The Working Cowboy is a cowboy who actually has a job herding cattle and spends the majority of his time doing that job. (Unlike the majority of cowboys in The Western who seem to spend all their time hanging around at the Saloon and/or acting as mooks.)
Working cowboys tend to have more worn clothing, scruffier appearances and stronger odors than other types of cowboys. Stories about working cowboys usually focus on the nitty-gritty of ranch work and the dangers of the trail, culminating in the Cattle Drive, with a herd of cattle being led across often hazardous terrain to market.
Game and Story Use
- This is a fairly gritty character, far less flashy than other types of Cowboy. Would be useful to have a group of these as background characters in a realistic game set in the American West, to establish verisimilitude.
Building This Character
- Most cowboys are going to be low-level NPC extras.
- Specific named cowboys could be of any level. Frontier life is rough, and has plenty of hard lessons to learn.
- Physical Attributes are the most important category for nearly all cowboys.
- Animal Handling, Riding, and Survival are the primary skills that every cowboy needs.
- Agriculture or Farming are a must.
- Unarmed Combat and/or Marksmanship - both are just about mandatory, but probably just at a basic level.
- Rope Use is handy
- First Aid
- Athletics, with a focus on Rodeo talents, or just getting out of the way of a stampede
- Repair - typically just a point or two for mending broken gear on the trail. This may in some cases, however, be full-blown Leatherworking, Blacksmithing, Carpentry or Cartwright skills.