In today's session, my players figured out the basic price to get the least-fortunate citizens of Dodge to do almost anything: five dollars.
It started with a gift of $5, actually, to one of the unfortunates of the town, which led to a series of events that caused a wealthy retired US Army Major looking to buy a stake in Dodge's political class to end up confronted with James "Dog" Kelly, the figurehead-leader of the political group known as "The Gang".
(that's Kelly on the left; on the right, an unknown associate, possibly "Kid Taylor". Note the dog. Not pictured (possibly taking the photograph) is Kelly's pet bear "Paddy")
I say a figurehead because the real mastermind was Bat Masterson.
This led to the arrest of (Player Character) "Kid Taylor", for beating a Mexican near to death, and led to a proxy-duel between (Player Character) Tom "bad luck" Miller and a man the Major hired named Stan Shin, who was said to have killed 3 men in a single shootout in Deadwood. Shin initially wanted nothing to do with it, as he was busy getting drunk and threatening people all over town. But then Wyatt Earp humiliated the fuck out of him, showed Shin for a coward and threw him violently out of the Long Branch Saloon. And Shin, desperate to try to recover his lost reputation (now clearly based on what must have just been a very lucky gunfight), accepted to duel for the Major. Shin shot first but was so shaky he missed, and Miller shot him down with one bullet.
Meanwhile, some of the PCs, seeing what $5 could do, started to throw them around like they were candies (which tells you how successful at least some of the PCs have been in Dodge in just a year and a half).
This adventure also saw a high-stakes poker game at the Long Branch. The Mormon Gambler tried his luck but didn't do all that well (though he didn't lose his shirt, at least). He did catch a certain cheating gambler named Tom White, though. White had already managed to wipe out one of the participants in the game, the young and tempestuous Spike Kenedy, son and heir of the ranching magnate Miflin Kenedy. Deputy Young managed to get White out of there and into a jail cell post-haste (to avoid White's getting lynched); only to later be surprised to find a fancy Topeka lawyer showed up to help him get the charges dismissed and give him a ticket out of town.
That's it for today. As of this adventure, the '77 cattle drive has come to an end, but the vital Dodge City elections are only two months away, and things are heating up as winter approaches in Dodge.
Currently Smoking: Neerup Bent Billiard + Image latakia