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The Bounty of Bodie

Bodie Banner A.jpg

"I'll Tell ya friend, it wasn't as easy as the fourteen miles of bad road to Bodie."


Bodie (/ˈboʊdiː/ BOH-dee) is a ghost town in the Bodie Hills east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Mono County, California, United States. It is about 75 miles (121 km) southeast of Lake Tahoe, and 12 mi (19 km) east-southeast of Bridgeport, at an elevation of 8,379 feet (2554 m). Bodie became a boom town in 1876 after the discovery of a profitable line of gold; by 1879 it had a population of 7,000–10,000.

The town went into decline in the subsequent decades and came to be described as a ghost town by 1915. The U.S. Department of the Interior recognizes the designated Bodie Historic District as a National Historic Landmark.

Also registered as a California Historical Landmark, the ghost town officially was established as Bodie State Historic Park in 1962. It receives about 200,000 visitors yearly.

Bodie State Historic Park is partly supported by the Bodie Foundation.

This page[edit]

This is just a think and planning page. It will be overhauled once the development is far enough along.

Game Time Period[edit]

  • Game could start in 1876 as the PCs hear of the rich strike in Bodie. It would last till around 1900.
  • 1880 starts the game with Bodie well on the way to the end of its gold rush.
  • 1877 lets news of the Bodie gold get around. Gives the game an arc of about 10 years.

Why Bodie?[edit]

When I was young my mother and brother and I took vacations to Sequoia, King's Canyons, and Yosemite parks. We also visited relatives in South Dakota. On one of the trips, somewhere around 1971 or 1972, we stayed in Yosemite then went out east and up to South Dakota. On that trip for unknown reasons mom took us off the beaten path down 14 miles of road a VW bug should never have traveled. That put us in Bodie, California at around 9am. We spent the day there wandering around the ghost town, talking to another visitor who was quite familiar with the place. He had had family that had been born and raised and apparently lived their whole life in this fading place. I suspect he had ulterior motives for talking to my brother and I, that being the semi-hippie mother. He had no luck as we left and never saw him again but for that day we got a history lesson of this once thriving boom town.


Wikipedia page for Bodie [[1]]

California State Parks page [[2]]

Bodie's Website [[3]]

Bodie Foundation [[4]]

Madame Mustache. A gambler and brothel owner [[5]]

Rosa May. Prostitute [[6]]

Race track [[7]]

601 Vigilante group [[8]]

Ella May Cain. School teacher, author. native of Bodie. [[9]]

Discovery of the Standard Mine [[10]]

bad men of bodie [[11]]

Gallery. Stories about particular buildings. [[12]]



Google Earth [[14]] Tourism is encouraged.

Some images are Courtesy of California State Parks, 2019.

  • Main Street Map. Map is large.
  • Mainstreetmap original.jpg

This map has the intersections of Mill & Green across Main Street. There are a couple other side streets. Good place for the action to take place.


Businesses [[15]]

  • Dechambeau Hotel & the IOOF hall: A main hotel with a fine saloon and dining room. International Odd Order of Od A lot of possibilities for game play. Odd Fellows Hall was used in many ways.
  • McMilan House
  • Gregory House
  • Conway House
  • Burkham House
  • Schoolhouse, Original and Bon Ton Lodging House. Original one was a small one that was burned down in 1879 by a disgruntled student. The Bon Ton Lodging house was converted to the large two story school.
    • Seems reasonable the school teachers live upstairs. It might also have lodgings for rent that goes to supporting the teachers and school. Nice place for a non-violent PC to live.
  • The Standard Mill
  • Bodie and Benton Railroad Office
  • Bodie Bank*
  • Moyle House *
  • Moyle Warehouse*
  • Hoover House.: Theodore & Mildred Hoover. Theodore was manger of the Standard Mill.
  • Gas Station: Maybe have this be new, A source of contention bringing early gas engines into a horse town.
  • Stuart Kirkwood Livery Stable*
  • Reddy House *
  • Boddie Methodist Church*
  • Donnley House
  • Red Barn
  • Dolan House
  • L.E.Bell House
  • Metzgers House
  • Bodie Parking Lot
  • Johl House
  • Muurphy/McRae House
  • Sam Leon's Bar 7 Barber Shop (nice....adventure awaits here! )
  • Red Cloud mine(IN town)


  • Catholic. Started raising money in 79. Built in 82. Pcs might be hired to pick up supplies and deliver them
  • Methodist.


Bodie had an active Chinese subculture.

  • Activities of the Chinese


    • Wood Hauling from the eastern Sierras to Bodie. Running Mule Trains.
    • Located along King Street, Chinatown offered general stores,laundries, boarding houses, gambling halls, saloons and a
    • Taoist temple.
    • The Chinese also earned income by selling vegetables, making charcoal, and working on the Bodie railway.
  • Tong Sing Wo House :
  • Tong Sing Wo
  • Opium. A big part of the game could surround the opium trade. Fighting over control. Stolen bricks of opium.

People of Bodie[edit]

  • Patrick Reddy: Patrick Reddy was a Bodie lawyer. Yes, he was the one who defended the “Bad Man from Bodie”. On more than one occasion he kept supposedly guilty men from being hanged. Pat was very well known for his abilities as a lawyer, and was called upon often.
  • Silas Smith: [[16]]. Store owner and Main & King. Dry Goods and first Post Office
  • H.Z. Osborne: Printed the first “Daily Free Press” newspaper in Bodie. September 6, 1879
  • Reverend Hinkle – a Methodist Reverand
  • Father Cassin – a Roman Catholic priest.
  • Eli Johl and wife Lottie. Eli is a butcher at the Union Market.
  • Jack Langrishe. The Comedian of the Frontier moved around a lot. Deadwood, SD from '76 to '79. Leadville, Colorado for'79 &'80/'81. It would not be unreasonable that with the gold rush in full swing in Bodie that he might arrive in spring of '81. PCs might help him set up in a theater. Defend him from problems. He went to Idaho in '85
  • Soapy Smith:[[17]] A criminal gang leader and organized crime figure. Conman. Based in Denver his con activities might bring some of his antics to Bodie
  • Docskurloc.jpgDoc Scurlock: [[18]]

Rode with Billy the Kid. Left Arizona in 1879 for Texas where he lived out his life till 1929. He could have wandered to Bodie. School Teacher? Writer of letters for the general illiterate public. He is killed in Young Guns but most sources say he lived till 1929. He left Arizona in 1879 for Texas so he could have spent a few years in the 1880s in Bodie before going to Texas.

    • January 22, 1880, while serving as assistant marshal. He and his boss, Marshal Joe Carson, became involved in a shootout with four men at Close & Patterson's Variety Hall.
    • Deputy US Marshal-East Las Vegas, New Mexico Territory-1879 through mid 1880.
    • Legal troubles in Texas involving petty theft and a brothel that might have more to the story. Acquitted on all charges.

All kinds of possibilities. Come to Bodie hunting bad men? Hunting PCs? Posted as temporary US. Marshal. East Las Vegas is a long way from Bodie but he is mysterious for a reason.


New York fence. Involved in a diamond theft 1875. Dissappeared.

  • Bloody Benders.[[21]] Kate Blender as a spiritualist in Bodie that PCs discover the true identity of.
  • William Sharkey [[22]]. Corrupt politician, gang leader. Tammany connections. Escaped New York under death sentence, 1873. Thought to have traveled to Cuba and eventually South America. Recruiter for South American military? possible bodie politician?
  • Rufus ingram.jpg Rufus Henry Ingram[[23]]

Confederate raider in California. July 15, an attempt by Ingram to rob the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine payroll failed. Never heard of again. By 1880s could be a gang leader of train robbers, etc.

  • Michael O'Rourke [[24]]
  • HooDoo Brown. [[25]] Justice of the Peace. Gang leader and Coroner for Dodge City, '79-80.

He was hunting American bison and hauling lumber in 1872. At the time, he was known to be a small-time gambler and confidence trickster. He eventually went to Colorado, working in silver mines with a friend. Hoodoo and his friend ended up in Mexico to form an opera company.

When Hoodoo arrived in Las Vegas, New Mexico, he found it was developing a reputation as a lawless place, filled with outlaws, confidence tricksters, murderers and thieves. His displeasure with this led to his election as Justice of the Peace for East Las Vegas. He also served as coroner and mayor of the town, and recruited several former gunfighters from Kansas to form a police force. However, the force was as lawless as the criminals they were supposed to be policing. Called the "Dodge City Gang", the force included J. J. Webb as the town marshal, Mysterious Dave Mather, Joe Carson, "Dutchy" Schunderberger and Dave Rudabaugh. Ousted in summer 1880.

    • Dodge City Gang. [[26]]. Stories vary but Hoodoo ran the gang as Justice of the Peace and Coroner and may have done run the group to control gambling while elements like Dave Rudabaugh and others may have been robbing stagecoaches and theiving.
  • Procopio:]]. California mexican bandit
  • John Joshua Webb. [[27]] Member of the Dodge City Gang
  • Charles Edwin Loose: Banker, Miner

Magic in the Bodie Game[edit]

First off-Slap me if i suggest these PCs are Amberites.

There is a possibility that I may incorporate Chinese magic, Indian Magic, and Hexery

  • Chinese magic. There was a vibrant active Chinese community in Bodie. Wood haulers, laborers, laundry, saloons, opium dens. Herbal medacine would be big business at a time when western medicine wasn't terribly different. Big Trouble in Little China magic? Maybe.
  • Indian Magic: Native American shamanism. Low power but one never knows.
  • Hexery: Seventh Son stuff Hexery. Remember that having a Knack is rare. Being knowledgeable about hexes might be fairly common but they are fairly ineffective. Old Wives Tales.

Bodie Plots[edit]

  • Rufus Ingram leading a group of rustlers raiding cattle and interrupting wood hauling. Wood and beef are important to Bodie. Concerned citizens might hire the PCs the deal with Ingrahm. As a Confederate raider in California it may be interesting to see if PCs from both sides of the war cooperate.
  • There is a Portuguese merchant who takes a wagon train from Sonora,Ca to Bridgeport and then in to Bodie in the 1880s. He hung a sign on the narrow natural Sonora Pass that read "Que de Porka", which means Tail of the Pig. The merchent thought the portion at the top reminded him a oa pig's curly tail. PCs could escort or be part of the wagon train in 1880 when the sign was hung. The sign remained till the 1940s. Steep, difficult, the game would center on the hardships of the trip, not necessarily bandits. Might be a good way for PCs to originally arrive in town. [[28]]

Sonora pass.jpg