log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 5E Mythological Figures: 'Stagecoach' Mary Fields

We’re headed up into the mountains of Montana for today’s Mythological Figure: the pioneering postwoman Mary Fields!

Mary Fields DnD 5E BANNER.jpg


Mary was born into slavery sometime in 1832 in the state of Tennessee, and after her emancipation following the Civil War she took up work as a chambermaid on the Mississippi River steamboat Robert E. Lee and then as a household servant for Judge Edmund Dunne. When Mrs. Dunne passed Mary accompanied his children to an Ursuline convent in Toledo, Ohio to live with his sister Mother Superior Amadeus. In 1884 the Mother Superior headed to the Montana Territory to set up a school in St. Peter’s Mission, and when she came down with pneumonia Mary went to nurse her back to health then stuck around doing the “men’s work” as the forewoman for a decade. Eventually Mary’s temper and tendency took their toll, and when an incident occurred (some gunplay with an angry male subordinate) the bishop barred her from the convent so she moved to Cascade and opened a tavern. Unfortunately she was too kind and allowed too many people to eat without paying, so it didn’t last a year.

By the time 1895 rolled around Mary became a Star Route Carrier, delivering mail by stagecoach all over Montana as the US Postal Service’s first African-American woman employee. She was known to pack lead with her letters, carrying multiple firearms to fight off bandits, wolves, and whatever else threatened her on the trail. “Stagecoach Mary” (as she came to be known) was steadfast at her job and never missed a day, delivering mail in snowshoes when the snow was too deep for her horses. Understandably the people of Cascade thought very highly of her—they closed schools on her birthday, she received a mayoral exemption to a Montana law forbidding women from saloons, and after her retirement the town rebuilt her home when it burned down in 1912.

Design Notes: Mary was a pioneer’s pioneer and to reflect her implacable perseverance she’s getting fighter levels, using the scout archetype to represent her talent for roughing it in the wilderness. With six levels she can hit a Constitution of 20 and Constitution saving throw of +8, which seems about right for somebody in their later years hoofing it through chest-high snow with sacks of mail on their back. Let’s do the numbers! The DMG came in at 4.125, the Blog of Holding at 5.6, so Mary’s final challenge rating rounds out at 4.


Mary Fields

Medium humanoid (human), fighter (scout) 6
Armor Class 14 (studded leather)
Hit Points 57 (6d8+30)
Speed 30 ft.
STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
12 (+1)​
14 (+2)​
20 (+5)​
12 (+1)​
13 (+1)​
12 (+1)​
Saving Throws Str +4, Con +8
Skills Athletics +4, History +4, Investigation +4, Medicine +4, Perception +4, Stealth +5, Survival +4
Senses passive Perception 14
Languages English, one other
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)

Background: Outlander. Mary never forgets the geographic arrangement of terrain, settlements, and areas of wilderness. In addition, she can forage fresh water and food each day for as many as 6 people as long as the environment nearby can support it.

Action Surge (1/Short Rest). On her turn, Mary can take an additional action on top of her regular action and a possible bonus action.

Mastery Dice 1d8 (4/Short Rest). Mary can spend a mastery die to fuel one of the following effects. Each effect activates after the results of a roll are revealed.
  • Roll a mastery die and add half the result to a Strength (Athletics), Dexterity (Stealth), Intelligence (Nature), Wisdom (Perception or Survival) check.
  • Roll a mastery die and add the result to a weapon attack roll made against a creature.
  • Use her reaction when hit by an attack to roll a mastery die and add the result to her Armor Class, possibly turning a hit into a miss. An attack that still hits deals half damage.
Natural Explorer: Mountains. When Mary makes an Intelligence or Wisdom check related to the mountains, her proficiency bonus (+3) is doubled if she is using a skill that she’s proficient in. While traveling for an hour or more in her favored terrain, Mary gains the following benefits:
  • Difficult terrain doesn’t slow her group’s travel.
  • Mary’s group can’t become lost except by magical means.
  • Even when she is engaged in another activity while traveling (such as foraging, navigating, or tracking), Mary remains alert to danger.
  • If Mary is traveling alone, she can move stealthily at a normal pace.
  • When she forages, Mary finds twice as much food as she normally would.
  • While tracking other creatures, Mary also learns their exact number, their sizes, and how long ago they passed through the area.
Second Wind (1/Short Rest). On her turn, Mary can use a bonus action to regain 11 (1d10+6) hit points.


ACTIONS
Extra Attack. Mary attacks twice when she takes the Attack action.

Dagger. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4+2) piercing damage.

Revolver. Ranged Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, range 40/120 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d8+2) piercing damage.

Hunting Rifle. Ranged Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, range 80/240 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d10+2) piercing damage.
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Mike Myler

Mike Myler

MGibster

Legend
I was running a Deadlands game s few years ago and one of my players based her character off of Stagecoach Mary. Any time I hear someone try to justify denying a PC concept because it doesn’t fit race or gender expectations or the era, Mary is just one of the examples I use to justify the extraordinary. If it happened in real life surly we can justify it in a game. Not that Deadlands is historically accurate.


7CCBD72E-DA6D-49D0-AF4D-25C46E6D9621.jpeg
 



Ulfgeir

Adventurer
Any time I hear someone try to justify denying a PC concept because it doesn’t fit race or gender expectations or the era, Mary is just one of the examples I use to justify the extraordinary. If it happened in real life surly we can justify it in a game. Not that Deadlands is historically accurate.
Who else do you use? I can guess a few even though I don't recall their names now.

Guessing:
Julie d'Aubigny (le Maupin)
The Chinese concubine who was a pirate queen
 


Mike Myler

www.epic5e.com/ KS ends April 22nd!
Who else do you use? I can guess a few even though I don't recall their names now.

Guessing:
Julie d'Aubigny (le Maupin)
The Chinese concubine who was a pirate queen
 

Mike Myler

www.epic5e.com/ KS ends April 22nd!
The wiki for this column has a lot of great entries but I would also suggest reading about



 

MGibster

Legend
Julie d'Aubigny (le Maupin)
The Chinese concubine who was a pirate queen
I always forget Julie d'Aubigny's name. But I think of people like Chevalier de Saint-Georges, born to a slave mother in the Caribbean and a French nobleman, sent to France to learn, was a successful athlete, fencer, composer (excellent concertos but terrible operas), and colonel of the first all black regiment in Europe. If I wrote him as a fictional character you'd call him a Mary Sue.

One of my personal favorites is Bass Reeves who was the first black US deputy marshal west of the Mississippi and the owner of one of the most epic mustaches in American history. He was arguably one of the most successful lawman of the American west and didn't even become an officer of the law until he was in his late 30s.

I blush to admit I had not heard of her, but she must have been an amazing person.
Don't feel bad. I have a degree in American history and I had never heard of Stagecoach Mary until one of my players brought her up. Even ignoring any racial elements to forgetting people like Bass Reeves or Stagecoach Mary, in the grand scheme of things they were drops in the bucket of lives we draw from the well of history (I'm working on a better metaphor). One of the reasons we remember Wyatt Earp so well is that he lived well into the 20th century and was involved in Hollywood productions and was able to do a lot of self-promoting.
 

dave2008

Legend
Mike,
Another great entry - thank you for sharing! I do have on question about this:
Mastery Dice (4d8/Short Rest). Mary can spend mastery dice to fuel various scout features that activate after the results of a roll are revealed.

Based on the standard recharge nomenclature this would seem to suggest Mary can use Master Dice up to 32/Short Rest or an average of 18/Short Rest. Personally I've used something like this before:

Mastery Dice (4/Short or Long Rest). Mary can spend mastery dice to fuel various scout features that activate after the results of a roll are revealed. Her mastery die is a d8.
 

Mike Myler

www.epic5e.com/ KS ends April 22nd!
Hrm. Changed it to as follows here and for Sir Francis Drake

Mastery Dice (4d8/Short Rest). Mary can spend a mastery die to fuel one of the following effects. Each effect activates after the results of a roll are revealed.
 

dave2008

Legend
Hrm. Changed it to as follows here and for Sir Francis Drake

Mastery Dice (4d8/Short Rest). Mary can spend a mastery die to fuel one of the following effects. Each effect activates after the results of a roll are revealed.
I figured there was a precedent I missed, but it still reads as 4-32 per Short Rest to me. Even though I know that is not what you mean, that is how it reads to me.
 

Mike Myler

www.epic5e.com/ KS ends April 22nd!
"Mastery Dice 4d8 a short rest" and "spend a mastery die" seem pretty clear to me. Agree to disagree on this one I guess!
 

dave2008

Legend
"Mastery Dice 4d8 a short rest" and "spend a mastery die" seem pretty clear to me. Agree to disagree on this one I guess!
Sure. I understand what you want, because I understand what mastery dice represent. However, if I was just coming form an understanding of a monster stat block it would be confusing. Just trying to point that out for you. The accepted standards you are using oddly, IMO:
  1. 4d8 = four, eight sided dice w/ an average "roll" of 18
  2. Limited Usage: The convention is the value before the / is the number of uses and the value after the / is the time period of the recharge. From the MM:
"X/Day. The notation “X/Day” means a special ability can be used X number of times and that a monster must finish a long rest to regain expended uses. For example, “1/Day” means a special ability can be used once and that the monster must finish a long rest to use it again."

So by the convention you are saying this ability can be used 4d8 times before she needs to take a long rest to recharge it. Your "X" is 4d8 and your "Day" is a Short Rest. It seems clear to anyone with knowledge of a 5e stat block what the bolded part of this trait is saying. However, that is not what you are saying, you are actually saying you can use a d8 4x per short rest to activate a scout feature. The convention for that would be 4/Short Rest. That is just what it is and changing that will cause some confusion.

I'll drop it now.

PS - never under estimate what can befuddle people!
 




Visit Our Sponsor

Latest threads

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top