Monday, May 6, 2013

Western Sandbox Map

Still deciding the best way to handle running a western rpg (see my previous post).

Not sure if a total open ended sandbox style setting would work or refine that to more of a linear 'story' but either way I always find it useful to put together a map with the various elements that I may use in either situation.

Below you'll find the map I created for the imaginary territory of Rosewood, located somewhere in the American southwest.  Anyway, I populated the map with all manner of classic western elements that would be useful for whatever game I end up running.

Click to embiggen and guess the inspiration.
You'll see the three counties, Kane, Rosewood and Chester along with the Nahone Indian Reservation.  All great for jurisdiction disputes and Indian raids.

We have a federal presence with Fort Travis.

The tough mining town of Bronson run by  Jedidiah Young, the Mormon silver mining magnet.  Good luck trying to make a claim there.

The rough town of Rebel, founded by Harlow Cox, along the western stage road, north of which is Beggar's Canyon.

Further down the road we have the new prosperous town of Harlow Junction - best whores and whiskey in the territory.  The land-baron Harlow Cox along with his political capital vies for making the Junction the new county seat.

South of Harlow Junction you'll find  the county seat itself in quaint Rosewood.  The town is kept in order by a no bull-shit sheriff Isaiah Courtright and his deputies and their no firearms ordinance.

We've got two feudin' families living in Eastwood and Garret always shootin' each other up 'cross county lines.  I'm sure somewhere around there lives an old hermit as well.

The tiny Mexican village of Pico on the edge of the Mar Caliente desert.

Finally the town of San Juan, with it's Spanish style mission located on the ol' San Juan Trail.

There are plenty of mountains, trails, deserts and hills, bluffs and canyons for hideouts, outlaws and posses to carouse and homesteads to be carved out.

There should be plenty here to get started with, I think, no matter what ends up being run.

*A fella, a smart fella may notice that I based the map on one of the great old school campaign settings The Keep On The Borderlands.


  1. Wonderful map. Very inspirational!! Thanks!!

  2. Looks like a great start - can't wait to see where you go from here.

  3. I like... Not just the map, which is beautiful, but also the repurposing of a classic.

  4. I too like where you're going with this. And your nice map redux work. I think the key to running a non-weird western sandbox is do just what you're doing and keep the action to a particular town or region. Just like an old western TV show.

    For inspiration, you might want to take a look at a little fan-made setting called "Guns of Megiddo". (See here, look for the link on the left: It's intended for Savage Worlds, but it's got plenty you can probably borrow, like a random NPC table that uses playing cards instead of dice.

    1. Thanks for that link. Even looking though it just briefly I found plenty that I liked - especially reputation and the drinking chart.

  5. This is exciting. I've always wanted to play in /run a western game. Even tried a bit with boot hill back in the day. But I ran into some of the stuff you mentioned last post.

    I think if your game group is like most of mine where the line up changes each week, it could work well. Because ranch hands and gang members are always going off and getting into trouble that affects all of their compadres.


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