24 Hour RPG: Traits II

Well, I failed the 24 Hour RPG challenge, but I’m still going to complete the game. Here are two more Traits, Abilities and Backgrounds. I have four more Traits which are almost finished, Grit, Destiny, Qualities, and Experience.


Abilities represent skills and talents that a character excels at. Most every action can be tied to an Ability and only one Ability can apply to a single action. So while hogtying a calf would fall under Animal Ken, hogtying an outlaw might fall under Security. If a character has ranks in both, then only the higher bonus applies.
Every Ability has a Key Attribute and that Attribute’s rank applies to any Action Rolls employing that Ability. If a character doesn’t have an appropriate Ability for an action, she suffers a negative two penalty to her Action Roll. Below is a table of Abilities, but Judges should feel free to add new Abilities as necessary.
Ability Key Attribute Example Actions
Acrobatics BF Walking along ledge, flips, cartwheels
Animal Ken MF Training a horse, driving cattle, hogtying
Athletics BP Jumping across a ravine, climbing a wall, swimming
Brawl BF Wrestling, boxing, and unarmed martial arts
Crafts MP Makin’ stuff
– Blacksmith Beating hot metal into horshoes, daggers, and picks
– Bowyer/Fletcher Shaping bows and arrows
– Carpenter Building furninture, homes, and barns
– Cordwainer Manufacturing stagecoaches and wagons
– Machinist Mechanically removing metal to form firearm barrels
– Mortician Preparing the dead for display and burial
– Potter Making pots, mugs, and plates from fired claw
– Saddler Turning leather into saddles and bridles
– Tailor Stitching cloth and leather into clothes
Demoltions MP Digging mines and blowing up safes
Gambling MF Playing Faro, Poker, or Craps
Knowledges MP Remembering stuff
– Biology Ecosystems, life cycles, and general bodily function
– Chemistry Combining elements to create useful substances
– Engineering Building bridges, understanding structural integrity
– Geogprahy General and detailed information about regions
– History Understanding how things in the past shape our future
– Linguistics Reading, writing, and speaking languages
– Local Knowing who’s who
– Medicine Understanding disease and mending the body
– Occult Understanding native rituals, Christianity, or the sasquatch
Intimidation MF Putting fear into a man for a purpose, or not
Melee BF Inflicting harm with weaponry
Perception MF Being aware of your surroundings and spotting detail
Persuasion MF Negotiating, bluffing, and diplomacy
Riding BF Motivation via our hoofed friends
Security BF Implementing or circumventing security
Shooting BF Putting a bead on your enemies
Stealth BF Sneaking and hiding
Streetwise MF Obtaining information from locals
Survival MF Tracking, hunting, and knowing what to eat

Cost: New Rank x 5
Maximum Rank: 5 + Legend


A Background is a Trait that represents a character’s history, training, and to some extent, a character’s potential. Background traits allow characters to overcome some of the limitations imposed by the Legend Trait. Backgrounds are usually professions like Cowpoke and Bounty Hunter, may also describe events or geography integral to a character’s history, such as Donnor Party Survivor or New Yorker.

A Background has two key Abilities. The Legend rank limitation for these key Abilities are removed, allowing the character to purchase ranks in those Abilities greater than their Legend rank. Every character begins play with a single Background.

Background Table:


1st Key Ability

2nd Key Ability

Bounty Hunter




Animal Ken






Animal Kem









Any Knowledge

Any Knowledge


Any Knowledge


The above table is just a list of example Backgrounds. Judges and Players should feel free to create their own. They’re easy to create, just pick a descriptive name and then choose two Key Abilities. Those Abilities are now free of Legend limitations. However, of special note is the Young’n Background; it allows a player to choose a Background during play. A Judge should only let Backgrounds with this special ability be created after some contemplation.

Cost: All characters receive 1 free Background

Wild West Weeks

Listening to: Ennio Morricone – The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly OST – The Ecstasy of Gold

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