Brawl at Watterson – Windy River Day 1

Well I finally got some time to sit down and play my first game in the Windy River test campaign featuring the Drylands Expedition (PDF).

windy-river-day1The posse entered the map in the top left corner, simulating them continuing their south-east journey from Hope to the remote corner of Wyoming that contains Windy River. The scale of the map was 1 hex = 3 miles. Quidel had the slowest Movement of 3, which put them at 3mph overland speed, so 18 miles per day (or 6 hexes). Quite a range! Normally a larger map would have a scale of 1 hex = 1 mile, but for convenience sake (since Quidel has 3 MV) the 1 to 3 ratio was used for this campaign.
They walked along the broken and cracked pavement, stopping for a brief lunch outside of the town of Watterson. The flat plains around them didn’t affect movement at all, so the Drylands Expedition reached Watterson in the afternoon.
Quidel planned to head to the only saloon in town called The Dusty Claw. Gibson was in charge of Dwaal, so he went to the stables with the dinosaur. Crazy Rhodes took out a bottle of whiskey from his seemingly endless supply and headed to the jungle at the edge of town to drink. Eager to be “rebellious”, Amp also went with him.
Here is how the town of Watterson looks:
DC-Windy-River_Game1-0012Most townsfolk were still out hunting, patrolling the roads, gathering supplies, wrangling dinosaurs, etc. so the town was fairly empty. The barkeep (and part owner) Ortiz was available to talk to Quidel about the area. A stablehand helped Gibson with Dwaal. And a few rough looking characters were around town.
One named Pickaxe Pete was helping load barrels at the Warehouse. Although unknown to the Drylands Expedition, his friend and ally The Smecker was busy harassing a girl in the small house directly north of the stables. And the leader of their little gang was Ruth Storm, who had been drinking all day in The Dusty Claw after losing a new recruit to a rampaging Horned dinosaur.
You can imagine how this will go.

Campaign Variant Rules: Last Man Standing, Dual Wield
Local Variant Rules and Features: Clear Day, Town, Road, Out of Supplies (represents a loose no weapon policy in the town)
Pictured above are the Etchglen Hunters, a local posse that poach dinosaurs in the jungle south of the town. Download their PDF posse roster

Turn 1 – A Fight Breaks Out
DC-Windy-River_Game1-0013Inside The Dusty Claw, Ruth misinterprets a comment Quidel makes to Ortiz, which she reasons out to be an insult to the town. Smashing her half empty glass on the table, she starts yelling at Quidel. The debate turns heated, and unknown to the two posses outside, Ruth takes a swing at Quidel with the remnants of her glass.
The Etchglen leader misses the Drylands leader. Quidel is quick to react, but doesn’t want a big issue with the town, so he opts for a Brawl attack called Trip (which would apply Stop to Ruth). However he misses, and settles for moving out the front door of the saloon.
Here are the positions of everyone outside:
Left to Right: Jungle Fang, the Raptor of Etchglen, is just returning from hunting food outside of town (since the posse are too cheap to pay stable fees). Gibson talks to the stablehand with Dwaal nearby. Amp and Rhodes drink in the thin jungle near the edge of town. The Smecker in the house north of the stables, unknown to Gibson.

As Quidel emerges from the saloon, his brow furrowed in anger, Gibson notices from across the road and calls out to him. “Just a crazy drunk woman in there. Better round up everyone, she might have friends,” Quidel shouts back. His complaint is loud enough that Pickaxe Pete, at the nearby warehouse, hears the pair. The man is desperately defensive of Ruth Storm, and instantly drops the heavy barrel he was loading and tries a long 6″ Charge at Quidel. Unfortunately he didn’t roll high enough on the distance so is left aggressively posturing a few inches away.

Gibson sees the man approaching, and even though he isn’t too enamored with Quidel, he at least doesn’t want to see some local drive a pickaxe into the Duster Leader. Luckily the “Out of Supplies” Feature doesn’t affect Gibson since his Laserbow never has to be Reloaded. So he pulls back on the charging string and lets a blast of energy fly at Pickaxe Pete. Perhaps subconsciously wanting to avoid a lethal confrontation, Gibson misses his shot.
Following his friend’s lead, Dwaal snaps free of the stable harness and tries to Charge at Pickaxe Pete, but also fails his distance roll.

Hearing the laser blast, The Smecker drops the girl he’s harassing and slams out the front door, loading charges into his double barrel shotgun as he approaches.
Meanwhile, stirred by a dinosaur aggressively moving towards it’s master, Jungle Fang boldly strides up the road and easily succeeds at Charging the unsuspecting Quidel. The Raptor lunges and lands on top of Quidel, clawing and tearing wildly. Quidel takes 7 damage from the attack and fails his Bravery Test!

Seeing a commotion further down the road, Rhodes and Amp put away the bottle of booze and advance across the pavement. Along the way both unholster and Reload their weapons in preparation for trouble. Meanwhile the stablehand dives for cover, and Ortiz hastily tries to kick the angry Ruth Storm out of his saloon.
That’s the end of turn 1. At this point I should mention the Objective, which is Strike Fear. Although this was a random roll the Objective seemed well suited since neither posse wants a bloodbath on their hands, and are really just trying to route and shoo away the other gang.
The first Posse to cause 4 Bravery Tests against the enemy wins. Note that taking an enemy out of action counts towards this goal. So you could cause three Bravery Tests then kill one of the people that took it, and that’d be enough to win.

Turn 2 – Conflict Escalation
DC-Windy-River_Game1-0038Pressured by Rhodes, Amp lines up a long distance shot (possible thanks to the “Clear Day” Feature) at Pickaxe Pete, who is clearly in line to attack Quidel. Amparo’s steady hand lets him land the impressive shot, hitting for 7 damage (2 hits, one of which was a Critical). Suddenly awash in searing pain from an unknown direction, Pickaxe Pete fails his Bravery Test and will Flee.
DC-Windy-River_Game1-0043Still growling and viciously snapping at Quidel, Jungle Fang continues his relentless assault. The dinosaur hits again for another 7 (that 1A-6D on RMC 6 is brutal!). Before Quidel can even react, he is taken out of action. Can you imagine leaving a saloon and having a Raptor leap on you and claw you nearly to death? Jungle Fang finishes his impressive Activation by moving towards his next victim: Gibson.
Since Quidel was the Leader and was taken out of action, every other character in the Posse needs to take a Bravery Test. And guess what? They ALL fail! Luckily Bravery Tests incurred by a Leader dying don’t count towards the number needed to win.
Hearing Quidel’s pained yells and seeing the blast of energy from Amp’s shot, The Smecker moves closer to the unsuspecting Gibson and unloads a single barrel of super heated plasma. The attack benefited from the “Shot in the Back” rule (10+ would Critical instead of just 12), but unfortunately the shot misses.

As he’s Fleeing away, Gibson sees the blast of energy from The Smecker fly over his shoulder. Quickly the man turns and fires his Laserbow at The Smecker, hitting with a Critical for 7 total damage, which causes the coward to Flee.

DC-Windy-River_Game1-0045Furious at seeing his friend hurt, Dwaal screeches and Charges at Pickaxe Pete, who was already marked Fleeing. Unfortunately the flailing, small dinosaur fails to connect with any claws.
Pickaxe Pete, disorientated and still Fleeing, heads his Movement of 6″ directly away from Dwaal. Desperately the man tries to Charge back in, but fails the distance roll and stays where he is.

Rhodes completes his mandatory Fleeing movement down the road, then reverses and Runs back towards the fight. Ruth Storm drops the rest of her glass and stumbles outside to see what the fuss is about. She nearly trips on the prone, bloodied body of Quidel. Shaking her head to try to sober up, the Etchglen Leader reloads massive batteries into her Handcannon.

At this point Quidel had failed a Bravery Test and was taken out, so Etchglen has a score of 2. Pickaxe Pete and The Smecker failed Bravery Tests so Drylands also has a score of 2.
Etchglen: 2
Drylands: 2

Turn 3 – Blood in the Streets
DC-Windy-River_Game1-0049Ruth Storm edges behind her loyal dinosaur Jungle Fang, using his tail both as cover and as support for her shot. Aiming she fires at Dwaal, who is exposed after Pickaxe Pete fled. The shot connects and wounds the dinosaur for 9 damage, which adds a Panic token.

DC-Windy-River_Game1-0048Further up the road Amparo, still Fleeing from Quidel being taken out, completes his mandatory movement then does an extreme distance shot at The Smecker, who is busy menacing Gibson. The shot hits for 8 damage and takes the man out of action. Amp has been consistently impressive so far this battle. Drylands now has a score of 3.

Having calmed slightly at having Ruth so close, Jungle Fang still knows what it must do. Moving forward from being The Dusty Claw, the carnivorous Raptor Charges Dwaal, hitting once for 7 damage which takes the smaller herbivore out of action. Now Etchglen also has a score of 3.

Gibson edges forward, keeping close behind a crater in the old pavement. Thanks to the “Clear Day” (+5″ Long range to any weapon) his Laserbow is able to reach Pickaxe Pete at long range. Steadying himself with two calm breaths, the Neotechnoist charges the bow and lets fly at Pickaxe Pete. The blast of energy hits the main square in the chest for 6 damage, which takes him out of action. This brings the Drylands Expedition score to 4, and wins the battle!

The remnants of Etchglen slink off into the fading light, hoping to avoid any further abuse.
Etchglen: 3
Drylands: 4

End of Encounter Process
So-Wild-WestSince this is a campaign, tracking IP, ND, and injuries is very important. The first step is to determine if any of the Drylands members suffered Wounds from being taken out of action. Quidel and Dwaal are the only two affected, so they have to roll 1D12. Luckily Leader’s get +2 to the roll and Dinosaurs get +1, and if they get 8+ on the roll they are unharmed. With crazy luck I rolled a 12+2 for Quidel and 11+1 for Dwaal, so there are no lasting effects from being mauled by a Raptor.
Next the posse receives rewards based on the encounter. In this case they took two enemies out of action (Pickaxe Pete and The Smecker) which gives +6 IP and +$60 ND. They also won the encounter so they receive an extra +$30 for a total of +$90. Since they had some leftover IP (3) they have 9 IP and $90 to use if they wish.

I considered getting 2x100kW Six-Shooters for Rhodes, since he’s leveraging the “Dual Wield” Variant Rule, but I think I’ll wait to upgrade him until I can go dual Handcannons (because that would be awesome) for 3A-6D. Instead $60 will be spent on a 200kW Six-Shooter for Gibson. His Laserbow is nice with never having to Reload, and against low armor targets the single attack isn’t too bad. But I got lucky with some rolls, like against The Smecker (who had AR 2) where Gibson needed 10+ to hit. In those cases I’d rather have a backup weapon, so a 4A-2D six-shooter sounds like a perfect alternative. Plus it’s technically similar damage to the Laserbow (1A-5D) so he can interchange them without any loss.
The remaining $30 will be saved.

As for the Improvement Points, all 9 will be saved for the time being. If I can get 10 IP then Quidel could have +1 MV, or I could give +1 AR to Amp.

So after their first victory, the Drylands Expedition looks like this (Saloon link).

Even though I’m only one game into the campaign, I’m already excited to see the growth and evolution of the posse. Hopefully I can get another game in this week (Wednesday), and then maybe next week. Not sure if I’ll be able to keep doing such fleshed out battle reports since they take close to 3 hours to write up :)

Changes and Notes From Play
– Change Saloon PDF export to not use decimal places for Neodollars
– Make “Strike Fear” objective not include Bravery Tests due to Leader death, since otherwise it becomes “Assassination”
– Note only 1 Panic token can be added per single attack (currently confusing with “multiple” wording)

Old rulebooks now available

ArchiveI’m a big fan of looking back at the progression of a ruleset and seeing how it evolved over the many months. So I combed through this blog to find every Dinosaur Cowboys release I’ve done, and have now linked to them on the main download page. For easy access here is the list repeated as of the v1.3a release. These are links directly to the PDF file. I definitely like perusing those pre-v1.0 releases and seeing all the big TODO chunks. Also fun to see what sections I’ve rewritten and a few of the sentences that have made it all the way from the first version.

Old Versions: 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.7, 0.8, 0.9, 0.91b, 1.0, 1.1, 1.1b, 1.2, 1.3, 1.3a

Speaking of rules the development version of v1.4 was generously edited for typos, grammar, and structure by a fellow Boardgamegeek website user named Grusome99. I’ve rolled his changes into the document so those nine or ten fixes will be part of the next release.

In terms of the next release I am thinking sooner is better. This has been one of the larger gaps between releases, but more importantly v1.3a is getting fairly far behind the current v1.4. There were enough changes with campaigns, objectives/deployments/features, Gutless, etc. that you can expect a new version early March.

Problem with the Bravery stat

BraveryThe picture to the right is about Courage, but I figured it fit well enough for Bravery. In Dinosaur Cowboys the Bravery stat is used to see if a character will run away after having overwhelming damage dealt to them. Sounds great right? Higher is obviously better. The downside is…dun dun dun…rolling LOW on the Bravery Test is the way to pass it. So if you roll a 12 you actually fail and run away for your next activation.

Originally in 2010 (has it really been that long?!) I had this mechanic as a “Fear Test”, and each character had a Fear stat. Then the idea was rolling >= Fear resulted in a failure, although it should have been >= success. Back then having a higher Fear stat was better (should have been lower). Obviously in the old implementation (of high = fail) Fear didn’t make sense, so I changed it to Bravery. The downside of high stat = better means low roll = better. I’d rather have a high roll be better, like for RMC and MMC, with the downside being you want a lower stat for it. I was able to get around this for those two by having “Miss Chance” in the name. Fear worked okay as a stat, but it felt more like a condition than a built in facet of a character.

Currently this is the only roll in the whole game where lower is better (even including Charge distance, healing, everything). So I’d really like to get it changed. But that means figuring out a good stat name that conveys lower = better, sounds good in a sentence (“Now take your XYZ Test”).

So basically the ideal would be:
Fear Test: Roll 1D12, >= Fear is a success. Lower Fear is better

But I don’t like Fear as the stat, so I’ve been trying to think of some better alternatives. Here are some ideas:

  • Exhaustion
  • Weariness
  • Fear
  • Cowardicy
  • Craven
  • Scared
  • Scare
  • Gutless
  • Spineless
  • Faint
  • Meek
  • Fright
  • Terror

So far I think I like Faint, Gutless, and maybe Cowardicy (although that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue). Hmm.

Exhaustion, Weariness, Fear, Scared, Fright, and Terror all seem like conditions that would grow over time during a battle, as compared to an inborn stat.

Scare and Spineless are good, and sound okay in a sentence, but I’m not sold on them.

Craven is cool but is more of an insult than a stat.

So anyways, I know I didn’t plan on making any big changes after v1.0, but this is an annoying enough issue that I’d like to change it. The only other larger change I’d want to make is figuring out a way to remove the custom non-D12 dice from Dinosaur Panic Movement, while still keeping the underlying feeling.

Custom Game Sheet

Clever-GirlI recently played a game using the new Deployment, Objective, and Feature rules. We had a “Clever Girl” deployment with an “Assassination” objective. The Clever Girl deployment is supposed to mimic the namesake situation in Jurassic Park. So the defender has to split their posse and deploy between the back and middle of the board. Then attacker deploys at the back and puts two entities to either flank of the defender’s forward element (ie: the flanking Velociraptors from the movie). This was already a fun deployment, but the Assassination objective meant the defender (who had unknowingly exposed their Leader as a forward element) was immediately on their toes. The game looked like it’d be over in a few turns as the defender’s Leader was down to 2 HP! But they managed to get into cover and push back with the rest of their force, eventually driving the attacker back and winning the game. Quite a good time.

Anyway during this game we also had planned to use the “Carnivorous Plants” setup Feature, which basically meant vegetation could attack people standing beside it. However I forgot to use this rule the entire game.
So what I decided to do to is create a quick Custom Game Sheet. The purpose of this is to help remember what Variant Rules and Features are used in the heat of a battle. Silent Death had a similar approach, and with the growing number of Variant Rules and massive number of Features I figured such a tool would be very handy. So I made a one page sheet and inserted it in the latest rulebook (which I’ll release after some more testing and editing of the campaign rules).

Here is how it looks:
And here is the download: Custom Game Sheet (PDF).

I also added alternating shading to the various item charts. I am honestly not sure why I didn’t have that right from the start. Reading wide tables without any color differentiation is rather tough. I also added a splash of green color to match the blank posse roster. Anyway a quick preview of the old vs new chart:
Now that I looked at the lists from this view I realized the name should have a trailing space or padding to break it up a bit from the divider.

I’m busy travelling for a while here, but I do want to sit down and play some campaign battles for my test Windy River setup.

Lego Lone Ranger set for alternative figures

I briefly touched on the possibility of using a Lego posse in the past. But the upcoming Lone Ranger sets from Lego seem like they’d make such an alternative even easier (mainly because they have some prebuilt terrain).

DC-Lego-Battle-056Related: Dinosaur Cowboys battle report using Lego posses! Read the Thermopolis Outpost Raid with Lego.

I think the shootable cannon in the cavalry set would be a neat way to play one of the original wargames, Little Wars by HG Wells, the way it was intended (with actual shooting over rolling to shoot).

Here are a bunch of box shots for the set Lego aims to tie in with the upcoming 2013 Lone Ranger movie remake:


The Windy River Campaign – Setup


Above is the campaign map for the Windy River area, a semi-fictional location that I’m going to try a solo test campaign in. I loosely based the area on a southern section of Wyoming (Google Maps view). Generally mountains to the north east, an old road leading NW-to-SE, and a slight river to the south west.

Compared to my original campaign map while brainstorming the Windy River is noticeably smaller. That’s an intentional choice so that I can flesh out the few locations without too much effort. The smaller the barrier to entry, the quicker I’ll be able to try out the rules.
I’ll try to update this blog with reports of each campaign turn, what the posse encountered, how everything went, and so on. My general hope is to have a fun time while putting the rules (especially post battle injuries) through their paces. Everything will be under the new Campaign tag/category, so check back in the future.

Before I talk about the Windy River locations and points of interest, I want to introduce my Posse that will be tackling this wildland…

Look at those cool dudes! I also had a version that used my “egg stealer” dinosaur (which you can check out here) but I opted for the first dinosaur I got for this game: my little fluffy non-Papo fellow. He’s a great size and style for a Runner.

Origin of “Drylands”: Anyways they are called the Drylands Expedition. Why do I always use the name “Drylands”, you might be wondering? Well, you might NOT be wondering, but I’m going to tell you my fascination with it regardless. See before Dinosaur Cowboys, I had worked on another game called Drylands. So I sort of pay homage to it by naming the odd Posse along those lines. The old game wasn’t that great, and tried the same RPG/skirmish split (I just never realized it would also have worked better as full skirmish). But I did have an interesting (but clunky) system of D20+XD4s where you would add D4s as modifiers, instead of flat numbers. If all this history sounds intriguing I actually have uploaded a copy of the Drylands rules. That was even before I used ODT format, or exported to PDFs, or merged all my rules into a single document.

That’s enough reminiscing though.

Drylands Expedition Background
Here are the statistics for the Drylands Expedition posse, and then I’ll talk a bit about each character, their motivations, and overall goals.

Overall, the Drylands Expedition was sent on an expedition (who would have thought) from the central Neotechnoist city of Hope (situated by the volcano and surrounded by The Wall). Their goal was to provide up to date scouting reports in the quadrant of land around Windy River. They were given eight months to do this. The plan was three months of travel each direction, although any chance to use Flappers for speedier transport was highly recommended, and funded up to a certain point.

The leader of the expedition is a Neotechnoist named Gibson Crawford (using an old metal 40k Space Marine shotgun scout figure). I figured he’d have high tech weaponry, so he got a Laserbow. His close friend Amparo (also a 40k figure, this time a Tallarn guardsman) accompanied him. Aside from six porters (in true Victorian era jungle style) the Drylands Expedition was alone.

The two Neotechnoists walked south east, following the overgrown and cracked pavement of Route 26. After a solid week of marching, losing a porter in the process to disease, they stopped to rest at the small hamlet of Dinwood. Gibson knew the further they got from Hope, the more dangerous the country would become. So at Dinwood he started looking for a local to help guide them.

He found Quidel, a Duster busy using his Heavy Pistol to disembowel two dinosaur thieves. Amparo was impressed by the display of violence and aggression, and swayed the tentative Gibson into hiring Quidel.

Over the next month Quidel became more and more influential to the Drylands Expedition. He fired one porter for falling asleep on sentry duty. Another porter was killed by a roaming Terror dinosaur. And through it all Amparo began to listen more and more to the Duster and less and less to his close friend Gibson.

After another month Amparo had taken the nickname “Amp”, and was working very hard at forgetting his Neotechnoist heritage. At this point his Allegiance effectively became Bandit (unaligned). Quidel was pleased to see this transition, finding Amp easier to get along with than the snobby Amparo. The Duster didn’t have anything specific against Neotechnoists, he just found that, generally, they were boring, dim witted people with huge naivety streaks.
Amparo was already a great shot in Hope, but after weeks on the road he was able to perform trick shots that left most townsfolk dazzled and amazed.

The expedition headed off the main highway and into wilder territory. At this point the rest of the porters were captured or killed in a raid by heavily armed highwaymen. Quidel and Gibson were both wounded in the attack. After such a close brush with death everyone agreed to expand the expedition to increase their protection and chance of survival as they trudged deeper across Wyoming.

So when they came across the town of Buelah Belle everyone was eager to find additional muscle. Using most of his remaining Neodollars, Gibson was able to hire a rough Duster named Rhodes and his pet dinosaur Dwaal (which Google Translate told me means “wander” in Dutch). Rhodes had travelled all over the southern United States, and was quick at cards and on the draw. For all his skill, he still only carried two rusty and dented 80kW Six-Shooters.

After leaving the town, the Drylands Expedition attempted to procure Flapper transport. However during the night before their flight, everyone was awoken by the ground heaving and shaking. The launch pad was in the path of migrating Ducky’s. At this point Gibson and the rest of the crew learned that Rhodes had a nickname too…”Crazy” Rhodes. While everyone dove for cover, the Duster stood alone against the incoming dinosaurs, laughing wildly and firing his Six-Shooters into the Ducky’s. No one was sure if his persistence paid off, or simply confused the dinosaurs, but he was able to turn the stampede from destroying the camp.

Now the Drylands Expedition has just landed a few miles outside of the Windy River area. Gibson is busy balancing preparations with trying to convince Amparo of the importance of the mission. Quidel, now fully in control of the group, is always ready for more adventure and excitement. Amp is spending his time mimicking “Crazy” Rhodes, twisting stories out of the Duster, and generally having his head in the clouds. And Rhodes is a mixed bag of extreme laughter and crushing anger. Behind them the wandering Dwaal easily keeps pace, looking for a delicious plant or bug to snap out of the air.

The Windy River Area
There are several points of interest in the Windy River area. Below are the general descriptions and guidelines for what to expect in each named location on the campaign map. The idea here is to provide a few adventure hooks for a Posse

Town of Watterson: This town is beside the ruined highway, and has many well preserved remnants of the old world. Originally Watterson was a single gas station, but eventually fast food restaurants and hotels were opened once entrepreneurs saw how popular the location was. After Eruption Day the town was abandoned. Eventually the Stanton family (Dusters) rediscovered the location, cleared some of the rubble and jungle growth, and started providing services to travellers. Instead of a gas station the central hub of the town is a watering hole, dino stables, and feed lot. A few more Duster, Bandit, and Savage families moved in.
Two brothers, Conrad and Ortiz, renovated and reopened an old hotel now called the “Eight of Diamonds” (previously a hotel in the Super 8 chain).
A second family, the Warners, cleaned up and converted a local restaurant into the only saloon in town (called “The Dusty Claw”), and are considering renovating a second hotel to compete with the Eight of Diamonds. Obviously Conrad and Ortiz are not exactly pleased at this, considering the Warners to be greedy land grabbers.
Aside from being a waystation, Watterson has an extensive hunter community due to the light jungle south of the town. The hunters forage for old world relics, hunt and trap dinosaurs, and also protect Watterson from any raids. There are a few scattered Savages in the jungle that will steal livestock every now and then.

Town of Dustdale: Far to the south east and situated beside a patch of scorched desert, citizens of Dustdale have a tough existence. The town is built around a single street, and provides the usual services of a cheap hotel (called “Woody’s House”), two rough saloons (called “Lips 66” and “Rexjaw Place”), a low grade stable, an understaffed post office, and a run down bank.
Visitors are recommended to keep their weapons handy in this treacherous place. Dino theft is not uncommon, especially since offenders can sneak into the desert and hide out in one of the numerous caves until their target leaves town.
There are constant rumors of an old, abandoned gold mine in the desert, and numerous expeditions have tried to find it.
When the citizens of Dustdale are struck with motivation they may set up a toll roadblock on the old highway, but generally they leave traveller’s alone.

Hyran Mine: This mine is owned and operated by Lynn Hyran, a hard woman eager to make her fortune. Using a team of Dusters and indentured Savages, Lynn has been mining silver and coal (generally for stoves and fires) for almost a year.
Ironically her operation was so successful that it attracted a group of bandits who constantly raid and harass the mine. Even with bounties posted in both Watterson and Dustdale, Lynn has been unsuccessful at rousing a posse to clean out the bandits. Their camp is on the other side of Icepeak Mountain. The bandits have some support from the unsavory elements of both towns, so bounty notices are often torn down or defaced. And travellers tend to just pass through the area without stopping to meddle in local affairs.
The mine also suffers random attacks from carnivorous dinosaurs which have nests and hunting grounds to the north west and south east. Between the bandits, dinosaurs, and stifling heat of the jungle, Lynn is finding fewer and fewer Dusters volunteering for work and has to rely on indentured Savages (normally serving a sentence for a crime in either town).

Outpost of Crail: Off the main highway and down a rough trail, Crail is little more than a collection of tents and campfires. The camp will take wealthy Neotechnoists and Dusters into the hills to the north or swamp to the west on various dinosaur safaris and hunts. Run by Benny Church, a slick Neotechnoist with an eye for profit, the camp is either bustling with preparation or nearly empty once an expedition starts.

Matron’s Den: A lone wood shack sits on the edge of the swamp and marsh. Inside lives a scrawny old woman named Matron Francine. Seeing herself as some kind of voodoo priestess she provides remedies and “spells” of questionable quality. There are two tribes of Savages in the nearby swamps, and both revere Francine as some kind of mystic.
Most travellers would avoid the Matron’s Den entirely except that Francine runs a brothel in the lower floors of her shack. Francine is always on the look out for new working girls, and whispered rumors say she will even kidnap travellers or locals. Somehow she has avoided any trouble from the local law.

Red Oak Tower: At the base of Sixgun Mountain, named for it’s roughly cylindrical shape, sits Red Oak Tower. Originally the Tower was a natural gas refinery. When Otto von Nash discovered the location he quickly cleaned it up and moved in. Otto came from a small town inside The Wall, but forgot his Neotechnoist ways after years in the wilds. Now he is an eclectic mix of pampered living (fine glassware, extensive library, etc.) and absolute barbarism. Otto has a special relationship with dinosaurs, which are the only other living creatures at Red Oak, and will often feed annoying travellers or wandering townsfolk to his pets. The man seems to be able to communicate quiet easily with the beasts, which have caused some to label him as “Mad Nash”.

Night Daggers Camp: A rough hideout of bandits and woodsmen who regularly raid Hyran Mine, aggressively hunt and brutally trap dinosaurs, and generally cause misery throughout the hills and mountains in the north east of Windy River. The gang is lead by Alfonso, Nicky, and Wendell, who are a varied mix of backgrounds and goals and often conflict in their ideas of how the Night Daggers should proceed. The number of bandits in the gang fluctuates between a dozen and fifty, depending on the season, lawman pressure, etc.
The Night Daggers Camp has an exterior location, which is a collection of ramshackle huts slung between the thick jungle trees. Beside the homes and huts is the yawning maw of a cave entrance. Originally a tourist destination (called “Spring Sprinkle Caves”), the extensive sulfur caves wind for miles and miles into Icepeak Mountain. The Night Daggers have only performed a cursory exploration, and generally use the caves for shelter and stashing their loot.
Townsfolk whisper of a back entrance to the camp through these caves, but none has been found or spoken of yet. They also gossip about strange albino dinosaurs living deep in the cave.

Dinosaur Symbols: There are two dinosaur locations noted on the map. The first is 2 hexes south east of Hyran Mine, and the other is 4 hexes north west. These denote carnivorous dinosaurs that frequent the area, both as a breeding nest and hunting ground. Posses entering this area should expect encounters with Ripper, Terror, and King type dinosaurs. There are even a few sightings of Titan dinosaurs roaming the deeper sections of jungle.

That should give you a general idea of the posse I’ll be using to tackle Windy River, and also what the area is like. Onwards to campaigning!