Saturday Seed ~ 194 (Aces & Eights)

This is a seed for Aces&Eights, the western RPG as broad and beautiful as the vistas of the Old West themselves.

The seed
This seed is all about having and not having, ego and insecurity, fair play and graft, and most of all…poker.

Planting the seed
This seed can be planted in any nowhere town on the way to all the better places. Ideally a cross roads of sorts linking different routes of travel, such as a former or pending boom-town, the location has a saloon or two, a hotel or two, and a fine coat of desperation and scarcity to give it color.

Characters merely have to be passing through to get involved.

The details
In a few weeks, there will be a highly-competitive poker tourney for very high stakes hosted on the sprawling estate of a cattle rancher by the name of White. Tough, with a no-nonsense reputation as a good judge of character, Mr. White has decided to take on any and all who wish to challenge him at the poker table. News of the game has been circulating for months, buoyed by wistful dreams of being the one to take the final pot… and retire in style.

This small town is one of the last stops for rail and coach before making the final push out to White’s territory. Little by little it has been filling up with hopefuls (either to play, or to try to plan a caper) waiting on the date of the tourney. In response, marshals and others looking to be hired on as security if they can get past White’s judgemental eye have also started making their way here. It is widely believed that White will be using his contacts in the army to handle security, not to mention his already sizable staff of ranch hands.

Nights are filled with the sounds of carousing, and not a few exchanges of gunfire as tempers flare, the edges of the professional gamblers cuts through the illusions of the dreamers, and the usual altercations about women. The town, once sleepy and of no real use to anyone not looking to get a ride to somewhere else, is now full of people who rub each other the wrong way, and even fuller of money looking to breed into more and more money. There is no gold that a man does not take for himself… either from the earth, across a card table, or from the cooling hand of a fellow man.

What’s going on
In this environment, predators, prey, and people refusing to be the one while trying to avoid becoming the other, are all squeezed together in close proximity. The lure of easy money in the endless games of faro, the thrill of risk in the hardcore games of poker, the temptation of relieving a drunk or exhausted man of his hard-won coin, or the temptations of vice all contribute as the hours tick by to an explosive environment.

Are the characters predators or prey? Will they take their chances on the games, or try to enter the tourney? Will they sell their services or perhaps plan a robbery of their own? How do the promises of this town affect them?


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