Aussie Bushranger Roleplaying...

Troopers After Bushrangers - Signed S. T. G. The End of Capatin Starlight - Patrick William Marony, 1894

Law and Order in the Wisemans Ferry district is in the hands of two hard-hitting and independent rural police - Steve Porter and Pete Ellis. Landing in Sydney, they were posted to the Dubbo District for a short time before being recalled, and dispatched to Wisemans Ferry. In Dubbo, they were involved in the robbery under arms of gold from the local bank. This daring act was carried out by Billy Holmes and his gang. Dingoes and Danger, Beer and Brawls, Scouting and Sharpshooting. On arrival in Wisemans Ferry they prevented the theft of silver ingots from the Alma Steamship, which had been lured onto the Skeleton Rocks.

~ Steve Porter ~

Hailing from St. Helier on Jersey, one of the Channel Islands, Steve is a gung-ho and pro-government man with a strong sense of making a difference in the wild bush. He's a tall, florid young man with wide-spaced hazel eyes beneath a shock of unruly reddish brown hair.

Gun Accuracy:26Average+0
Throwing Accuracy:33Average+0
Personal Bravery:87Very Brave+3 / +10
Experience:531 + 1-5

Special Abilities: F

Skills: Reading/Writing and Facility with Numbers.

Background: Merchant Related, Father was a Preacher, Bastard.

First Shot: Revolver (18 / 55%) and Derringer (23 / 55%)

Gear: Cap & Ball Revolver (6 Shot), Ammunition (Box of 100 Rounds), Two-Shot Derringer, 10 Spare Rounds, Police Uniform, $6 Cash, Trooper’s Field Kit with Good Horse (Splendid Grey Roan), Army Rifle and Horse Holster.

~ Pete Ellis ~

Hailing from Birmingham in the West Midlands, Pete is of a retiring nature, preferring to do overwatch duty from a concealed vantage point while Steve goes in. This has lead to Steve gaining a reputation as a crackshot, even through he has only passable gun skills. Pete also has a reserved enthusiasm for the romance and adventure of the bushrangers, something that Steve does not share. He's generously proportioned and square of face with sandy brown hair and a wry smile. His grey-green eyes are sharp, but they often mellow and twinkle with good humour.

Speed:29Above Average+2
Gun Accuracy:96Crack Shot+18
Throwing Accuracy:70Good+7
Personal Bravery:62Above Average+1 / +3
Experience:521 + 1-5

Special Abilities: C

Skills: Gunsmith and Horsemanship.

Background: Law Related, Father was a Lawyer, 2nd Born.

First Shot: Rifle (-2 / 66%) and Scatter Gun (3 / 66%)

Gear: Civil War Type Repeating Rifle (7 Shot), Ammunition (Box of 100 Rounds), Scatter Gun (Double Barrel), Ammunition (Box of 100 Shells), Cigarettes, Police Uniform, $6 Cash, Trooper’s Field Kit with Fair Horse, Army Rifle and Horse Holster.

Captain Starlight and Gang

Captain Starlight

Descending the sharp switch backs on the ridge road, Warrigal came to a rough wooden bridge over a streamlet. On crossing the bridge, he spotted a splendid grey roan gelding in the paddock behind the police post being combed by a tall, florid young man arrayed in trooper’s blue. Nearing the horseman, Warrigal greeted him and was regarded by wide-spaced hazel eyes beneath a shock of unruly reddish brown hair.

“Mornin’. I’m Trooper Porter.” He was civil and helpful, more from professionalism than personal interest. “Looks like you’ve been in the saddle a while, good weather for a ride. Up here for the citrus pickin’ season?”

He had a trick of tossing his hair back from his forehead and a swift smile which seemed to leap into his eyes, both mannerisms Warrigal found delightful. His chin was firm and his body looked hard. That he was yet thirty was to be doubted.


It was after three o’clock when Warrigal stabled his fiery chestnut stallion and a few minutes to four when, having enjoyed a meal more substantial than tea and damper, he entered the police post at Wiseman’s Ferry.

“So you are Warrigal. Very pleased to meet you from the personal angle. Headquarters seem a little anxious about you. Sit down. My name’s Ellis.” They shook hands. “Coffee?”

He looked like an Ellis too. Generously proportioned, square of face with sandy brown hair and a wry smile, much like that of Warrigal himself. His sharp grey-green eyes were now twinkling.

“I’m guessing you’re up in the district on business. Had orders to keep an eye on you.” He favoured his visitor with a wry smile. Officially I shall, but unofficially you’re welcome here as long as you don’t cause us any trouble.”


~ Warrigal ~

Speed:86Very Fast+12
Gun Accuracy:73Good+7
Throwing Accuracy:81Very Good+10
Personal Bravery:76Brave+2 / +6

Special Abilities: B / G / K.

Skills: Reading/Writing, Swimming, Tracking, 2nd Language (English). It should also be noted that Warrigal is attuned to the Aussie Bush and has a rough knowledge of Aboriginal Culture & Lore. He is also something of an infamous bushranger, having been part of Captain Starlight's gang, with all that that entails.

Background: Drifter, Father was an Aboriginal, 1st Born.

First Shot: Revolver (22 / 65%) and Knife (19 / 68%)

Gear: Single Action Revolver (5 Shot), Ammunition (Box of 100 Rounds), Hunting Knife, Slim Cigars, Flash Garb, $150 Cash, Excellent Horse (Fiery Chestnut Stallion) with Stock Saddle and Tack, Bedroll, Saddle Bags, Spyglass (15x), Canned and Dried Groceries (Bacon, Beans, Cheese, Flour, Coffee), Coffee Pot, Tin Cup, Frying Pan, Covered Pan, Blanket, Axe (Light).


Robbery Under Arms

Aussie Bushranger Films and Television...

- Ned Kelly and His Gang (1906 - Film)

- Robbery Under Arms (1907 - Film)

- Robbery Under Arms (1920 - Film)

- Robbery Under Arms (1957 - Film)

- Whiplash (1961 - TV Series)

- Ned Kelly (1970 - Film)

- Rush (1974 - TV Series)

- Cash & Company (1975 - TV Series)

- Tandarra (1976 - TV Series)

- All the Rivers Run (1984 - TV Mini Series)

- Robbery Under Arms (1985 - TV Mini Series & Film)

Dry Gulch Gurfateh and Bushranger Bruce at Old Sydney Town - End of an Era

Boot Hill House Rules and Expansions

A — ½ penalty if shooting from horseback.
B — Never surprised.
C — Double the length of medium range when shooting.
D — Shoulder arms are considered “Fast.”
E — May “hipshoot” with no penalty.
F — No penalty for giving opponent first move.
G — Treat wounds as one class lower when shot. A “Mortal Wound” result becomes a “Serious Wound,” etc.
H — ½ penalty if firing at a moving target.
J — Must use “Sharpshooting” rule, and must fire at “gun arm/hand” only.
K — No penalty for “wrong hand” shooting.

Birth Tables — Boot Hill By Stephen Blair

I. Social Class

01-10 — Law Related
11-55 — Ranch Related
56-85 — Merchant Related
86-99 — Drifter
00 — Historical Character

IA. Professions of Fathers

Law Related Professions

1 — Lawyer
2 — Judge
3 — Cavalry Trooper *
4 — Town Marshall
5 — Deputy Sheriff
6 — Sheriff
7 — Stage Coach
8 — Deputy US Marshall

* Roll for Rank

01-65 Enlisted Man
66-85 Non-Commissioned 0fficer
86-95 Lieutenant
96-97 Captain
98-99 Colonel
00 General

Ranch Related Professions

01-50 Cowboy
51-00 Homesteader

Merchant Related — Roll for Craft

01 — Blacksmith
02 — Physician
03 — Dentist
04 — Leatherworker
05 — Gunsmith
06 — Tailor
07 — Preacher
08 — Buffalo Hunter
09 — Telegrapher
10 — Storekeep
11 — Bank Teller
12 — Assayer
13 — Government
14 — Miner
15 — Bartender
16 — Undertaker
17 — Clerk
18 — Railroad
19 — Stage Line
20 — Muleskinner

Drifter Types

1 — Gunfighter
2 — Detective
3 — Vagabond
4 — Vagabond
5 — Gambler
6 — Gambler
7 — Indian
8 — Bounty Hunter

II. Birth Order

1 — 1st Born 5 — 3rd Born
2 — 1st Born 6 — 4th Born
3 — 2nd Born 7 — Bastard
4 — 2nd Born 8 — Bastard

All fathers have one random skill. All players start with two random skills.

III. Skills

01 — Reading/Writing
02 — Horsemanship
03 — Crafts *
04 — Swimming
05 — Tracking
06 — Marksmanship — Gun
07 — Marksmanship — Thrown
08 — Gambling
09 — 2nd Language
10 — Facility with Numbers

IV. Initial Purse *

01-20 — $25
21-40 — $75
41-50 — $100
51-70 — $125
71-80 — $150
81-90 — $200
91-99 — $250
00 — $500
* Indicated amount for 2nd born on down. Doubled for 1st Born plus 1/2 of any land that father owns. If Player is orphan —$0

V. Size of Spread

01 — 640 Acres
02 — 1280 Acres
03 — 1920 Acres
04 — 2560 Acres
05 — 3200 Acres
06 — 3840 Acres
07 — 4480 Acres
08 — 5120 Acres
09 — 5760 Acres
10 — 6400 Acres

Each 640 acres will contain 30-80% usable grassland. Each acre supports 1/2 Horse, 1/2 Longhorn, 1/4 Hereford or 5 sheep. There is a 0-70% chance of potable surface water per 10 acres. Land value $0.50 — $2.50.

How to Use the Birth Tables:

Simply roll the appropriate sided dice for a result on the appropriate table.

I. Roll percentile dice for father’s area of endeavour, then roll proper die on the indicated sub-table (IA.). If 00 was rolled, player has choice of being related to one of the famous characters listed in the Boot Hill Rules or one of The Fastest Guns That Never Lived (Dragon 36, page 44). Player may if he wishes, however, continue to use the birth tables in lieu of this option.

II. Roll eight-sided die to determine sibling rank on table II, then roll six-sided die to determine orphan status.

III. Now roll for father’s skill. Players may choose this as one of their two skills and take one random skill or they may roll for two random skills.

IV. Now roll for initial purse.

V. If father is a homesteader, then roll to determine size of spread. Referee will determine types of animals on homestead and the amount of grassland available, and the availability of water.

The Skills:

Reading/Writing - Self-explanatory, player may acquire this skill by finding an instructor and spending 6 months to 2 years learning.
Horsemanship - Allows player to improve quality of horse by one step for each six weeks spent in training (Maximum 2 step increase).
Crafts - Roll on proper table in section IA.
Swimming - Only players who know how to swim may swim. This skill may be learned in 2 weeks if an instructor is available.
Tracking - Subtract 5 from all tracking die rolls.
Marksmanship - Add 10 to the original accuracy score. Players may add 1 to their original accuracy scores for each week and minimum of 250 rounds of ammunition used in practice. A maximum increase of 5 is allowed. If an instructor, who must have an accuracy of 85 or greater is available, then these rates are doubled (2 per week Maximum of 10).
Gambling - Adjust all Gambling die rolls 10% in player’s favour. 15% chance of being accused of cheating.
2nd Language - May speak, and read/write if player can read/write, 1 additional appropriate language.
Facility with Numbers - Can add and subtract, can detect fraud in bills and books.

An Example:

John W. Bitterrott’s Father was (I-51) a Homesteader (IA-58). He owned 1280 acres of land (V-2) in Gamer’s Territory. John was his second child (II-3) but not an orphan (II-5). Although John’s father was a noted horseman (III-2), John was a gambler (III-8) and had learned Arapaho (III-9) from some of his Indian Scout friends. When John reached the age of 21, his father gave him $125 (IV-61) and kicked him out.

Gus Mercurio

Now I'm drowning in the sunshine as it falls down from the sky
There's something stirring in my heart, bright colours fill my eyes
It's from here to the far horizon your beauty does unfold
And oh, you look so lovely, dressed in green and gold

I can almost touch the ocean, shimmering in the distant haze
As I stand here on this mountain on this loveliest of days
Around half the world I've drifted, left no wild oats unsown
But now my view has shifted and I think I've just come home

To the homeless and the hungry, may we always open doors
May the restless and the weary find safe harbour on our shores
May you always be our dreamtime place, a spirit's glad release
May you always be our shelter, may we always live in peace

Eric Bogle

Settlers Arms at St Albans - Located beside the river The Settlers Arms is a delightful pub offering good meals and accommodation. It dates from 1848 (although the pub claims its arrival in 1836) when it was constructed at a cattle drover's camp on the limit of navigation on the Macdonald River. The two-storey sandstone building has been largely unaltered and is full of genuine charm. It also happens to serve excellent meals.

Settlers Arms Inn at St Albans



There had been a lot of blood when Starlight fell.
Now they were flogging it out of his broad and sturdy back.
His gunshot wounds were just healing, but they'd put the irons back on him.
Such was his lot in life.