Friday, 20 October 2017

Gaming the Gunfighters - Aces and Eights Stats for Clay Allison

So I recently binge-read the actual-play reports of the Wild West campaign over at RPGPundit.  The first post of which you can find here.  Overall they're pretty exciting.  The game uses the Aces and Eights system by Kenzerco, only without the Alternate History setting that comes with that particular game.  So the characters in the actual plays often end up running into real-life historical figures.  Chief among them being Wyatt Earp, his brother Morgan, Bat Masterson and John Henry "Doc" Holliday.  The writer of these actual-plays does a great job of having the characters brush shoulders with these Wild West legends but not be overshadowed by them.  Which I personally find to be pretty damn cool.  While I was the reading the posts however, I began thinking about how much of a pain it must of been to stat these guys up.  Which inspired me to try out a little experiment where I tried to stat up a famous gunslinger using the Aces and Eights system.  The character below was the end result.  I borrowed the format for the stats and such from this site by Shane Ivey.

Clay Allison (Circa December 1878) 

Clay Allison was a notorious gunfighter, rancher and vigilante.  Who operated in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas from 1866 to 1887 when he died, his neck crushed by his own wagon.
A photograph of Allison while he was recuperating after
 shooting himself in the foot. The injury was the result of a confrontation
 between Allison, his friend Davy Crockett (a nephew of the famous
American frontiersman) and Buffalo Soldiers from Fort Union.
Which resulted after the troops caught Allison and
Crockett trying to steal mules from the fort's corral.

Current Occupation: Cattle Broker

Past Occupations: Cowboy, Farmer, Rancher, Scout, Soldier, Spy

Famous Deeds and Misdeeds: Convicted of spying for the Confederate Army during the civil.  Escaping from the jail where he was held and killing one of his guards in the process.  Shooting a Union Corporal who came to confiscate his family farm in Tennessee.  Killing his neighbour Johnson in a knife-fight over water-rights while in Texas.  Leading a posse to apprehend mountain man and way-station owner Charles Kennedy for murdering and robbing travellers at his way-station.  Leading a mob that broke into the Elizabethtown jail and subsequently lynched Kennedy.  Decapitating Kennedy's body, placing it in a sack and riding 29 miles to the Lambert's Inn, placing the head on stake.  Stealing a dozen Army mules from Fort Union.  Attempting the same ploy, which resulted in a shoot-out with the Buffalo Soldiers at the fort.  During which he managed to shoot himself in the foot.  Killing Texan gunfighter Chunk Colbert at the Clifton House in a gunfight, after sitting down to dinner with Colbert.  Leading the Colfax County Ring against the Santa Fe backed Grant-Men during the Colfax County War.  Leading a mob that lynched Constable Cruz Vega, in response for the murder of Reverend Franklin J. Tolby, despite Vega's protests that his uncle Francisco Griego had ordered the murder.  Killed Francisco "Pancho" Griego in a gunfight at Lambert's Inn, when Griego tried to avenge his nephew's death.  Accused of killing Manuel Cardenas after Cardenas retracted his testimony implicating Dr. Longwell and Melvin W. Mills in the murder of Reverend Tolby.  Being acquitted of the murder of Charles Cooper a friend of Chunk Colbert's who was last seen in Allison's company.  Killing Marshal Charles Faber in a gunfight after the Marshal severely wounded Clay's brother John Allison.

Vitals: Age 37 in 1878, right-handed, 6' tall, 176 lbs.

Family: The second of 6 children born to a Tennessee Presbyterian Preacher and part-time farmer.  Father is dead.  Clay is very close to his youngest brother John, close with his younger brother Jeremiah and his younger sister Ann Mary.  While he is neutral with his older brother Jesse and youngest sister Emily.

Abilities: Str 14/34, Int 9/69, Wis 10/11, Dex 16/52, Con 13/43, Lks 14/91, Cha 14/81

Other Statistics: Hit Points 25, Speed +0, Accuracy +2, Reputation -137, Fame 45 (minimum possible 13), BPs 0

Reputation and Fame Effects: 

  • +1 bonus to all die rolls.
  • 10% on any BPs earned.
  • Two mulligans per session that can be used to re-roll any roll.
  • 10% chance per week that a notorious foe starts boasting about his ability to whip Allison in gunfight.  If the boasts reach Allison's ears and he backs down he loses 20% of his reputation points. 

Past Injuries: Shot himself in the foot while trying to rustle mules from Fort Union.

Foes Killed: 

  • A Union soldier in Gainesville
  • A Union soldier in Waynesboro
  • His neighbour Johnson in Texas
  • Chunk Colbert at the Clifton House stage stop
  • Francisco "Pancho" Griego at the Lambert Inn in Cimmaron
  • Marshal Charles Faber in Las Animas

Skills: Administration 73%, Accounting 99%, Agriculture 78%, Animal Herding (Cattle) 70%, Carpentry 49%, Mathematics 85%, Reading Comprehension/Penmanship (English) 85%, Recruiting 58%, Religion (Presbyterian) 83%, Riding 72%, Rope Use 73%, Salesmanship 66%, Tracking 49% 

Talents: Courage, Greased Lightning (Pistol), Grit, Tough as Nails, Veteran Gunfighter (3)

Quirks and Flaws: Badman, Hothead, Lynch Lawman, Missing Limb (Clubfoot), Prejudiced Against (Yankees), Racist

Weapons: Two Colt Single Action Army revolvers (signature weapons): Draw speed 5, accuracy +1, damage 1d6+1, reload speed 10/cylinder

Remington Shotgun (own weapon): Draw speed 16, accuracy +1, damage d4 per pellet, reload speed 25 first/30 both

Two Bowie Knives (own weapons): Ready count 1, attack count 4, recover count 2, damage 1d4


Overall I think he turned out rather well.  I managed to find a rough approximation of his ability scores from the Deadlands Classic book Lawdogs.  Which I then converted over to the classic d20 stats that Aces and Eights uses.  The stats represented here reflect right around the time of his alleged near confrontation with Wyatt Earp in December of 1878.  I used the Missing Limb flaw since I couldn't find a flaw for a Clubfoot in the Aces and Eights book.  (Maybe Kenzerco will add one when they bring out the new edition).  I also chose quirks that reflected his personality based on accounts of the events in his life and his reputation.  Badman because of reports of his and his men's activities in the town of Cimarron.  Which included a number of cruel jokes such a making people "dance" (read: shoot around their feet) in the streets.  Hothead because he reportedly was easy to set off.  One story suggests that he beat up a ferryman named Zachary Colbert (an uncle of Chunk Colbert a man that Allison later killed), because the ferryman overcharged Allison and his family to ferry them across the Brazos river.  Lynch Lawman to reflect his tendencies to lead lynch mobs against perceived wrongdoers.  The Prejudiced Against Yankees to reflect his seemingly constant conflict with northerners after his service in the Confederate army.  Racist reflects Allison's actions as a member of the Waynesboro chapter of the KKK and his tendency to get into fights with Hispanics and Freedmen.  Anyway that's about it for me.  If you liked this post be sure to +1, comment and reshare.  As always have a good day and may the dice be ever in your favour.