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Vaults Note: The Guadalante referred to here is from the adventure Fortune Favors the Dead in Dungeon #80 by Lance Hawvermale, not the Estado de Guadalante.Good afternoon, and thanks for the message! "Fortune Favors the Dead" was my second professional publication and helped me get into the writing business, so I will always cherish it. Trivia: the NPC depicted on the magazine's cover, Tonja, was named after my girlfriend at the time. The direct inspiration for the adventure was the Emilio Estevez western, "Dollar For the Dead," which in turn was inspired by the spaghetti westerns of Clint Eastwood; basically I wanted to write a D&D western. But if you see echoes of "The Savage Coast" in there, it's probably not coincidence. When I first started playing D&D in the early 80s, I owned only the PHB, DMG, and two modules: "When A Star Falls" and "X9: The Savage Coast," by Merle and Jackie Rasmussen. I'd love to hear about your experience in playing the adventure!
inspired by the spaghetti westerns of Clint Eastwood; basically I wanted to write a D&D western. But if you see echoes of "The Savage Coast" in there, it's probably not coincidence. When I first started playing D&D in the early 80s, I owned only the PHB, DMG, and two modules: "When A Star Falls" and "X9: The Savage Coast," by Merle and Jackie Rasmussen. I'd love to hear about your experience in playing the adventure!
The Gaucho is a warrior of the pampas, the sweeping grasslands of Guadalante. Normally, the Gaucho herds cattle and other livestock, living off the land for weeks at a time, then entering town for a little boisterous rest and relaxation. Gauchos are remarkable horsemen and wranglers, renowned for their ruggedness, their willpower, and their casual disdain for the high-minded politics of the upper class. They are ranchers, or—if they stand on the other side of the law—they are cattle rustlers. In whatever form, they are free-spirited and restless. Gauchos may not begin play as members of the upper-middle-class or higher in social standing, unless a young noble has left his villa to follow the “romantic” life of the drifter. Gauchos are seldom Lawful in alignment. They believe in brotherhood, yet at the same time are fiercely independent. Though they love to cavort in the cities and attend the gay fiestas, they distrust city folk as a rule, and are generally seen as uncouth and ill-mannered by Guadalante’s more “refined” citizenry. Yet they are also viewed as skilled professionals who labor daily to tame the savage frontier.
Role: Gauchos are unruly frontier riders who spend their lives on horseback. When not herding, a Gaucho might live as a bandito, or enter a small town in search of its cantina and its women. As an adventuresome lot, many Gauchos are inclined to enter the mercenary life, seeking treasure and fortune wherever it hides. They care little for politics and theology, save their own personal code of conduct and faith. Gauchos may be crude and uneducated, but many are quite skilled at storytelling and musicianship. In an adventuring party, Gauchos often serve as point men or scouts.
Weapon Proficiencies: Gauchos must be skilled in the lasso. Other possible weapons include dagger, sabre, bola, spear, broadsword, whip, and light crossbow, though certain Gauchos might favor less traditional arms, such as the axe or mace.
Bonus Proficiencies: Riding, and one of the following: Rope Use, Animal Handling, Cooking, Weather Sense, Survival, Hunting, or Gaming.
Special Benefits: Gauchos may make an Intelligence check at +4 to determine the quality of any horse. They receive a +4 bonus to Land-based Riding, and a +2 bonus to any other nonweapon proficiency from the list above. Furthermore, Gauchos can calm any spooked horse with a successful Wisdom check, and they can “break” wild horses after six consecutive hours of work and a successful Wisdom check. If this check fails, another six hours of training permits a second check. If this check fails, however, the Gaucho is unable to tame the horse. Gauchos may improve their breaking skill as if it were a proficiency, effectively improving their Wisdom by 1 for purposes of breaking a horse every time a slot is spent on this ability. Exceptionally feral mustangs might impose penalties to this check.
Special Restrictions: Gauchos must pay an additional proficiency slot for every nonweapon proficiency that is considered “civilized” or “educated,” such as Reading/Writing, Etiquette, History, or Languages. Essentially, any skill that has Intelligence as its ability modifier costs the Gaucho one additional slot. Gauchos cannot abide the urban life for extended periods of time; after twelve hours in any city, all physical attributes such as Strength and Dexterity are considered one point lower. After two days, this penalty becomes -2, and persists until the Gaucho can get back into the wild and “refresh” there for at least a full day. This condition lends the Gauchos their reputation for coming into town for a single night of fun and excitement and riding away with the morning sun.