24 Hour RPG: Traits I

The following is the first part of the Traits that are available in the Legends of the West, a 24 Hour RPG.


This section presents the tools necessary for players to create Legends of the West. It describes the Traits common between all characters, explains their mechanical function, and details how to assign ranks to them during character creation and while adventuring in the West That Never Was.

Legends of the West does not employ levels or classes; all characters are built Trait by Trait from the ground up. The currency by which these Traits are increased is called Experience (XP). The Judge will hand out Experience whenever she sees fit, either individually or to the group.


The closest approximate to a level in Legends of the West is your Legend rank. Your Legend sets the upper bounds of every other Trait. Beyond its function as a power limiter, Legend is also a gauge of a character’s fame, or notoriety, depending on your perspective. This means characters of greater Legend in a posse of mixed ranks of Legend will have a target painted on their back when drawing down on rivals. With a high enough Legend, the government may even be pursuing your character. Whether it’s to put you down or to recruit you depends on your past deeds.

Most cowpunchers and settlers have a rank of zero in Legend, but all player characters start out with one rank in it. Ten is the official maximum rank, but Judges may impose limitations on purchasing ranks. The maximum rank of any purchased Trait for a character with no ranks in Legend is five. For every additional rank in Legend, the maximum rank for other Traits increased by one.

Cost: New Rank x 25

Maximum Rank: 10


Showdowns are what amounts to random, non-wilderness, encounters in Legends of the West. A Judge can take them or leave them, depending on what works best for her adventure. Whenever a character rides into town, every day spent there is a cumulative chance that there’s some fellow shows up wanting to test her luck against a Legend. How the upstart goes about challenging the character is variable and can either be determined randomly or left up to the Judge’s discretion for whatever best fits the story.

Calculate the character’s Showdown DR (see below) then make an Action Roll against the Difficulty Rating and add a +1 modifier for every day the character has been in town. Swap in Legend Dice if the character is Wanted (see Reputation) or if a Quality applies to the situation.

Showdown DR = 20 – (2 x Legend) + Reputation

If the roll exceeds the Difficulty Rating, then roll a d6 and see how the rascal plays it out. The Showdown Challenges are sparse, so feel free to add your own.

Showdown ChallengeTable:

Roll d6







Draw Iron!




Legends of the West uses two Facets comprising of three Attributes a piece to take the Measure of a character. The Facets, Body and Mind, each have a Finesse, Power, and Resistance Attributes. Every Ability or Action has a Key Attribute and its value is added to Action Rolls involving them. The minimum rank one can have in an Attribute is negative five while the maximum rank, like all other Traits, is five plus the character’s Legend rank. Should a character ever be reduced beyond negative five in an Attribute, that character falls helpless and cannot take actions.

Cost: (10 + New Rank) x 4

Maximum Rank: 5 + Legend

Body Finesse

The Finesse Attribute of a character’s Body (BF) covers characteristics such as dexterity, agility, and fine motor skills. This Attribute is most important for targeting opponents, acrobatic feats, maintain your balance, and for avoiding mishaps and area affects.

Body Power

The Power Attribute of a character’s Body (BP) measures brawn and and shear physical might. This Attribute is crucial for inflicting injuring on foes during brawls and for lifting and carry weight, especially while climbing or jumping.

Body Resistance

The Resilience Attribute of a character’s Body (BR) represents physical endurance, stamina, and the ability to fend against disease and sickness. This Attribute is essential for surviving poison, avoiding Consumption, and being able to take a blow.

Mind Finesse

The Finesse Attribute of a character’s Mind (MF) describes the ability to think on your feet and quick wit. This Attribute is necessary for situational awareness and helps a character react to social situations or to danger in combat.

Mind Power

The Power Attribute of a character’s Mind (MP) denotes critical thinking, the ability to learn, and breadth of knowledge. This Attribute is significant whenever information retention is required and for applying knowledge in craft.

Mind Resistance

The Resilience Attribute of a character’s Mind (MR) reflects will and determination as well as the ability to shrug off mind crushing events. This Attribute is key for  resisting insanity, mental fatigue from sleep deprivation, and sustaining a battle of wills.


A character’s Sand represents her defensive capabilities. How quick can she evade that stick of dynamite, whether he’ll survive that scorpion’s sting, or even if she can keep her wits after chewing on some peyote. Your Sand will determine if you can survive the many perils of the frontier. Unlike the previous Traits, ranks in Sand cannot be purchased; they are derived from your other Traits or may be modified by Knacks and Quirks.


A character’s Reaction score reflects the capability for evasion and responding to threats. It’s your reflexes and requires both mental and physical agility, thus the Body Finesse and Mind Finesse Attributes are used in its calculation.

Reaction = BF + MF


A character’s Resilience score represents the resistance to fatigue, poison, and disease. It’s your fortitude and is composed of both the Body’s Power and Resistance Attributes.

Resilience = BP + BR


A character’s Resolve score measures one’s strength of will. It’s your willpower and the Mind’s Power and Resistance Attributes are used in its calculation.

Resolve = MP + MR

Wild West Weeks

Listening to: Hans Zimmer – Rango OST – Stuck in Guacamole

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