I got a decent ways into the portrait before I started thinking about his seemingly now-signature Big Iron. If you're playing a western character, of course you want a good revolver, and the way I've been playing with him so far his anachronistic gear has been something that distinguishes him from the world around him (I wouldn't be surprised if the nav computer on The Tyrant was analog), so I obviously wanted something that looked old and chunky. Not at all a modern thing. Being something of a western gun nut (it's almost as bad as my medieval arms & armor fetish), my mind went wandering.
Originally I had imagined him to carry something like a Griswold & Gunnison that was somehow chambered in .44 Magnum. The Griswold is one of the iconic "confederate guns," during the war. The sort of thing that if you saw someone carry it after the war, you could wager good money which side they fought on. I have a weird relationship with gear in games. I like it to make statements about the character. We already know that because he (ridiculously enough) fires a big single-action revolver he comes from a frontier world, probably is very old-fashioned about a lot of things. Clearly either stubborn or sentimental (why not both?) because he hasn't swapped the gun out for something modern and more useful. No, I imagine the gun he carries is the gun that got him through the war. Having something as identifiable to his former allegiance as the Griswold was in the south? Perfect.
|Griswold & Gunnison cap and ball revolver|
Of course, I'm also too much of a fetishist for my own good. Sure, you could maybe rig a Griswold to accept a cartridge (conversion kits were made for the Colt Navy), but I can't imagine it'd be very convenient even by the standards that I'm going for. Plus, we're wasting a perfectly good opportunity to have something bigger and chunkier as the big iron.
My next thought went to something slightly newer. Well. A few years newer. The Smith & Wesson New Model No 3 in 44 Russian.
|Smith & Wesson New Model No 3 in 44 Russian.|
This was about the time I was struck with another dumber but somehow even greater idea. If I wanted something that screamed "confederate" while being striking and unusual... I clearly needed to pattern it off of the LeMat revolver.
|LeMat "Grapeshot" Revolver|
Only around a hundred of them were made in the States, including the 25 or so prototypes. Another thousand or so were manufactured overseas and smuggled into the south with blockade runners from Belgium and France.
So. Clearly if I wanted something that would be unique enough to have a bit of mystique and be strange enough to warrant "signature weapon" status (important, given that my sentimental character will probably never trade in the side-arm that got him through the war), the LeMat was a good way to go. Did I say Le Mat? I clearly meant La Grange. Two hours later, the La Grange Special was born.
|The La Grange Special. That's right, I made a thing.|
Funny how I started this trying to make a portrait of a character and instead end up a piece of homebrew gear. I definitely like the look of the result though. Something I find interesting is that even though the bits are all more or less historical (compare with the images above), the end result looks just shy of steampunk. I'd like to have one in real-life, though maybe in some lighter calibers. I don't have the benefit of space metal to keep a .44 break-top revolver from blowing itself to pieces.
UPDATE: The La Grange Special has been GM approved and retconned in as Moraine's sidearm of choice. I erased the shotgun I had on my list and we just assumed that the pistol costed as much as the shotgun and revolver combined. The upper barrel just uses the standard Revolver stats, the lower uses the standard shotgun profile with only 1 shot. The detachable cylinder works identically to a magazine for reloading purposes, save that I can crack it open at any time to replace an individual shell.
I can't wait for Saturday. The next session is going to be great.