"They Rode to Perdition" starring Arcade's Gang (D&D/Boot Hill)


An interesting story; very unique setting and I particularly enjoyed the juxtaposition of historical features with D&D elements. Thanks for posting; helped speed a particuarly slow afternoon at work.

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Silver Moon

Col_Pladoh said:
What was the price you charged for 2nd class passage fron NYC to London? did you use actual prices from that period? If so, where did you find the information?

Gary, Try this site: http://www.theshipslist.com/trivia.html#fares
Is hows that 1871 transatlantic prices for the White Star Oceanic were $80 for 1st Class state rooms and $30 for steerage; By 1889 due to increased competition White Star prices had dropped to $ 50 for 1st Class, $ 30 for 2nd Class, and $20 for steerage.

Lazybones said:
An interesting story; very unique setting and I particularly enjoyed the juxtaposition of historical features with D&D elements.

Lazybones, I'm glad you are enjoying the story. The juxtaposition is part of what makes this campaign both fun and unique. Just what a group of people who have been playing together for over two decades needed to keep things fresh and exciting. As CelticWolf has noted, many of the players have characters here with personalities that are very different from those of characters we play in our other campaigns. Now for the next chapter:

Chapter 44, “Target Practice”, December 5th, 1881:

The gang meets for breakfast and discusses what to do this day. Qualtaqa asks Morgana “Do you still have fire-sticks you took from man you kill in closet?” Realizing that he is referring to the guns that she took off of Billy the Kid she replies, “Yes, why?” He states, “I need weapon.” “You have your bow,” Sam interjects. Qualtaqa replies, “That for distance. Up close I always fight with hooves. No longer have hooves. Need new weapon.”

She indicates that she is very reluctant to give him a type of weapon that he has never used before. Hank however states, “No problem. Don’t worry son, I’ll set you up with a gun.” Sam comments, “Isn’t that a bit out of character for you Hank, a Texan offering guns to the Indians?” He replies, “As long as it’s not Mexican Indians….no offense Aiden.” The wood elf replies “I’m not Mexican. I’m from South America.” “Those are all the same to him,” Louie adds.

Gesturing back to Qualtaqa, Morgana exclaims, “But he doesn’t know how to use one!” Hank replies, “No problem. We have two days until the ship leaves. I’ll teach him.” Qualtaqa indicates that he has still has almost $ 200 to buy the gun with. “Great, let’s go find a gun shop!” Hank states. Morgana says, “Hold on, save your money. If you’re going to get one anyway I might as well give you one.” Hank asks, “You’re actually going to give him one of Billy’s fancy colts? I tell you what, you can give it to me and he can have my gun.” She replies, “Hell no, I’m keeping both of those for myself. You can have another one that I picked up.”

She retrieves from her luggage and removes a gun belt, holster and single-action revolver that she took from the body of one of the Ford brothers back at the ‘Promise City Shootout’. As they get up to leave Arcade arrives at the table and asks where they are going. Hank says, “I’m taking Qualtaqa out for some target practice.” Arcade comments, “Why don’t you save time and just shoot him here.” Hank replies, “No, I’m going to teach him how to shoot a gun.” Arcade responds, “Why don’t you teach him something useful instead, like how to write his name in the snow.” Hank comments, “I don’t think he could do that, his name is way too long.” Qualtaqa quips, “I could have back when I still had horse body.” Arcade states, “Well, I guess showing him how to use a gun is a good idea. Get him all trained so he doesn’t shoot any of us by accident.”

They head out and find a store where they buy several boxes of ammunition. They ask the store clerk about places to shoot. They are told they’d best get out of Manhattan for that, and he suggests they cross the river to Brooklyn, which has several vacant lots and fields. As they head east Qualtaqa asks, “What we shoot at?” Hank replies, “Empty bottles work well.” Qualtaqa replies, “Should we buy full bottles and empty them?” “Ah, I see you have done this before,” Hank replies. They actually manage to find several discarded empty bottles along they way, which they pick up and carry in a bag.

They reach the river and peer out at one of the city’s main conversation pieces, the nearly completed Brooklyn Bridge. “That some structure,” the Indian comments. Hank replies, “Yeah, some guy tried to sell me the deed to it yesterday, but I was too smart for him. Only a fool would buy an unfinished bridge.” The find passage on a ferryboat to get across the river to Brooklyn.

They walk a short distance until they reach some farmlands, finding a field that looks to be deserted. Hank explains and demonstrates to his pupil about the various parts of a gun and how to hold it properly. Only after Qualtaqa appears to be comfortable holding the weapon does Hank head over and arranges the bottles atop a small stone wall. From a distance of around thirty feet Hank then draws his weapon and instructs Qualtaqa to watch closely.

Hank fires off two shots which don’t come anywhere close to the bottles. (the player having rolled a pair of “2”) He then fires off two more shots (again rolling poorly), one of which hits the wall a few inches away from the bottle and the other going high. The gunslinger turns to his pupil and says “Okay that was a demonstration of what not to do. I hope you saw what I intentionally did wrong.”

Hank reloads and then fires off four more shots. The first three are closer to the bottles but still miss. The fourth one finally hits and breaks a bottle. “That’s how it’s done,” Hank states. The DM comments “Are you sure you actually hit it? Maybe it just shattered on its own from glass fatigue.” Hank suggests that Qualtaqa give it a try. The Indian fires off four shots, two of which hit and break bottles. The players around the table laugh, commenting that the novice is a better shot. Hank’s player states, “It just goes to show what a good teacher can do.”

They continue to practice until all of the bottles are broken. Hank says, “You seem to have the hang of it. Let’s go get a belt.” Qualtaqa says, “I have belt. It have holster for gun.” Hank says, “No, I mean let’s go wet your whistle.” “Like Sam do in Tombstone?” the Indian replies. Hank says, “No, I mean let’s get a drink.”

They head back across the river and back to the Hotel, joining Arcade at the bar of the adjacent restaurant. “How’d he do?” Arcade asks. Hank replies, “Just fine. What are you up to?” Arcade replies, “Got myself a dilemma. I’m thinking that I should propose to Morgana, but would that be moving too fast?” Hank comments, “Well, I’ve never known you to either think very much or move fast. Why start now?”

They are then interrupted by the arrival of Morgana. She comments to Arcade, “I’ve been contemplating that we shouldn’t show up empty handed. We should buy some presents to bring to your family.” “I don’t think that would make any real difference,” Arcade replies. She says, “No, I’m serious. You should bring them something.” Qualtaqa says, “You bringing Arcade’s Gang.” Arcade looks at Morgana and says, “Yeah. In other words I’m planning to show up on their doorstep with a Chinaman, a Spanish Indian, an elf who prefers to be a horse, Sam the man-child, a drunken Texan and my half-breed girlfriend. What makes you think they’ll even open the door?”
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Gary Gygax
Jolly Good Account, Old Chap!

Quick question: Do you give bonuses for hitting stationary targets in a non-threatening situation?


Silver Moon

Col_Pladoh said:
Quick question: Do you give bonuses for hitting stationary targets in a non-threatening situation?
I would, but I'm not the DM this time around and each DM in our group does experience points their own way. I find that one big advantage to doing a "Story Hour" is that it helps with remembering everything that was done for when I sit down to do experience at the end of the module.

Tallarn said:
Just making sure you know how much I enjoy reading all the player quips in the story hour!
Glad you like it. That's the style of our games, heavy on the role playing with lots of humor. If you enjoy the style of this thread you'll also enjoy this other "Story Hour" of ours. We ran this action-packed Dungeon Magazine module last fall using chracters from our regular D&D campaign (during the months between "James Gang" and "O.K. Corral). It's a quick read, with three dozen chapters covering 9 games. If you read it please feel free to comment in the thread when you're done.

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Silver Moon

Chapter 45, “The Perfect Englishman”, December 5th, 1881:

The group decides that presents for Arcade’s family would be a good idea, and decide to buy a selection of quality items that are uniquely American. They buy up some good tobacco, some herbal liniment, and several bottles of Kentucky whiskey. Louie heads over to Chinatown for a good meal and also comes back with an assortment of Chinese trinkets to use as gifts.

The group also decides to go purchase several changes of clothing for the voyage, with Louie finally being able to wear something other than his Coolie outfit and armor. Qualtaqa is still having trouble adjusting to wearing shoes. Arcade comments, “Well, I at least hope we’ve gotten him out of the habit of nailing the shoes to his feet.” Morgana insists that Arcade go to a fine clothier to get himself a tailored suit of the current fashion. She tells him, “That looks much better. It will help for when we meet your family.” He replies, “Unless I have my clothes treated with arsenic and strychnine I don’t think it will make my visit any easier.”

Hank asks about how long the ship voyage will be and is told it will be two weeks, give or take a couple of days depending on weather. Louie is uncertain about the types of food that will be served onboard the ship, and decides that he will need a lot of rice for the voyage. Just to be on the safe side Morgana insists on sending the rest of the gang with him to buy it.

A light snow has fallen in the city and it is a cold blustery day. Hank says that, “I hope there’s warmer weather where we’re going.” Arcade comments, “Are you saying that you’re actually expecting to find better weather in England?” Hank replies, “Why? What’s wrong with the weather there?” Arcade answers, “Haven’t you ever wondered why so many world explorers are from England? They’re all trying to get away from it because of the weather.”

Arcade and Morgana find a nice restaurant to have dinner at. He again expresses his concerns about going home and she reiterates that all they have to do is make sure his brother is competent enough to run the family. She comments, “You’ve been away for a while. He might have gotten better since you’ve left.” “Doubtful,” he responds. She says, “We’ll find a way to make him competent.” “Well, that would probably require magic. How many mages are we bringing?”

As they are leaving the restaurant he says, “Why don’t you guys go on ahead, and I’ll catch up on a later voyage.” “How much later?” she asks. “Just a couple of decades,” he replies. She retorts, “Look, you were the one who agreed to this trip. You could have told the man ‘No’”. Arcade answers, “He had a gun.” “So did you,” she replies, “Besides, what is the worst thing they will do?” He answers, “Make me stay.” She replies, “They can’t make you do anything you don’t want to. When you want to leave we’ll leave.” “More easily said than done,” he states.

They wander back into the hotel, where Hank and Qualtaqa are at the bar. They approach them, and Morgana says, “Arcade is having second thoughts about this trip.” Hank says, “What are you afraid of. You’re now a celebrity, everyone will shower you with praises.” Morgana states “Why? Just for killing a bunch of outlaws?” Arcade answers, “Yeah, I’m the perfect Englishman of this era. I went to a foreign country and killed the natives.”

Hank invites Arcade to join them in tavern hopping, gesturing to Qualtaqa and stating “Want to go get a belt with me and New-Legs.” Morgana thinks that is actually a good idea, whispering to Hank “Get him drunk enough to pass out. If he’s unconscious tomorrow we’ll have an easier time getting him onto the ship.”

They grab a table at an local tavern. Qualtaqa is unaccustomed to the change in his metabolism due to now being one-quarter of his previous body weight. He therefore drinks more than he should based upon his past experience, and falls into a stupor.

Hank asks Arcade, “So, what is it that you are all worried about? You afraid your family will yell at you for being away for so long?” Arcade replies, “They’re English. They don’t yell. They give you the silent treatment instead.” Hank replies, “Huh? What’s the silent treatment? I’m from Texas, I'm afraid that we don't know much about being silent.” Arcade replies, “Well, it’s like what Sam does, except they’re also angry with you.” Hank says, “Well, that’s real different than Sam then. When he gets angry he shoots the person dead.” “Think we can get him angry with my family?” Arcade asks. Hank says, “We can’t go around killing everyone we meet.” Arcade responds, “Why not? We have up until now.”
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Silver Moon

Game #3 - 3/07/04

Chapter 46, “Boarding the Oceanic“, December 6th, 1881:

Qualtaqa awakens with a rather nasty hangover. Morgana prepares him a herbal tea to help fix the impairment. The gang checks out of the hotel and prepare to head down to the docks to board the ship Oceanic.

Morgana and Arcade have changed into their nicest clothes. Aiden, Louie and Qualtaqa are instructed to carry all of their bags, to make it appear that the non-humans are all servants. Hank comments, “I tell you what. I could get accustomed to this.” Qualtaqa comments that Hank should have changed into better clothes. Hank replies, “Listen New-Legs, I’ve got me all the clothes that I need. If I need fancier duds when I get to England I can buy them there.”

They arrive at the docks and get a good look at the ship that will take them to Europe. This particular class of ship bridged the gap between steam and sail, with both means of propulsion available to it. In addition to the single steam funnel towards the center of the ship there are four large masts. The sleek mostly metal vessel is 412 feet long from stem to stern, with a maximum width of 41 feet. A unique feature to this ship was an iron railing that did not hinder water from running off the ship in stormy weather. This was also the first ship afloat with well-lit and well-ventilated passenger lounges that extended out to both sides of the ship, rather than being just in the center. A dozen large lifeboats sat atop the deck, six on either side.

As they near the ship Arcade states, “I forgot something. I’ll be right back.” The others won’t let him leave, realizing that if they do he won’t come right back. Hank says, “Look here, you signed us up for this you’re going too.” Qualtaqa tells Arcade, “Sir, You took money from that man to go on this journey. You have a duty to do so. That honorable thing to do.” Arcade replies, “I took the money to get out of town so that the James Gang wouldn’t show up and blow my head off.” Hank says, “I thought it was the Clantons and Earps who were now after you?” Louie interjects, “Would it be shorter to make list of people not trying to kill us?”

They climb up the ramp to the ship. Hank leads the way and looks a little bewildered muttering, “This is my first time on a big ship.” A uniformed man stands in front of them and says, “Punch your ticket.” Hank blurts out, “Punch? You picked the wrong guy to pick a fight with. I’m a Texan and I have a gun.” Arcade just stands there, so Morgana hurries forward and tells Hank to back off. She then hands the man the paper boarding passes for the ship passage. He uses a metal punch to put a hole in each, and hands them back. Hank states, “Why didn’t he tell me that was all he wanted.” Morgana tells Arcade, “You could have said something.” He replies, “Why? If Hank hit the guy we just wouldn’t have been allowed on. What’s wrong with that?”

They find their assigned cabins and drop off the luggage. They feel the movement of the ship leaving the docks. Hank suggests that they go check the place out. Arcade says, “I’m gong to go up to the railing and wave to the people on shore.” Morgana blurts out, “Oh no you’re not. You just want to jump over the rail and swim back to shore.” He snaps his fingers and mutters “Damn” in response, as that was exactly what his plan was.

She has them wait until the ship is out of New York Harbor before the gang head up above deck. As they walk around she notes that Arcade is eyeing the lifeboats. “Don’t even think about it,” she states. “Just interested in our safety,” he replies. Louie says, “This ship safe. This boat way too big to sink.” As the ship reaches the open water it picks up speed as a cold stiff breeze hits them, and the gang decides to all head back inside. Morgana and Arcade head back to their cabin, while the others check out the ship’s interior. Qualtaqa also heads off on his own, while Aiden heads back to the cabin, feeling a bit queasy from the ship’s movement.

Hank leads the others into a large room with the sign “Smoking Lounge.” The room is filled with smoke, and several tables have people at them smoking cigars and pipes, drinking alcohol, and playing cards. Hank’s player comments, “Oh yeah, in this time period those vices were not only accepted but actually encouraged.” The DM replies, “Absolutely. About the only thing you can’t do inside this room is shoot someone or have sex with them, and both of those restrictions are just to keep down noise complaints.”

The gang approaches the bar in the room, and Hank begins by slipping the waiter some cash. Hank then asks the man about the tables with the gamblers. “I would advise caution,” the man states. The waiter directs him to the game that he feels is the most honest. Hank wanders over and asks if he can sit in. A man with an English accent gestures for him to have a seat. Curious about what type of game they are playing, Hank asks, “You know Texas Hold’em?” The man extends his hand for and handshake and replies, “Pleased to meet you Mr. Holdem.” Hank tries to explain that while he is from Texas, he was referring to a type of card game. They discuss card games that they both might know, deciding upon stud poker.

Meanwhile, Qualtaqa has made his way into the ship’s library. The majority of the books are written in either English or French, which are two written languages not known to the centaur. He does, however, known the Scandinavian Dwarven language, used by the Dwarves who came down from Canada and traded with the Indians prior to the American Revolutionary War. This is because one of these Dwarven trappers had lived with Qualtaqa’s tribe, and had taught it to him. There are a few texts written in that language and he begins reading, happy to have found something to do during this long voyage.

Back at the card game, Sam and Louie wander over to watch. “What you doing?” Louie asks. The two card players have been exchanging small talk, and Hank starts to talk about the places each one has been. The Englishman comments that “You strike me as a man whose been thrown out of a lot of different places.” Hank comments to Louie, “I’m starting to think this man and I must have met before.” Louie replies, “Why? He no shoot you yet.”
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Silver Moon

Game #4 - 3/14/04

Chapter 47, “The Question”, December 6th, 1881:

Morgana asks “So, exactly where in England are we going?” He replies, “Northern Part.” “Scotland?” she asks. He answers, “No, northern England. Although this gang probably would like Scotland. That place is filled with people who drink, fight and kill people.” The two of them then get into another argument about going to England, which ends with her yelling, “You’re the one who agreed to this!” He answers, “Well, it was one of those ideas that seemed good at the time, but becomes less so the more you think about it afterwards.”

They continue to argue, with Arcade suggesting that they get Sam polymorphed to look like him and take his place. “We don’t have to stay,” she states. He replies, “They may try to make me. I guess I could always kill them.” She replies, “No, we’re going to be on our best behavior, and only kill them if it is absolutely necessary.”

Back in the smoking lounge, Hank lifts up his hand and says, “Hold on Louie, I’m sensing that somebody is talking about killing people.” Hank shakes his head and says, “Nope, must have been wrong.” Hank continues to try play cards and keeping Louie from eating the poker chips. The gaming companion has introduced himself as Lord Reginald, and much to the man’s annoyance Hank keeps calling the guy “Reggie”

They get into a political discussion with the Lord praising his queen and the monarchy. Hank says, “I like our President system. That Chet Arthur is doing a fine job.” Lord Reginald replies, “Well, I guess you colonists would need something like that. Without a societal upper class who would you have to become a monarch?” This leads to a class discussion, with Regional stating that “People of better distinction should be in charge.” Louie interjects, “If you so great why you travel second class?” “I’ve had a few recent reversals in my business dealings,” the Lord replies.

“What brought you to America?” Hank asks. Reginald answers, “Business. I’m in the import/export business.” Louie says, “Well, I have businesses too. I with both a silver mine and a laundry operation.” “Ah, you’re industrialists! Perhaps I could interest you in some investments,” the Lord states. Hank interjects, “We’re just a couple of fellas who don’t mind putting in a hard day’s work. So, what’s this bad luck you’ve been having?” Reginald replies, “My business involves trade with India, and there have been some disturbances with the native population.” Hank nods and says, “A’Yup, I’ve had some trouble with Indians myself.”

Reginald says, “No, I’m talking about India. Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta.” “Those places anywhere near where we’re going?” Hank asks. “No, but they’re all part of the British Empire,” he replies. Hank says, “I tell you what. If that turns sour fer ya why don’t you pack up and come to America.” Reginald answers, “But then I would be surrounded by Americans.” Louie interjects, “Americans not so bad. Most okay, and only shoot you for rice.” Reginald answers, “They shoot you for rice? I would have thought that they would shoot you for free.”

Hank interjects, “Yeah, but we stopped them. We’re all pretty handy with a six-shooter.” Reginald replies, “Ah, marksmen. Have you ever tried shooting grouse?” Hank answers, “Grouse? Can’t say that I ever met him. Is he a German fella?” Reginald replies, “No, it is a type of bird that live on my estate.” Louie says, “You own a whole state?” Reginald explains his family holdings. Hank replies, “So you got yourself a big spread, like a ranch. How many head of cattle?” “None,” Reginald replies. “Doesn’t sound like much of a spread to me,” Hank replies. They play for another hour and then wrap of the game, Hank coming out about even.

The group assembles in the second-class dining room and are served a fine dinner of roast chicken. Arcade comments that the meal isn’t nearly as fancy as what they would have had in first class. Louie interjects, “But lot better than steerage, where seat, table and plate would have been same thing.” Arcade says, “This cruise in nice, I hope we never get to England.”

Hank asks, “Why do you hate your home so much?” Arcade doesn’t answer, and Louie interjects “No like that all English people have noses in air.” Hank says, “Yeah, I read in a book that they’re uppity.” Morgana comments, “You’ve read a book?” Hank replies, “Yeah, I read two a year. I like that Mark Twain fella.” Morgana turns to Arcade and asks, “Are you going to answer his question?” Arcade replies, “Ocean voyages are a time for contemplation not exposition.” Hank says, “Well shoot boy, I’m getting mighty suspicious of you not wanting to go home.” Arcade states, “It’s about duty and responsibility.” Louie says, “Me run away too.”

Arcade says, “Well, I for one don’t want to manage a big estate and have an arranged marriage with some rich girl.” Morgana slams her silverware down on the table and exclaims “WHAT!” An aura of silence follows. Hank removes his napkin and says, “Louie, I think we should be going.” Both start to rise when Arcade says, “No, come on guys. Please stay,” as he moves his hands down to his side. This is followed by the “click” “click” sound of him preparing his handguns, and Hank and Louie decide to sit back down.

“An arranged marriage!” she states. Arcade replies, “So I glossed over one little detail.” She says, “I asked you directly about that!” “I forgot?” he meekly states. “You lied to me,” she exclaims. He replies, “This is why I didn’t tell you. I was trying to protect you.” Hank whispers to Sam “You normally have to go to one of those fancy shows to see tap dancing like this.” Arcade heard the comment and says, “You’re not helping.” Hank attempts to change the subject by asking about the estate, but Morgana isn’t buying it. Arcade again tries to explain that he was trying to spare her feelings. Louie comments, “I think water buffalo dung getting very deep in here.” Qualtaqa says, “I don’t see any water buffalo.”

Hank says, “Arcade, didn’t you say you had a brother? He can have these responsibilities.” Arcade answers, “He’s an idiot.” Morgana says, “You’ve been away for ten years. He’s probably been trained to take over instead of you.” Arcade replies, “Yeah, sure. Is that why they sent a detective half-way around the world to find me?” Morgana says, “Maybe your fiancée sent him.” Qualtaqa suggests that when they get to England that Morgana challenge the other woman to a duel for Arcade’s hand.” She replies, “Women don’t duel. They have cat fights.” Hank says, “This is starting to sound better.” Louie adds, “We could sell tickets.”

Qualtaqa turns to Arcade and says, “If it be that long girl in England no wait.” Hank says, “He’s right. If she’s rich her Pa probably wedded her off to someone else by now.” Arcade turns to Morgana and says, “I don’t care about here anyway, that was just something my parents set up. The person I want to spend my life with is you. That’s why I got you this,” as he takes a fancy box out of his pocket and opens it up, revealing an engagement ring. Her mouth hangs open in shock as he asks, “Will you marry me?”


First Post
'Louie says, “Well, I have businesses too. I with both a silver mine and a laundry operation.”'

Louie is, of course, BSing the Englishman (or as he would put it, "piling up water buffalo dung") - his "interest" in the silver mine is as an occasional guard, and he hangs around the laundry and helps out occasionally because the owner's daughter likes him. Louie is not overly bright but has street-smarts (ie, a decent wisdom), plays dumb and talks dumb but finds ways to say things for good effect sometimes, and as a former conscripted laborer is trying to fit in with this new society and make himself look good. He's certainly proud to be part of a "respectable gang"!

This is definitely a fun game for us players!

Louie's Player

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