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Bass Reeves, “The Lone Ranger of the Indian Territory”

Bass Reeves
  • Alias: “The Lone Ranger of the Indian Territory”
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: African American
  • Occupation: Deputy U.S. Marshal
  • Religion: Christian
  • Allies: Fellow lawmen, local sheriffs, Native American trackers
  • Enemies: Outlaws, criminal syndicates, corrupt officials
  • Abode/Base of Operations: Fort Smith, Arkansas
  • Nationality: American
  • Languages: English
  • Alignment: Lawful Good
  • Affiliation(s): Marshals Service
  • Significant Others: Nellie Reeves (wife)

In the Wild West, where lawlessness and chaos reign, stands a figure of unwavering justice: Bass Reeves. With a commanding presence and a sharp gaze, he embodies the very essence of a legendary lawman. His tall and imposing figure is draped in a well-tailored black suit, contrasting against his dark complexion and neatly trimmed mustache. His eyes, keen and perceptive, reflect the weight of experience and a determination to uphold the law.

Bass Reeves is driven by a deep-rooted sense of duty and a commitment to bringing order to the untamed frontier. Born into slavery, he escaped the clutches of oppression, dedicating his life to the pursuit of justice. With a steadfast resolve, he serves as a Deputy U.S. Marshal, tirelessly hunting down outlaws and defending the innocent. His unmatched skill with firearms and an uncanny ability to track his quarry have earned him a fearsome reputation throughout the land.

While Bass Reeves upholds the law with unwavering dedication, there is a complex motivation that fuels his relentless pursuit of justice. He carries the burden of his past, a reminder of the injustices he endured as a slave. His mission is not only to enforce the law but also to rectify the inequalities that persist in society. Bass yearns for a world where all people, regardless of race or background, can live free from oppression and discrimination.

With every action he takes, Bass Reeves aims to challenge the corrupt forces that plague the Wild West. His unwavering resolve and sharp intellect make him a formidable adversary to those who would sow chaos and terror. Through his unwavering pursuit of justice, he hopes to inspire change and forge a path towards a better future for all.

D&D 5E Mythological Figures: Bass Reeves

D&D 5E – Mythological Figures: Bass Reeves | EN World | Dungeons & Dragons | Tabletop Roleplaying Games

Over 3,000 arrests. The first black deputy US Marshal west of the Mississippi River worked the Arkansas and Oklahoma territories for 32 years, killing over a dozen men in self-defense before dying after 2 years of retirement as a local police officer in Muskogee.

This legend’s story begins in 1838 in Crawford County, Arkansas where he was born into slavery under William Steele Reeves, a state legislator (Bass’ first name came from his grandfather Bass Washington). In 1846 Bass went to Grayson County, Texas where he was likely kept in bondage there by Colonel George R. Reeves (a Texas state legislator and son of William Reeves) for at least a decade. After being taken to the fighting during the Civil War (where Colonel Reeves joined the Confederacy) he escaped, living with the Cherokee, Creeks, and Seminoles in the Indian Territory until 1865. For the next 10 years Bass lived in Van Buren, Arkansas where he worked his family’s farm.

In 1875 a US Marshal by the name of James F. Fagan was ordered by Judge Isaac Parker to find 200 deputies for the Indian Territory—with his knowledge of the land and ability to speak Native languages, Bass Reeves became a deputy US Marshal for the Western District of Arkansas for 18 years, transferring to the Eastern District of Texas for 4 years, and then served 10 more years in the Muskogee Federal Court. Despite often being made to hunt down very dangerous criminals, Bass was never wounded (though he did have his belt and hat shot off at least once each, so he was no stranger to close calls).

While Bass Reeves was an excellent shot with both pistols and long arms, he was also good at his job and truly lived as a lawman, even hunting down his own son for murdering his daughter-in-law (Benjamin “Bennie” Reeves went on to serve 11 years at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas before becoming a model citizen.) Incidentally he did once kill a man by mistake (a posse cook) while cleaning his gun but he was acquitted by Judge Parker, and it should be noted that his other 10 kids (from 2 wives) did not eventually become criminals he was forced to hunt down.

Bass Reeves

Medium humanoid (human), lawful good fighter (sharpshooter) 14 / ranger 1
Armor Class 18 (leather, defense fighting style)
Hit Points 112 (15d10+30)
Speed 30 ft.

13 (+1)​20 (+5)​14 (+2)​14 (+2)​14 (+2)​10 (+0)​

Saving Throws Str +6, Con +7; Proficiency +5
Skills Athletics +6, Deception +5, Insight +7, Perception +7, Persuasion +5, Stealth +10, Survival +7
Senses passive Perception 17
Languages Cherokee, English, Maskókî
Challenge 11 (7,200 XP)

Background: Outlander. Bass Reeves never forgets the geographic arrangement of terrain, settlements, and areas of wilderness. In addition, he can forage fresh water and food each day for as many as 6 people as long as the environment nearby can support it.

Action Surge (1/Short Rest). On his turn, Bass can take an additional action on top of his regular action and a possible bonus action.

Attentive Gaze. Bass can use a bonus action to take the Search action.

Excellent Aim (3/Short Rest). Bass Reeves can spend a bonus action to aim a wielded ranged weapon at a target within its range. Until the end of his turn, ranged attacks that Bass makes against the target deal an extra 8 damage.

Favored Enemy. Bass has advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks to track humans, as well as on Intelligence checks to recall information about them.

Feat: Athletic. Bass can stand up from being prone with only 5 feet of his movement, climbing doesn’t cost him extra movement, and he only has to move 5 feet before making a running long jump or running high jump.

Feat: Skillful. Bass is proficient in Deception, Persuasion, and Survival (included above).

Feat: Superb Aim. Bass ignores half cover and three-quarters cover when making a ranged weapon attack, and he doesn’t have disadvantage when attacking at long range. When Bass makes his first ranged weapon attack in a turn, he can choose to take a –5 penalty to his ranged weapon attack rolls in exchange for a +10 bonus to ranged weapon damage.

Indomitable (2/Long Rest). Bass can reroll a saving throw that he fails but must use the new roll.

Marksman Combatant. Bass doesn’t have disadvantage from making ranged weapon attack rolls against targets within 5 feet of him. In addition, whenever he makes a ranged weapon attack against a creature on his turn, that creature is unable to take reactions until the end of his turn.

Natural Explorer: Grasslands. When Bass makes an Intelligence or Wisdom check related to grasslands, his proficiency bonus is doubled if he is using a skill that he’s proficient in. While traveling for an hour or more in his favored terrain, Bass gains the following benefits:

  • Difficult terrain doesn’t slow his group’s travel.
  • Bass’ group can’t become lost except by magical means.
  • Even when he is engaged in another activity while traveling (such as foraging, navigating, or tracking), Bass remains alert to danger.
  • If Bass is traveling alone, he can move stealthily at a normal pace.
  • When he forages, Bass finds twice as much food as he normally would.
  • While tracking other creatures, Bass also learns their exact number, their sizes, and how long ago they passed through the area.

Second Wind (1/Short Rest). On his turn, Bass can use a bonus action to regain 1d10+14 hit points.

Extra Attack. Bass attacks three times when he takes the Attack action.

Dagger (4). Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d4+5) piercing damage.

Revolver (3). Ranged Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, range 40/120 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d8+5) piercing damage.

Hunting Rifle. Ranged Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, range 80/240 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (2d10+5) piercing damage.

Currently in the World

Bass Reeves stands tall and imposing, with a strong, muscular frame that speaks of his years of experience on the frontier. His dark skin is weathered and bears the scars of countless encounters. A neatly-trimmed mustache adorns his upper lip, complementing his salt-and-pepper beard. His eyes, deep and piercing, reflect a combination of wisdom and determination.

Currently, Bass Reeves stands in the dusty streets of a frontier town, his boots firmly planted on the worn wooden planks. The sun beats down relentlessly, casting long shadows across the buildings. Surrounding him, the air is filled with a mix of tension and anticipation as the townsfolk eagerly await his next move.

His mood is focused and resolute, as he carries the weight of his duty as a lawman. There is a sense of quiet authority about him, a steadfastness that instills both respect and fear in those who cross his path. Deep down, Bass Reeves is driven by a desire to bring justice to the lawless lands of the Indian Territory, seeking to protect the innocent and uphold the law in the face of adversity.

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