The Texas Rangers

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(From Deadlands: The Marshal's Handbook, Revised Edition, 2004, Pinnacle Entertainment Group)

The Confederacy relies entirely on the military to do its interstate policing in the West. Regiments scattered throughout Rebel states and territories always have jurisdiction over local town marshals and county sheriffs.

Of the military units, one in particular has free reign over the entire Southwest: the Texas Rangers. These surly fellows fought as regulars in the early years of the war, but they were later detached from the regular military to serve the Confederacy as mounted police officers.

That’s all the public knows. Your average CSA citizen has no idea that the Texas Rangers have another job: hunting monsters. Richmond has charged the Austin, Texas-based Rangers with detecting and stopping supernatural activity in the borders of the Confederacy, as well as suppressing the truth about the supernatural events.

Their methods of doing so are often a bit less subtle than the Agency’s. There’s an old saying that goes, “one riot, one Ranger.” This is true when they’re dealing with outlaws or lynch mobs. When they’re chasing something less natural, the wily Rangers travel in packs, much like wolves but twice as mean.

The Rangers’ unspoken motto is “shoot it or recruit it.” You see, there are certain creatures in the world that can be used to fight the tide of evil that has washed over the Weird West. The Rangers love to get these dark champions to fight for them. If they eventually turn against the Rangers — and quite often they do — they quickly find their way back into the black holes from which they came.

Game Rules

Texas Rangers are tough, independent-minded soldiers and should have skills and advantages appropriate to that occupation. They are frequently expected to work alone, and in the wilderness.

The Package: The organization is a large organization, and while they mostly expect a Ranger to be self-sufficient they can be contacted for supplies or backup in the right situations (Patron 9-, resources up to starting wealth; minimal intervention - 20 points). While detached from the regular military, anyone with a Ranger's star holds the equivalent rank of sergeant in the CSA military (Military Rank 2 - 10 pts); note that military rank in the CSA also generally equates to law enforcement powers within its borders; while a Ranger's authority doesn't supercede that of local enforcement officials, he can generally expect cooperation.

Rangers have a Duty: Hunt the supernatural, and recruit it or shoot it. This comes up quite often (12-), and is extremely hazardous (-15 pts). The Rangers and the Agency are bitter rivals, frequently going after the same targets but with distinctly different goals and methods (a formidable enemy group appearing rarely (6-), with intent: rival (-50%) - -10 points). Additionally, most Northerners react to a Ranger at -2 (Reputation -2, recognized all the time, large class - -5 points)

These advantages and disadvantages assume the more or less 'normal' Deadlands game that spends much of its time in the disputed territories of the Weird West, where Rangers are most often assigned. Frequency of appearance of the Agency and frequency of the Duty will both go down for Rangers who are stationed well within CSA territory - usually those of higher Rank, assigned to administrative work or training for the organization.

Rangers are frequently Impulsive or Overconfident ("One riot, one Ranger"), feel a Sense of Duty to their compadres, their country, or all humanity, or have scars from run-ins with things that shouldn't be. They're rarely pacificsts or philosophical types and traveling Rangers will rarely have crippling mental or physical flaws (though either is appropriate for a retired Ranger...)