Matt recently gave us a map of the Old West Bank, banks and bank robberies were an important part of the wild west. I wanted to spend a few minutes today summarizing the challenges associated with robbing any bank in the western period.
The lobby is one of the largest rooms in the bank, it has room for three tellers to sit behind the counter and handle customers’ business. The lobby has three wooden exterior walls, a wooden interior wall, and sturdy wooden doors all around. The front wall of the bank has walls ten feet high, the first three feet are wooden planks another six feet in plate glass windows and another foot of wooden planking meets the ceiling. The large windows let in a good deal of light during the day, on cloudy days the light can be augmented by lanterns hanging from the walls. The bank counter is about four feet high, the teller windows are an ornate pattern of brass finish over cast iron bars. The low outer wall and bank counter both provide cover in a firefight.
Exterior/Interior Wooden Wall hardness 5, hit points 60
Exterior/Interior Sturdy Wooden Door hardness 5, hit points 15, break DC 18
Plate Glass Windows hardness 2, hit points 2
Teller Window hardness 10, hit points 15, break DC 20
Anyone attempting to enter through a broken window must make an Acrobatics check (DC 12) to avoid taking 1d4 slashing damage from broken glass.
The bank tellers have bank ledgers, $200 cash on hand, and a set of commercial scales for weighing gold and silver deposits.
The Counting Room
Behind the bank counter is a counting room, it can be locked from the inside and must be unlocked by the teller or clerk in the room for entry from behind the counter in the lobby. There are $200 in precious metals and uncounted currency in the counting room at any time.
The hallway has access to the stairs, doors to the lobby, counting room, mailroom, bank manager’s office, assistant manager’s office, and three exterior doors that are kept locked at all times.
Exterior/Interior Strong Wooden Door hardness 5, hit points 20, break DC 20
Good quality door lock hardness 10, hit points
The stairs lead up to the second floor of the bank, the second floor contains a meeting room and broom closet full of supplies and a balcony that wraps around the front and side of the bank. The staff sits out on the balcony to watch parades on holidays and the Pinkertons sit up there with Winchester rifles when big gold shipments come through the bank. The meeting room is for quarterly meetings of the bank’s board and the assistant manager has been known to run a high-stakes poker game there. The rumor about the poker game is a DC 15 culture check, the DC is 5 less if you have Profession Gambler or an appropriate theme.
The Mailroom is where mail for the bank is sorted, though a lot of the mail is incoming payments and outgoing correspondence, this often included money transferred through the post office which would come in a mailbag off a train. The mailroom was kept close to the vault for this exact reason.
Outside the side street entrance to the bank there sits an armored stage, iron plates over oak beams, heavy axles, and cast iron fittings, pulled by 8 heavy horses through the trail from the Army Fort to a big city or mining claim away from the railroad.
The Vault is a big room with some counting tables against the walls, a set of scales for weighing gold deposits, and what dominates the room is the bank’s safe a giant cube nine feet on a side, it has a combination lock, there is no timer, the vault door is a round tapered plug that is so well fitted that a safecracker cannot pour gunpowder or nitroglycerine into the gap between the door and the frame. The safe normally would contain no more than $5,000 at any time unless holding a deposit from a stage such as the army payroll or deposits from a gold mine which could be anywhere from $10,000-50,000 in coins, bars, nuggets, ingots, or gold dust.
The Vault hardness 10, hit points 120, break DC 28
The bank manager has the office closest to the lobby, there are no chairs for customers to sit in this room. The manager keeps a bottle of scotch in the bottom drawer of his desk, and a loaded colt navy under the desk. On top of the polished oak desk is a large green writing pad, a set of fine fountain pens and ink, as well as an ink blotter, and a box of imported Virginia cigars on the top next to a photograph of his family in a silver frame. The manager can often be found here reading the daily paper and doing correspondence.
Assistant Manager’s Office
The assistant manager keeps a bottle of whiskey in his desk, there are crates piled outside his window which makes it incredibly easy for outsiders to gain entrance if he leaves it unlocked after smoking one of his boss’ cigars in the afternoon when the manager goes home for the day. The assistant is often found checking the lobby, and mailroom when the manager is there. In the late afternoon, he is more likely to be smoking a cigar out his open office window or out the back door by his office.
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