This campaign and story will be largely be dictated by the backgrounds of the characters. Example: if someone wants to make a cattle rustler, there will be large nearby ranches with plenty of marketable cattle.
This intends to be a realistic shorter campaign with gritty realism. The story will be a character driven piece, i.e. character's motivations and goals will hopefully drive the plot forward, no plot for plots sake. Therefore, the plot will be generated from the backgrounds of the characters that are provided to me. (Thanks for that, Clay)
The year is 1862. It's two years into the Civil War down south. Coldstone is a frontier town upstart just south of the Rocky Mountains in southern Idaho. It is just off of the Oregon Trail between the cursed Fort Hall and Fort Boise and is booming as it's often a stop-over for mail and freight wagons heading between the western states of Californy and Washingon and the more civilized East. Coldstone is booming as it's a waypoint for settlers heading further west or north, it serves as a base of operations or drop/resupply point for trappers. As it's also frequented by prospectors and money coaches, it has a good solid bank. The Union Pacific Railway is building fast from the east and railmen have been riding about spotting and staking and making offers. Western Union telegraph just reached Coldstone a few weeks back and crews are pushing it hard from there westward ahead of the railway, which is currently between Fort hall and Coldstone. There is a telegraph station in Coldstone carrying word to and from the eastern cities. There is also a mailing service horse and saddlebags every 3rd day from Fort Hall to the east or Coronado to the west or Johnsburg to the South. A carriage brings larger packages about once every couple of weeks. Most blacks are slaves or fugitives, even on the frontier.
It is not only a time of saddles, revolvers, and stetsons. There are card sharks, lawmen, outlaws, settlers, miners, ranchers, trappers, natives, churchies, rustlers, shrewd businessmen, be they bankers, railmen, oil tycoons, prospectors, or others. You could be a scout, a soldier, an entertainer, and indian agent, a carpenter, a cowboy, a doctor, a buffalo hunter, a snake oil salesman, or everyone's favorite a saloon girl with a heart of gold. There are government agents trying to establish order or going undercover to root out some of the western outlaws. A character could be simply trying to make a living by working some of the new land, or perhaps trying to make a name for him/herself legally, or otherwise, or perhaps just trying to escape his/her past.
The most common weapons available are the Cold "Peacemaker" .45, the Colt Dragoon .44, the Smith&Wesson Model 1 .22, the Sharps Carbine .52, or other muzzle loading rifles and shotguns. It is not necessary that all party members have fire arms and other weapons may be available if supported by your back story.
Characters will start with 100 points. Max of -50 points in disadvantages. No more than a 13 or less than a 7 on any attribute. A 7 would require a good backstory. No more than 4 points into any skill without a good back story.
I will likely assign disadvantages/advantages as I see fit to help weave characters and stories, but will be sure to not break your vision of your character.
- Long Duk Dong, played by User:Brantdanger
- Maddie Carver, played by Melissa
- Willard Dempsey, played by User:Johnm
- Richard "Coon Dick" Jacobsen
Suggested References (at least what I've looked into for motivation)
Movies - Unforgiven, Tombstone, The Long Riders
Reading - http://library.stanford.edu/depts/dp/pennies/texts/dimes_toc.html - Specifically, Jesse James, the Outlaw
Long having been in town for a few days had determined that Jeb Sloan, the city's sheriff was fixin' to retire and that there'll be an election in two weeks time for a new sheriff of Coldstone.
Long sought out Willy Potts while staying at a room in Tally's saloon, general store and inn.
As it turned out, Scotty and Willy were playing cards with Maddy as Long chatted briefly with Felix Collins.
Scotty left and Long followed him, making the large man nervous, but Long left him with his supplies after Scotty gave Long some clues to Pott's whereabouts. Long followed Potts into Jimmy's hotel across the street from Tally's, where he falsified having a message from Wells, Fargo Company for Potts. Jimmy had his boy Todd fetch Potts, who was leery and stricken that Long had a peacemaker drawn when he came down to retrieve said message. Within seconds, both Willy and Long had been shot through and Potts had retreated upstairs in the hotel. Jeb arrived as well as Doc Baker who then took Long to the "hospital" where he stitched up his leg wound and provided him a crutch. It was later found out that Jeb and Jimmy failed to apprehend Willy who had apparently escaped through a 2nd floor window.
Long spent the following days conversing with locals and Maddy and her men, while resting and stretching out his wounded leg. Meanwhile, Maddy met Mr. Lavine, and began negotiated the purchase of some bulls to fertilize her heard back in Willow Valley. She also spent most of her time reading local news prints, going on leisurely horse rides and eating chocolates while strolling idly around Coldstone. Long had telegraphed Easton at Wells, Fargo Company for more money as well as to provide a status update. During this time, Long learned from John Spencer that Willy was holed up at the Lavine ranch and tried to convince the sheriff, via Clarice to form up a posse and apprehend the criminal. Failing that, he convinced Felix to ride with him and track down the outlaw despite the lack of a bounty. The pair borrowed Jeb's horse and spent every cent between them on a Springfield rifle before riding out in the late afternoon, despite Miss Maddie's protests.
Bounty Hunting, Abductions, and Pursuit
Long and Felix approached the Lavine ranch at dusk and were encountered by an outrider who told them of Willy leaving with a black ranch-hand named Toby. Long decided to veer east in pursuit and not go to the ranch.
After sleeping in the cold under a bush without food or blanket for the night, Long and Felix moved on until they decided to approach a small farmhouse. They found the house empty and barred from the inside, so Long climbed in a window. They discovered the stove was still warm, perhaps from the day before. Felix went out to shoot some game while Long found a cache beneath the floorboards of the small house. In the cache was a locked strongbox containing only two empty sacks, a can of oats, a pot, and a Colt 1855 shotgun.
Meanwhile, Maddie and Spencer approached the Lavine ranch. Just after one of their pit stops for Maddie to purge, they were abducted by Willy Potts and Toby. Seconds after watching Spencer get shot down by Willy, the frantic Maddie was pistol-whipped unconscious.
As Long and Felix were about to leave the farm house after eating some rabbit and oats(found in the cache), they heard the approach of Maddie's wagon. There was a brief fire-fight, where Long shot Toby in the back with his new-found scattergun before the two outlaws made off with Maddie's carriage, horses and cashbox.
Back in Coldstone, after a lukewarm bath a lukewarm meal Maddie recruited Jimmy McDougal and his friend Jeffrey Giles to aid in the recovery of her fortune. She wired for more money, bought horses and supplies and the troupe set out in hopes of catching the outlaws perhaps at Fort Hall, or maybe at the rendezvous at Pierre's Hole.
Half way to Fort Hall, Jeffrey allegedly tried to rob Miss Maddie and Long and Felix chased him off. Jimmy, visibly uneasy about the whole situation, left with him.
The party arrived in Fort Hall in the late evening where Long Dong sought out the Captain of the fort. Finding the one-armed captain, Long didn't seem to make any friends before retiring to his room with Felix.
Cards and Gunfights
Seeking a guide, the party found a saloon around lunchtime where there was a card table, occupied by four men. One was a railman, one a cigarette smoking sharp dressed stranger, one a large hairy dirty mountainman and the final, a mustached man with a worn out suit. Maddie joined the table to meet Willard Dempsey, Richard "Coon Dick" Jacobsen, and to later find out the sharp dressed man in black was The Louisiana Stranger. Maddie hired Coon Dick as a scout to take them to Pierre's hole. Willard offered to tag along, finding interest in the money exchanging hands at the rendezvous and at the poker tourney to be held there.
Long Duk followed the Louisiana Stranger to his room where Long tried to convince Maddie to distract him. Maddie failed, so Long staked out the room while Felix chatted a the bar and Maddie played piano and danced with Willard. After a while, Long and Felix were about to shoot the door in, when Maddie intervened and the discussion outside the room drew the Stranger's attention. when he saw Felix had a gun drawn and Long stuck his barrel in the door, a brief shootout occurred. It left Felix and Maddie wounded and the Stranger in his room before the rest left to the infirmary. The wounded and panicked Maddie was escorted by the ugly mountain man and the shot ranch hand by the chinaman.
Willard stayed behind and talked to bartender before the one-armed Captain Harris and soldiers came in and walked out of the saloon with the Louisiana Stranger.
After some medical attention, Felix stayed with Allison, the doctor's aid and saloon girl in Fort Hall. The rest of the party left toward Pierre's Hole in a hurry fearing the soldiers of the fort may be looking for them.
On the second day of their travel, Coon Dick shot an elk and showed Long how to field dress it. Long watched in awe.
The morning of their third day into the mountains, they were ambushed by Bueford, who had been seen speaking with the Stranger and spoke with Felix at bar before shootout.
Before his outlaw throat was cut, Bueford spit through his bloodied face that Willy was going to the rendezvous to meet up with Holt gang.
Rendezvous and Shootout at the Holt Camp
Coon Dick took the party off the beaten trail to avoid further ambushes on the way to the rendezvous. Once overlooking the trading post of Pierre's Hole, Coon Dick and Willard left Long and Maddie waiting for them to gather a disguise for the detective. Coon Dick met up with Old Bear who had a squaw see to his leg wound, then traded for some rawhide clothes and a fluffy bunny-skin hat for Long Duk while Willard found himself some dice and after being accused of cheating by an indian migrated to cards.
Having dawned his disguise, Long Duk and Coon Dick went into the camp followed at a distance by Maddie. Coon Dick introduced Long Duk to Mother Martha's Braised Horse Hooves. Shortly, Maddie attracted the attention of nearby men. Coon Dick scared off would-be molesters as Maddie approached he and Long Duk. Long Duk mounted up and rode away from Maddie, in search of 'the' Willy Potts. Coon Dick joined him.
Willard having left the card table where he'd gathered info as to someone who may know more about Willy found Maddie riding through a bustle of catcalls and entertainment offers. A husky mountain man accosted the pair and demanded that Maddie join him for double whatever Willard was paying. After having insulted Willard and grabbed Maddie's wrist, Willard lost his temper and a knife fight ensued. A poke to the ribs and a cut across the neck sent the mountain man to mind his own business. Willard and Maddie acquired info from an old trader, then found the other two and passed along the information about a Holt meeting a ways off from the rendezvous. Willard and Maddie played cards, drank and danced while Coon Dick and Long Duk sought out the assistance of an indian tracker called Teddy Two Dogs, short for Teddy Two Dogs Fucking.
After a tense encounter with Sheriff Bil Smith, Willard joined the rest of the group to camp for the night on the outskirts of the rendezvous.
Before dawn the next morning, Two Dogs awoke Coon Dick and Long Duk who were about to ride out to either retrieve Maddie's money and the bounty on Holt, or die trying, when Willard awoke. The riders told Willard to go back to sleep and watch over Maddie. Instead, after they rode off, he awoke her and they pursued.
Leaving Coon Dick in charge of the horses, Long Duk and Two Dogs crept off into the darkness planning to knife the watchmen around the camp.
Gunshots were fired as Long hid from his scout who then shot into the darkness before being shot and knifed by the detective. Long ran back to the horses as Willard and Maddie made haste into the darkness in the direction they thought the shots were from.
Long and Coon Dick raced into the waking camp with Coon Dick firing muskets into the tent. As they rode by the large tent, Long dropped a stick of dynamite before they circled and came back for another strafing assault on the bleary-eyed outlaws. In moments, there were many outlaws shot through, others running from the mayhem, Long had caught Willy Potts and been shot twice, but was stomping Potts' collapsed skull into the earth while Willard and Coon Dick eventually took down the mounted Louisiana Stranger after having both been shot repeatedly.
Maddie rode in as Coon Dick picked up the unconscious Willard and Long Duk and reclaimed her cash box and what remained of her cash from the destroyed tent. They all went back to find Old Bear who for trade of all of Coon Dick's furs patched them all up right and said no word would spread about anything from him or his squaws.
Coon Dick agreed to guide Maddie and Long Duk back to Fort Hall, and Willard stayed at the rendezvous to play in the tourney, despite the presence of Bill Smith.