A downloadable game

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YOU ARE A SCIENTIST working for a research facility in New Mexico in the 1950s. Along with your colleagues you are pushing the boundaries of particle physics, atomic energy, and nuclear weaponry. But all this new science and technology has naturally attracted the attention of all kinds of world powers, so as you know, almost everyone working at the Los Alamos labs are spies, of one persuasion or another. Including you: it’s your duty to steal secrets and sabotage the plans of others. So pull on your cowboy boots, tug on your jeans and denim shirt, grab that nine-gallon hat, and mosey on down to where the spaces are wide open...

Cowpokes & Spyfolks is a one-page RPG inspired by the song The Wild West is Where I Want to Be by Tom Lehrer (and used under disclaimed permission), with some additional information coming from Kyle Hill's series of videos about the nuclear tests and experimentation by the USA in and around the New Mexico desert in the 1950s and 60s. Some of the things in the random tables really happened; some are inspired by those events; and some are the things that people feared would happen.

Based on Lasers & Feelings by John Harper (licensed under CC-BY-4.0), this hack has some new mechanics (Criticality) which let you tread the tightrope of passing forward success, and avoiding catastrophic failure. If you want to use this mechanic in your game, you're welcome to – this game text is also licensed licensed under CC-BY-4.0.

This game was created for the #LehrerJam in June 2021.

Graphic design and layout by Katamoiran Games. Go throw money at them.

CategoryPhysical game
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(5 total ratings)
AuthorMarx of High Water
GenreRole Playing


Buy Now$2.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $2 USD. You will get access to the following files:

CowpokesSpyfolks.pdf 4 MB
CowpokesSpyfolks-300dpi.pdf 15 MB