Jack Anderson

Fill Your Hands!

5 minute read

Fill Your Hands! is a simple RPG to evoke the spirit of Westerns. Characters must push their luck to win contests or duels.

Character Creation

Characters have four main attributes used in Contests:

BRAINS: The use of cunning, wiles, or cleverness. BRAINS might be used to outwit someone, to treat a wound, to play a game, or to use tactics or strategy.

BRAWN: The use of physical force. BRAWN is used when performing feats of athletics. Throwing a punch, breaking down a door, flipping a table, or climbing a building are examples.

CHARM: Force of will, persuasiveness, or personality. CHARM might be used to smooth talk, to bluff or cheat at a card game, etc.

GUN: The great equalizer. Used when wielding firearms, dynamite, and the like. Contests with GUN are often lethal.

Characters may allocate THREE points between these attributes, and may put more than one point in an attribute if they desire.


Conflict or perilous actions are resolved with a push-your luck contest, with similarities to blackjack.

The goal of a contest is to get the highest score possible by summing a series of rolls, without going over 21.

If a character does not have a points in an applicable attribute, they use a D12. If a character has one point in an attribute, they may use a D10 at their discretion. At two or three points, a player may use a D8 or D6 respectively.

When a player starts a contest, they:

  1. Explain their intended outcome. The GM tells them the stakes, or what happens if they fail. (e.g. Blondie: “I want to shoot the noose from around Tuco’s neck” GM: “If you fail, Tuco will die—since this is high stakes and very difficult you need a 19”)
  2. They then decide what action they are taking and what attribute it relates to. (“I carefully select a vantage point, using brains.”)
  3. They then roll their die. If they have points in the attribute, they can roll a smaller die if they like. (Blondie has no points in mind, and rolls a D12 for 8).
  4. They repeat steps 2 and 3 until they are satisfied with their score and stay, or until they go past 21 and bust. (Blondie estimates the range and adjusts the sight on his GUN, in which he has two points, and rolls a D8, rolling a 6 for 14 total. He then takes the shot with GUN. If he rolls an 8, he will bust and lose. He rolls a 5 for 19 total. He stays).
  5. If the player wins the roll off, the GM narrates a successful result. If the player loses, they suffer a consequence as laid out by the GM.

Note that the outcome can change based on the actions in the roll-off—if a player pulls a gun at a poker table when things get bad, the results will be different than bluffing their way through.

When a character takes an action against the environment or is the only actor in the action, they roll against a fixed score—a difficult action might require them to beat a 15, a perilous action a 17, and a life-or-death, high stakes action a 19.

When a character starts a contest against an NPC or a player, they take turns rolling until both stay or one busts. The higher score wins. Players win ties.

When multiple characters are involved in a contest, the players take turns narrating actions and rolling dice to describe their actions in the contest.


Example 1:

Two gunmen step out onto the street at high noon—the first with a sheriff’s badge, the second dressed in black. The stakes are lethal—one man will live, one man will die.

Both roll with GUN the whole way through. Both have one point and can roll a D10 if they choose.

The sheriff rolls first with a D12 - a 7.

The man in black rolls next, again with a D12 - a 9.

The sheriff: a 4, for 11 total.

The man in black rolls another 9 - 18 in total.

The sheriff rolls a D10 now, for 4 - 15.

The man in black stays, and can roll no more.

The sheriff rolls a D10 again. He needs between a 3 and a 6. He rolls a six—for 21.

The results are narrated—the man in black pulls his revolver almost faster than the eye can see, but by the time his gun is pointed, the sheriff has put a round of Colt .45 through his heart.

Example 2:

Two cowboys, Clint and John, play a game of high stakes poker against a card shark, to win a herd of cattle. Both are roughnecks, with two points in BRAWN and one point in GUN. The card shark has two points in BRAIN and one point in CHARM.

The card shark goes first, and plays with BRAIN - 5.

Clint goes next, rolling a D12 with BRAIN - 1

The card shark goes again, with BRAIN - 4, for 9 total.

John rolls next, rolling a 12 - for 13 total.

The card shark, seeing that Clint and John are playing a clumsily, switches to a D8, rolling a 6 for 15.

Clint is up, and dangerously rolls a D12, still using BRAIN. He rolls a 10 - 22 total, and they bust.

The card shark cleans them out, and wins the shirt off their backs.