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Monday 10 December 2018

Wild West Campaign, Side Note: The Virtue of Long-Term Campaigns

So the other day I was just looking at my very first  Wild West Campaign play report, and came across this description of the characters:

"Anyways, we ended up with a Cuban, two Kentuckians, a pair of guys from Illinois, and a Mormon. The Mormon, incidentally, is a gambler by profession, but he doesn't drink alcohol or coffee and doesn't stay up late nights. Probably the most awesome wild-west character imaginable.  We actually have a lot of archetypes filled: there's the one guy who is stupidly awesome at gun-fighting (or will be as soon as he gets a little bit of experience), the oddly straight-laced gambler, the Cuban guy who is a total outsider with crazy notions, the punk kid from a broken home who ran away to become a bounty hunter, the guy looking to make his fortune opening a butcher's shop, and the mostly-normal guy who is slightly better educated than the rest of them and will probably end up being their leader."

So that was 6 years ago, in game time, which must be close to 3 years of real time.

In that time:

-The Cuban left town (his player had to quit) quite early in the campaign.
-The Mormon Gambler was absolutely awesome, but he ended up marrying a sweetheart (who converted to Mormonism) and staying behind in Dodge City to run a hotel when the other PCs took off.
-The mostly-normal guy ended up dying; and his replacement ended up being Other Miller, who was also a relatively normal guy, but apparently better at not getting himself killed. He's a lawman in Tombstone now.
-The guy looking to make a fortune opening a butcher's shop was Crazy Miller, who certainly made a fortune (at this point in the game he's ridiculously rich), but it took him 6 years to open his butcher shop. He finally did, just now, as one of the half-dozen businesses he owns in Tombstone.
-The guy who was stupidly good at gunfighting, Jeff Young, still is. He's become a well-known shootist and is currently a Lawman in Tombstone. Along with Doc Holliday and Johnny Ringo, he's considered one of the three best shots in the west.
-The punk kid was Kid Taylor. He ended up going from a near-cowboy to marrying a judge's daughter and becoming a lawman and a doctor. He's still a bit of a punk though.

It's one of the virtues of playing long campaigns. It's fascinating to see how far they've come. Backstory is nothing. Development of deep characters through long term play is all.


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