Even in the Wild West, it's a fact that not everyone can be Cowboys and Indians. Amidst all the sombrero-sporting Banditos and 10-gallon Bounty Hunters is a little guy in a bowler or top hat. He probably wears glasses, is kinda short and scrawny. He's likely to have taken up a job as Clerk or Shopkeeper at the General Store. He lacks the conviction and work ethic to be a Homesteader or the grit to be The Sheriff. He's probably also a Greenhorn, who just moved out from Back East.
You can bet, though, the moment any trouble starts to brew, the mousy little townsfolk will rush over to the Marshall's office, and demand the authorities do something. The Meek Townsman can't handle it himself, but he'll happily pressure the sheriff and his deputies to risk their necks.
Game and Story Use
- Can be used en masse, to characterize the whole town as kinda yeller and cowardly.
- A single meek townsman in an otherwise rough and tumble frontier town can be memorable (but probably short-lived) comic relief.
- It could just be an act. There's no better cover for the Evil Mastermind.
- And sometimes the meek townsman is forced by circumstances to take heroic action himself and discover unsuspected reserves of courage within.
- Sometimes because he's been shamed into it by the hero's example.
- If the PC's get into a jam that they can't escape by themselves, sometimes an NPC meek townsman with a guilty conscience might give them just enough help that they can get back on their feet.