What do YOU look for in a starting dude?

Simple question to stir some discussion to help me learn. What is an ideal starter dude in your opinion? What stat is most import? What do you look for in a starting dude?

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I likes my starting dudes like I likes my coffee.


I don’t think you can usefully look at a starting dude in isolation - it’s the starting posse that you need to consider. For example, I ‘d normally want 4+ influence in my starting posse, but that doesn’t mean I’ll ignore 0 influence dudes. My Gadgetorium deck, for example, starts Kyle Wager, William Specks, Jake Smiley, Jacqui, and Irving Patterson. Those are all very different dudes that fill different rules (mobile influence, Mad Scientist, and Kidnappin’/early job defense).

It’s also deck dependent. I’m happy starting zero studs in a Landslide deck, or even Sloane decks that run 4xPearl Handed Revolver.

Even generalisations like “I’d want a core skill, stud bullets and influence” don’t really hold true, because I might prefer to have those qualities spread out over my whole posse to give me more flexibility/mobility.

This has not been a very helpful post in terms of answering your question. Sorry.


As above - it’s more about “what does my starting posse need” rather than “who is a good starting dude”. In weird edge cases people start expensive monsters like Clyde Ownes or Judge Harry Somerset Exp 1 because they do something very specific the deck needs to do, even though they don’t seem like good starters.

In general, good starters tend to be Dudes of Cost<=5, Upkeep <=1 (Preferably 0) with one of the following:

High influence or the ability to be high influence (Irving Patterson or Jake Smiley)
Critical Skill Checks for your deck (Valeria Batten or Kyle Wagner)
A mix of Influence and a useful ability (Philip Swinford or Lawrence Blackwood)
Cheap Cost with a powerful ability (Allie Hensman or Angélica Espinosa)
A Grifter ability that makes sense for your deck.

Many decks try to include a stud dude that matches one of the above, or sneaks in a cheap stud with a drawback (Ramiro Mendoza) or pays a little above average for someone beefy (Wendy Cheng). Typically you don’t want to have more than 1 upkeep unless you’re starting with a good chunk of cash or are confident of your ability to get out deeds asap. You don’t want to create a situation where losing lowball locks you at 1-2 gr and you can never grow your board.

In very general terms you want to shoot for 4+ influence, some stud/defensive stud (Jacqueline Isham), and relevant skilled character if necessary. Some decks want more influence, some want more bullets, some want more skill, etc.