Who Shot The Sheriff

In the summer of 1869, two stagecoaches set out from the small town of Dustville on a three-day trip across the American West to San Francisco. A new source of gold has been discovered 20 miles from San Francisco, attracting miners, prospectors and businesspeople.

After two days, the stagecoaches stop for a break at a ghost town called Buzzard Creek. It's a chance to water the horses and let everyone stretch their legs. Buzzard Creek is deserted save for a few old-timers, Sheriff Cassidy, Deputy Baxter, Good-For-Nothin’ Ned, and the employees of the Gold Nugget Saloon.

Unfortunately, before the horses are ready, a dust storm approaches. Then, gunshots ring out. In the stables, the Bartender finds Sheriff Cassidy sprawled face-down with gunshot wounds in his back, his gun lying beside him. With the passengers and townsfolk gathered in the Gold Nugget Saloon, the full force of the ferocious dust storm arrives, confining everyone inside. Everyone, including Sheriff Cassidy's killer…

Who Shot the Sheriff is published by Freeform Games and is one of their freeform-style murder mystery games. It has been designed for people who don't normally play freeforms and contains full instructions for play.

Basic information

  • Number of players: 12 to 15
  • Setting: The Gold Nugget Saloon in Buzzard Creek in 18xx5
  • Time to run: 3.5 hours (including setup and debrief - actual game lasts for about 2.5 hours)
  • Space Requirements: Large-ish room
  • Author: Tara Laben
  • Publisher: Freeform Games, price £20


Cast of Who Shot the Sheriff

  • Blaise Sadler – the saloon's only waitress, and the "most beautiful girl in town" winner for three years in a row
  • Christy Martin – an enterprising business owner
  • Deputy Beau Baxter – the new Sheriff Deputy, who only arrived in Buzzard Creek last month
  • Doctor Riley Bones – a doctor famous for traveling the world and discovering exotic remedies
  • Doctor Shiloh Merriwhether – an eccentric doctor notorious for working with the Indians
  • Elijah Entwhistle – a fiery traveling preacher
  • Fitzhugh Smith – a wealthy, gentlemanly city slicker who owns a chain of banks and savings-and-loan companies
  • Good-for-Nothin' Ned – a scruffy local ne'er-do-well
  • Jessie Calhoun – a sharp-eyed female adventurer traveling alone
  • Laughing Owl – an Indian
  • Piper Lee – a poor prospector following the Gold Rush
  • Ruby-Mae Marshall – a fun-loving traveler hoping to start a new life in San Francisco with her feller, Willard
  • Runs Like a Deer – a quiet, determined Indian woman
  • Sam Banks – owner of the Gold Nugget Saloon, and the editor of the local newspaper
  • Willard Preston – a rough and tough-looking traveler hoping to start a new life in San Francisco with his girl, Ruby-Mae
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