The Great Southern Bank Catastrophe – a Six Gun Sound AAR

The Great Southern Bank Catastrophe

The year is 1877.  The Marston gang—or what’s left of it—is down on their luck after a deadly confrontation with a group of Natives on the trail down South.  Experienced men died in the fight, but the gang scraped through with what might pass as a victory.  With only three men left, they managed to reach a town in The South alive.  They spend some time resting in the saloon.

Here’s what’s left of the gang:

  • Jacob Marston – Outlaw from West Texas.  (He’s a Star, or else he would have been dead months ago)
    • 5 Rep
    • Pistol
    • Coward, Quick Reflexes.
  • Carlos Escalera – Cowboy from Old Mexico.
    • 5 Rep
    • Shotgun
    • Nerves of Steel.
  • Sam Odessa – Greenhorn from California.
    • 4 Rep
    • Rifle
    • No attribute.

At the saloon, Jacob doesn’t manage to gather any useful information from the clientele.  With the end of the month coming fast, he decides it’s time for desperate measures: He arranges a bank robbery, right here in the very town where they’re taking refuge after the disastrous battle against Indians.

The Robbery

Jacob, Carlos, and Sam enter a local bank with their weapons drawn.

I resolve the 1 PEF in the bank.  3 NPCs – and, for the sake of diversifying the story, I treat each as if they were a separate PEF.

The clientele:

  • Bank Proprietor
    • 4 Rep
    • Pistol
    • Cruel.
  • Government Assistant
    • 5 Rep
    • Pistol
    • Runt.
  • Companion (hmm… I wonder what the Assistant was doing at the bank?)
    • 3 Rep
    • Unarmed
    • No attribute.

I roll for the robbery attempt.  Jacob screws up big-time – he passes 0d6.  The Assistant and the Proprietor both pass higher, and the Companion passes the same.  Jacob begins sputtering.  “Put—P-Put yer—yer—Put yer hands in the air!”  He’s sweating profusely.

The Bank Proprietor’s voice booms back at him in the lobby.  “Just what the hell do you think you’re doin’?”

Now that the Assistant and Proprietor are resisting the robbery—and armed—it’s time to go to the Draw table.  For the draw itself, the robbers get a +1d6 bonus for having their weapons drawn already.

But first, I roll for Will They Draw?

The Proprietor and the Assistant both pass their rolls.  They’re in the draw without a second thought.  The Proprietor isn’t about to back down against these petty two-bit robbers, and I guess the Assistant doesn’t want to look like a coward in front of his expensive companion.

The Proprietor speaks again in a thunderous tone: “Boy, you come in here pointin’ that iron at me—You best be ready to use it!”

Jacob and Carlos exchange glances.  Each man nods confidently.  They’re in this together, and they’re ready to die together.  But Sam is having second thoughts.

Nervous, Sam says: “Jacob, what the hell, man?  You said this bank was empty.”

“I know, Sam,” Jacob growls.  “Now ain’t exactly the time to talk about this.”

The Proprietor stares down Sam.  His eyes practically bulging from his skull, the Proprietor shouts.  His voice rattles the windows of the bank.  “This is your last chance!  You drop that weapon before I come over there, rip it out of your hands, and stuff it down your God-damned throat!

Sam makes up his mind.  He turns tail and takes off out the bank entrance.  Jacob and Carlos exchange looks of disbelief. 

The Proprietor and the Assistant stare down Jacob and Carlos, their hands itching to reach for their guns.  It’s time for the Draw.  But the robbers have the advantage—they already have their weapons pointed at the clientele.

But that doesn’t make a difference for Jacob.  When the draw happens, he freezes up.  His barrel pointed at the Proprietor’s chest, he loses control of his nerves.  Normally in a situation like this, Jacob would turn around and run.  But it was too late—his chance to run was gone, and the idea of what Carlos might do to him later scared him more than death…

The Assistant and the Proprietor both draw their guns and prepare to fire on the robbers.  But at the last split-second, Carlos opens up with well-placed shells of buckshot.  The Proprietor and the Assistant both go down in spurts of blood, unable to get a shot off in time.

Here’s how it broke down.  The firing order was:

  1. Carlos – passed 3d6
  2. Assistant – passed 3d6
  3. Proprietor – passed 2d6
  4. Jacob – passed 0d6 (does not shoot)

As Jacob begins to process what just happened, he still stands frozen with his weapon aimed.  His ears ring, and slowly everything comes into focus again.  Now he can hear the woman crying, and Carlos shouting at him: “Jacob, what the hell are you doing, man?  We need to leave!”

Jacob breaks free from his trance.  He says: “But—But the score…”

“Fuck the score.  There’ll be more scores.  We need to get the hell out of here now.”

Without completing the robbery, Jacob and Carlos turn tail.  They escape the bank before the local law shows up.  When they arrive at the stables, to their surprise, they find their old friend: Sam.  He’s mounted on his horse, and has the other horses with him.

Sam speaks nervously.  “Hey guys, I—uh—went and got the horses for us, like I planned to.”

Carlos gives Jacob a look that said: Do you wanna wax this idiot, or should I?

Jacob shakes his head.  “Thanks, Sam.  Let’s get out of here.”

The three robbers ride out of town just as the local lawman arrives on the scene.

After the Robbery

As the robbers leave the town, there’s a posse led by the lawman right on their tail.  After a short series of bad rolls, the posse catches up to the escaping robbers and a violent confrontation ensues.  The robbers lose the advantage roll, and in the first round of combat, Jacob goes Out of the Fight.  In the ensuing Will to Fight check, Carlos and Sam both run away, leaving Jacob to be captured by the law.

Since the botched robbery was a Voluntary encounter, the Marston gang ends their month out of town in The South, with Jacob Marston sitting comfortably in his jail cell.  Jacob ends up with a pile of Decreasing Rep d6, and as a result of even more failed rolls, he drops to Rep 4.

As a result of the botched robbery, Carlos Escalera realizes he’s better off riding on his own.  He cuts all ties with the Marston gang and rides off on his own way, to find a new adventure with a new crew.  Sam, despite his shameful display at the bank, remains loyal to Jacob and begins devising a plan to break Jacob out of jail.  After that, maybe they could track down Carlos and pay him a visit…

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