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Wednesday 27 February 2019

Wild West Campaign Update: The Adjudicators

It was supposed to be Kid Taylor's last week in Tombstone. The city had been in an uneasy state of tension for the past couple of months, and his wife had convinced Kid that it was the best thing for his young family to get out while the getting was good.  But after settling his affairs, Kid Taylor goes out for one last night on the town with his friend, Marshal Morgan Earp.

That night, shots ring out and Morgan is fatally wounded. The shooters escaped but it was obvious they were Cowboys.

The PCs and the other lawmen and friends of the Earps are furious, and are ready to join Wyatt in going out and shooting up the town, but it is Wyatt who (to everyone's surprise) tells them all to wait. 

Late that night, Wyatt calls together all his allies. He tells them that the Earps are going to leave Tombstone, along with Doc Holliday. But that isn't going to be the end of it, only the beginning. He tells them all that he can't ask of them to join him, but if they do they should know that it may well be suicide and might destroy their reputations, because it's his intention to wipe the Cowboys out by any means.  He knows Charlie Basset, with his lawful-good orientation, couldn't be asked to join them, so he asks him to stay behind in Tombstone and act as Marshal of the town for as long as he feels safe to do so, which he agrees. Everyone else gets on board with Wyatt's plan.

The PCs quickly settle their affairs. Crazy Miller leaves his businesses in the charge of his accountant, updates his will with his lawyer, leaves Buckskin Frank in charge of their gambling hall, and arranges passage for Miss Scarlet out of town to stay in Dodge City "for a while".
Kid Taylor says his goodbyes to Mayor Clum and to Doctor Goodfellow. Goodfellow realizes Kid's plans have changed, and he's likely going to be riding for blood with Wyatt; so he loans Kid his new invention: last year Goodfellow had seen a man shot who didn't bleed as much as he should have. On inspection he realized that the bullet had been slowed by a silk handkerchief. So Goodfellow bought himself about $600 worth of silk and made a kind of vest out of it, which he hopes should be capable of greatly reducing the harm of bullet impacts. He says he's giving it to Kid to test it out, but it's also obvious he's hoping it might save Kid's life, as the two have gone from being rivals when Goodfellow first came to town, to being friends now.

(Doctor Goodfellow, inventor of the bullet-proof vest, and the Crystal Palace Saloon; Goodfellow's practice was upstairs, and the saloon was a favorite hangout of the cowboys)

The next day, the Earps load up their wagon, along with Morgan's coffin, taking Doc Holliday with them, as well as Kid Taylor's wife and children. They get ready to drive to Tuscon, where they'll be taking a train for California, back to the Earp homestead. Stopping in front of the Crystal Palace, where the Cowboys are waiting to watch him go, Earp tells them that it's over; they're leaving forever, the Cowboys have won.  Curly Bill Brocius responds with "Well... bye". Johnny Ringo says that something smells like death.

The Earps ride off.

Meanwhile, the PCs follow them to Tuscon, from a distance, to ward off any potential Cowboy attacks along the way. At the same time, Turkey Creek Jack Johnson, Texas Jack Vermillion and Sherman McMaster went on to Bisbee. And Bat Masterson headed to Colorado, where he'd been tasked with making sure they'd have a place where the rest of the gang could be safe if they had to get out of Arizona.

The Earps are cautious as they get to the train station. Wyatt had Kid Taylor scout out the station and Kid spotted Ike Clanton and three other cowboys waiting around, no doubt to ambush Wyatt and Virgil when they're about to board. While Virgil and the women get ready to board the train, Wyatt and Doc meet up with the PCs, and they set up a counter-ambush. 

Ike and his men approach Virgil and he asks "Hey Virgil, where's your brother?"
Wyatt answers "Right behind you, Clanton!" and when they turn he shoots one of the cowboys down. The other PCs and Doc start firing. Pretty soon the Cowboys are all dead, except for Ike (who Wyatt had told them not to shoot, predicting correctly that Ike would drop his gun as soon as the shooting started and plead for mercy). He spares Ike so he can give the rest of the Cowboys a warning: "You called the thunder? Well by god now you have it. You see this star I'm wearing? It says US Marshal. You tell all your friends, Ike, I see a red sash and I'll kill the man wearing it! You tell them I'm coming, and hell's coming with me!"

Once Virgil and the women are safely away on the train, Wyatt, Doc and the PCs ride out to Bisbee to meet up with the others. They had already scouted out the town, and found there were four Cowboys lounging around the barber shop. So Wyatt charges into the barbershop on horseback and him, Doc, and the Millers shoot them all dead.

Wyatt got himself deputized as a US Marshal, and he's deputized everyone in his posse (excepting Doc, who refused), and now his plan is to ride through Arizona killing every Cowboy he can get his hands on, striking whenever they're found in manageable numbers and aren't expecting it. This isn't justice, it's a reckoning.  The papers describe Wyatt and his gang as "The Adjudicators", but Doc says he doesn't care much for that name, and thinks they should be called "Wyatt Earp's Immortals".

The Players have been waiting for this moment a long time. Now, let's see if they survive it.


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  1. I love you campaign summaries. Your games seem to be so interesting. I would love to see you to a video about how your organize and manage your games. How you come up with ideas for campaigns? How you plan them? How you track them? What you do to drive them so long?

    1. Well, I think that might be something I could do a future video about. Just don't ask me to film sessions.

  2. Oh I wouldn't ask that at all. I don't necessarily enjoy watching RP sessions. I just want to know the process that goes on in prep and behind the scenes for your game.

  3. What rules are you using for your Western campaign? Great stuff.