Wretched Country does for the western genre what Wretched Bastards did for fantasy: it's an old-school game meant for playing anti-hero characters.The spaghetti western, already referenced as a source of inspiration for the OSR dark-fantasy Wretched Bastards, now takes center stage.
Not that classic American cowboy movies can't be played out with a party of scoundrels,
but the European variant doesn't need you to stretch your imagination a bit.
It's already populated by a myriad of rogue protagonists. In this book, you’ll find a set of rules (Wretched), whose most significant difference from other old-school mechanics is rewarding characters for selfish actions, and a mini-campaign setting, Hellstone, that can be used also for classic westerns or weird-west scenarios.
Actually, you can even play it another way: The Devil's Country is a horror scenario - also included in this book - where a movie crew is in Almeria, in Spain, shooting a cursed movie, when strange events start blending reality and fiction. During the shooting, the main characters cross over to an alternate reality where the fictional and lawless town of Hellstone is a real place. The Devil's Country is both the scenario's title and the name of the film being shot.
The movie's troubled history hearkens back to the first half of the 20th century when it was a screenplay for a classic American western. That screenplay only moved on to the shooting phase after decades of disruption, and it was then in the hands of a European production company. The Devil's Country, about to be made, acquires a distinctive Italian western feel; the major characters are rougher, dustier and sweatier, they swear and drink much more, the settings are dilapidated, and the decors shabbier. The women are still pretty and wearing too much make-up for the WildWest but show more cleavage. Also, there is a planned sex scene and partial female nudity.
However, this introductory scenario is entirely optional; you can just pick up Hellstone, the town where it takes place, as a setting and ignore the rest. Either way, all of The Devil's Country elements can be used in a regular western campaign.
In short, you get three things out of Wretched Country:
1). Wretched rules adapted for playing a western game.
2). The Devil's Country a western-themed horror scenario about an international film crew travelling to Spain to shoot a movie believed to be cursed.
3). Hellstone, a setting that can be used to run spaghetti, classic or weird west adventures.