|Source: David J. Blossom|
Long ago did we abolish cut-and-dried Aristocracy. We had seen little men artificially held up in high places, and great men artificially held down in low places, and our justice-loving hearts abhorred this violence to human nature. Thenceforth we decreed that every man should have equal liberty to find his own level! By this decree we acknowledged and gave freedom to true Aristocracy, saying, “Let the best man win, whoever he is.”
Let the best man win! That is our word! That is true Democracy! True Democracy and true Aristocracy are one and the same thing. And that's why the men who own the train lines own the whole country.
Class: ZorroYou are a Zorro; a cunning fox; a ranger of the moors. You've never bowed your head to anybody, and you've never said "sir" when you didn't mean it. The frontier was a great place to waste a youth, until the railroads came to drive you out into the wilderness once more.
One day you could go no farther. Surely it's just the electric lights that make your face look so weathered and wrinkled. Surely there's still some adventure out there, waiting for you to seize it in two hands.
For every Zorro template you gain +1 inventory slot and +1 HP. If you have at least one template of Zorro, you cannot fumble with mundane weapons and can wear light and medium armor.
Skills: 1. Agriculture 2. Rock-Climbing 3. Ditchdigging
Starting Equipment: Goofy fringed cowboy outfit (as leather), bowie knife (light), revolver and 10 bullets, good pair of cowboy boots, excellent saddlebags, one other piece of kit of your choice.
- A Y'all Tales, Genetry, Extra attack per round
- B A Man Called Noon
- C Old Friends, Extra attack per round
- D Over the Dirt
You've been just about anywhere, and you've seen a picture of everywhere else. Roll 3d12 on the following table of mostly-true things you did before becoming an adventurer. If you roll the same result twice, take your choice of the one above or below.
- Hanged a Friend. Knew him for years, fought with him back to back in a dozen battles and twice as many barfights. So when he turned horse-thief it left you little choice but to hunt him down, unless you wanted those ranchers to hang you as a rustler on general suspicion.
You know how to burn a horse out like a match. Your mounts can, if you wish, travel at 3x speed. They have a cumulative 1-in-6 chance of dying of exhaustion at the end of every hour so traveled.
- Rode with the Redlegs. Those were different times, yes sir, when you were young. Preacher man says "rejoice, for there is no end to injustice" — but back then there was more injustice, and nastier, and don't let anyone tell you you'd be better off in them good old days.
While on horseback, you and your party travel at full speed over rough terrain. Ignore any penalties for riding at night or fighting in darkness.
- Spoke with a Dead Man. Approached your camp by night and answered the challenge with a smile. Just a pilgrim, he said. Sat, closed his eyes, and spoke for hours — of cities that shone like the sun, of people who walked among the treetops and were taller than the trees, of rivers sculpted like clay, of races that lived and died before the first man was ever born. When the sun rose he burned like powder.
Intelligent undead recognize something in you, and will not attack without provocation. Unintelligent undead can't perceive you until you attack them.
- Killed a King Rattler. Came across a cactus in the desert of a day, and, dyin' of hunger and thirst, cut it open to eat its flesh. Doing so must have angered an elder g_d, or a fairy, or something, because the earth began to shake and the colors of the sky inverted. You flew through the air and tussled with a snake ten miles long. There were some other things, don't recall too well, and after that you plopped out of the sky into a ditch where the local sheriff found you gnawin' on your own hands.
Take half damage from poison, and when rolling for side-effects of drugs roll twice and choose one.
- Saved by the Vultures. Spooky damned birds. They can tell when a man's about to die, everyone knows that, but they've always been a little over-eager when it comes to your corpse. Not that you haven't appreciated their warnings, betimes, especially out in the desert where anything might be watchin'.
In the wilderness, you always know when you are being tracked or followed.
- Gambled with my Life. Knew that the craps-shooter in all black was bad news, specially when you realized those women on his arm weren't breathing, specially when the saloon got dark and you saw those pinpoints of red in them empty sockets, specially when he took off those kid gloves and his bony fingers were the same color as the dice. Didn't stop you from taking him up on that last bet though. Opportunity knocks but once.
Start play with an emerald, a kadzkadzat, an amethyst, an ancient topaz, and a blue diamond. Each are the size of a knuckle bone. It will be significantly easier to trade them for favors than convert them into cash, but if you can find the right jeweler they're probably worth 100gp each.
- Dined with a Cannibal. Lost your way up in the mountains, but it was spring and the snow was melting. Managed to find some wagon-road and followed it to a pass. You thought the old coot was a miner, and you thought his stew was pretty good, before you spooned up a few human teeth.
Organic material which is not immediately poisonous counts as rations for you. You can live indefinitely off of treebark, shoeleather, old bones or hay.
- Found, Immediately Lost, Gold. It was in some lonely valley, whose name you don't recall just now. Something guided you down a secret path by the river into the misty depths. Just when you were getting too frightened to go on, you saw it, glisterin' through the fog — gold! A whole city of the stuff! Fluted pillars caked in gold! Golden paving stones fastened together by gold solder! Golden trees! Golden houses! Golden people! And then the wind shifted, and you never did see it again.
Detect Cash within 30'. You can tell the difference between mere expensive clothes and genuine wealthy foppishness at a glance.
- Saw the Ghost Riders. It's hard to tell this tale all at once. The details on their own are fearsome enough — eyes of fire, hooves of steel, shirts soaked in sweat and blood, backs of steer and horse and cowboy alike cut ragged by the Devil's whips, all manner of horribility. But even if you manage to scare the Hell out of someone, they never seem to understand what the story means.
If a save is the difference between living and dying, you have advantage. When running from danger you are never the slowest. Save against fear when you see someone die in front of you, or else flee the corpse.
- Dueled the Devil. He kept two sets of tally-marks on the grip of his guns — one for gunslingers and one for women and children — and when you blew his head off you didn't even stay to collect the reward.
Gain +1 initiative for every level of Zorro.
- Liberated a Town. A group of bandits was set on attacking some one-horse shithole as soon as they'd brought in their harvest, and the townsfolk had enough money for exactly seven defenders, including you. You've heard a few versions of this story, but yours is the original, and G_d's honest truth.
+1 MD and a spell of your choice. You're not a wizard any more, but in any big town you probably know a wizard.
- Friends with a Goat. People always look at you strange when you tell this story by the campfire. Goats are very intelligent creatures.
You can ride anything which has been trained to be ridden. Horses, big turtles, dragons — anything. Mounts of animal-intelligence will never willingly attack you, and tamed animals are always happy to see you.
You're a master horseman in the dangerous high-stirrup style of gunfighters and light lancers. Ignore penalties for being mounted under all circumstances (ride your horse inside, if it fits). Allied mounts have a [level] bonus to morale checks. If your mount is spooked or killed, you can choose to immediately draw and fire a pistol at the offender.
A Man Called Noon
You aren’t some bumbling cowhand, you're a Zorro, and folks 'round here will know what that means if you've got to beat it into their heads. Local posses, wandering bounty-hunters and other assorted low-caste fighters will look to you for guidance. Even the rich will stop to listen if you make a fuss, although they might have you horsewhipped if you say something they don’t like. In addition, you can issue a challenge to an NPC you aren't currently fighting. Roll a d6 to determine their response, which depends on their social class:
1: Disbelief and derision
2–6: Intimidation and apology.
1: Loud mockery. Expect his friends to try and beat you up.
2-5: They accept. Expect a fistfight or, perhaps, some sharp Bowie knives.
6: Intimidation and awkward verbal submission.
- Wealthy Landowner
1-2: Their thugs beat the shit out of you.
3-6: A duel!
- Cattle Magnate
1: Gunfight with the bodyguards
2-5: Their thugs beat the shit out of you, and then they stomp on your gun hand while delivering an evil monologue.
6: A duel!
They found you at last; the ones you've been trying to avoid for years. They might owe you a debt, but they are probably here to collect instead. This is someone who showed up in one of your tall tales; maybe a bandit, or a rebel, or a cannibal. Or a gleaming golden giant. Or a goat. Or a dead gambler.
Over the Dirt
That's where you are, and that's where you'd like to stay. You always go first in combat. If you are surprised, you aren't. If you take someone else by surprise you deal maximum damage with all attacks on your first turn. You sleep with a loaded gun under your pillow, and unless you've been strip-searched you always have 1d4 knives on your person. If someone demands you hand over your weapons you can pull the old unloading-an-armory gag and hand over all four — but you will still be carrying the 1d4 knives.
|Also David J. Blossom|
- Bowie Knife. Don't know if your world had a Colonel James Bowie, but it's got a light Bowie Knife now. ⅓ slot.
- Revolver. 2d6 damage at 20', -1 to-hit for 10' increments beyond that. 1 slot.
- Excellent Saddlebags. When packed by you, holds twice as much as normal saddlebags without slowing the horse down any.
- Lever-Action Rifle. 2d6 damage at 40', -1 to-hit for 20' increments beyond that. 2 slots.
- Three sticks of Dynamite. ⅓slot each.
- Three bottles of whisky. Highly flammable, highly saleable. ⅓ slot each.
- Branding Iron. As a light club, can brand your personal symbol onto things.
- Three tins of tomatoes. Counts as a ration of both food and water. ⅓ slot each.
- Gunmetal-Bound Holy Book. Your choice of text. ⅓ slot.
- 100' of fine Lariat. Silk, though you could probably convince people it's elf-hair or somesuch. Two steers pulling from either end couldn't break it. ⅓ slot.
- Cavalry Saber. A gift from an old friend, a medium masterwork sword with gold fittings and engravings that read "FIRST BATTLE OF SINKS CANYON". Some snot-nosed kid once told you it was counterfeit, since surely they wouldn't have called it the first battle until there had been a second. So you beat the shit out of him. 1 slot.
- Gigantic cowboy hat. Your choice of white or black.
- Candy-tin with 10 cigarillos. Healthful, and nice to smoke when riding through sheep country.
- Blacksnake Whip. Deals damage as a light weapon with 40' of reach. Scares the devil out of wild animals. 1 slot.
- Oversized Spurs. Accompany your mosey with a loud chk-chk-chk, which automatically intimidates the farmer-types and automatically fails you your stealth checks.
- Letter in a Familiar Hand. From someone back home, who you haven't seen in a long time.
- Holy Symbol. On a cord so you can wear it around your neck. Immune to fear while you close your eyes and grip this in your hand.
- Cutter Horse. Cunning, swift, tireless, easily spooked by gunfire.
- War Horse. Fearless, powerful, 1d8 kick attack, easily exhausted by long rides.
- An oddity or a curio. Roll 1d6 on the following table:
- The actual, genuine, golden plates of the Book of Mormon. Congratulations, it's now canon in your world. 3 slots.
- Tin of peyote buttons. 20 doses.
- A revolver altered to fire silver bullets. Expensive ammunition, -1 to-hit, +1 damage, and (of course) silver. 1 slot.
- A rifle cartridge with a name on it. Your choice. Strikes its named target's heart unerringly.
- Lucky Coin. 1gp, always comes up the side you call.
- A deck of cards, with all aces gone and replaced with the Knight (a rank between Jack and Queen).
- The actual, genuine, golden plates of the Book of Mormon. Congratulations, it's now canon in your world. 3 slots.