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Sunday 8 October 2017

Wild West Campaign Update: Getting the Hell out of Dodge

This week's adventure revolved around a conflict between two ranchers who had lusted after the same woman.

But that's pretty much all that's worth saying about that, other than that it ended in tragedy but none of the PCs ended up being involved in gunplay.  The REAL challenge in this adventure had little to do with that (which was really more of a sideshow), and instead had to do with the realization that in the first peak month of the cattle drive, the numbers and profits were down 25%.

This coincided with a convenient event: Doc Holliday and John Joshua Webb sat Crazy Miller down and talked to him about a letter they'd received from Dirty Dave Rudabaugh.  About two months back, Dirty Dave and Mysterious Dave Mather had left Dodge in search of somewhere they would feel less pressured by the inexorable march of civilization and an excess of lawmen.  And they'd now written some of their sometime partners in crime to let them know that they'd found it.

Ironically, it was in a city that had, only four months before, chased off Doc Holliday for public gambling: Las Vegas. That town was known, if it was known at all, for being a dull law-abiding town where gambling and prostitution were strictly prohibited.
But Las Vegas was also on the Santa Fe Railroad line; and the railroad was finding that Las Vegas' laws were too restrictive. So they'd founded a sister town, just across the tracks, calling it East Las Vegas.  And in East Las Vegas, anything goes.

More than that, it turns out that the two Daves had been brought into the circle of a well-known scoundrel by the name of Hoodoo Brown, who had managed to buy himself the title of Justice of the Peace in Las Vegas, as well as the new town's provisional Mayor title. This meant that they would get to set up the city, and they would get to determine the law. Which was pretty incredible given that these were all known outlaws.  It was a bit like if all of the Flash's Rogues' Gallery went off and started their own flash-free city.

Crazy Miller was intentionally courted by this group, via Webb and Doc Holliday, who had already determined that one way or the other, they were heading to Las Vegas.  Both of them because they wanted to be in a city where they'd have no trouble from the law, and because they wanted to own a saloon where they could game and drink to their hearts' content; and in Doc's case, because the dry hot climate around Las Vegas and it's medicinal hot springs might manage to keep him alive a bit longer.
But even before learning of the existence of East Las Vegas, Crazy Miller had already decided it was time to start divesting himself of his many holdings in Dodge; the reduction of profits from the cattle drive made it very clear for him that the writing was on the wall, and Dodge City was soon going to lose all its freedom, fun, and profitability as a boom town.

Other Miller was happy to go with Crazy Miller, at least, as soon as he finally cleared up that John Joshua Webb was not in fact taking advantage of Crazy Miller, and thus wouldn't require a reckoning from him.  Meanwhile, Kid Taylor had made it a personal goal of his to figure out a way out of Dodge for some time now, not very happy about where his secret alliance with the 'Better People' might lead him.

Of the party members present, only Hale the Mormon ex-Gambler decided he'd be staying in Dodge.  It made sense; Hale had a good job, he was married and settled, and Las Vegas was too close to the old territories of his doppleganger, the mysterious outlaw know as Derek McClue. Plus, I think his player realized Hale was at a bit of a dead-end action-wise; he was too often out of the action because his character simply wasn't a man of action. He wouldn't shy from a fight but he never was the type to go out looking for one either. This was a chance to make a new PC that would play differently.

So now, the only one left in question is Jeff Young. His player didn't come this week, and Young is the town Marshall in Dodge.  Will he leave that behind to go to a city that will probably be more lawless than his character would like, and where any attempts on his part to enforce any real rule of law would be met with strong opposition from a gang of virtual psychopaths?  On the other hand, he is statistically one of the best characters in the group, certainly the best by far for actual gunfighting, so it's not like he wouldn't be capable of finding stuff to do in a lawless boom-town.
I guess we'll have to wait and see for what he decides next adventure.  Regardless, next session will, after four years of game-time, be the very first where the PCs will be based somewhere other than Dodge.

Goodbye, Dodge.


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Poker + Solani Aged Burley Flake

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