I’ve been thinking more about the new dice mechanic. In some games, players can (a few times a session) have their characters go above and beyond their normal abilities for a desperate, risky, or effective super-move. How would this system accommodate that? There’s a few possibilities.

I posted a new dice mechanic recently. I explained the mechanics, and in doing so found a better version of the same idea. Thanks to Lester Ward for feedback confirming this conclusion. However, I didn’t really articulate its intended purpose.

Aside from novelty, what does this system bring to the table? It brings risk, reward, and possibility. Long conversations with Gray Pawn about success and failure in games got me thinking, and this system was the result of one of those thoughts. Reading gamer war stories like Sameo (warning: rest of 1d4chan is NSFW) reminded me that spectacular failures could still be exciting. Fate taught me that doling out excitement can be safely put, at least partly, in the hands of the players.

In the new system, anyone can technically attempt anything. Nothing stops you from accumulating dice to pay off a high Action Cost. At the end of the day, high skill doesn’t give you more opportunities, it just prevents more things from going badly. There’s a gatekeeper, of course: if the GM doesn’t think you get to make the roll at all, you don’t. The bespectacled professor isn’t going to lift a 10-ton rock off his crushed car, unless he also has superpowers.

I originally posted this on Ello in two parts (Part 1, Part 2). This is a rewrite of some of that material, with extra thoughts.

Mostly I need better terminology for some of these things, and a truckload of playtesting. I wrote Inept Sorcerers around this dice mechanic, and it’s theoretically a playable game, so if you want to help me test it, let’s start with that.