The Pioneer
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Yes, your "Never-never country" - yes, your "edge of cultivation"
And "no sense in going further" - till I crossed the range to see.
God forgive me! No, I didn't. It's God's present to our nation.
Anybody might have found it, but - His Whisper came to Me!

(from) The Explorer Rudyard Kipling

Basic Information

The Pioneer is the person who is among the first to explore and settle a new territory. This Western Character predates The Wild West, since Pioneers got started when "the West" was "out of sight of the Atlantic Ocean." The Pioneer is unsatisfied with his or her life in a settled land, and sets out to find out what lies over the river, or the mountain, or the prairie. Maybe they'll find the Northwest Passage, or that place with greener grass, or a land where a man has some elbow room—and maybe they won't. But they reckon it's worth the looking.

Often overlaps with the Hunter Trapper or Prospector, as they seek out fresh territory in their line of work. If the pioneer settles down to start farming, he becomes the Determined Homesteader. The important aspect here is being first, or very close to first. Not all Hunter Trappers qualify, only the ones who went first. Not all Determined Homesteaders qualify, only the ones who first broke ground, the first cattle rancher, etc. The pioneer generally has to fight not just hostile natives1, but also dangerous wildlife, extreme weather and a certain amount of loneliness.

Not to be confused with the Assault Pioneer … which is a subspecies of Combat Engineer.

See Also


Building and Statting

  • This character generally needs to be a Jack of all trades - because there may well not be a professional about to call upon and there almost certainly isn't a shop to visit when you need to pick something up. Unless you're a dorf and can pick up any skill set simply by trying to do the appropriate task for long enough.
    • Crafting skills will be at a premium, but you will also need combat skills, medical training, survival, hunting and foraging and similar things.
  • Some social disadvantages may be a useful source of extra points - after all, you needed a reason to leave civilisation behind…
  • Look for good physical stats - this is not a role in which the weak do well.

Game and Story Use

  • Out in the middle of nowhere, there's a single cabin, with a lonely pioneer. How long has he been there?
    • Or maybe, The Pioneer isn't there. All he left was his Apocalyptic Log inside the cabin, and funny carved into a tree.
  • For whatever reason, all of the PCs are pioneers setting up together.
    • Which is actually quite a likely hook - whether on a wagon-train on the Western trails or the Nord Trek (or to the Stars), prowling the Great North with the voyageurs and mountain men, waltzing their Matildas around the Bush or even wading ashore on Plymouth Rock.
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