Retired Outlaw
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Basic Information

The Retired Outlaw is a criminal (usually a Wild West Outlaw) who has gone straight, or at least is trying to. There's always pressure and temptation to fall back on your former ways, and plenty of people who'll step up to serve sentence on you if you do.

If the Retired Outlaw has served his time in jail, he may be living openly, in which case he can expect occasional visits from local law enforcement. Some of his old "colleagues" (or victims) may come lookin' for him from time to time.

If he never got caught, or if he's wary of his own reputation, he may be living under an alias, and hoping no one recognizes or finds him. Of course, the plotline may have other ideas.

This character trope is especially common in The Western. In fact, in the Wild West, it was not unheard of for former bandits and gunslingers to become marshals and sheriffs. Wyatt Earp is a famous example of such a character.

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Game and Story Use

  • The character whose past misdeeds keep catching up with him can be fun to play, assuming you trust your GM to not create totally unwinnable situations out the gate.
  • An NPC who fits this role makes for a nice red herring during an investigation scenario. His troubled past will no doubt catch the PCs attention when they do background checks. Hard to say whether they'll truss him up based on his past, or be genre savvy - you know your players better than I do.
  • The Retired Outlaw could make a good NPC mentor for a character who also likes to skirt the law.
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