Strange Western Stories
“Weird West” Adventures
Sheriff Hiram Parish
Steely-eyed Western Lawman (3)
Cowboy Horseman with an Uncanny Relationship with His Horse (3)
Rifle Marksman (2)
Rational Skeptic Who Sometimes Fears He May Be Wrong (1)
(Sidekick) Horse, Amigo
Trained Wild West Saddle Horse (2)
Stubborn Mule When Faced With Supernatural (1)
American Indian “medicine” is a blending of folk magic, mysticism, luck, personal charisma, and a knowledge of treating illnesses and injuries.
For the individual Indian, it was seen as a charm of protection that would be unique to that person. Often, it took the form of an animal or other natural phenomena. Among many tribes, a boy approaching puberty would undergo a rite of passage that involved a solitary fast and ordeal. The first animal that appeared to the young man in his dreams during this vigil would become the totem of his “medicine.” This totem could sometimes be reflected in the name the boy chooses for himself upon entering adult society.
Occasionally, a totem may carry a ritual prohibition. Breaking this taboo would carry with it the penalty of negating the medicine. The medicine would be restore, but only after a lengthy and complicated purification ritual. In Risus terms, this prohibition would count as a Hook.
Medicine Men were those individuals within the tribe who understood and accessed the rituals of the tribe’s medicine in order to ensure the success of the tribe. They would be called upon to treat the sick and injured, drive away evil spirits and control the weather. They could also be accomplished and fierce warriors, and battle chiefs often looked to them for advice and inspiration in the face of battle.
Medicine Men were also responsible for producing “medicine bags,” which were pouches of various components produced in a ritual fashion as a protective amulet for the wearer. In Risus, should a medicine man wish to create a medicine bag, he would expend one die from his “medicine man” cliché for each medicine bag. The bag then functions as a temporary set of three “Lucky Shots.” Once the shots from the bag are used, they do not heal; after the third shot has been expended, the bag is depleted. The medicine man’s cliché can be healed at a rate set by the GM, or it can be “healed” using the character advancement rules from the main Risus rules at the end of the adventure.
and to Tim Ballew’s Silverlode 1908
For inspiration on this setting.