Welcome to the Wild West. The year is 1863. The War Between the States is currently waging, and Railroads are being built all across the country. The Gold Rush continues to promise untold riches for many, but Outlaws still occasionally terrorize dusty towns and stage coaches. The Homestead Act has brought many a settler out West though conditions are harsh, and Indian attacks are not unheard of.
You will be a part of a wagon train leaving from St. Louis, Missouri and heading to San Francisco by way of the well-catalogued California Trail. You may not be heading all the way to the coast, but for whatever reason, Fate has brought you out West to start a new life. The risk of personal injury and death nip at your heels as you seek opportunity on this harrowing adventure, Chasing the Sun.
Your group will consist of a wealthy banker (Robert Thompson) traveling to San Francisco to help establish new Wells Fargo banks, his wife and children, some random travellers along for the ride, and a few Trail guides and/or guards hired to escort them all there safely.
You may play as any one of these characters. I have several cards made to give you an idea for the feel of the story, otherwise feel free to make up your own cards to best suit your character. You may choose to play as any member of Thompson’s family or Robert himself. If you do choose Robert Thompson, I will be a little more strict on which cards you choose. Otherwise, go nuts. If any of the mentioned characters are not chosen by players, then I will play them as NPCs.
I am going to leave the game open to new players for a while, possibly even the whole game to simulate people coming and going from the wagon train as not everyone will necessarily be heading all the way to the San Francisco coast. I will maintain a manageable group of players so don’t be worried your presence won’t matter. It will! Everyone always has a job to do on the frontier.
Also, I’d like to just state right up front, because there tend to be varying stances on other players controlling your character, any and all intentions of using another player’s character in your post should be discussed in the comments. Honestly, most interactions should be discussed in the comments, this is collaborative storytelling after all, and we’re all responsible people for the most part. So feel free to bring up anything appropriate in the comments section first so we don’t have to have too many edits/revisions. Thanks!
This will basically be Oregon Trail as seen from the people in the wagon train. Some challenges will be incredibly tough. It is possible some characters may die. If you are uncomfortable with your character dying, this may not be the game for you.
Additionally, I am going to use this game to test some creative uses of the challenges, asset card, and goal card mechanics. I’m trying this for the first time so bear with me here. If something isn’t working, and we can discuss it in the comments, I’m more than open to changing it if the group decides it’s reasonable.
And finally, if you are a history buff, know right now that I am going to disappoint you. Probably. I’m going to try to get as close as I can to being historically accurate but at the end of the day, I’m far more concerned with the story and character interactions than I am with anachronism.
Otherwise, saddle up and welcome to the Wagon Train. Get ready for a tough journey.
LUCK & TROUBLE: Every now and then I will give out or drop (for anyone to pick up) Luck (“Piece o’ Pudding”) and Trouble (“Heap o’ Trouble”) cards during a scene. When you play these cards, you are giving me permission to do something to or for your character that is significantly beneficial or disastrous for the benefit of the story. The benefit of using Trouble cards is that they are Goal Cards and upon playing the stack, you will receive a new Wild Strength Card in the next scene. It is therefore in your best interest to get rid of your Trouble cards as quickly as possible to get the most free Wild Strength cards. The Luck and Trouble cards will be weighed more heavily than Strengths and Weaknesses as far as story purposes are concerned.
POOR HEALTH CARDS: There will be Asset Cards for poor health conditions such as ‘Wounded,’ ‘Hunger,’ and ‘Illness.’ (Illness cards are actually goal cards because if you survive sickness back then, you deserve a reward.) These cards will be given to players who succumb to them along the journey for story purposes or as the result of either playing a Trouble card or finishing a Supply challenge with a Weak Outcome. If by the end of a scene, you have accumulated 7 total of any combination of poor health cards, your character will die.
(NOTE: If I give you the cards when I end the scene for some reason, then you have until the end of the NEXT scene.)
There will be two ongoing Supplies challenges in almost every scene to denote your group’s rationing (USAGE) and acquisition (GATHER) of necessary supplies such as food, animal feed, clean water, clothing, medicine, and bullets. Managing each challenge will affect the other as competing challenges as well as affecting the amount of challenge points they are each worth for the next scene they show up.
Note: It is possible to knock the next instance down to zero, thus removing that challenge from showing up in the very next scene. It will return the following scene, however.
USAGE: This challenge represents the group’s ability to maintain and control the rations of its supplies.
STRONG OUTCOME: Your group has managed to dutifully ration current supplies and has enough for tomorrow. Lessens the Challenge Point total of the GATHER Challenge next scene by 1.
NEUTRAL OUTCOME: Functions as the Strong outcome but adds one more challenge point to this challenge in the next scene.
WEAK OUTCOME: Adds 2 challenge points to the GATHER Challenge in the next scene and also bestows Poor Health Condition cards on some or all of the group. (Playing a Strength card or a Luck card on this challenge makes you immune to receiving a Poor Health Condition.)
GATHER: This challenge represents the group’s ability to acquire various supplies be it through simple gathering in the wild, hunting, scavenging, passing traders, or stopping in towns to purchase them. You may choose to not complete this challenge, however, ignoring this challenge amounts to it being completed with a Weak Outcome.
STRONG OUTCOME: Your group has managed to dutifully restock your supplies enough to not have to worry about it tomorrow. GATHER Challenge not present in the next scene. Renders the current USAGE Challenge complete with a STRONG outcome regardless what cards may already be played on it. Lessens the Challenge Point total of the USAGE Challenge next scene by 1.
NEUTRAL OUTCOME: You have enough supplies for now. Adds one more challenge point to this challenge in the next scene.
WEAK OUTCOME: You acquire no new supplies today. Adds 2 challenge points to both the GATHER and USAGE Challenges in the next scene.
Finally, at the beginning and end of every scene, I will update the running tally of your supplies. For certain things, there will be a definite number to keep track of, the rest not so much. I don’t care how many pounds of buffalo meat you scored while hunting, I just care if it’s enough.
If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to speak up in the comments.
Also, feel free to join the discussion about the game and characters being created in the forum thread for this game: https://storium.com/forums#/category/lfp/thread/09wajs
Hosted and narrated by:
Nelson Diaz (RthDydXrmn)
Scenes played: 8
License: Community License