The Dude Ranch Cowboy is similar to the working cowboy, but whose job is to give "dudes" (tourists) a taste of The Theme Park Version of ranch life. Generally more careful of his appearance than the working cowboy, many in fiction being ruggedly handsome.
Game and Story Use
- More likely to show up in setting that's post-Western.
- Including a short trip to a Dude Ranch may allow your campaign to introduce some Western themes in a casual way that won't stick with the campaign when the characters return to the big city (or whatever the default setting of the campaign is).
- May work as a characterization of one cowboy in a bunch - this one's the well-dressed, slightly flashy feller who's more concerned about his appearance and image than the rest of the band.
- The Dude Ranch Cowboy could also be a grizzled veteran who used to punch cattle for real back in the day when things were a bit wilder and woolier. His current job wrangling tourists is sort of a semi-retirement for him, but he still has the old working cowboy skills and can handle himself in a fight if the circumstances demand it.
Building This Character
- Nearly all Dude Ranch Cowboys are going to be low-level NPC extras. They've got the softest version of what is otherwise a very difficult and dangerous job.
- Physical Attributes are the most important category for nearly all cowboys.
- Social Attributes, in particular Charisma and Appearance, are next in line on the Dude Ranch.
- Riding, and Animal Handling are the primary skills on the Dude Ranch.
- Socializing or related Social Skills will be helpful. These should lean towards making good first impressions, not manipulating people.
- Teaching and Notice are helpful, but not critical.
- Additional skills they may pick up include Athletics, Farming, Marksmanship, Rope Use, Survival and Unarmed Combat.
- The cowboy who really has a lot of those skills is probably bordering on being a genuine Working Cowboy.