TL;DR: Lasso as single-use weapon, on a hit: eliminate a Mook or Impair (-1) a Named character. That sound reasonable?

Long version:
One of the PCs in my game uses the Drifter Archetype, but is a Cowgirl from the 1850 Juncture. She's taken to using a lariat to lasso people. It's often enough, I feel like maybe we shouldn't be in the "it's just a stunt, and uses her normal Attack and Damage" mode any more.

I'm inclined to let it take out Mooks just like any other weapon, with the caveat of once you've tied it around a Mook (or a small group of Mooks), the rope is largely un-use-able for anything else this same fight. If she was only going after Mooks with it, then the "use her normal Guns roll" would be fine. (I say Guns, instead of Martial Arts, because a single-use weapon is more than enough of a downside, she shouldn't also have to roll her backup attack stat.)

The area where it feels like that breaks down is when she tries to rope a Featured Foe or Boss. Saying it's a Guns Attack "Stunt" that does Damage like whatever Gun she has is just... weird. If it were just being used for the final shot that takes the boss out, no problem, but when she opens with it, it strains the willful suspension of disbelief, and kind of pulls us out of the moment. To have her roll high and narrate tangling someone up, but then they just take 7 wound points or whatever feels like it's disrespecting the fiction.

So, it seems like temporary Impairment is probably the way to go for Named Foes.

Looking at Schticks that cause Impairment, (e.g: Smoke Arrow, Chop The Willow, Dazed and Contused, Flesh Melter, De-Attunement, Bellow, and possibly others I am missing) I think it should cause 1 point of Impairment until the next Keyframe. For Bosses and UberBosses, I may let them do a Stunt to break the rope, but I figure even fairly beefy Featured Foes should be tripped up by it.

It's limited to one use, so I don't think I particularly need to charge her a Schtick for it. She'll roll Guns, and if she beats their Defense, they are tangled up and Impaired, but not out of the fight. Another reason that I don't want to charge her an Advancement/Schtick for this is that she's playing the Drifter. The Drifter starts with several very situational Schticks (Lone Wolf, Don't Mess With Clint, and Ammunitional Rescue) that only trigger if she's off galavanting on her own, which she rarely does because this batch of heroes have pretty solid teamwork instincts.

If she wants to be able to do it multiple times per combat, I'd probably tell her to buy a Schtick (from the list above.

I don't think I'm likely to have other PCs try using Lasso's, but if they do, I'll say that they aren't trained enough to do it, and only a lifetime of riding and roping has honed her skills.

Fellow GMs and Feng Shui Fans: does this seem reasonable? Is there anything I need to consider that I'm ignoring? Are there actual grappling or lasso rules in some supplement that I'm overlooking?

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There are already rules for doing Restraint Attacks (on p.111) that might be of interest - sounds like the lasso would be the ideal way to inflict those at range.


Thank you, Simon. I feel foolish for missing that there's a mechanic for it in the main rulebook. I had searched for "Grapple" and "Wrestling", but not "Restraint".

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I was working through the 'less used rules' a while back to make myself an aide-memoire, or I'd likely have forgotten it myself. :slight_smile: