Race for The Dutchman (Old West)

Race for The Dutchman | Downloads: 3,892 | Size: 266.7 KB

Greetings, GURPS Fiends!

Though the holiday week and vacation played havoc with my schedule, I’m thrilled to finally launch this new series– Quick-Play Adventures.

GURPS doesn’t produce a whole lot of adventures, for obvious reason: it’s a generic system, with few canonical assumptions about any particular group’s setting. The Orcs in our game might be slow and thuggish, the Orcs in your game might be fast and cunning, multiplied by however many hundreds or thousands of GURPS games are going on. Writing adventures that appeal to all of those disparate groups is… shall we say, “challenging”?

So, I feel like what works best for GURPS adventures are self-contained stories that lend themselves to being easily run “on the fly,” preferably with pre-generated characters.

The epitome of that style is the absolutely wonderful RPG, Lady Blackbird. If you’ve not already read it, you should go do that and come back — it’s fantastic. A map, some places, some obstacles, some PCs… BAM, done. (It also has it’s own rules set, which seems to match the style perfectly, but a new rules set, I definitely do not need).

Race for The Dutchman is an Old West adventure for GURPS 4th Edition, sending five pre-generated PCs on a search for the legendary Lost Dutchman mine, and possibly the identity of the former owner’s killer. The PCs were made using my “Quick-Start Character Creation” (at the most powerful level, Epic).

It was a total blast to write, and I hope to do more if I can keep the rewrites under control. I couldn’t help myself! I just kept tweaking and making changes — the original idea was for a fantasy adventure, then pirates. And I could keep making changes, but I really wanted to share. It is labeled “version 0.9,” in case I have a chance to polish it up even more (ugh, especially the “map”).

Anyway, I hope you’ll download and read, and let me know whether you think it’s a worthwhile project or a train wreck.


If you enjoyed this post and others like it, might you consider the Game Geekery Patreon?


  • 11/28/2015: First public release, ver. 0.9
  • 11/29/2015: Minor correction to Tulsa Bob’s character sheet (Shotgun skill), ver. 0.91
  • 4/3/2016: Replaced the map, added stats for using Bows as well as Guns to the Enemy page, ver. 0.92


  1. Great stuff. These little adventures will work great to show what GURPS is capable of. While the community as a whole may not find a lot of value in it those who have been lurking in the shadows of the GURPS’verse may find it just the opposite.

    Thank you for an example of what GURPS can do.

  2. This is a great idea and I’m looking forward to seeing what else you create in this series!

    I love the simple PC sheets – they are very easy for new players to pick up and understand. Too many templates simplify character creation in terms of options but don’t simplify the rules because they use lots of advantages, disadvantages, and skills that aren’t obvious and so require frequent reference to the core books.

    But, the most important part of this adventure is the game hooks – the encounters page and the NPC descriptions that give some suggestions for motivations, backstory, etc. If there’s one thing I’d like to see more of in future versions, another page of that material would be great. I think you provide enough depth in this adventure; I’d just like to see even more suggestions!

    • Hiya! While I was writing, I was thinking roughly a day’s travel from Gray Flats to the Bar K, Fort Grant, or the St. Francis Mission; two days’ travel to The Needle. That would make Tombstone about three days from Gray Flats but, ya know, it’s all pretty loose.

      Clearly that map is not overly accurate!

  3. Hi!

    Today I’ve just GMastered the Race for The Dutchman at a little local convention in Girona, Spain. It has gone very well. We were 5 players. Three were veteran roleplayers, and the other two were kids about 10 and 11 years old. Everybody enjoyed the game.

    It started, as usual, with the scripted death in the Alice’s saloon, then it evolved towards the Apache Country with encounters with Bar K Ranch cowboys, monks and a crazy miner. The crazy miner became a good one, following the PJs into the Apache Country and making an overall fun and annoying (for the PJs) encounter.

    In the Apache Country the things became serious. The Indians were at war, and assaulted at night the camp of the PJs. To find the mine, our heroes needed to climb to the top of the Needle, the sacred mountain of the Apaches. Before the climb there was an encounter with the Apaches bravos, and with the help of Dahkeya (the favor of Jane Calhoun) it all resulted in a first blood fight between two champions.

    After the climb the site of the mine was clear. There they find three men of Lawrence Green guarding the gold. After ambushing these cowboys they started to mine some gold, but soon after the final fight began: Lawrence Green and his cowboys with the help of the corrupt Captain Stoltz. Using some dinamite the PJs were able to scape with nine kilos of gold. A success!

    • Hiya, Paul! Those are the number of yards/hexes a PC can move if they take that maneuver (they all have a based speed of 6 so I figured it off that).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.