24 Hour RPG: Traits III

Another Traits entry for my 24+ Hour RPG, Legends of the West. I added some functionality to Background Traits, which is below, then I introduce Grit and Destiny. Both new Traits allow you to resist the randomness of dice.

Players may also Invoke Backgrounds. To Invoke a Background, the player simply declares that a prop or relationship correlating to her Background exists in the current scene. A prop is any inanimate object smaller than a building that could conceivably exist in the setting. A relationship simply means that a person, location, or object has some kind of tie to the character’s background. Backgrounds may be invoked twice per session.

An example prop would include a Bounty Hunter declaring that a wanted poster with a non-player character’s face on it is tacked to the billboard at a train station. An example relationship would be an Outlaw declaring that the saloon is a safehouse for is gang.


Life in the frontier has a way of hardening a person, and Grit is the product of those hardships. Characters can call on Grit to steel and redouble their efforts. Grit may be spent by characters in order to improve their chances to succeed.

Grit is gained whenever a characters gains a new rank in Legend or the player rolls the Devil’s Mark, a Weird, and for every Degree of Variance in failure. The most Grit a character can obtain is equal to five plus her rank in Legend. Characters also begin play with five plus their rank in Legend.

Characters may spend Grit to swap in a Legend Die on an Action Roll, to add two to the result (before the roll) of an Action Roll, to re-roll and Action Roll, or to take an Immediate Action. Grit may only be used on Action Rolls (i.e. not on Damage Rolls). A list of actions along with their cost in Grit can be found in the table below.

Grit Cost Table:


Cost in Grit

+2 to Action Roll


Legend Die


Re-Roll Action


Immediate Action



Destiny is usually viewed as an external force of the universe exerting its influence on persons to direct them towards a predetermined fate, which people arrive at regardless of their own actions or the actions of others. Legends of the West views destiny as a guiding force that can be thwarted, redirected, or harnessed.

Every character has two Destiny Traits. These traits are usually presented as phrases, such as Fastest Gun in the West or Vengeance Shall be Mine. Destiny Traits dovetail with Backgrounds, but instead of describing a character’s past, they describes the character’s future.

Character’s also have Destiny points, which allow them to practically change the outcome of events. A character can have no more Destiny Points than their rank in Legend. Character begin play with their Legend rank worth of Destiny Points. Characters gain a Destiny Point whenever they gain a rank in Legend or when coerced into action by the Judge.

Destiny Points may be spent to obtain an automatic success on any Action Roll, and that action counts as if it had one Success Variance. Additional Destiny Points may be spent to increase the degrees of Variance by two. Destiny Points may also be spend to fully negate injury inflicted by a single attack.

Once per session, a character may Invoke her Destiny, much like Backgrounds, and place a prop or declare a relationship in a scene correlating to one of her Destiny Traits. Everyone at the table must agree that the prop or relationship is connected to her Destiny Traits in some fashion.

Finally, the Judge may Coerce a character to perform an action based on her Destiny Traits. An example would be compelling the Fastest Gun in the West to enter a showdown with Billy the Kid. If the player accepts the the Coerce, she receives a Destiny Point. The player may choose to receive the point either before or after the action. If the player refuses, she may not invoke the Destiny Trait involved until the next session.

Wild West Weeks

Listening to: Red Dead Redemption – Red Dead Redemption OST – The Shootist

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