A downloadable game

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A solo roleplaying game exploring violence, woe, and dissociation, set in the American Old West | Part One of the Western Cantos

They call you the Gentleman Bandit, because no one knows your name. They call you a monster, a villain, a dealer of death. They call you all manner of Unsavory, the most feeble epithets from shriveled minds; they call you Devil.

But they don’t know you.

Not your Heart, your Poet’s Heart filled with rage or filth or the expansiveness of True Love; not your Grieving Heart loosed over a chasm, making a sound like the sorrow of wolves as it plummets toward wet river stones, cracked bones left to bleach; not your Tarnished Heart, barbed with jealousy; not your Heaving Heart, beating in meter, callous or kind or barren. 

Your Tools

  • Writing implements of your choice
  • A well-shuffled deck of 54 playing cards, Jokers intact
  • One six-sided die (optional)

The Game
Write a 13-line poem to be left for the dead — and the ones who discover them.

In this writing-focused roleplaying game, you assume the persona of the eponymous Gentleman Bandit, a highwayman of the old guard, who leaves 13-line poems at the scenes of his misdeeds. Card draws guide the content of each line; optional dice rolls add poetic devices to further shape the experience and ratchet the difficulty. 

Rules for multiplayer versions — inspired by the Exquisite Corpse style of group poetry writing — are included for both in-room and online settings. 

A Poker Play ruleset supports replayability with recommended fictional positions for your Bandit, each corresponding to the poker hand(s) you hold at the end of a round.


Play a ghostly Bandit in the grim supplement, DARK HIGHWAY!


Mobile and print PDFs included. Layout and graphic design by John Harper.


Buy Now$7.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $7 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Gentleman Bandit by Allison Arth | Mobile (PDF) 3 MB
Gentleman Bandit by Allison Arth | Print Layout (PDF) 829 kB


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I love that you have a mobile layout for this! What a great idea, especially for portable solo games!

Thanks so much! Huge credit to John Harper, who did the layout. Glad you're enjoying it. :)