Have been delayed but craving to give you my feedback on Leadville.
First, I like that bets are mostly about getting your hands in and on the city affairs. It could be made clearer, with it as a primary goal and the motive as a secondary goal.
The mini-game of getting your role in town looks delicious !
Then I suggest : a caption “a game of Faro (date, place, author)” on the first page. Justifying text blocks. No AKAs proliferation : gamblers, players / player character, GC / class, playbook, template > Punters / PC / PC sheet ; dealer >Banker
err : page 4 - the setting “that due (…) water that it”
page 5 line 2 " any(thing) could"
page 7 - Rules for Faro par. 3 : “place a (token) on”
page 9 - Greenhorn “is naive (and) (”)does the right thing" "
page 12 Sand and Sharp 3 : “and it is the second 2” > (and there is one other such card. The difficulty is 2 (for the two of clubs) + 1 (because there is one other such card) = 3 </ or maybe I didn’t get it/>
page 14 PC death : “is out of money” (>is washed out). You can play with someone who is broke, but if they lose their “game” money during the game their PC is down. But I wouldn’t use “game money” not to create confusion with a PC fictional money.
page 15 Penultimate par. : “Gunfightin’ attribute.” You lost me here. It’s not clear at all what the attribute and score are doing different. Especially, when a character is hurt, it looks like their score is dropping, but in fact it’s their whole attribute durably dropped (page 17). So why do I need to make a difference ? And if they are different, consider giving them really different names.
page 16 : Shoot Out example : I need to know who these guys are, why they are shooting out, in what circumstances. Also, you may want to reconsider the all white male cast of both the table and the story.
page 16 penultimate par. : copy+paste stutter
page 17, first two paragraphs : Gunfightin’ score / attribute, Shootout score, Gunfightin’ total (vs bonus ?). On the first reading, I would have said that John had a Shootout score of 3, the injury dropping his score, not his attribute. And I thought it was fair enough. See : the saddle stiff is our Sentenza here. He’s a threat everybody has mechanical interest in shooting at. So the (durable) attribute used in defense evened things a bit in my mind. Or to phrase it as a question : why wouldn’t all of the other players aim at the Saddle stiff ? What can the poor fellow do against it ?
page 18 - The epilogue : “head of(f)”
And I suggest a success tracking diagram on the census sheet to check the epilogue rewards.
Pfew ! That was a wall of text. Tell me when I can delete it.
Using a counterpoint game is great. Faro brings the Push your luck element, but also the “read your adversary’s moves” if they are a great shot and you’re a quick shooter.
I’d say you need to add a layer of “cloud to dice” meshing to teach the game. I would lazily go with the general purpose Baker formula : “When you (cloud), do (dice)”.
I worry that the strategical thinking of playing Faro can compete for bandwidth with storytelling, operating on a close-by channel. I believe that in Djenga, while the focus is extreme, it doesn’t drain the same juices that storytelling does. It’s only a belief though, and thought for the Gamefeel topic.
Also, have you checked Law’s out by Jacob Randolph and it’s betting system ? In my (very own) game system, I do shootouts with blind bets. Bets systems don’t seem to be very popular though. It’s a pity : there’s a lot of depth in them and they require only a resource of some kind, and they lend themselves to many refinements (dutch auctions, fair division methods, etc.)