The Cowgirl is the Distaff Counterpart of the Cowboy. This Western Character is often depicted as a Plucky Girl in Western garb, who can ride and shoot as well as any man, but who is seldom seen doing any of the filthier ranch chores.
In films, simply being the Cowgirl is the only characterization trope really given to such a character - being female and a cowpoke is enough of a character concept. In the real world, most people aren't that one-dimensional.
Game and Story Use
- If intended as a major character, you'll probably want her to have more definition than being just a cowgirl. In addition to various always female tropes, you might want to take color the cowgirl with elements of other cowboy and western types - like the Rodeo Rider, Philosopher Cowboy, The Rustler, or The Gunslinger.
- This trope is one of the few really adventurous female character concepts that feels strongly in-genre to The Western. It's a setting that doesn't lend itself to a lot of equality, so please use this trope even if it might be somewhat uncommon in the historical era of the American West in the real world.
Building This Character
- This is an unusual profession for a woman, any who take this route are probably made of sturdy stuff. I'd say it's a solid medium-level character, with potential to exceed that if she's an important character.
- Physical Attributes are the most important category for nearly all cowboys.
- Decent Social Attributes would also be appropriate, and helpful for keeping the cowboys in line.
- Animal Handling, Riding, and Survival are the primary skills that every cowgirl needs.
- Agriculture or Farming are a must.
- Unarmed Combat and/or Marksmanship - both are just about mandatory. In fact, to excel and prove herself, she probably needs these at a level that's above the average of her male peers.
- Intimidation - for putting cowboys back in their place if they get too forward, or too sexist.
- Rope Use is handy
- Athletics, with a focus on Rodeo talents, or just getting out of the way of a stampede
- Repair - optional, and typically just a point or two for mending broken gear on the trail.