The Legend of Creek Floor

Or, How a County Clerk Briefly Became the Most Wanted Man in the West.

The following account occurred during a No Country for Old Men scenario for Six Gun Sound – Devil’s Elbow (referred to as 6GS).  In a No Country game, your character has stumbled upon a satchel full of money (aka Increasing Rep d6) at the site of a shootout.  Naturally, the prior owners want their satchel back – thus launching your adventure across the Travel Map in 6GS, where you are chased by enemy groups represented by counters that move around the map and ambush you at every turn.  We use a custom version of the 6GS Travel Map which includes each of the five locations in Mexico and Canada as visitable locations.

In tonight’s game, I acted as the Game Master and ran the rules for my friend, who played as the protagonist with the stolen satchel.  He made all the decisions on how to spend the money, where to travel, and what to do in each Encounter.  Instead of using the default character, Chester Chase, he rolled up a fresh character using a randomized weapon, attribute, and profession.  This is the character he ended up with:

  • Government Assistant
  • Reputation: 5
  • Weapon: Revolver (2 targets)
  • Attributes: Hard as Nails (random), Crack Shot (chosen)

Naturally, a kooky character like this deserves a ridiculous name, so my friend christened him Creek Floor.

Prologue

The hero of our tale, Mr. Creek Floor, began his grand adventure as a mere county clerk in East Texas.  Finding his meager pay nowhere near enough to get by, Mr. Floor spent his weekends hunting for food in the wilderness.  One lucky afternoon, he stumbled across the soon-to-be infamous satchel surrounded by bullet-riddled corpses.

Upon opening the satchel, he found it carried 30 Increasing Rep d6!  More than enough to quit his job and start a profitable business of his own.  Naturally, Mr. Floor did the sensible and pragmatic thing, and chose to steal a massive sum of money from a mysterious third party known to be heavily armed.

With his grand adventure kicking off, Mr. Floor high-tailed it out of East Texas.  In just a few short weeks, the Travel Map would be teeming with enemy groups combing every corner of America for the satchel.  For now, he maintained a head start.

On his way out of the state, he stopped at a General Store and bought himself a knife, a Semi-Automatic Pistol (3 targets) to go with his Revolver, and a stick of Dynamite (5 targets, single use).  As with all No Country for Old Men main characters, dual-wielding handguns is an option, and ultimately a necessity when facing the overwhelming odds of late encounters.  He declined the services of the Hired Hands who lurk around town offering their guns for hire. 

Week 1 – Arizona, Bloody Beginnings

Creek Floor needed as much distance from East Texas as possible.  He moved the maximum distance in one week directly West, landing in Arizona.  Here he rolled for his first Random Encounter. 

In No Country, there are no voluntary encounters – only a single random encounter per week.  Here were his options based on his roll:

  1. Carousing – A bit of respite, optional encounter to visit shops or interact with PEFs.
  2. Riding the Trail – If all PEFs are resolved, you can enter town and Carouse, but this encounter is also optional.
  3. Hold Up – A band of low-level robbers jumped you on the trail.  Defend yourself or hand over the satchel.
  4. Posse – A gang of outlaws are tailing you.  You can flee or fight.
  5. Defend – A gang attacked your camp, but you had time to prepare first.
  6. Confrontation: Gang – A gang attacked your camp, and they got the drop on you.

He rolled a 5, so he must fight the incoming gang in a Defend encounter.

My friend came up with an idea: Why not bait them into the camp and ambush them there?  Since the Encounter rules specify that he sees them coming and has time to prepare, I decided this is valid and came up with a Challenge based on the composition of the incoming party:

  • Cowboy – Rep 5, dual Revolvers (4 targets).
    • Attribute: Cruel
  • Outlaw – Rep 3, Revolver (2 targets).
    • Attribute: Runt

Due to the small size of the enemy party and the disparity of skill between each partner, I decided this challenge is neither difficult nor easy, but a regular challenge.  On success, the Action would start with Creek Floor taking the advantage and first shots.  On fail, the bad guys would take the advantage and first shots.

Creek Floor rolled and passed both dice.  The Cowboy rolled for his party, but only passed one die.  Our hero won the challenge.

The experienced Cowboy and the runty Outlaw took the bait hook-and-sinker.  They wandered into the camp and, finding it empty, let their guards down and started ransacking the supplies.  The runty Outlaw laid his rifle on the ground and dipped his face into a barrel of horse water.

And that’s when Creek Floor struck, springing from behind a bush and letting loose a volley of shots on the duo.  A pistol round split through the midsection of the Outlaw, knocking him out of the fight.  The experienced Cowboy dove behind a large boulder just as Floor’s shots ricocheted past shaving chunks off the rock face.

In the ensuing Will to Fight check, the experienced Cowboy failed his roll.  He turned tail into the wilderness, leaving behind his bleeding companion to a cruel fate. 

We decide it’s fitting to award this NPC the Coward trait, and so he becomes christened the Cruel Cowardly Cowboy and set aside for future encounters. 

The Encounter ended with Creek Floor gaining 1 Increasing Rep d6 for looting the fallen Outlaw, thus ending Week 1 in Arizona.  The loot was barely enough to cover his own expenses for weekly supplies.

Creek Floor lures the would-be robbers into his camp and ambushes them.

Week 2 – Idaho, A Smooth Criminal

The second week of Mr. Floor’s adventure started with a foreboding omen.  Week 2 marks the arrival of the Deadly Assassin in East Texas, where he remains for the week before beginning pursuit of the player in Week 3.

For now, Mr. Floor aimed to keep a solid head start.  He traveled north to Idaho, stopping just before the border to Canada.  He rolled for a weekly encounter and got a Hold Up.

Riding north through the wilderness, Creek Floor followed a craggy route around a mountain far from the prying eyes of the nearby town.  As he passed deeper, he noticed a strange character shadowing him from the rock formations overhead.  He had a bad feeling, but it was too late to turn back now.  He made his way round the next cliff face and found himself toe to toe with an Outlaw.  Overhead, the other Outlaw perched on the cliff and fixed a pistol barrel at Mr. Floor.

  • Outlaw – 5 Rep, Revolver
    • Attribute: Smooth
  • Outlaw – 5 Rep, Revolver
    • Attribute: Rage

My friend and I christened these two as the Smooth Outlaw and the Angry Outlaw.

“Hey there, cowpoke,” said the Smooth Outlaw, pacing on the trail in front of Floor.  “You look like you need to take a load off.  Why don’t you step down from that there horse?”

“You best do what he says, mister,” the Angry Outlaw shouted from above.

It was too late for Creek Floor to get the drop on these two idiots.  His only choice was to draw on the experienced gunmen and hope for the best.  With their guns already drawn, the pair of Outlaws held a significant advantage.

However, with a little good favor from the RNG gods, the draw-down worked out for our hero.  He rolled almost perfect 5’s and drew his Semi-Automatic Pistol from a concealed pocket in his coat.  First he blasted the Angry Outlaw, who fell from the cliff with a Wilhelm scream and went out of the fight.  The Smooth Outlaw got lucky and ducked back behind the foot of the cliff with only minor injuries. 

Shaken by the death of his comrade, the Smooth Outlaw cut his losses and ran off.  We set his figure aside for future encounters.  Creek Floor continued on his way, pitching camp shortly thereafter with the loot from the dead robber once again covering his weekly expenses.

The Outlaw duo traps Creek Floor and force him into a draw-down.

Week 3 – Canada, A New Friend

Back in East Texas, the Deadly Assassin gathered enough clues to catch onto our hero’s trail.  However, his progress remained slow – he rolled to move only one space closer to the player, and landed in Indian Territory.  Meanwhile, the first group of Hired Goons gathered at their headquarters in the North to prepare for the coming hunt.

Creek Floor finally earned himself some respite, rolling a 1 for a Carousing encounter.  He managed to slip across the border to Canada without being detected, stopping at the first town he could find.  At the General Store, he sold the Revolvers he’d gathered from the dead men for a total of 2 Increasing Rep d6. 

Per the No Country Carousing rules, if you resolve more than one PEF in a town, robbers are guaranteed to intercept you on your way out of town.  Additionally, if you choose to gamble some of the satchel money, local gangs will catch wind and ambush you afterward.

Creek Floor played it safe and only resolved one PEF in town after hitting the store.  He went into a bank and generated a lone character:

  • Government Assistant – 4 Rep, Unarmed
    • Attribute: Agile

Normally, Movers and Shakers will ignore you in these encounters due to your status as Most Wanted in the West.  However, since my friend was playing a Government Assistant character himself, I decided it was only fair that he can interact with characters of his own profession.

Creek Floor quickly struck friends with the local bank clerk.  After hinting at the large sum of cash inside the satchel, Mr. Floor managed to tempt the clerk into leaving his job and joining up in his dangerous adventure. 

The clerk introduced himself as Pep Wyatt and followed our hero out of the bank.  Mr. Floor and his new companion stopped at the General Store, where Floor bought a Derringer (1 target) and gave it to Wyatt.

Creek Floor and Pep Wyatt promptly slipped out of town before any local gangs or scouts noticed their presence.

Mr. Floor and his new friend Pep Wyatt strut out of the saloon.

Week 4 – Washington, The Indian Trail

The outlook for the coming week indeed became bleak.  The Deadly Assassin rolled to move two out of possible three spaces directly toward the player, landing just a couple spaces away from Creek Floor.  Meanwhile, the Hired Goons trawled across the country and landed just outside Washington, unaware of how close they are to both their target and the Deadly Assassin.

Surrounded by foes and backed into a corner, Creek Floor had no choice but to travel south.  Instead of using his maximum movement, he chose to move one space and stop in Washington.  It was a dangerous tactic, but poised to work effectively: The Goon Squad sat just between himself and the Assassin, lining them up to fight one another in the following week and allowing Mr. Floor to escape safely.

In Washington, my friend rolled a 2 and got a Riding the Trail encounter.  He chose to try and ride into town – a mistake that would prove costly.  The first PEF he resolved was a lone Indian warrior.  During a No Country campaign, all Exotics and Outlaws attack you on sight unless you turn over the satchel. 

Our hero brought his wagon to a halt with his new friend beside.  A lone Indian stood in the middle of the road, holding a rifle and staring them down.  Pep Wyatt waved gently to the Indian in a sign of good will.  The man in the road didn’t respond, his eyes fixed on them with ill intent.

  • Indian Warrior – 4 Rep, Rifle (1 target)
    • Attribute: Tough

“We’re in for some sport,” Floor said.

Wyatt nodded grimly and said, “Looks that way.”

The only way to resolve this tense standoff was through a Draw.  The only man who did not pass the Will They Draw test was Pep Wyatt.  His eyes darted in panic between his new friend and their imposing adversary.  Acutely aware of the gravity of his error, Wyatt jumped off the wagon and sprinted back down the road heading north to his home in Canada.

Now Floor and the Indian faced off, neither man intending to take their eyes off the satchel.  When they drew, Creek Floor slipped up – his hand got stuck on the holster and he raised the gun too late.  He only passed 2 dice while the Indian passed all 3.

The crack of the rifle echoed through the valley.  Creek Floor tumbled over the side of the wagon, thudding hard against the soft mud.  The Indian gave him Obviously Dead damage, but a combination of Hard as Nails and Starpower brought the damage down to a manageable Rep reduction.  Floor dragged himself around the back of the wagon, leaving behind a thick trail of blood.  The Indian stood in the road reloading his rifle.

Determined not to give up in the face of adversity (and also we were tired and wanted to wrap up the game), Creek Floor chose to continue fighting the Indian to his dying breath instead of running away with the satchel.  Against all odds, he becomes Active for the next round of combat and chooses to shoot.

Floor pushed himself to his knees, the front of his suit thick with mud and blood.  He raised the quivering barrel of his pistol and laid it on the wheel of the wagon.  With the last strength that remained in his arm, he pulled back the hammer and lined up the sights.

The Indian showed himself, and Creek Floor fired.

The shot whizzed past the Indian’s head.  The Indian calmly raised his rifle and shot Creek Floor through the eye.  Creek was Obviously Dead.

The Encounter ended with the Indian taking the satchel from our hero’s body.  Afterwards, we did a Recovery roll for Pep Wyatt just to see if he had the guts to go back and face the Indian to reclaim the satchel for himself.

He rolled two 6’s.  They say you can still see the yellow trail leading all the way back across the border to Canada.

The end of the trail for ol’ Creek Floor.

The End.

After our session, my friend and I decided that Creek Floor died in the most fitting way possible for a settler in the Old West: Getting his brains dashed out by an Indian.  Next time, we’ll be continuing the campaign from the POV of the Indian warrior who took the satchel as the pursuers shift their sights on this new target.

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