The Tin Star By Steve Dee

Instruments: Playing Cards, Faro Deck (Optional)

Game Description 

This game is a western, telling the story of the last 24 hours before a showdown between an outlaw and a sheriff.

Game Content Warnings 

These are content warnings that are from the game prompts and are present in all playthroughs.

Playthrough Content Warnings 

These are content warnings specific to this playthrough only.

Game Playthrough

Word Count: 2,161     Played: Nov 14, 2021

Sheriff Card: 6 of Spades, The Sheriff follows the letter of the law no matter what. 

Place: The Saloon, Sherif keeps it honest to the detriment of all, he likes to spend the evenings having a nice drink 

Outlaw Card: 8 of Diamonds, The outlaw’s goal is to get rich 

The Courthouse, where all the important documents are kept, she claims that she owns the land the town is on and they are keeping the deed hidden from her in the courthouse 

The Story So Far: The Outlaw, Gentle Ginny,  announced in 24 hours they plan to murder everyone in town who hasn’t packed up and left. 

Hour 1, 23 hours ‘till showdown 

Dealer: 10 of Spades; Honor, promise, code

Player: 10 of Hearts ; Passion, love filial or romantic 

Roots: Hotel

The Hotel was one of the first establishments in the town after the church.It is currently run by a husband and wife team. The husband tends to the guest and the wife manages the hotel bar. It’s a classier place than the saloon, but also more expensive, so only upper clients tend to go there. 

Hour 2; 22 Hours ‘till Showdown 

Dealer: 6 of Clubs Sheriff Card

Player: 6 of Diamonds Sheriff Card

Sheriff Ally, Sheriff Enemy

A child of 14, Howard, wants to be taken seriously as a man and approaches the sheriff, an older man in his late 60’s, to be his ally. Knowing he is still a child the Sheriff turns him down. Howard decides to take things into his own hands. 

Hour 3; 21 Hours ‘Till Showdown 

Dealer: 4 of Spades: Honor, promise code 

Player: Queen of Diamonds : Greed Want Possession 

Roots: Bordello

The bordello was the third building to be built after the church. The preachers were against it, but the locals thought it would attract many people from other towns and drive up business. Inside a worker is afraid of staying in town, so she robs a client of his pocketwatch and leaves him in the room. 

Hour 4; 20 Hours ‘Til Showdown 

Dealer: 9 of Hearts Passion, lust, love

Player: 2 of Hearts  Passion, Lust, Love 

General Store: Roots 

The general store was the first town to be built after the church. It’s been in the same family for generations and was recently inherited by a young man named Jim. Jim is torn about leaving town and receives a visit from his sweetheart Lydia who wants him to take her out of town.

Hour 5; 19 Hours ‘Til Showdown 

Dealer: Ace of Clubs, Violence Destruction

Player: 10 of Clubs, Violence Destruction

Hotel: Branches

The poorer folks have seen everyone flock to the hotel bar to get one last fancy drink. This makes the workers of the slaughterhouse jealous as there has been a lull in work. They decide to rob the place and badly hurt the wife. 

Hour 6; 18 Hours ‘Till Showdown 

Dealer: 7 of Clubs Violence 

Player: Jack of Hearts Passion, Love, Lust 

Jailhouse: Roots

Howard breaks into the local jailhouse, looking for weapons he can use to save his family, and comes across a one-eyed man in a cell. The man reveals to him the Outlaw’s grandfather was the reason they built the jail in the first place and convinces Howard to let him out of the prison cell.  

Hour 7; 17 Hours ‘Till Showdown 

Dealer: 5 of Diamonds: Greed

Player: 3 of Diamonds: Greed

Slaughterhouse: Roots

The slaughterhouse was built when the cattle drive came through town. Recently the route has changed so there has been no need for it. This has led a group of 3 workers to rob the hotel while the sheriff is occupied.

Hour 8; 16 Hours ‘Til Showdown 

Dealer: 9 of Spades Honor, promise, code

Player: 2 of Diamonds Greed, want, possession, 

General Store: Branches

The town couldn’t survive without the general store. It’s one of the most important places in the town. The husband of the hotel bursts into the store to warn people that gangs of people are robbing places. Jim decides to stay and gives Lydia his horse to escape town.

Hour 9: 15 Hours ‘Til Showdown 

Dealer: Queen of Clubs: Violence 

Player: 10 of Diamonds: Greed 

Bordello: Branches

Women in desperate and unfortunate situations often find themselves working at the Bordello, either as sex workers or cleaners. The women who work here are tough and opportunistic. Another worker finds the client tied up and decides to threaten him for money. A third worker finds them and wants a cut. The two workers fight until one is killed. 

Hour 10; 14  Hours ‘Til Showdown 

Dealer: 5 of Hearts Passion 

Player: 5 of Clubs Violence 

Slaughterhouse: Branches 

The owner of the slaughterhouse’s first son, Bill, never liked hard work and so took to robbing places instead. He was caught and was supposed to be hanged in a county over, but his father, still rich at the time, pulled strings and had him brought to the jail instead. The owner’s second son, James, one of the robbers, decides they are going to break him out. 

Hour 11; 13  Hours ‘Till Showdown

Dealer: 7 of Spades: Honor

Player: Queen of Spades Honor 

Jailhouse: Branches

The robbers arrive in the jailhouse to find it empty. They don’t know where the brother went but two of the robbers trick the third by locking them in the jail cell.

Hour 12; 12 Hours ‘Till Showdown 

Dealer: Ace of Diamonds Greed

Player: 8 of Clubs  Outlaw 

Roots: Church

The church was built on the outskirts of town on a hill, and makes for a good lookout for anyone. Two of the outlaw’s goons sit on the hill and watch the town as it descends into madness. They notice someone leaving town on a horse and gun them down. It’s the sex worker from earlier and they take the pocketwatch now. 

Hour 13; 11 Hours ‘Till Showdown

Dealer: Ace of Hearts; Passion, lust, love 

Player: 3 of Clubs ; Violence 

Branches: Church

The church is one of the few places that connects everyone. Many people are gathered inside as the preacher gives a sermon about the love of God. The two robbers, noticing all the people inside, decide that they are going to rob the church and make off with all of the money.

Hour 14; 10 Hours ‘Til Showdown 

Dealer: Jack of Clubs Violence 

Player: Jack of Diamonds  Greed

Roots: Ranch

The ranch is one of the few places in town that isn’t poor or rich. They are well to do, and have plenty of cows and milk for the town. This is Howard’s home and Bill, who has taken Howard hostage, has decided to rob the place and make off with as much money and a horse as he can. 

Hour 15; 9 Hours ‘Til Showdown 

Dealer: 3 of Hearts; Passion Love

Player: Queen of Hearts: Passion Love

Poison: Bordello 

The madam walks into the bordello and sees a dead worker and the man tied to the bed. She shakes her head. This has happened more than once and she knows if the sheriff finds out he’ll close the place. She loves this place more than anything else. It’s all she has. She just needs to take care of the witness and everything will be fine. 

Hour 16; 8 Hours ‘Til Showdown 

Dealer: 7 of Diamonds Greed

Player: 9 of Diamonds Greed 

General Store: Poison 

The robbers reach the general store where Jim is waiting with them with a gun. They laugh at his feeble attempt to stop them and quickly overpower him. They rob the register, and any supplies they think they will need before breaking almost everything they can. 

Hour 17; 7 Hours ‘Til Showdown 

Dealer: King of Clubs Violence

Player: 2 of Clubs Violence

Mayor’s House: Roots 

The mayor was newly elected last year after ousting the old one. It was a bitter and contested rivalry as the current mayor’s family had a history of bribes and corruption. The mayor sits back in his chair and swirles a glass of whiskey. He feels safe in his home. 

Hour 18; 6 Hours ‘Til Showdown

Dealer: King of Diamonds

Player: Ace of Spades 

Mayor’s House: Branches

There’s a knock on the door and it opens before the mayor can do anything. Several people come in and all are yelling at him before the mayor tells them to calm down. One by one they tell him about what’s been happening in town and how the sheriff hasn’t been seen. The mayor looks concerned and sends out a small party to search for the sheriff.

Hour 19; 5 Hours 'Till Showdown

Dealer: 4 of Diamonds

Player: 8 of Spades Outlaw Card

An Enemy of the outlaw, besides the sheriff, 

One of the outlaw’s goons heads into the wreckage of the general store. They laugh and taunt at Jim, who is tied up in the corner of the store. Jim is able to get one hand free after some struggle and shoots the goon dead. He doesn’t have anything left so he decides to search for the Outlaw himself.

Hour 20; 4 Hours ‘Till Showdown

Dealer: 7 of Hearts Passion, Love 

Player: 2 of Spades Honor, Code

Jailhouse: Poison

The last robber is still in the jailhouse and is banging against the bars then pacing around the room. They see a rusty spot on the jail bars and after some effort they are able to break free. And head back into town to get revenge on the other robbers. 

Hour 21; 3 Hours ‘Till Showdown 

Dealer: 5 of Spades Honor Code

Player: King of Spades Honor Code 

Slaughterhouse: Poison 

Back at the slaughterhouse the two robbers are divvying up their loot. One of them accuses the other of stealing from them and they get into a fight. James, the son of the owner, and brother of Bill, is killed and the last robber makes off with all the money. 

Hour 22; 2 Hours ‘Till Showdown 

Dealer: 6 of Hearts Sheriff

Player: 3 of Spades 

Sheriff’s Reason to Fight 

An entire group of people bursts into the saloon looking for the sheriff. All of them start screaming and yelling at him about the things that are going on in town. He calms everyone down and tells them that he is going to put an end to everything. People don’t believe him because of the chaos outside but he shakes his head and says everything needs to be done in a proper order. The people don’t believe him. 

Hour 23; 1 Hour ‘Till Showdown 

Dealer: 4 of Clubs Violence

Player: 8 of Hearts Passion Love

Courthouse: Roots

Inside the courthouse a young woman is panicking looking through files. She believes that the Outlaw might be correct and she’s looking for any proof that might avoid the slaughter. The courthouse was built before the church and is one of the oldest buildings in town. The amount of paper she has to look through is unimaginable and she eventually knocks over the filecabinet in a fit of rage and the papers scatter all over the floor. One catches her eye. She reads the official report stating the sheriff was forcibly retired due to his age and that a new sheriff was due to arrive in a week. The town, for the moment, is without a sheriff. 

Hour 24; 0 Hours ‘Till Showdown 

Dealer: King of Hearts Passion

Player: Jack of Spades Violence 

Mayor’s House: Poison 

The mayor is standing in front of everyone trying to calm them down. People are shouting and yelling and screaming at him to do something. They say the sheriff isn’t doing anything to stop the crime and he needs to do something else. The mayor eventually comes clean and explains that the town doesn’t actually have a sheriff. The people become angry and start to mob him. 

High Noon; Showdown

Card: 4 of Hearts

Place: Farm House 

Despite not being a lawman, the former sheriff shows up to the old abandoned Farmhouse to duel the Outlaw. Gentle Ginny is pissed and ready to claim what is hers. The sheriff thinks about all the things that has happened in town today and how he could have prevented it and becomes distracted and takes a bullet to his shoulder. 

He fires at Ginny and she gets taken down by a bullet that goes straight through her gut. The sheriff then bleeds out on the floor as everyone around watches. 

Bill finds his way to the slaughterhouse only to see his brother dead and swears revenge on this town. He starts by setting the slaughterhouse on fire. 

Meanwhile, Jim is outside looking for anyone he deems a bad guy and comes across the last of the robbers. The robber tries to plead with him, but Jim shoots him dead in the street. 

The last shot is the mayor looking out over the town slowly catching on fire.

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