A die code shows how good a character is in a particular area, how harmful a weapon is, how useful a Special Ability or tool is, and so on. Each die code (also known as a value) indicates the number of six-sided dice you roll (1D, 2D, 3D, 4D, 5D, etc.), and sometimes an added bonus of “+1” or “+2” — referred to as pips — you add to the total result you roll on the dice.
An Advantage, Special Ability, or piece of equipment may provide a bonus to the roll. If the bonus is in the form of a die code (such as +1D), then you add the listed number of regular dice to the amount you would roll. If the bonus is in the form of a number (such as +2), then you add the amount to the total that you rolled on the dice.
Example: A shovel adds 1D to digging attempts. A character who decides to dig a hole uses her lifting skill. If your character has a lifting skill of 4D, you would roll five dice to determine how well your character dug the hole with the shovel.
Whenever any player or the Game Master makes any roll, one of the dice must be different from the rest (in size or color). This die is designated as the Wild Die. This die represents the random chaos of life i.e. the direction of the wind affecting the flight of a bullet or the random twitch of a muscle; things that are too small to warrant their own difficulty modifiers.
Example: Your character’s Agility attribute is 3D+1, so if your character tried to jump onto a table, you would roll two regular dice and one Wild Die.
If the player has only 1D to roll, then that one die is always the Wild Die.
Critical Success: The Wild die in any role is an exploding dice – i.e. if the player rolls a 6 on the Wild Die, they may add the 6 to her total and roll the Wild Die again. As long as the Wild Die rolls a 6, the may continue to add 6 to the total and continue to roll. If she rolls anything other than a 6, she adds that number to the total and stops rolling.
Critical Failure: If the player rolls a 1 on the initial toss of the Wild Die, this is potentially a Critical Failure. The player than must roll a Critical Failure Check die (d6) to determine what will happen (see below).
|Critical Failure Check||Type of Failure||Result|
|1||True Critical Failure||The Critical Failure. In normal situations, this cancels out the highest roll. Take the Wild Die and the highest die from the roll and total the rest as the result. The GM or the Rules may dictate other consequences as well.|
|2 -5||Complication||Add the dice results normally, but a complication occurs. The gamemaster gauges the significance of the complication by the total generated – from a funny, nearly didn’t do it result for a high total to a serious, “we have a problem” obstacle for a low total. |
The Game Master should make certain the complication chosen relates to the task attempted. It should serve as an extra, minor obstacle the characters must now deal with or, more often, as a place to insert a bit of comic relief.
Only on rare occasions (such as numerous poor decisions by the players) should a complication be without solutions or even deadly. The complications can also serve as opportunities to bring nearly invincible characters down to a more reasonable level.
|6||Not a Critical Failure||Resolve as Normal|
Note: Unlike rolling a Critical Failure initially on the Wild Die, no complications occur when a 1 shows up on later tosses of the Wild Die in the same roll.
A Test is something challenging that the player character has to accomplish via a Skill or Attribute roll. There are two types of Tests. A Standard Test is one that is rolled against the Standard Target Number (6) and a number of success is determined. An Opposed Roll is when two sets of Dice are rolled and compared, usually with the higher number succeeding.
Modifiers to the skill usually come from environmental advantages or disadvantages not directly related to the target of the Test – darkness, noise, bad tools, no tools, etc. All these Modifiers apply to the dice rolled or the total after the roll. Die code bonuses and penalties are applied to the total dice rolled Penalty and Bonus values are applied to the total.
The source of a modifier comes from extenuating circumstances, environmental factors, mental factors, and anything else that makes the situations unique. Instead of giving a series of specialized tables for each skill, a general scale of modifiers is given here to streamline the system and avoid a ton of book diving.
This table is a guideline to skill roll modifiers:
|Condition/Situation Level to the character||Modifier|
Important Rules of Thumb for Skill Modifiers:
- All Modifiers are cumulative, unless the GM says otherwise
- No modifier can reduce the Skill to less than 1D. There is always a chance.
Optional Rule: Catastrophic Failure
This is an optional rule that the GM can choose to use. On the rare occasion that a player rolls all ones on his Skill Dice and the Critical Failure Check comes up as a True Critical Failure , then something Catastrophic happens. This should not be something terrible and show stopping for the players but something fun and adds to the story, but still creates a challenging situation.
Rd6 Standard Target Number & Successes
Perhaps the biggest difference from other D6 systems is the difficulty system. Instead of various levels of success and relatively arbitrary numbers to remember, the only number that anyone has to remember is 6. The base Target Number of any roll is 6 and every multiple of 6 after that is an additional Success. Tasks or challenges will have a number of successes – a Difficulty – needed to succeed at the task.
If needed, Easy tasks are also rolled. As long as the player does not roll a critical failure (All 1s), the task succeeds. Otherwise, the player character has more than 2D to roll for the Test, then the GM can call an automatic success.
The Base Difficulty
A Test’s Base Difficulty is a number of successes the Game Master assigns to it based on how challenging the gamemaster thinks it is.
Existing conditions can change the difficulty of an Test. For instance, walking has an Automatic difficulty for most characters, but the gamemaster may require someone who is just regaining the use of his legs to make a Very Difficult running roll to move even a few steps.
|Base Difficulty||Number of Successes Needed||Notes|
|Very Easy||0||Nearly everyone can accomplish this task. Roll only a Wild Die. If it’s not a 1, success. If it is, make a Critical Failure Check. If 1 one comes up again, the attempt fails.|
|Easy||1||Although characters usually have no difficulty with these tasks, an untrained character may find them challenging. Don’t Critically Fail.|
|Moderate||2||There is a fair chance that the average character will fail at this type of task. Tasks of this type require skill, effort, and concentration.|
|Difficult||3||Those with little experience in the task must have a lot of luck to accomplish these actions.|
|Very Difficult||4||The average character only rarely succeeds at these kinds of task. Only the most talented regularly succeed.|
|Heroic||5||Heroic tasks are nearly impossible, though there’s still that chance that lucky average or highly experienced characters can accomplish them.|
|Legendary||6+||Legendary tasks are virtually impossible, though there’s still that chance that lucky average or highly experienced characters can accomplish them.|
Difficulty modifiers usually added to or subtracted from the Base Difficulty, thus increasing or reducing the number of successes needed to succeed. These are usually modifiers directly related to the target to skill roll – Properties of the task. For instance, the quality or level of technology behind a lock, alien computers the character is trying to hack or a vehicles type the character has never driven.
A Game Master should only apply one or two Difficulty Modifiers in any given situation. Attempting something that is usually Moderate should not suddenly turn Heroic or Legendary because of Difficulties, unless the Game Masters deems it necessary.
|Level of effect from property or aspect of the Task||Modifier|
Result Points refer to the number of successes beyond what was needed. The gamemaster can use the result points to decide additional effects of the success or additional information gained. Some skills use these points for specific purposes. The gamemaster may allow a player to add the result points as a bonus to another skill roll or Supernatural or Special Ability effect. In an attack, Result Points can be converted to damage dice on a one point to one (non-Wild) die rate.
Result Points and Success
Here are some guidelines for describing different levels of success. Use the result points of the roll — the difference between the successes from the skill total and the total successes needed (difficulty) — to decide on the exact level.
|Result point level||Number of Extra Success||Result|
|Solid||0||The total was just barely enough. The character hardly succeeded at all, and only the most minimal effects apply. If “minimal effects” are not an option, then maybe the action took longer than normal to succeed.|
|Good||1||The results were better than necessary and there may be added benefits.|
|Superior||2||There are almost certainly additional benefits to doing an action this well. The character performed the action better, faster, or more adeptly than expected.|
|Spectacular||3||The character performed the action deftly and expertly. Observers would notice the ease or grace with which the action was performed.|
|Incredible||4+||The character performed the skill with such dazzling quality that, if appropriate to the task, it would be a subject of a song or a long tail told around a fire.|
The Result Point total can act as a Result Bonus to an effect roll like Damage.
Example: A character who trying to use the survival skill to forage for food gets a minimal success — she finds subsistence level food; it’s barely better than garbage. The next day she gets a spectacular result — not only does she find good, wholesome food, but she finds enough for two days instead of one.
NOTE: It is left to the Game Master as an option to convert every 3 points of Results to a die. This if the player roles Incredible, the gain 1D+1 as a Results Bonus.
Improving a Roll
The average person fails at average activities more often than not. Characters aren’t average people, so they need ways to beat those odds. Thus, they have Character and Fate Points, which represent those surges of adrenaline, sudden insights, and other unexplained helpful acts of chance.
Players may not trade Character Points for Fate Points, nor may they trade Fate Points for Character Points. A player may only spend her Character and Fate Points on their character’s rolls. They may not spend more Character or Fate Points than the character has listed on their sheet. Except when allowed by the gamemaster for exceptionally cinematic situations, players may not use Character Points and Fate Points on the same roll.
Whenever a player makes any Test roll, he has the option to spend Character Points to increase the total rolled. He may spend one Character Point to a maximum decided upon by the gamemaster and based on the challenge level of the adventure. Each Character Point spent gains the Test roll one Wild Die.
Limit Example: For adventures with easy challenges, the maximum should be two(2) For more cinematic adventures, the maximum should be five (5); For epic adventures, the maximum can be unlimited.
A player may choose to spend Character Points before or after they makes a roll — or both — but always before the gamemaster determines the result. The gamemaster need not tell the player whether they should spend more points to improve a roll, but he can imply or hint.
Extra Wild Dice gained from spending Character Points each work like a normal Wild Die except that a Critical Failure counts as a 1; it does not adversely affect the roll. Because of the special nature of Character Point Wild Dice, the player may wish to roll these dice separately from his normal Wild Die.
Once used, the character loses the point. Players get Character Points for their characters by overcoming obstacles, roleplaying well, and having fun. They can also use Character Points to improve skills (see the “Improving Characters” chapter for details).
“A Hero tapping his Chi or Soul“, “A Hero’s luck“, “Fate favoring the Hero”, or “Gods smiling down on the Hero” – are all examples of Fate Points. Players can spend Fate Points in dramatic situations when he needs a little more than just what a Character Point can give him.
Characters can gain Fate Points when playing their character well, or role-playing a Disadvantage dramatically to add to the story. It’s up to the Game Master when he or she wishes to award Fate Points.
When a player feels the needs even greater help for her roll, they may spend a Fate Point to double the number of dice they normally gets for
that roll. However, the player only rolls one Wild Die. Furthermore, anything that’s not part of the character – weapon damage die codes, equipment bonuses, and so on – is not doubled.
Example: Your character has a Craft: Demolitions skill with a die code of 4D+2 (Perception of 2D+2 and a Skill rank of 2). Normally, you would roll three regular dice and one Wild Die and add two pips to the total. However, by spending a Fate Point. This allows you to roll seven (7) regular dice and one Wild Die and add four pips to the total (for a total of 8D+4, or twice that you’d normally roll).
Usually, a player may use only one Fate Point per roll per round, though a character may improve several different actions in a round with several different Fate Points expenditures. Particularly beneficial or malicious deeds presented and roleplayed well by the player or gamemaster may allow additional Fate Points to be spent on a single roll.
In the general course of play, a Fate Point is useful for one roll only. However, once per game session, a two players may choose to spend a one Fate Point climactically, which doubles all of the character’s rolls for that round.
The gamemaster also may allow players to spend Fate Points climactically several times during the highest point of the adventure (the climax).
Players may only spend Fate Points before making a roll. Furthermore, double the initial number before applying any die code penalties and bonuses.
Once used, the character loses the Fate Point – but he may earn it back at the end of the game if it was used for a deed that supported the party or furthered a great story.
As characters become more experienced, the gamemaster may include further restrictions on Fate Point use. Gamemasters might allow moderately experienced characters (those with at least 6D in several Skill Dice) to spend Fate Points only on actions that promote the story line, while highly experienced characters (those with at least 9Din several skills) might be permitted to use Fate Points only during climactic moments in the campaign.
As characters tackle obstacles, they’ll find ones that they can’t overcome initially. Gamemasters must rely on their judgment to decide whether and when a character may try an action again. However these chances come with a cost and conditions.
Skill Tests can be retried only if:
- The first attempt was not a True Critical Failure.
- +1 to the Difficulty number (can be negated by a Character Point)
- No result points can be used from this attempt (considered a Raw Skill Test)
For some actions – like actions made in combat turns, such as Ranged Weapons or Running – the character may try the action again the next turn, even if she failed. For other actions – more long term complex tasks such as Craft/Repair – failing the roll might have serious consequences, depending on how bad the failure was.
A small difference between the difficulty number and the success total means the character may try again next round at a higher difficulty. A large difference means that the character has made the situation significantly worse.
She will need to spend more time thinking through the problem or find someone or something to assist her in her endeavor. A large difference plus a Critical Failure could mean that the character has created a disaster. She can’t try that specific task for a long time — perhaps ever. This is especially true with locks and computer programs.