first time running Frontier Scum


Tomorrow I’m running my first session of Frontier Scum. The plan is to make a short campaign of it that lasts 5 sessions or so. One player who does awesome design work for TTRPGs may not be able to make the game tomorrow so we decided to run a quick 1 on 1 game.

I decided to use a little zine I’ve wanted to play a while now called Swine. It’s available in a few places. You can find a physical copy at Exalted Funeral, here on Blark’s itch page, and from Spear Witch in the the Violence TTRPG jam zine.

We started the game in middle of the action. Fire Bug, the nick name of the player, was robbing a pig farmer of his whole head of 18 pigs.

After failing to make any type of negotiations with the rancher Fire Bug shot him dead. He realized after the fact that moving 18 pigs to be sold to a man 4 days away on horseback might be harder than he had originally anticipated. So he went to the neighbor to try to convince them to lend a hand.

For the neighbor I used Loraine Moody, from The Family of Carcass County entry that was submitted to the Frontier Scum Jam happening right now on itch.

Obviously hearing the gunshot from earlier and knowing that the pig rancher doesn’t usually have outsiders as guests she set her large dog on Fire Bug. She tried to run into the house but took a shot to the back first.

Fire Bug got into a whipping fight with the dog and rolled a natural 20 so he gained a skill in whip fighting. Oh and he rolled a 1 in this encounter too and lost his ace.

After a real nasty bite from the large dog Fire Bug retreated back to the pig ranch to heal up using the whiskey bottles he found in the man’s house.

Now ready to get the 18 pigs to the buyer I asked the player if he wanted to take the hills or the road. It turned the 4 days journey into a 5 day ride. Course he wanted to take the hills. He’s a wanted man. Wanted dead for arson I think it was.

I decided to roll 3 encounters a day.

The first one was “1d3 pigs have been led astray by a hill witch’s song deeper into the wood. It will take time to find and retrieve them.” Fire bug tried to whip at the single pig that was following the song but it ran off and he still had 17 to worry about.

Further down into the woods the next encounter was “the pigs get into fermenting barrels buried in the earth, becoming too drunk to walk. They need 1 day to recover fully.” Fire Bug decided to set up camp for the night. He looked for tracks in the area for bears or wolves but failed his wits check. I asked the player if he was going to try and keep watch or anything like that but he said he was just going to sleep. I had them roll a difficult Wits check to see if he would wake up in the night but he didn’t. 3 bandits ended up coming through his site and stealing 6 pigs.

In the morning Fire Bug successfully rolled a WITS test and found tracks of the men and the pigs. It lead to the road.

He passed by to witchy looking older ladies and they offered to trade their talisman for a pig but Fire Bug wasn’t interested.

Further down the trail Fire Bug came across some hastily buried graves but kept moving.

Oh, I kept rolling a d6 when I rolled each encounter the second day. On a 1 he would find the pig bandits.

Right before sundown he saw the 3 men and his 6 pigs up a ways. He tried to rustle up all his pigs and have them stampede the men. I decided he would need to pass a difficult luck test. Fire Bug failed that and the men heard him coming. They turn away and see him. We roll initiative.

Fire Bug was able to take out the only bandit that had a rifle from a distance. When he rode in to attack the other two men who only had melee weapons it went real bad real fast. They clubbed him real good and he fell off his horse. Fire Bug was at -1 HP and rolled on the drop check table. The bandits took all he had and left him for dead but Fire Bug was still hanging in there.

We ended the session there. I realized after he should have rolled d4 at the end of the scuffle which would have at least brought him to zero HP. He was out of food, drink, dip, and smoke though so he probably would have ended up having to crawl his way back, somewhere, somehow.

R.I.P. Fire Bug.

When I asked the player about the session a few hours later he said Frontier Scum was like GTA and he wants a better goal next game, like robbing a bank.

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