Picture, if you will, the early Pioneers crossing the wilds of the American Frontier and discovering…… not Apache and Cherokee, but Samurai Warlords! Ancient Japan had long ago sailed East and settled the land bringing their cultures and traditions with them. As is the wont of man, thoughts rapidly turned to armed conflict.
That was when the Warlords revealed their secret weapon against the dishonourable cowboys: Ninjas!
“This is the story of the Lone Ranger and his faithful sidekick Tanto……”
Welcome to the world of Cowboys and Ninjans where ’60s TV cowboys battle 70s TV Ninjas across the plains of early America! Fight daring gunfights against Mankiri Gusari wielding warriors of the night and prove you can out punch Kung Fu! Does a Smith & Wesson really beat fast acting contact poison? Tune in next week to find out!
“The rustlers turned left here, Kimono Sabe.”
Here’s 10,000ft overview of the Cowboys & Ninjans setting, free and open for y’all to use and abuse as you see fit. This is entirely system neutral though would work particularly well with d20 Modern/d20 Past, Mutants & Masterminds at PL4-6, Microlite20 or Savage Worlds. Just roll up your cowpokes, grab a handful of generic Ninja stats, and you’re ready to play.
“That ain’t a shuriken – it’s a Sheriff’s badge. Get him boys!”
But why are they called Ninjans?
- The early Pioneers routinely mispronounced native words for peoples and places (hence Chicago – “shikaakwa” – and Minnesota, which means “Hey! I was sitting there!”)
- It annoys the Ninjas no end
- Dude! Ninjans! C’mon!
The campaign centers around Okahoma City, a no-good two bit hole of a town ruled by the Warlord Shinzo until the Pioneers came. He welcomed them with open arms – and in return they brutally murdered him and took over the area. At least, that’s the common tale. The truth (known to few) is that Shinzo was killed by his brother Kannagi who pinned the blame on the cowboys, took the title of Warlord then fled to the hills with his Elite Ninjas and loyal Samurai.
The adventure begins in Lohan Valley where a few isolated settlements and cattle ranches have seen increasing Ninjan trouble. Our heroes are called in to deal with the problem once and for all. The Ninjans are looking for an ancestral Kabuto (Samurai Helmet) that was lost in the area; it is needed for a ceremony that will cement Kannagi’s position as Warlord. Unknown to them, it’s currently being used as a milk pail…….
“When I say draw, draw!” BANG “Ha! Aia jitsu!”
There are no ninja cowboys – such a thing would be an abomonation and such a blasphemous creation couldn’t possibly exist.
There are whispered tales about the Pale Ronin, a mysterious figure who wields both gun and blade, righting wrongs then disappearing into the shadows. Good Christian folks cross themselves and pray it’s merely a legend. And what links this story to Nathan Winterbourne, mild mannered and gutless journalist at the Okahoma Despatch………
“Ride like the wind, Sepuku!”
(Note to self: Sepuku is not a good name for a horse)
It’s Serenity/Firefly without the spaceships. It’s all of Jackie Chan, or Bruce Lee with a dash of Clint Eastwood. It’s poker meets mah jongg. It’s gunfight at the Okahama Corral.
It’s Cowboys and Ninjans!