Chapter Three:

Bushwhacked in
Beaver Creek!

GM: Mike Mitchell
Assisted by Kyle Nearhood

Game played 2 - 6:30 p.m.
Aug. 22, 2004

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Posted:Aug. 27, 2004

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Vile Ruffians Invade Peaceful Town!

Texas Rangers Swear Revenge
On Redleg Gang!!

"Another solid installment in our Summer Playtest. Once again the guys helped us identify some issues with the way we handle ambushes. I definitely plan to revisit this issue this summer."
-- Mike Mitchell, Gutshot co-creator

The table was packed as 12 members of the Redleg Gang started blasting their way through the adventure. Before they stopped their reign of terror, bodies would be piled up like cord wood and flames were engulfing the town.

Aug.27, 2003
Beaver Creek, Texas –
The notorious outlaws, The Redleg Gang, have struck again, terrorizing the once-peaceful town of Beaver Creek. When the smoke cleared (or the dice quit rolling), the crooked land agent was dead, his bodyguards slaughtered, and town going up in flames.

"Players are notorious for messing up the best-laid plans of GMs," said Gutshot co-creator Mike Mitchell. "I've run games for years, and have personally run this adventure four or five times before, and I have never seen a group cause this much mayhem this fast! It was amazing to watch the carnage unfold!"

The plot of the game, "Bushwhacked in Beaver Creek," is very simple. The crooked land agent, Mr. Merriweather, has swindled one of the boy's granny out of the deed to her ranch. So the boys have saddled up and ridden into Beaver Creek to jump him, get the keys to his safe, and steal back the deed (and help themselves to any money they might happen to find). Of course, in the West, ain't nothing that simple. There's a Texas Ranger in town with a stack of wanted posters featuring their faces, so they have be careful.

The carnage began when the players decided to split into two groups. Everyone who was wanted for crimes committed in previous adventures lurked in the streets and in the alley to jump Mr. Merriweather and his bodyguards as they left the bath house on Friday night. Everyone else (five new players) mingled with the crowd at the Grand Hotel and attempted to distract the ranger and the patrons (who could be mustered into a posse by the Ranger).

To find out who won, who lost, who lived, and who died -- check out the Game Report below.

Playtest Criteria  

Jessica Nelson (playing Gabriella Francesca) calculates what her Character will do next as Jeff Pieper (playing Aces) waited for his next turn. This was the first game for both players.

The game was specifically designed to stress test how the rules perform in an ambush setting.

"The rules performed as they have in the past -- not that well," Mitchell admitted. "That's why we keep returning to these issues -- players tell us there's a problem and we keep revisiting it and reworking it until we find a way to make it work smoothly within the confines of our game system. I think I've identified a way to address this issue, and we'll definitely be revisiting it before we finish the campaign."

The game also highlighted two other areas for attention: Mobs and the need for streamlined record keeping.

"I think I've finally got a handle on how the mobs should run," Mitchell said. "And, with 17 PCs and 12 NPCs, I realized something so obvious that I'm stunned I didn't think of it before! I kept fumbling through stacks of Character Sheets looking for who was attacking whom, and then realized this would go much more smoothly if I created with a short record keeping system that let me fit more than one NPC to a sheet. It's so obvious that I can't believe I didn't think of it before!"

What's also obvious was that 29 Characters is too much for any one game!

"I knew that there were too many people going into it. Thank heaven Kyle Nearhood showed up to lend me a hand, or I would have been swamped," Mitchell said gratefully. Kyle played in last summer's campaign when he rode with the Midnight Riders as the mysterious desperado known only as Cord. He was the only character not to be identified by the authorities.


The Redleg Gang:

    New Specialties are in Blue

  • Bob -- (played by David Burlin)
    Custom 1 - TN 7, Quickdraw: Pistol
    Weapon: Pistol
  • Buckshot Bill -- (played by John Black)
    Custom 2 - TN 8, Sureshot: Shotgun, True Grit
    Weapon: Double-barrel Shotgun
  • Buckshot Buddha (played by Robert Hart)
    Gambler - TN 8, Lucky, Spontaneous, Sureshot: Shotgun
    Weapon: pistol, Double-barrel Sawed-off Shotgun
  • El Gallo Negro (played by Chris Trevino)
    Custom 2 - TN 8, Spontaneous, Sureshot: Pistol, Two-Gun Shootist
    Weapon: 2 Pistols
  • "Shirley" (played by Jared Lamb)
    Custom 3 - TN 9, Hard-to-hit, Lucky, Speedy, Spontaneous
    Weapon: Pistol
  • Shady James I (played by David Michael)
    Custom 2 - TN 8, Sureshot: Rifle, Speedy
    Weapon: Pistol, Double-Barrel Shotgun
  • "Splintertooth" Jim, alias Jimbo Connors (played by Scott Coons)
    Custom 2 - TN 8, Lucky, Spontaneous, Sureshot: Shotgun
    Weapon: Pistol, Sawed-off Double-Barrel Shotgun

New Members:

  • Aces (played by Jeff Pieper)
    Custom 1- TN 7, Hard-to-Hit
    Weapons: Pistol, Shotgun
  • Boy Name Sue (played by David Brininger)
    Owlhoot - TN 8, Brawler, Tough-as-Nails
    Weapons: Pistol, Sabre
  • The Feisty Goat (played by Rahul Tandale)
    Custom 1- TN 7, Lucky
    Weapons: Pistol, Single-barrel Shotgun
  • Gabriella Francesca, alias "La Lolita," alias "Gabby" (played by Jessica Nelson)
    Custom 2 - TN 8, Lucky, Spontaneous
    Weapons: Derringer, Pistol
  • Man With No Name (played by Mike Brininger)
    Deputy - TN 8, Hard-toHit, Lucky
    Weapons: Double-barrel Shotgun, Pistol


The Honorable Citizens of Beaver Creek:
(all NPCs played by GM Mike Mitchell & Kyle Nearhood)

In Fat Louie's Bath House

  • Mr. Merriweather -- Crooked Land Agent
    Custom 3- TN 9, Contemplative, Hard-to-hit, Lucky
    Weapons:Pistol, Derringer
    Loot: $75 in greenbacks, $10 silver dollars, bag of gold dust ($2), Flask of Whiskey, Silver pocket watch, ring of keys to office and strongbox
  • Joe Fontane -- Merriweather's burly bodyguard
    Owlhoot - TN 8, Brawler, Tough-as-nails
    Weapons: 2 Pistols, 1 Bowie Knife in boot sheath, Sap in back pocket
    Loot: 5 cigars, $15 greenbacks, $10 gold, $5 silver dollars, $20 Pesos
    Notes: during this game, prior to combat, Joe moves whenever Mr. Merriweather moves, and vice versa; the two Characters are always side-by-side; unless you fire first, he will not fire his pistol during the first Turn.
  • Norman -- Merriweather's other bodyguard
    Owlhoot - TN 8, Brawler, Tough-as-nails
    Weapons: Pistol
    Loot: $10
  • Fat Louie -- Bath house owner
    Custom 2 - TN 8, Contemplative, Lucky
    Weapons: Sawed-off Double-Barreled Shotgun (ready in hand)
    Loot: $35 in cigar box under stool
    Notes: Sits in the stool of the corner of the bath house with a loaded Sawed-off Double-barreled shotgun in his lap. Cannot be tricked into opening the door while his customers are inside.

In the Grand Hotel

  • John McLawson -- Texas Ranger in town - Upstairs, outside on the balcony
    Texas Ranger - TN 6, Spontaneous
    Weapons: Pistol, Rifle, Sawed-Off Shotgun
    Morale: Does not make morale checks

    Downstairs in the hotel saloon
  • Sam Murphy -- Bartender
    Custom 3- TN 9, Hard-hit, Lucky, Spontaneous
    Weapons: Pistol, Sawed-off Double-Barrel Shotgun
  • Cletus
    Sodbuster - TN 9, Hard-to-hit, Tough-as-nails
    Weapons: Pistol, Bowie Knife in Boot Sheath
    Loot: $3 greenbacks, silver locket w/mom's picture, 2 pistol reloads
  • Clem
    Sodbuster - TN 9, Hard-to-hit, Tough-as-nails
    Weapons: Pistol, Bowie Knife in Boot Sheath
    Loot: $2 greenbacks, 2 pistol reloads
  • Hank
    Custom 2 - TN 8, Brawler, Sure-shot: Pistol
    Weapons: Pistol, Rifle
  • Pete - Gambler
    Custom 1 - TN 7, Sure-shot: Pistol
    Weapons: Pistol
  • Joey Bright Eyes
    Townsfolk - TN 9, Hard-to-hit, Speedy, Spontaneous
    Weapons: Pistol, Rifle
  • Iron Cloud
    Custom 2- TN 8 (+1 w/pistol and rifle), Sure-shot: Pistol, Sure-shot: Rifle
    Weapons: Pistol, Rifle
  • Mr. Jones
    Custom 1 - TN 7, Hard-to-hit, Speedy
    Weapons: Rifle
  • Thompson the Banker
    Townsfolk - TN 9, Hard-to-hit, Speedy, Spontaneous
    Weapons: 2 Pistols
  • Lucky Larou
    Gambler - TN 8, Lucky, Sure-shot: Pistol
    Weapons: Derringer, Pistol
    Loot: $30-$180 (roll 3d6 x 10), deck of marked cards

Other Locations in Town

  • Cooter - In Livery Stable
    Sodbuster - TN 9, Hard-to-hit, Tough-as-nails
    Weapons: Pistol, Bowie Knife in Boot Sheath
    Loot: $2 greenbacks, 2 pistol reloads
  • Mr. Bedloe - In Longhorn Saloon
    Bounty Hunter - TN 6, Hard-to-hit, Two-gun Shootist
    Weapons: 2 Pistols, Bowie Knife in Boot Sheath
    Loot: $2 greenbacks, 2 pistol reloads



Game Stats for
Bushwhacked in Beaver Creek!

There were 12 Characters and 4 NPCs involved in the Hotel
(There were an additional 13NPC s in town -- mostly the hotel -- ready to form a Posse if the gang was recognized... and boy, were they recognized!)
The game lasted two Turns and took about 4.5 hours to play.

Introduction (Victory Objectives)
You and the boys decided to lay low for a while, so you rode into the hills above Rio Gato and stayed with your sweet Granny, who has a small ranch there. You spent your days punching cows and wrangling cattle and your evenings gambling, drinking, and dancing with your beautiful cousin, Carmalita. It’s been a relaxing few weeks, until you found out that Granny has a problem.

It seems that the crooked Land Agent -- Mr. Merriweather -- in Beaver Creek had tricked her and several of her neighbors (almost all of them related to you or one of the other gang members) into giving him their original Spanish Land Grants in exchange for bogus land grants. This will allow him to claim their land as his own. If this happens, the kindly aunt (and Carmalita!) will be kicked off their hacienda, and you boys won't have any place to hide out in the future.

After snooping around, you’ve discovered that Mr. Merriweather keeps the original deeds in a big safe locked in his re-enforced office (a building that is too sturdy to break into)-- along with a huge stack of cash.

Unfortunately, a Texas Ranger has arrived in town, with a stack of wanted posters featuring your faces. This means the you cannot just ride into town and rob Mr. Merriweather. After a few more days of observing your prey, you’ve noticed something very useful...

Mr. Merriweather likes his whiskey. Every night, around 8 o'clock, the crooked Land Agent goes to the bath house with his bodyguard, Joe. He spends about an hour soaking in the hot water and drinking his hooch. Then, accompanied by Joe, he stumbles through the alley to the back of his office, unlocks the door, enters, relocks it, and spends an hour or so counting his money and laughing wickedly as he plots to evict your sweet Granny and her friends.

During this time, the Texas Ranger will be in the Grand Hotel across the street from the Land Agent's Office. Friday night at the hotel is in full swing, with cowboys and townsfolk drinking, laughing, and flirting with saloon gals. There's even a gambler in there. If any shots are fired, the Ranger will immediately lead some of the locals to investigate -- armed and ready for trouble.

If you boys manage to jump Mr. Merriweather and Joe in the alley without a shot being fired (by you or them), you’ll save Granny’s ranch, become local heroes, and make off with the tidy sum in the strongbox. However, If even one shot is fired, the Texas Ranger will be on, leading a mob of 4-10 armed men (1d6 + 3).


Gabriella Francesca, who is new to the gang, brazenly joins the Texas Ranger on the balcony at the start of the game.

Pre-Game Setup

The players could position themselves anywhere they want in town, but not in the Sheriff's Office, Land Agent's Office, or the Bath House. If you have played in a previous adventure and are wanted, then you must avoid being seen by any of the townsfolk... especially the Texas Ranger. If they recognize you, they will instantly sound the alarm and an armed posse will form in 1-3 Actions and come after everyone they recognize).


Turn One

Names were pulled from the hat, and the outlaws got kinda jumpy waiting for Merriweather to come out of the Bath House. The Feisty Goat even tried to bluff his way into the Bath House, but was told to "get lost!" by the owner, Fat Louie. He emphasized his point by making a loud "Ka-Chink" noise with his trusty Sawed-off, Double Barrel Shotgun.





Victory Points

50 12 -10, 25   127
  12 -10, 25   77
Boy Named Sue 50 50 12 -10, 5   107
Buckshot Bill 50 - - - - 50
Buckshot Buddha 50 20 12 -10   72
El Gallo Negro 50   12 -10, 40   92
The Feisty Goat 50   12 -10, 15   67
Gabriella Francesca
  12 -10, 15   67
Man With No Name
10 12 -10, 15   77
Shady James I 
  12 -10, 40   92
10 12 -10, 20   82
"Splintertooth" Jim
20 12 -10 10 82
Aces 50 VP, Bedlow; 25 VP for trying to burn down hotel
Bob 25 VP for helping group achieve victory
Boy Named Sue 50 McLawson; 5 VP for scalping him & stealing his stuff
Buckshot Bill  
Buckshot Buddha 20 VP Killed Fat Louie (who killed him)
El Gallo Negro 5 VP, Attempting to subdue Merriweather; 5 for bravery against the mob, 5 VP for shooting Cooter; 25 VP for trying to burn down the bath house
The Feisty Goat 15 VP for facing the mob
Gabriella Francesca 15 VP, attempting to slam McLawson
Man With No Name 10 VP, assisting in McLawson kill, 15 for moving to office to further game objectives;
Shady James I  15 for moving to office to further game objectives; 25 for writing "Shady James I was here" in blood on bath house wall;
"Shirley" 10 VP, Norman the Bodyguard; 15 VP for grabbing Merriweather to further game objectives, 5 VP facing the mob
"Splintertooth" Jim 20 VP, Joe the Bodyguard; 10 VP for recovering Buddha
Loot $1,312 Cash; $20 in Pesos (doesn't count toward VP), Lavender Soap, Texas Ranger Badge, Spanish Land Grants (returned to rightful owners), some silver & gold watches, and misc. weapons.
Killing Texas Ranger Everybody lost 10 VP for the death of the Texas Ranger. The Texas Rangers have sworn revenge against you, and all purchases must now be made at Boomtown Prices!


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