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Texas Rangers in Deadlands

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  • Texas Rangers in Deadlands

    I am a Texan (with some loyalty to home) and know the Texas Rangers can be a formidable organization. However, strikes me as implausible that just after the Civil War the Texas Rangers have been give broad jurisdiction across US territory. This strikes me as wrong because the Rangers are an intra-State agency (Texas Rangers), not an inter-State agency (i.e. the FBI) – sending them into other states and territories violates local jurisdictions. And only a few years ago the Rangers were fighting with the CSA against the USA. So a recently treacherous group, that lost their war, has been given vast territorial powers? That is harder to swallow than the magic.

    My own fix for this is to say that this new jurisdiction is to say it is generally a secret and illicit thing. That is, a Ranger will roll into some not-Texas town with the cover story they are here (or on their way to another town) to pick up some criminal. This criminal is wanted in Texas for arson, murder and jaywalking. This story may or may not be true, but in any case serves as an excuse for having the Ranger present. It also means the Ranger has to strike a balance in pursuit of monsters, and dealing with the local authorities.

  • #2
    Two things.

    One, the Texas Rangers were granted inter-state jurisdictions by the CSA. It worked well, so the Union decided to keep a similar model for the new territorial rangers, who can operate in any territory.
    Two, the Rangers are now territorial rangers, not pulled from states. So the Texas Rangers don't exist in Deadlands anymore.
    I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

    Comment


    • #3
      Look at the Reconstruction era. You had ex-Confederate generals serving in the House of Representatives and in the Senate within only a few years of the war ending. Blanket presidential pardons were issued basically to anyone who would take a loyalty oath, and an amnesty bill restored the rights of all but a couple hundred high ranking members of the Confederacy. Even Jefferson Davis was pardoned (though he never regained the right to vote or hold office [in his lifetime]).

      If the Rangers proved effective, I could see a scenario where they would be rolled into a new Territorial entity, especially considering their experience fighting against the Reckoning is too valuable to waste.

      To a certain extent, I agree with you. It does strain credulity that the reorganized Rangers would be permitted to operate in a law enforcement capacity, but the actual history of Reconstruction as it really occurred is almost unbelievable.
      Last edited by ellipses; 07-08-2020, 04:22 PM.

      Comment


      • ellipses
        ellipses commented
        Editing a comment
        ValhallaGH, oh I don’t know, I think the Compromise of 1877 was the reaction. After all, surrendering in the face of domestic terrorism qualifies as a reaction.

        But yeah, snark aside, the Reconstruction Era is a tragedy. It’s one of the many reasons why a Deadlands world without the Confederacy is still rife for conflict.

      • steelbrok
        steelbrok commented
        Editing a comment
        ValhallaGH, those are appalling events. They effectively staged a paramilitary coup.

      • ValhallaGH
        ValhallaGH commented
        Editing a comment
        steelbrok Not effectively. Actually. Literally. Paramilitary terrorist groups violently ousted the elected governments, then took power in sham elections. And the US pretended it was fine. Ushering a century of evil.

    • #4
      The way I see it happening is that at the end of the war the Texas rangers would have been abolished. Now instead of granting the Agency power over the territories the took the familiar name of the Rangers to form a new inter territorial law enforcement unit. The fact that they just happened to hire back the old Texas Rangers and had them start training all the new recruits is just a denyable "coincidence" and in no way was the plan all along regardless of what you might read in the Tombstone Epitaph.

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by Wanderingmystic View Post
        The way I see it happening is that at the end of the war the Texas rangers would have been abolished. Now instead of granting the Agency power over the territories the took the familiar name of the Rangers to form a new inter territorial law enforcement unit.
        This is interesting and has possibilities.

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by ellipses View Post
          Look at the Reconstruction era. You had ex-Confederate generals serving in the House of Representatives and in the Senate within only a few years of the war ending.
          This is not something I think should be repeated in the New Deadlands, and I hope it doesn't appear. Also, a 10 year war, as compared to a 4 year, war, should make it less likely.

          Comment


          • Wanderingmystic
            Wanderingmystic commented
            Editing a comment
            I agree, I highly doubt that many if any high ranking ex members of the confederacy would be allowed to hold office. I could see it happening but I think it would be rare.

        • #7
          Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post




          This is not something I think should be repeated in the New Deadlands, and I hope it doesn't appear. Also, a 10 year war, as compared to a 4 year, war, should make it less likely.
          Why wouldn’t it be repeated? Ex-Confederates being welcomed back into the halls of power had disastrous consequences in all the kinds of ways the Reckoners are into, leading to decades of human misery and suffering.

          Also, why should the length of the war matter to political leaders? In the real world, more soldiers died in the Civil War than every other war America was involved in combined, and the Union and Confederacy were still able to reunite, so what’s a few hundred thousand more dead? The President of the United States was assassinated by a Confederate sympathizer, and still the Union didn’t enact brutal revenge on the former Confederacy. Ulysses S. Grant almost certainly pardoned hundreds if not thousands of men who had personally killed soldiers under Grant’s command, but he still did what he thought, right or wrong, was best for the country.

          People get tired of war. Just as recently as 2016, the Columbians reached a peace deal ending a civil war that’s been going on and off in their country since the 1960s. Depending on what day of the week it is, the US may or may not be hammering out a peace deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, after the American Civil War, enough people were willing to turn their backs on the former slaves stuck in the south if that’s what it took to have a lasting peace, and I expect the fictional leaders in the Weird West would do the same, alternate history or not.

          (Besides, if you don’t give your players the chance to kill a cult-leading Nathan Bedford Forrest, are you even playing Deadlands?)

          Now, as for whether any of this would ever appear in an official description of the setting, I highly doubt it. Historically in Deadlands publishing history, what happens Back East, especially in politics, rarely gets more than a passing mention in the books.

          Comment


          • #8
            Originally posted by ellipses View Post
            (Besides, if you don’t give your players the chance to kill a cult-leading Nathan Bedford Forrest, are you even playing Deadlands?)
            Shooting and/or scalping klansmen does have an appeal, I do admit.
            Last edited by Voltron64; 07-09-2020, 04:35 AM.

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            • #9
              Yes, but in fairness you don't need the Rangers for that kind of business.

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              • #10
                Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
                This strikes me as wrong because the Rangers are an intra-State agency (Texas Rangers), not an inter-State agency (i.e. the FBI) – sending them into other states and territories violates local jurisdictions.
                You act like this wasn't (isn't?) already the MO.

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                • #11
                  Given the Texas Rangers were one of the most effective forces against the Reckoners, getting rid of them would be a mistake for the setting.

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    I'm not saying drop them from the setting, but I'm trying to workout a plausible way they can go from being Rebel agents to pseudo-FBI inside a few years.

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
                      I'm not saying drop them from the setting, but I'm trying to workout a plausible way they can go from being Rebel agents to pseudo-FBI inside a few years.
                      PEG's answer was to delete the agency, then mimic it in Arizona, Dakota, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Washington, and Wyoming territories. And in response the the reality that the territories have terrible local enforcement, permeable borders, and similar threats, the creation included authority to work across territory lines.

                      The process of that probably included recruiting a lot of former Texas Rangers into the new Territorial Rangers, or as trainers for the new Rangers.

                      Texas probably recreated the Rangers as soon as their government could, as a state-wide agency. And legal illiteracy means that the inter-territorial jurisdiction of the other Rangers will frequently be extended to the Texas Rangers despite a lack of supporting legislation.
                      I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
                        I'm not saying drop them from the setting, but I'm trying to workout a plausible way they can go from being Rebel agents to pseudo-FBI inside a few years.
                        Isn't that... already what's in the setting?

                        During the Confederacy, the Texas Rangers seem to have taken on the role of both the US FBI and Federal Marshals, acting as interstate police, capturing criminals across state lines. They also became the state monster-hunting organization, and operated across the Confederacy and beyond.

                        When the Confederacy surrendered, the fledgling Agency decided that rather than lose all those resources by dissolving the Rangers, they would re-appropriate them as the Territorial Rangers and retain the skills and connections that the Texas Rangers established while they were doing the same job as the Agency in the South.

                        The Agency basically pulled an Operation Paperclip on the whole organization.

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          I'm talking plausibility of the world setting and issues of ethics (and good taste) in the same sense as the defeat of the CSA.

                          Operation Paperclip was technically illegal, but also selected a small number of people with technical knowledge and skills needed in an anticipated conflict with the USSR. By comparison, the Rangers are a smaller, shabbier, sadder, meaner force. The USA doesn't need them, as it has its own resources. That frankly racist and treacherous Rangers would ever have operated outside of the CSA during the war is impossible to believe. That the Rangers would be given broad, multi-state license after the war is not much better. Even the Nazi's the USA grabbed during Paperclip were not given guns, the right to use lethal force, and sent out to enforce the law across nations they had just attacked. It is implausible to have the Rangers with this kind of authority for so many reasons, and legal jurisdiction is just one of them.

                          For another thing, PEG has rewritten the setting to include the CSA defeat for larger ethical and moral reasons in the real world. Some fools are flying the CSA battle flag without irony or good sense. To have the CSA as an ongoing thing in the setting accidentally plays to the ugly power fantasy of such people. Giving the Rangers such broad, and implausible, powers, is not much better. The Rangers were expressly men who murdered Mexicans, hunted fugitive slaves, and fought on the side of the CSA. They were traitors, racists, sexists, violent murderers and often drunks and failures. To give the Rangers such broad powers is not only highly implausible, it is in bad taste.

                          But go with your power fantasy.

                          Comment


                          • ellipses
                            ellipses commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Deskepticon, no, their explicit stated reason for retconning the Confederacy out is because it was costing them more with sources of tension at be gaming table itself than what it was adding to the game. https://m.facebook.com/groups/Unoffi...5581037817230/

                          • Deskepticon
                            Deskepticon commented
                            Editing a comment
                            ellipses Ah, ha! I avoid Fbook like the plague, so I missed that statement. I'll just take your word for it since I won't click the link. Thanks though!

                          • lunchmoney
                            lunchmoney commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Just adding a +1 to @deskepticon's last comment because there is no like button in comment replies. I, too, avoid, FB.
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