Still working on game prep for the cowboy & dinosaur game. Okay, let me re-phrase that. I've got most of the initial encounter set up, with hints and rumors to bring in some of the bigger fish, so to speak. The 3rd person has finally gotten his extensive character background set up for me, all told in the first person. Almost wanting to give him even more XP as there were a few NPCs to play with and allude to later. In fact, he also managed to rope in the other two players, so now they all know each other. It was not how I was planning on bringing them all together, but that also works. I just need to make some minor adjustments to the 1st session. Sadly, no scenario survives contact with the players, and they have not even started yet!
At this point, I've got a lot of background on most of the characters, and enough on several NPCs to start to at least be able to riff along where the game leads. For the most part, I am lucky that this group really enjoys the role-playing aspect of RPGs. not to the Vampire: The Masquerade level, but we really enjoy playing out characters and NPCs. I still need to generate and print out my cheat sheet to track the main players and all that, but I still have a bit of time.
One of the things that did come up while talking about this was land barons. And cattle barons. I neglected to even throw any in there! Of course, we have one player an old Indian who has some prize herds of triceratops. Old ancestral grounds out towards the Dos Diablos, two large buttes to the west of Aurora but several days ride (still not sure about the scale of my maps, and I can't keep using speed of plot so may have to figure out a bit more detail).
(a few hours later). Came up with some back of the napkin times and some fluff that will eventually have some game time. Probably.
Pawnee Tribe at Dos Diablos
Jack Looking-Horse’s home area where he raises the triceratops. It is several days west of Aurora, and the yearly dinosaur drive to sell some of those to Aurora has become a tradition the last few years, though not without some folk not being happy buying from Indians. The tribe has a deep and hidden artesian well that provides water for the herds and is well protected. Looking-Horse and a few of the tribe usually show up a few days in advance to gauge the feeling of the town and to determine how many dinosaurs should make the trip. He then returns to Dos Diablos which is what the American and Mexicans call Pitku Ckussat (Pawnee for Two Spirit if I am using the correct Pawnee translation. The Pawnee do not make maps so the Spanish name is what is on the map)
I've added 1 Jack Chisum who has moved from Texas (real life cattle baron) to the Bliss River, which is about 20 or so miles above those mesas that Jack Looking-Horse calls home to the tribe & his huge triceratops herds. There is occasional friction between the cowmen and the dinomen, and being Pawnee Indian does not help. While not part of the initial adventure, it has potential down the road. Especially as Hawbones actually pulled one of Jack's teeth before it festered a couple years back. This was before he found out who the man was (in real life Jack Chisum died in 1884 from a jaw operation to remove a growth; in our alternate old West he is still alive in the 1885 time we're running this in).
The document is getting large, and a lot may not be used. It is really just helpful to me to sort of organize the things and get some feels for the period. If I had a laser printer I may print it out, but ink jet is so expensive! I will have to look into getting a laser printer - they can be had for pretty cheap and the per page printing cost is a lot less than ink jet.