Tool, double-click inside one of the text boxes with the long string "textextextext...." underneath one of the character cards you have named and provided an image for. Select all of the text in the box (CTRL+A), and delete it. Then replace it with the text for your character ability, which you might have designed in conjunction with this tutorial.


Next, justify the text with the last line aligned left. Do this by selecting all of the text (CTRL+A) and then clicking on the appropriate justification icon. You should notice 8 text orientation icons available amongst the long horizontal bar displaying typing tool options. You will want to click on the one in the bottom left. Afterwards, turn off the hyphenation if that is a problem. Go to Window -> Type & Tables -> Paragraph. A window should appear. In the bottom left there is a check box for hyphenation. Make sure it is empty to disable hyphenation.

If the text is too long, your options are:
  1. Trim the text by getting rid of superfluous words and rephrasing statements in shorter ways.
  2. Adjust the font size. Select all of the text in the textbox (CTRL+A), and then adjust the size by clicking inside the input box for font size. This is in the tool options horizontal bar for the Typing Tool. It is identified by the small T, big T icon. Its default value should be 8. Change this to 7. Directly below that input box is an input box that alters the leading in between lines. Its default value is 9. Change that to 8. If your text still doesn't fit, consider:
  3. Extending the border of the text box a little further down. Click on the bottom border and extend it. If that doesn't work, perhaps:
  4. Make the ability simpler so that it is not as convoluted to explain.

Add in any remaining text for other characters.

STEP 6: Add your Expansion Icon.

By default the wagon wheel icon is in place. Feel free to use this icon as your custom expansion symbol. If you prefer another, I have provided both a cactus icon and a bow and arrow icon. Any of these icons can be swapped out by going to the layers menu, and turning on the "Expansion" layer you like. Turn off the "Expansion" layers you do not like.

You may wish to make your own. If so, follow my tutorial on making your own BANG! expansion icon. If you have the icon ready, go to the layers window and select one of the "Expansion" layers, or create a new layer just below those layers. Either way, with an appropriate layer selected, place (CTRL+D) your custom expansion icon into it. Use the already provided expansion icons as guides for where to place your custom icon. If your icon is too large, simply adjust the image frame so the it is the same size as one of the provided expansion icons. Then use shortcut CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E to resize the custom icon proportionately to the frame. Feel free to fiddle with the image frame and resizing until you get it towards something you like. If you have more than 1 card, simply copy the custom icon (select it and use shortcut CTRL+C) and paste (CTRL+V) a new one. Then move it over to the next card and put it in the appropriate place.

STEP 7: Add in Life Point Bullets.

For each of your characters, you should decide whether they merit having 3 or 4 life points. Typically, very powerful abilities merit 3 life points, while weaker abilities merit 4. Once this has been decided, you can add in the life point bullets by using the "3 LP Bullets" and "4 LP Bullets" layers. First, turn on the "3 LP Bullets" layer. This should make images of 3 bullets appear on each card. We only want those images to appear on the character cards that need it. To remove the others, we need to make the individual images identifiable. Do so by clicking on the right facing arrow next to the "3 LP Bullets" label in the Layers menu. This will reveal a list of 8 elements, each entitled "Bul" with a numerical ending. The number at the end of the element describes the card that it corresponds to. The guide for the numbering is provided in the image for step 8. Turn off all elements that do not correspond to a character card that has 3 LPs. In my example, only Crazy Wolf is a 3 LP character, so I will only keep the element "Bul5" visible.


Now, for the 4 LP characters if you have any. Turn on the "4 LP Bullets" label, which will make 4 bullet images appear over all of the cards. You will notice that these cover up all of the 3 bullet images that were there previously. We will need to turn off all of the elements that do not correspond to 4 LP characters. Do so in a similar manner as we did for the 3 LP images. In my example, only Jack West is a 4 LP character, so I will only keep the element "Bul6" visible. The end result is this:



OPTIONAL STEP 8: Turn Off Unused Material.

You may not fill up an entire card sheet with characters and that is fine. For printing purposes, you will not want superfluous images and texts being printed, and so we should make that stuff invisible. Let us start with the borders. In the layers window, look for the layer entitled "BORDERS: Character." There should be a right-faced arrow to the immediate left of the text label. Click on the arrow to have various layer elements appear. Each of the elements should be labeled "Char" with a 1 through 8 tacked on at the end. These numbers correspond to the 8 cards, as identified in this image:


We will want to turn off all the elements named "Char" that correspond to the unused card numbers. So, in my example I want only "Char5" and "Char6" visible. The rest I should turn off. The result is this:


A similar numbering system is present in most, but not all layers. Text elements to be disabled in all layers are easily identified, since the elements all have the default names ("NAME" or "textextext..."). Turn off all of those superfluous text elements in "TITLES: Character" and "TEXT: Character." In the "ART: Character" layer, turn off all elements with the "" value. Turn off unnecessary expansion icons in your "Expansion" layer (or custom layer).

All that is left is the "BACKS: Character" layer. Scroll down to the next page. Display the layer elements for "BACKS: Character" in the Layers window. While the elements have the familiar numbering system, they correspond to the backs in an inverse way as shown below:


This is needed for making sure the cards print the backs correctly on the right fronts. Just make sure the #s on the fronts you kept visible (in my example, "Char5" and "Char6" were visible) are the same ones kept visible on the backs (thus, only "CharBack 5" and "CharBack 6" should be visible). The result is:


Your card sheet should now have all superfluous material removed.

STEP 9: Export your Card Sheet to PDF.

Now that your card sheet's design is complete, export it to PDF. Do this by selecting File -> Export... from the top menu, or by using shortcut CTRL+E. A window will appear, where you must specify a name and location for the exported file. Click save.

An "Export Adobe PDF" window should appear. Make sure the radio button "All" is selected for Pages. Under the Options area, select "Visible Layers" from the Export Layers dropdown menu. Also check the "View PDF after Exporting" box. We will now need to go to the "Compression" section. Select that label from the lefthand column.


Make sure that in the Color Images and Grayscale Images ections that the downsampling is specified as bicubic to 300 ppi for images above 300 ppi (pixels per inch). Then click on the blue highlighted "Export" button.


When it is done exporting, the PDF file should appear. Your character card sheet is now complete and ready to be printed off. If you wish to keep the design file (recommended), go back to InDesign and save the character card sheet InDesign file under a new name. This way you will have the design file for the characters if you want to make any adjustments in the future, and you will also have a clean Template to make more cards with in the future.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tutorial: Design an Expansion Symbol for BANG! Cards

As new BANG! modders add their own playing and character cards to the game, they will often want to place a symbol in the top right of their cards to distinguish them. The BANG! Master Template provides 3 symbols for use: a cactus, a wagon wheel, and a bow and arrow. However, if you wish to make your own expansion symbol, let me show you here.

STEP 1: Find a simple, unique western-themed symbol.

This first step is quite easy. Your task is to find a symbol that is not already used in BANG! (and hopefully other unofficial expansions). This includes:
  • Buffalo (Dodge City)
  • Man on Horse (Wild West Show)
  • Pistol (Bullet characters)
  • Ox Skull (Robbers’ Roost)
  • Horseshoe (Robbers’ Roost)
  • Vulture (Valley of Shadows)
  • Film Camera (Directors’ Cuts)
  • Cactus (already in BANG! Master Template)
  • Wagon Wheel (already in BANG! Master Template)
  • Bow and Arrow (already in BANG! Master Template)

What are some ideas for other symbols? Here are some suggestions: the cowboy neckerchief, a teepee, dynamite, a scalping knife, a lariat, a windmill, a tombstone, a bag of money, a paw print, and a train. For my example, I will use a paw print.

To find an image, I recommend using an image search engine (Google Image Search works just fine). Type in the name of the icon you are looking for, and then add something like “symbol” on the end.

Google Search Query


Thus, I inputted “paw print symbol” into the textbox. Click on “Search Images.”

Black and White select


You are going to get tons of results. To narrow your results, and get more what you want, select “Black and White” from the list of color options in the left hand column. All expansion symbols are black and white, so this should simplify both finding an image and readying it to place on your BANG! cards.

Scroll through the results until you find something that strikes your fancy.

Image Choice


I settled on this image. Generally, you will want an image that has some size, at least 150 pixels+, but it doesn’t have to be too big, as the symbol is small on the card. Once you have made your selection, click on the image. A small preview image should pop up. You can either copy the preview image if it is high enough quality or click on “Full-size Image” in the right hand column. Copy the image.

Copy Image


STEP 2: Prepping the Image.

Paste Image


Open up Photoshop. Create a New Image, and it should already have the correct dimensions for the copied image set up. Paste the image.Then we are going to need to flatten the pasted image. You can do this by either right clicking on a layer in the layers window and selecting “Flatten Image,” or using the main menu, select Layer -> Flatten Image.

Erase Background


Now, we need to erase the white background. The BANG! expansion symbols have a white border around them, but it is not a big white square block! Select the Magic Eraser tool. Once you have it selected, let us get some of the perimeters set up. First, we want to make sure we erase anything close to white, so let us set the tolerance to “30.” Second, let’s check off both Anti-Alias and Contiguous. Now we only have to select 1 white patch to grab everything else. Feel free to click on a white area. You should now have a transparent area wherever white was before. If not, use the magic eraser on any remaining white areas.

Adjust Canvas Size


Next, we want to make sure that there is room for a white border to go around the symbol. Often, as is the case in my paw print example, some of the black part of the symbol goes to the edge of the canvas. No good—we will need to adjust the Canvas Size. You can adjust the canvas size by selecting Image -> Canvas Size from the menu, or by using shortcut CTRL-ALT-C. Make sure that there is at least a 10 pixel buffer between the edge of your symbol and the edge of the canvas. I gave a 15 pixel buffer in my example.

Blending Options


We are ready to add on the white border. Right click on your current layer, and then select “Blending Options…” In the window that appears, there should be a list of checkbox options.

Stroke Settings


At the bottom is an option entitled “Stroke.” That is the one we want: check the box. There is probably a red border around the image now. We will change that soon. If you select the “Stroke” option in the left hand column, a menu of options should appear to the right. We are going to first change the color to white. Click on the color palette, and then select the color white (top left hand of the color spectrum). If this border is at all grainy, and does not hug the black part of your symbol perfectly, you need to go back to the Magic Eraser step and increase the Tolerance. Too much off-white still remains on the symbol, and so the border is wrapping the black poorly (the off-white is getting in the way).

Otherwise, move on to adjusting the size of the stroke. The exact amount will depend on the size of your image. For one like mine, I adjusted the size to 10 pixels. Click “OK.”



The image is now ready. Save the image to the folder where you store your BANG! playing card images.

STEP 3: Place Expansion Image in your Cards as your Design Program Dictates.

A Fistful of Cards: Designer's Notes

A Fistful of Cards BANG! Prototype

This is the next in a series of articles on the development of BANG!. The expansion "A Fistful of Cards" was developed in response to both the success of the High Noon expansion and a desire to put something special together for the 2005 edition of BANG!. DaVinci games and its international partners decided to include the BANG! community on this one, soliciting proposals for new event cards in the vein of High Noon. After over 500 proposals came in, it was up to Emiliano Sciarra (the designer of BANG!) to pick which event cards were to be a part of the expansion. He was supposed to pick at least 1 card from each country where one of DaVinci's international business partners resided.

Sciarra recalled that the process of finishing A Fistful of Cards on time was laborious. The selection process was fun. While some cards, such as Ambush, were submitted multiple times, others such as Dead Man or Vendetta quite surprised him. However, testing and writing careful text for each of the event cards (so as to avoid loopholes) was quite difficult. Sciarra believed the expansion had overall a mixed result: some cards were fun, brutal, and others unbalanced. The last card in particular was brutal, but provided the internal clock for BANG! that Sciarra had wanted.

For the full article (Italian only), visit the article at Sciarra's homepage.

Friday, August 19, 2011

BANG! Community: Forum and Links

BANG! Community

One of my goals in the BANG! Blog is to enhance and support the BANG! community. Thus, I have made efforts to provide both modding tools and tutorials to help modders create their own fan expansions. I have been working diligently to translate my projects (like Death Mesa) into other languages. On the blog I have made comments open on almost all posts, and tried to give thorough responses. Eventually, I hope to perhaps organize online games (and perhaps even tournaments) when the BANG! Video Game comes out of multiplayer beta.

BANG! Blog Forum. To further help with community interaction, I have created an online forum. Here, questions can be posted on Death Mesa, Robbers' Roost, BANG! Strategy, BANG! Modding, and suggestions can be given for the site. Miscellaneous topics are posted, ranging from sharing new variants, discussing how to balance characters, exploring production issues, and so forth. I hope this will be a useful resource for you.

Links. While I hope to make the BANG! Blog your #1 BANG! resource, there are other sites on the web that provide valuable files, modding tools and expansions, answers to questions, and so forth, that are worth checking out. Check out the list I compiled below with a descriptions of their assets.
  • BANG! on Board Game Geek. This site provides a large amount of resources. This includes technical information about the game, creative images, player aids, a collection of reviews, custom expansions (old), rules translations, links, and video. In the end, however, the great thing about BGG is the forums, and the conversations available there.

  • Emiliano Sciarra's Site. Sciarra, BANG!'s designer, recently released a new version of his site. Besides being more aesthetically pleasing, it provides a lot of information about BANG!: technical card by card information, the development and history of the game and its expansions, FAQs, some strategy suggestions, and other information. While a lot of it is translated into English, quite a bit of it is also only in Italian. Nonetheless, it should be a rewarding visit. Sciarra even mentioned the BANG! Blog on his site, noting the strategic analyis of the game I provide here. So I thank him for his notice!

  • dV-Giochi. The main publisher and rights holder to BANG!. This site provides some helpful rules and FAQ downloads, BANG! news, and also has some useful forums. There is one dedicated to new card ideas that might be of use to modders. As with the BANG! card game itself, there is a mix of Italian and English here. So use your Google Translate where necessary. Finally, I believe the dV-Giochi site is the only place where you can purchase blank character and playing cards at the moment. Unfortunately, international shipping of the cards is still astronomical.

  • Edge Entertainment. The Spanish publisher to BANG!. This slick-looking site provides a few downloads, but it is mostly the very active forums that make this site a great place to visit. Besides getting answers to rules, there are many great and skilled modders at work at Edge Ent.

  • BANG! Directors' Cuts. Home of a new Spanish unofficial expansion to BANG! designed by Django. I have been working with him on an English translation. The site explains both the rules to BANG!, and gives a detailed presentation and discussion of the cards added in the custom expansion. Also included are some shots of physically produced copies.

  • BANG.cz. Probably the oldest of the BANG! fan sites. It is a Czech-English site, with some impressive offerings, such as creating the original El Dorado expansion. I updated and translated this expansion into English. Martin Blasko, the designer of the Valley of Shadows expansion, operates from this site. Bang.cz offers the BANG! Card Generator, which allows modders to quickly design custom cards. Due to its significant limitations, I depricate its use for the serious modder (try out the BANG! Master Template instead), but it will still be very useful for the casual one because of its speed. Besides this, bang.cz provides some excellent downloads of rules, FAQs, custom expansions, and so forth. It also has some active forums, but these are pretty Czech-exclusive. An English post occurs probably once every month or two. Sadly, Google Translate is far less proficient in Czech.

  • BANG! Video Game. Official site of the BANG! cross-platform video game, developed by Palzoun and Spinvector. It provides some news, trailers, faqs and most importantly provides a place to puchase the video game. The multiplayer aspect of the video game is currently in beta testing. For more information on the video game, I recommend checking out the video game's Facebook page, which is far more active.

  • BANG! on La Tana dei Goblin. Fan page on an Italian game site. Like Edge Ent and the Bang.cz forums, the comments, reviews, and discussions here are exclusively non-English. There are some useful Italian downloads here, but this site is far less expansive than BGG or bang.cz.

  • BANG!/Wanted on Jeux 2 Rody. Game Page page on a French gaming site. Has some useful downloads, rules, and links for the French BANG! player.

  • BANG! on Wikipedia. Last, and also least, is the Wikipedia page for BANG!. While the link is for the English page, there are also pages in Italian, French, Spanish, German, and Czech. Speaking of the content on the English page, it provides general information on the rules (inc. tournament), cards, characters, and strategy of BANG!. This is followed by a description of official and unofficial expansions to BANG!, and some notes on the BANG! video game.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Valley of Shadows: New Czech Expansion for BANG!

BANG! Valley of Shadows Promo Card

News (11/20/11): Revised the translations of the cards with Martin Blasko's help. See the changes and clarifications in the translation below.


Martin Blasko, with Dv-Giochi's blessing, has finished a Czech expansion to BANG! with their local publisher ALBI. It is only out in Europe (in Czech only), and no shipping is provided by the publisher to the United States. However, I have been working with Blasko to have decks shipped to the United States. If you have any interest in a copy, e-mail me and I will try to work something out.

I have worked with Blasko to provide an English translation of Valley of Shadows. The expansion does not add any new mechanics to the game; all cards are the typical blue, brown, and character cards. There will not be any new green cards. Here are 2 examples of how the cards look in Czech.

BANG! Valley of Shadows Ghost and Escape Cards


I will be providing a translation that can easily be printed over stickers to be applied to the czech titles and text. Instead of stickers, you could also print the translation off on paper and lay it over the cards in card sleeves (or tape the paper cut-outs to the cards; not an optimal choice for shuffling).

Characters:
  1. Mick Defender (4 LP): When Mick is the sole target of any card besides BANG!, he may play a Missed! to avoid that card's effect. NOTE: This would apply to Knife, Punch, Buffalo Rifle, Springfield, Derringer, Pepperbox, Panic!, Cat Balou, Duel, Rag Time, Conestoga, Can Can, Bounty, and Prison.

  2. Evelyn The Bang (4 LP): This one is hard to understand. Apparently, During her drawing phase, she may draw 1 less card to Punch. Punch, of course, means she is banging! a player seen at distance 1.

  3. Henry Block (4 LP): Anytime a player discards or steals a card Henry has in play or in his hand, Henry fires a BANG! at that player. NOTE: Blasko specifies that this BANG! does interact with abilities, cards in play, etc.

  4. Lemonade Jim (4 LP): Each time another player plays a Beer, Lemonade Jim may discard a card to regain 1 life point.

  5. Colorado Bill (4 LP): Anytime a player avoids his BANG!, Colorado may "draw!" On spades, his target immediately loses a life point.

Brown Cards:
  1. Spray: BANG! both a player of your choice and a player adjacent to him.

  2. Wild Bunch: All other players must discard a BANG! or lose 2 cards from their hands, their choice.

  3. Last Beer: Regain 1 life point. NOTE: What makes this card different from a normal Beer is that it can be played when only 2 players remain.

  4. Tornado: Each player must set aside 2 cards from his hand and pass them to the player to his left. NOTE: The passing is done simultaneously.

  5. Return Fire: 1st Effect: Missed!. 2nd Effect: Your attacker is the target of a BANG!

  6. Tomahawk: Bang! a player seen within distance 2.

  7. Poker: All other players must discard a card if they can. If none of those cards is an Ace, you may draw up to 3 of the discarded cards.

  8. Escape: When you are the sole target of any card besides BANG!, play Escape to avoid that card's effect. NOTE: It is essentially like Mick Defender's ability above.

  9. Twin Shot: Play with a BANG!. If your target does not evade that BANG! he loses 2 life points.

  10. Saved!: Play out of turn to prevent any player from losing a life point. If this saves another player from elimination, draw 2 cards from his hand.

Blue Cards:

  1. Ghost: Play in front of an eliminated player. That player returns to life without a character ability and no way to gain or lose life points. Besides this he plays as a normal player. NOTE: elimination would occur when the Ghost card is discarded or stolen from him.

  2. Shotgun (Gun, Distance 1): Whenever you hit a player with a BANG!, that player must discard a card of his choice from his hand, if possible.

  3. Machete (Weapon, Distance 1): During your turn, you may play any card except Missed! as a BANG!.

  4. Bounty: Play in front of a player. If he is hit by a BANG!, his attacker draws a card.

  5. Rattlesnake: Play in front of a player. At the beginning of his turn, that player "draws!" On spades, he loses a life point. Otherwise, he passes the Rattlesnake to his left.


Well, those are the cards included in Valley of Shadows. 3 of the 5 characters are defensive; 2 offensive. They look far less OP than the Wild West Show characters, which is encouraging. The playing cards, on the whole, are quite offensive, and should lead to more devastating attacks that will favor the more offensive characters and roles in my opinion. It will be interesting to see how many of the cards from the base game will be added to balance out these cards. Anyway, I will keep you posted on any new information on this foreign official expansion!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Boot Hill Characters



While posting on the design of the Dodge City expansion to BANG!, I noted how some of the early characters in the draft were axed. I speculated that this probably included the Boot Hill characters. Some have asked regarding the Boot Hill characters, and I thought I would share them in more detail here. Feel free to check out the larger image above for a more close up look on the characters.
  1. Judge Dread (4 LPs): At the end of his turn, if he had less than 2 cards in hand, he drew 1 card.

  2. Juan Miranda (4 LPs): Each time he was hit, he could "draw!": on Hearts or Diamonds, the character who hit him had to play a Missed! card or lose 1 life point.

  3. Dynamite Dick (4 LPs): He was unaffected by the Dynamite. During his turn, he could draw the Dynamite from the discard deck.

  4. Dalton Gang (3 LPs): They might hold in their hand twice the normal allowed number of cards, and they began with 6 cards in hand.

  5. July Ann Winslow (4 LPs): In her turn, she drew until she had up to 4 cards in her hand.

  6. Heremy Baile (3 LPs): Each time a player drew a card from his hand or in play in front of Jeremy, that player had to lose 1 life point.

  7. Will Penny (4 LPs): Each time he was about to lose a card from the hand or in play in front of him, he could choose which card to lose.

  8. Tharley Callum (4 LPs): In her turn, she could see the cards in the hand of any one player.

  9. Captain Barrett (2 LPs): At the beginning of the Sheriff's turn, he drew 2 cards from the deck.

  10. Matthew Hazard (4 LPs): Instead of "draw!", he could discard a card from his hand nad use it as the result of the "draw!".

BANG! modders and character designers have reintroduced these characters intentionally and unintentionally. While making this post, I was surprised to see how similar Will Penny's and Juan Miranda's abilities were to ones I thought of for the new Jack West. Anyway, I hope these eliminated character ideas will provide you with some food for thought in character design.

High Noon: Designer's Notes



This post follows up on posts I have done on the history and design of Dodge City and BANG!. Today, I will be covering Sciarra's account of how he designed his High Noon expansion. Frequent bloggers will remember how much I hate the event card expansions to BANG!, but reading Sciarra's account of his restrictions on making an expansion softens my criticism. DaVinci games asked Sciarra to design a light expansion for BANG!, which could have "no more than 32 cards, no new characters, few new symbols, and, if possible, no text on the cards. Moreover, the expansion cards could not be shuffled together with the old ones." With these restrictions, it is no surprise that Sciarra had to develop a superstructure to the existing game mechanics for the new cards.

Sciarra toyed around with exploiting the poker symbols on the cards, but this movement slowed down the game. It is interesting to note that Death Mesa, which originally utilized card values and suits intensely, shifted to using just the colors of the suits due to the same problem. Another clever idea Sciarra came up with (captured in the image of the handwritten note above) was to have 24 different cards which corresponded to the hours of the day. While Sciarra doesn't state this, it would have been neat to have event cards that remained for the whole hour it corresponded with, and only shifted in real time. Thus, when you played BANG! could drastically affect rules. Of course, the cards would have to have been different than those which actually came out in High Noon. Eventually, Sciarra narrowed down the cards to 12, and gave each a distinct global effect. To make these cards more varied, he made them all with written text.

The cards had different inspirations, some from friends' suggestions. Sciarra noted how the High Noon card itself (the one having each player lose 1 life point at the beginning of his turn) was derived from the "Armageddon Clock Rule" utilized in Magic tournaments to stop lengthy matches. With the 12 best cards nailed down, 3000 prints were made of the small expansion, and it was sold for 2-3 euros! Sciarra noted how it was often given away free at conventions to anyone who bought BANG!. It was amazingly successful, selling out soon after, and sought obsessively for until reintroduced in The Bullet. High Noon cards received a new border in the Bullet edition.
Read the full article on the design of High Noon.

Found this article interesting? Read the history of the development of BANG!, Dodge City, and A Fistful of Cards.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Design: BANG! Master Template (8.5" x 11")

News (8/23/11): I have added an IDML file to make the template compatible with InDesign CS4. Just download the IDML file and paste it in the same directory as the CS5 Master Template file. Then, open it in CS4. Unfortunately, I do not have CS4 to make it compatible with CS3. If someone has CS4 and can convert the IDML to an INX format (and e-mail it to me or post it in the forum), I would greatly appreciate it.

BANG! Master Template Shot 1


As I have worked at modding BANG! for over a year, I have developed tools for myself that have helped speed up my projects. Many of these I have made available to the public to help them with their own BANG! modding, such as providing fonts, borders, symbols, art packs, and so forth. One thing that I had not done was provide a good template for designing BANG! cards. While some may use and enjoy the BANG! Card Generator, I find it way too confining, and it does not produce a high enough quality for my taste. There is also a Magic Set Editor template, but I dislike it for similar reasons.

Today, I hope to provide another solution for BANG! modders, which is far more flexible and provides a higher quality result. On the flip side, I am sure that designing cards with my template will be more time consuming. I have created a master template for BANG! cards in InDesign. While I did this in CS5, you should be able to use it in CS4 (if you download the IDML file). Unfortunately, I do not have CS4 to convert it to an INX format for CS3 users. If someone else could make this available, I would greatly appreciate it.

The template is specifically designed for plaincards.com card sheets, which I believe are a good starting point for a BANG! modder. They allow 8 cards per page. I am sure you can use the template for other card sheets too, or just use it to print on heavy card stock. You will have to tell me how you have been able to utilize it. Anyway, the template comes with 28 different layers, which allow you to customize each of the 8 cards to your liking, such as is shown below.

BANG! Master Template Shot 2


BANG! Master Template Shot 3


Customization includes:

  • 8 border colors (brown, blue, gun, green, character, grey from Death Mesa, and orange and purple from Robbers' Roost). These borders are numbered to correspond with the right card for easy modification.

  • Character/Playing Card Titles (Sized correctly: 21 pt for Character Cards and 35 pt for Playing Cards, which are also scrunched like the official cards to about 72.5%).

  • Artwork for Character/Playing Cards (Arranged appropriately for their corresponding titles).

  • Text Box descriptions for Character/Playing Cards (Boxes smaller for Playing Cards, so that they do not overlap with suits and values).

  • 3 Custom expansion symbols: cactus, wagon wheel, and bow and arrow (to help you sort and distinguish your custom cards).

  • Layer for Playing Card symbols. These will have to be "placed" into the template, but the symbols are helpfully packaged in with the template. Look for the "Symbols" sub-folder. The symbols have been darkened and also renamed to be more intuitive for the modder (I apologize for the strange names in the old pack).

  • 3/4 Life Point images for Character Cards. If you want to go beyond 3, you can easily "place" a copy of the image below the 3/4 life point image, and adjust it to get any number that you want.

  • Text values for Playing Cards.

  • Suits (spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs) for Playing Cards. These, like the borders, are numbered to correspond to the appropriate card.

  • Character/Playing Card backs. These images are properly spaced and inverted, so that you can easily print the front side, flip the card sheet over, and print the back. The numbering of the backs to the cards will help escape any confusion.

Enclosed within the template folder is also 3 fonts used for the BANG! playing and character cards: Perdido (for the title), Palatino Linotype (for descriptions), and Microsoft Himalaya (for the text values). In the future I will update the template, so that it includes event card borders (with new colors to avoid confusion), and the event card font Playbill. I hate event cards, so I suppose that is why I did not bother to include them in the initial release. Forgive. I may also release an 18" x 12" template in the future.

In the upcoming weeks, I plan to provide some simple tutorials, which show how to utilize the template to make cards of various kinds. In the mean time, feel free to experiment with the file. I would appreciate any criticism of the template, so that I can improve it in further updates.

Download the BANG! Master Template for InDesign

Friday, August 12, 2011

Robbers' Roost: New Card Sheets Ready for Prototype

BANG! Robbers' Roost Finished Card Sheets


I have finally finished the 5 18" x 12" cardsheets for Robbers' Roost with all of the different modules in place. Next week I will make my first order with a printing service, and try to get the right color balance for the backs. When I get the cards, I will make sure to post photos. Then, I will finish up card changes, and any adjustments necessary from looking at the prototype.

Robbers' Roost: Character Edits and Playtesting Request

I have reworded and adjusted the abilities of several Robbers' Roost characters. This was done to avoid confusion, as well as for balance. Here are the changes:

Lil' Sure Shot: She carries 2 guns by default (2 Colt .45), and can fire both on her turn. She can play 2 gun cards, even if they are duplicates. Once she has 2 gun cards in play, only 1 BANG! is needed to fire both.

Adjustments here make her more competitive with Willy the Kid. Willy can play any number of BANG! at distance 1 at the beginning of the game. Lil' Sure shot can do 2 at distance 1 at the beginning of the game. A gun card will increase Willy's range for all his BANG!; a gun card increases Lil' Sure Shot's range for 1 of her BANG!. However, once she has 2 gun cards, only 1 BANG! is needed to fire both her guns. Finally, to fit more thematically were Lil' Sure Shot's dual-wielding ability, I specify that she may have a duplicate gun card in front of her.

Queen Anne: She may discard 2 cards with bang! symbols to discard a card from any player she sees within distance 2.

Earlier, I adjusted her ability so that she had to discard 2 BANG!, but I have broadened it so that it applies to any 2 cards with bang! symbols. These can be from her hand or ones she has in play (green cards). So, she can use her ability slightly more often (at least without nixing all of her BANG!), but still at the expense of knocking out her fire power.

Laura Billion: After she uses a green, brown, or purple card, place the card in front of her. At the end of her turn, she may select 2 and “draw!” On royals, Laura draws the 2 into her hand at the beginning of her next turn.

Laura's ability is now optional, and the "drawing!" (like in the previous change) only occurs once (this helps balance her better against John Pain). So that she does not get an undue obscene benefit (5 cards gained by the "draw!"), I have made it so she can only receive 2 of her choice.

Porter Rockwall (previously Porter Rockwell): He may discard 2 cards to discard a BANG! or play a BANG! at any player, regardless of distance. BANG! that are played do contribute to his BANG! limit.

Simple rewording for clarity's sake.

Anne Rogers: At the start of her turn, Anne can copy the effect of a blue card in front of another player, so that it is as if she possesses its benefit. At the start of her next turn, this benefit disappears.

Anne's ability and wording was changed, so as to avoid any complications with duplicate card "possession" (if she copies a gun card, did she lose her previous weapon? What happened if she copied a Mustang and had a Mustang?). Now, she copies the effect of the blue card. This gives her some interesting stacking bonuses: she could have a Mustang in play and copy another player's Mustang to be seen by others at a distance +2. She could have a Volcanic out and copy a Winchester. Then, she could keep her Volcanic, but choose to shoot at a player she sees at distance 5. If this was done, she could only fire 1 BANG! for her turn.

Maggie Mae: If the second card she draws is royal, Maggie may swap a card she has in play for a card another has in play. Maggie must show that the second card she drew was royal immediately if she wishes to use this ability.

Mostly reworded her ability, but I wanted to point out some powerful results of her ability that I need to spell out in the guidebook. A powerful, but not obvious, consequence of her ability is how she can benefit from green and purple cards. The swapping of the cards does not mean that she steals the card and then plays it. The card garnered from swapping remains in play the whole time. This means she can swap for a green card and use it that turn. Similarly, swapping for a purple card means the immediate effect will not occur, only the latent at the beginning of her next turn. This is extremely beneficial for avoiding initial effects requiring a sacrifice, such as Investment, Loan, and Moonshine. Thus, she could hurt a player significantly by swapping out a card for 1 of those 3. She would get the highly beneficial latent effect without the initial sacrifice, and the player she swapped with still had to pay the initial cost!

Finally, there is the issue of Jack West. I had created a special ability for a character that will be used in the upcoming Czech expansion published by Albi (Valley of Shadows). I don't mind the overlap, but to make Robbers' Roost as unique as possible for all players, I thought every ability should try to be unique. As a result, I am working on a new character ability. I would like your feedback on which one you like most.

  1. The first possibility is a resistance to steals/discards. I could see this coming in 1 of 2 forms: (a) Whenever another player tries to steal or discard a card he has in play, Jack takes that card into his hand. A card is selected at random from his hand to be stolen or discarded. If the initially selected card is not chosen, it returns to play. (b) Whenever another player tries to steal or discard a card from his hand or in play, Jack chooses which card he loses. However, the chosen card must be in play if the initially selected card was in play; likewise, if the initially selected card was in his hand.

  2. Another possibility is a card disabling ability. It would run something along the lines of: "During his turn, Jack may discard 2 cards to disable any card (take it out of play). Flip the card over, so its back is showing to indicate that it is disabled. The card may be reactivated by its owner discarding 2 cards on his turn. However, Jack may reactivate his cards at no cost on his turn." Disabling is a new effect that has not been used in BANG! before. It nullifies a card temporarily, but does not remove it from its owner. However, it does take it out of play, and so a player may put in play another copy of that card. If the disabled card was reactivated, one of them would have to be discarded. Also, being out of play, the disabled card cannot be stolen or discarded. This is beneficial for Jack, since he could disable his Volcanic, and play a different gun card to reach a player further away. Also, he could prepare a backup Mustang or Barrel, in case he has one stolen/discarded.

  3. A card drawing ability: "If he plays and uses cards of only 1 suit during his phase 2, he draws a card at the end of his phase 3. If the drawn card is the same suit he was playing and using during phase 2, he draws another."

  4. A powerful defensive/offensive ability: "Anytime Jack is hit by another player, he may "draw!" On royals, his attacker loses a life point." Jack would definitely only have 3 life points if he was given this ability. This defensive ability could be inverted, so that "Anytime Jack hits another player, that player must "draw!" On spades, that player loses another life point."


Any opinions on which 1 you think is best? I prefer one of the first or second options myself, but I am interested to see what you think.

__

To the next item of business! I need to have the Robbers' Roost characters playtested before I have people printing them off using printing services. If I updated 2 8.5" x 11" card sheets with them, would anyone bother printing them out, playing with them, and reporting how the play tests go?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Directors' Cuts Expansion

News (11/17/11): Added the characters Pat Garrett, Django and Loco, the blue card Shotgun, and the event cards Coffin, Gift, Massacre, Final Hour, and Accident.

News (9/20/11): Added the character Sartana, the blue card Memento, and the event card Independence Day.

News (9/12/11): Added the event card Corrupt Sheriff, and the brown cards Union Pacific and Ace Up Your Sleeve.


Director's Cut is an unofficial expansion to BANG! the card game, designed by Django (I actually don't know his real name; this is his user name on the forums at Edge Entertainment). Thematically, it tries like the Wild West Show expansion to focus on the western actors and filmmakers, instead of historical western figures. He also focuses on classic scenes from western films, trying to incorporating them into the cards.

Like Robbers' Roost, Director's Cut is an ambitious project. It is the only other unofficial expansion to offer playing and character cards, and thus has to deal with the color management/card size problem. While Director's Cut does not add new gameplay mechanics (like the green cards in Dodge City), it does introduce several new clever character abilities and playing cards. Freddie Sikes (Old Sikes), for instance, has an ability sort of like Bill Noface. Instead of gaining more cards for each life point he is missing, the distance by which he is seen by others increases for each life point he is missing.

Unlike Robbers' Roost, Director's Cut adds a new deck of event cards to the game. I confess that I am not a fan of event cards, but if you are, I think you will really like Director's Cut for adding more to BANG! Overall, one of the most impressive things about Director's Cut is the immense amount of time spent on the art. Like I tried to do in Robbers' Roost, Django has tried to make his character art match the style of the official BANG! characters. In my opinion, his artwork is better than mine too. Regardless, he has even made the effort to make the playing and event cards in the same style as BANG! as well. He has achieved this by extracting elements from the existing BANG! playing and event cards, and collaging them together to create new art. This had been, I am sure, quite a painstaking process. I salute him for executing it so superbly.

Here at the BANG! Blog I hope to both draw attention to his excellent work, while at the same time providing an English translation of his cards (since his work is in Spanish). I hope to work with him on a full translation to help promote his expansion to a wider international audience. Below I will add snippets of his card art for you to appreciate, as well as the English translations of the text. Django has been quite open to criticism, and so I hope that you will critique his card ideas both below in the comments section or at his Director's Cut site. I have also left some options open for card titles, since I am not certain which I like best. Feel free to throw in your vote on a title.

Event Cards

True FriendTrue Friend. Each player gets another character. At the beginning of each turn he chooses which one is active. The new character has the same distance constraints. If one of the characters dies, so does the other.
Haze/Cloud
Haze/Cloud. The distance at which players see others is increased by 1.
Bounty/Wanted
Bounty/Wanted. The Sheriff places a bounty of 5 cards on the elimination of a player of his choice.
HangingHanging. If a player does not get out of jail, he must "draw!" a second time. Unless it is a heart, he dies. The player that played Jail is responsible for his death.
Bank RobberyBank Robbery. When this card comes into play each player, in a clockwise order beginning with Sheriff, must discard a BANG! or Missed!, or lose a life point. This goes on continuously until only 1 player in a cycle discards a card. That player draws 10 cards and does not have to discard down to his card limit at the end of his next turn. However, there is now an additional 3 card bonus for eliminating him anytime during the game.To the Death
To the Death. If a Duel is played, the loser is eliminated.
Dust StormDust Storm. Each player that has cards in play must discard them, or lose 1 life point for each card he chooses to keep.ZombiesZombies. Eliminated players return to life with 2 cards and 2 life points, but they have no abilities and can never have more than 2 life points. They must kill their killer (if he is not another zombie) and the Sheriff to win. The only cards that can hurt them are hearts.
Gamble/RouletteGamble/Roulette. Each player skips phase 1 of his turn, and instead must bet any number of cards (up to the amount of cards he has in his hand and in play) on whether or not the card on top of the deck is red or black. "Draw!" If he is correct, he draws as many cards as he bet. If he is wrong, he must discard that many.Bucked Off/Bucking Bronco
Bucked Off/Bucking Bronco. At the beginning of his turn, any player with a Mustang must "draw!" Unless it is a heart, that player loses 1 life point and discards the Mustang.
Injured/WoundedInjured/Wounded. If a player is hit by a BANG!, he must "draw!" On diamonds, he loses a life point and must "draw!" again until he either does not "draw!" a diamond or dies.Happy Hour/Burlesque/Saloon DanceHappy Hour/Burlesque/Saloon Dance. When this card is brought into play, each player must "draw!" All players that "drew!" hearts must rotate places in a clockwise order.
Seventh Cavalry
Seventh Cavalry. When this card is brought into play, the Sheriff may choose any number of players to become the targets of 2 BANG!.
Miracle ElixirMiracle Elixir. At the beginning of their turn, each player must "draw!" On hearts, he gains 2 life points. On diamonds, he draws 2 cards. On clubs, he loses his character ability for the turn. On spades, he loses a life point.Fog of WarFog of War. If Indians! are played, 2 BANG! must be discarded in defense. Otherwise, a life point is lost for each BANG! not discarded.BetrayalBetrayal. All players except the Sheriff turn in their role cards. These roles are shuffled and dealt out at random.
ContrabandContraband. When this card comes into play, each player may discard his gun card in play to draw 3 cards. For each card exchanged, place a discarded Indians! back into the deck and then shuffle it.NitroglycerineNitroglycerine. During this round, Dynamite explodes on both 2-9 of spades and 2-9 clubs.CompassionCompassion. Bang! may not be played against players with no cards in their hands.Hunting AmmoHunting Ammo. BANG! produce 2 hits during this round.
Love SongLove Song. Whenever a player plays a card, he must sing the description of that card to the beat of a song. Otherwise, the played card has no effect.Corrupt SherriffCorrupt Sheriff. Each player must give 1 card to the Sheriff during their drawing phase.Independence DayIndependence Day BANG! may be discarded to play Beer.CoffinCoffin. At the beginning of his turn, each player except the Sheriff may opt to regain 1 life point instead of playing during his turn. Whoever does so will be considered by others as eliminated until his next turn.
AccidentAccident. Any player that plays a BANG! must "draw!" On spades, his attack misses his target and he immediately loses 1 life point and must discard a gun card if he has one in play.MassacreMassacre. Whenever 1 player eliminates another, he draws 3 cards on top of any other bonuses.GiftGift. Once during his turn, a player may give a card from his hand to another.Final HourFinal Hour. All players see each other at distance 1 by default, but this is modified by cards in play. During their turns, players may only play BANG! or put guns in play.

Brown Cards


Backfire/Rebound/DeflectionBackfire/Rebound/Deflection. 2 Effects: Missed! and BANG! a player you see at distance 1.Ace Up Your SleeveAce Up Your Sleeve. Draw the card on top of the discard pile.Union PacificUnion Pacific. Draw 4 Cards.

Blue Cards


Peace PipePeace Pipe. Indians! do not effect this player.Packing MulePacking Mule. You may carry 4 more cards in your hand than your life points allow. However, you may not have any horse in play at the same time as Packing Mule.Hidden WeaponHidden Weapon. You can have 2 weapons in play, and play a BANG! with each during your turn.Sun GlareSun Glare. Like Jail, this card is played in front of a player. At the beginning of his turn, he "draws!" On hearts, discard Sun Glare and play normally. Otherwise, he sees other players at a distance -1 until the end of his turn. He then discards Sun Glare.
MementoMemento. All clubs you play, use, discard, or "draw!" are converted into hearts.ShotgunShotgun. Gun, Distance 1. 2 Missed! must be played to avoid BANG! fired from this gun.

Director's Cut Characters


ViennaVienna. 4 Health. Once on her turn, she can play any brown card as a Duel.Colonel MortimerColonel Mortimer. 4 Health. He can play a diamond BANG! at any player, regardless of the distance at which he sees that player.Elder BrothersElder Brothers. 4 Health. At the beginning of the game, you get 4 other characters, which have only 1 life point each. Flip over and play with the first you received. Upon losing a life point, replace that character with the next one in order. If you regain a life point, revert to the character you played with before losing the life point.John FordJohn Ford. 4 Health. Once on his turn, he may discard a BANG! to force another player to change his character with the character that player uses as a life point counter.
Old SikesFreddie Sikes/Old Sikes. 3 Health. For each life point he is missing, the distance by which he is seen by others is increased.JoeJoe. 4 Health. Whenever a player discards or steals a card from Joe, he may play a BANG! against that player. If that player takes a hit, Joe regains the card that was removed from him.Sergio LeoneSergio Leone. 4 Health. Once during his turn he may discard a BANG! to swap out a discarded event card for the card on top of the event deck.Emma SmallEmma Small. Whenever she plays a BANG! that produces a hit, she draws a card.
Rooster CogburnRooster Cogburn. 4 Health. He can have 2 weapons in play and fire a BANG! with each during his turn.SartanaSartana. 4 Health. When he plays a BANG!, his target must play a Missed! with a higher value than his BANG! to avoid the hit.LocoLoco. 4 Health. When he eliminates a player, he draws 3 cards.Pat BarrettPat Barrett. 4 Health. Once on his turn, he may discard a gun card to play a Jail.
DjangoDjango. 4 Health. Once during his turn, he can discard 2 BANG! to fire a Gatling.