Lone Cowboy
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Basic Information

The Lone Cowboy is a characterization trope that describes fellow who is running his own ranch, often by himself on a shoestring budget, perhaps aided by an old Indian friend or his young wife. Expect him to be the target of the Big Ranches who see him as easy prey.

He's the Cowboy equivalent of the Determined Homesteader. See also: Ranch Owner



Game and Story Use

  • Rather than traveling and working in a group, this Cowboy is a Loner.
    • In The Western, there's a good chance of him being some sort of Retired Badass, probably a Retired Gunfighter. Which kinda makes sense since running a cattle ranch by yourself is a lot of hard work, and there'd need to be some reason for a person to give it a go all alone.

Building This Character


  • Probably medium level to low level, but not first level - needs to be personally more skilled than the individual workers at other ranches.



  • Animal Handling, Farming, Riding, and Survival are the primary skills that every cowboy needs. Either the Lone Cowboy gets very good at this, or his ranch goes under in one or two winters.
    • Although rare in Westerns, cattle dogs would also make it easier to drive a herd single handed. Dog handling and training would be appropriate skills and, being traditionally quite large and tough, cattle dogs are liable to be quite handy in a fight as well.
  • Marksmanship - as the only man on the ranch, you need to be a good shot to scare off coyotes, rustlers, etc.
  • Rope Use is handy
  • Athletics and Endurance
  • Repair, especially carpentry for mending fences and tools.
  • His social skills are probably a bit underdeveloped, or else he'd have friends and relatives helping out.
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