• Mark S. Cookman

13 Wild West Town Encounters


Last week I posted a collection of wilderness encounters for western games, as well as a link to a few of the more popular games in the genre. This week I thought that I might share some town encounters for your wild west role-playing games, but first let's talk a little about those games. I recently conducted a poll to determine what system was the most popular for wild west games. I was a little shocked by the results. The top spot went to Deadlands (157 votes). It received over twice the total votes than the second place system, Boot Hill (80 votes). It is the third place position in the poll that surprised me. Other (71 votes) represent over 20 different systems including some great games like Tall Tales BX, Thru the Breach, Dogs in the Vineyard, Tiny Gunslingers, and even Cyberpunk 2020, that were not polled for by name. The poll results are below. This poll is NOT scientific in any way. It represents results from multiple polls of various online gaming groups. Even so, you may enjoy seeing the results.

  • Deadlands 157

  • Boot Hill 80

  • Other 71

  • Aces & Eights 38

  • GURPS Old West 17

  • Dark Trails 14

Enough nonsense and duck butter, let's step into the street and see what's waiting for us.

  1. A dandy dentist fleeing a shotgun wedding with an unwanted bride needs help escaping the Bad Breath Brothers, who are both her kin and the local bully boys.

  2. A Mormon missionary is looking for a tracker to take her deep into Cheyenne territory. She is on a 'mission from the Almighty' to find a 'prophet among the red warriors'.

  3. A young US Cavalry scout, who is chasing after an escaped chicken, which is running wildly down the street, slams blindly into one of the PC's. Peals of laughter come from 5 more troopers across the street, standing around a buckboard filled with supplies.

  4. A drunken racist bully threatens a family of black settlers in a covered wagon. A deputy and a few townsfolk see the encounter, but do nothing.

  5. A well-dressed gentleman gunslinger stands in front of the Western Star Saloon and spins dual custom 6 shooters in a demonstration of speed and dexterity while announcing a shooting and fast draw competition to be hosted by the saloon in a week. The winner gets $1000.

  6. A city slicker greenhorn dressed as a cross between a plains cowboy and a Mexican gunslinger is promoting a half-breed Sioux boxer.

  7. A dandy lawyer from back east looking to hire some experienced gun hands with a lack of morals to engineer an 'accident' that he will profit greatly from. The target is a child who stands to inherit a large sum of money.

  8. A stage coach guard struggles to carry two large bags marked U.S. Maill to the post office inside the general store. He complains loudly about the railroad and the Chinese stealing his job and ruining America.

  9. A nervous-looking, young ranch hand buying supplies, ammunition and guns at the General Store. He's jumpy and tries to keep to himself. He's buying supplies for the BarT Ranch.

  10. A group of 6 buffalo soldiers riding on top of a stage coach carrying mail and payroll for Fort Pierce.

  11. A priest looking for carpenters and workman to help him rebuild a small chapel in the badlands that was burnt down by bounty hunters.

  12. A dandy gambler walking a bad-tempered rottweiler who hates the smell of tobacco.

  13. A railroad executive sits in an expensive carriage guarded by 4 men while overseeing the hooded vigilante riders searching for his rival, who they intend to lynch.

I hope you enjoyed this gunslinger's dozen of town encounters for western games. Next week I hope to bring you some history of the stage coach and a list of things to find on one. If you enjoy these blog entries, please check out my page at DriveThruRPG by clicking the banner below. As always, I thank you for your time and support.


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