We all know the common dice systems. D20, 2D20, D6, D100, but what are some games with stranger base systems?

We all know the common dice systems. D20, 2D20, D6, D100, but what are some games with stranger base systems? I'm just spitballing here but things like coin flips, or D66, unconventional things. What is the weirdest dice system that would still be playable and fun?

  1. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I've seen games where you draw from a deck of cards.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I'm making one of them. It's functionally just a dice pool, but the odds are constantly shifting. It's not a drastic change, but it does add an interesting extra wrinkle as players try to gauge their odds and count their cards. There are some interesting things you can do with cards that you can't do with dice because you have extra information and a discard pile to build mechanics around.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      This is a fairly common way of playing World of darkness in prison, dudes will use stacks of cards 1 through 10 for dice

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        That's just WoD LARP rules for the Camarilla, because it's easier for mall goths to carry around 10 playing cards than a handful of d10s.

        As for other playing card RPGs, there's Capers (roaring 20s supers) and Space Kings (comedic sci-fi) that have players drawing from their own decks of cards with different resolution mechanics. I'm seeing some others out there, but they fall into that unpleasant category of pretentious itch io bullshit that isn't really a game, but more of a hipster circlejerk about a topic so painfully specific and limited that it's hardly an RPG, but not even good enough to be improv theater.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        They play WoD in prison?

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          dude, people play anything in prison. I imagine finding players is just as difficult as it is at your game store, just less molesters (unlike the LGS they got shanked already)

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        They play WoD in prison?

        I've always thought that if I go to prison, I could kill quite a few years being pretty happy if I had a good system or two and could run regular sessions
        But then I think about the heated rules disputes or session long awkward sulking or the general way some less mature groups will let conflict spill from the game into rl, and would really hate to get shanked for not balancing an encounter or incite a shanking not intervening early enough in some in-game fight

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >that guy story ends with that guy murdering the DM for not accepting his character sheet.

  2. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    FATAL calculates skill/combat checks with 3d10 plus or minus the relevant skill modifier, aimed at a threshold given by the GM. One of the odder die pools I've seen
    FAE (and I assume FATE) rolls what are functionally 4d3 iirc
    I've never seen a system that uses d8 primarily and I don't think I know of one that uses the d12, only 2d6s

    Weird shit I can think of is using some kind of spinner for a Wheel of Fortune-style rolling system, but I don't know how to begin constructing the system that would want to use that wherein it isn't basically just a circle with x equivalent divisions (and thus just an abstracted die roll) but one where the sections are of varied sizes

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >I've never seen a system that uses d8 primarily and I don't think I know of one that uses the d12
      I sometimes think about making a game that uses d8s or d12s primarily because they are such neglected dice.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I've considered ways to make the d8 more prominent if I ever get around to making that d20 heartbreaker.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        d12 best die

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >I've never seen a system that uses d8 primarily and I don't think I know of one that uses the d12,
      the first Four agenst darkness expansion uses d8s constantly.

      The only game I know that uses d12s a ton is killer bunnies card game.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Weird shit I can think of is using some kind of spinner for a Wheel of Fortune-style rolling system, but I don't know how to begin constructing the system that would want to use that wherein it isn't basically just a circle with x equivalent divisions (and thus just an abstracted die roll) but one where the sections are of varied sizes

      I think the actual construction would be hard. You'd need to use a protractor and high precision to make it by hand, though it should be easy enough to print. I also think that you'd have to construct the spinners out of pretty tough cardboard, or ideally even plastic, so they don't get worn down being flicked all the time.

      What's nice about this idea is that you can have any arbitrary likelihoods. For example, if you want odds of 2:2:2:1, that's easy, where that particular ratio would be impossible to do on dice without risking infinite rerolls.

      I think the trick is that you start with the premise that you can represent any arbitrary odds, and figure out where to go from there. You're probably want a few spinners with different odds.

      Here's a couple of ideas off the top of my head, just to get things going:

      -Find some real world task, and see what the results are. For example, real humans don't play rock/paper/scissors at 33/33/33 odds, but instead throw rock/paper/scissors at about 35/30/35. Or like, how far from the end of a race is an Olympic long distance runner before they do their "kick" and pour on the speed?
      -Roll a die to pick how many sections to make, then use a random number generator to pick their sizes, then after you have the spinner, decide what to do with the ratios it gave you. Or come up with the number of sections yourself but still pick the ratios at random

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I wouldn't focus too much on making weird ratios, though. Any spinner can be replicated in practice by rolling d100 and assigning different results to different ranges of results. The trick is that the spinner is a fast, easy way to get that result without having to check a table or something. The downside is that you can't really change it on the fly; it's one set thing, and you're done. Try prototyping using the d100 + ranges method, and see what pops out.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >I've never seen a system that uses d8 primarily
      https://1dGanker.org/wiki/Crab_Truckers

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I have now seen a system that uses d8 primarily

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Hey, I ran this on IRC for some fa/tg/uys a decade ago.

  3. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Genesys uses funky dice to very good effect

  4. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Dread's jenga tower count?
    There was an anon here who made a cute kid adventure sort of game that used an uno deck, looked fun.
    Dogs in the Vineyard uses all the dice from D4 to D12 (10 maybe? its been a while) but in a way that makes sense and plays well.

  5. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Modempunk was a small RPG (it might even have been a /tg/ project from way back when) that uses d12s as the main die.

  6. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    One Roll Engine games use exclusively d10s. You roll a bunch of 'em and success is based on getting matching numbers. More of a kind or higher numbers is better (so rolling and getting three 7s is better than getting a pair of 2s).

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      what happens if you get 4 times 7 and 2 times 10 in a roll? which is better?

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Typically you choose which set you prefer.

        Neither is "better". Generally the value of the dice is their strength and the number of dice is more like their duration or size; the games call this "width" and "height".

        One example is if I was casting a fireball, the value of the numbers (height) would be the amount of damage I do, and the number of dice in the set (width) would be the size of the affected area.

        A few ORE games give you basically "wild" dice whose values you can choose after rolling; this is mostly for supernatural powers.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >One example is if I was casting a fireball, the value of the numbers (height) would be the amount of damage I do, and the number of dice in the set (width) would be the size of the affected area.
          are widht and height arbitrary? which is which if I hit someone with a sword?
          what if there is no "width" like a climbing check?

  7. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    its not THAT weird but DCC uses a "weird" dice chain.
    d3, d4,d5, d6, d7, d8, d10, d%, d12, d14, d16, d20, d24, d30

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I keep thinking about buying the fucked up odd-number dice, but I never have a use for them and also everyone who sells them price gouges like a motherfucker and all the sets are usually ugly or boring.

  8. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    There is an RPG called Clink that is based off coin flips, and a ton of systems that use playing cards (The House Doesn't Always Win really does something interesting beyond subbing dice for cards), but the weirdest I've seen is likely Fastlane, which has players bettering resources on an actual game of Roulette as the core mechanic.

    If looking for a dice system that I've played a lot and enjoyed at the table, the red/black D10s of Red Markets really help with the theme of the game.

  9. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I'm sure there was a d200 system.

  10. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Tales From the Floating Vagabond called for a "d33". I didn't even know they made those.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Take a d6, paint 2 sides each with the numbers 1,2,3.

      Have two of those with different colors. Roll them, using one for the 1s place and one for the 10s place.

      It's a silly way to get 9 different options.

  11. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Weirdest I've seen that plays great and uses common dice is anything by Sanguine Games based on their Iron Claw 2e system, "Cardinal" I think? They've got everything from Science Fiction to Gumshoe systems now.

    Mixed dice pool, every relevant factor is a die (stats, skills, feats, equipment, situational, etc). Dice range in size from d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and the number of dice that rolled above the loser's highest roll is the degree of success. You'll dump a fat lot of every dice you own, and read a descriptive narrative of what was actually relevant. Unlike a lot of systems that use a +/- modifier, you can see specific dice from specific factors won out and it's really rewarding when that bonus counted. With the default to a melee attack being a counter-attack guaranteeing the majority of combat rolls result in injury, it's probably the most efficient system I've seen in terms of combat detail and overall speed. The really weird part of the system is the probability curves, where more small dice vs few big dice are two very different builds.

    Weirdest system I've never seen used, 3d12 middle. Roll 3d12, take the middle result, IE (4,6,12) is 6, and (5,5,10) is 5. It's nearly a 3d6 bell curve in shape, but requires no math in reading the result so it's a bit quicker.

  12. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Does bloodbowl count? It has 2d6, a d8, a d16, and 3 block dice.

  13. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Fantasy Flight Games and their Narrative Dice system. I run their Star Wars games as well as a few Genesys games (which use the same dice sans the Force die) and it's phenomenal!

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      What is phenomenal about it if you don't mind me asking, anon?

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Dual-track successes. The two tracks are
        >Success vs Failure
        >Advantage vs Threat
        So you could, for instance, hit someone with your lightsaber (a success) but they did a Wilhelm Scream and it alerted the guards in the next room who are now coming in (threat). You could also miss with your lightsaber (failure) but have thrown the enemy off guard making it easier for an ally to shoot them with their blaster (advantage). It's a really fun and engaging system and their rules for Force use is actually really cool as well.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Not that anon but for me it really connected with the way I run games. Less roles but more ways the outcome can influence the game.
          The way the signs are ordered on the dice it slightly favors success when you roll 3 difficulty dice (negative) with 3 ability dice (positive) but should you fail there is more possibility for recover again and should you succeed there is possibility for complications.
          Failing forward has become quite a meme phrase but I like working with it.

          One could argue that it is very similar to just interpreting degrees of success on a normal dice. True but if you add in degrees of success and failure, then rolls can become incredible swingy because you just win harder and harder or lose more and more.
          Here is a good pdf that goes a little bit deeper into it.

          OK thanks I really need to get my players to sign up for this system ASAP

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Not that anon but for me it really connected with the way I run games. Less roles but more ways the outcome can influence the game.
        The way the signs are ordered on the dice it slightly favors success when you roll 3 difficulty dice (negative) with 3 ability dice (positive) but should you fail there is more possibility for recover again and should you succeed there is possibility for complications.
        Failing forward has become quite a meme phrase but I like working with it.

        One could argue that it is very similar to just interpreting degrees of success on a normal dice. True but if you add in degrees of success and failure, then rolls can become incredible swingy because you just win harder and harder or lose more and more.
        Here is a good pdf that goes a little bit deeper into it.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I like it, though I'd hesitate to call it phenomenal. Maybe if you were really burned out on DnD and how kind of transparent, one-note and swingy resolutions were, and really appreciated the narrative injection.
        At the best of times, it works how

        Dual-track successes. The two tracks are
        >Success vs Failure
        >Advantage vs Threat
        So you could, for instance, hit someone with your lightsaber (a success) but they did a Wilhelm Scream and it alerted the guards in the next room who are now coming in (threat). You could also miss with your lightsaber (failure) but have thrown the enemy off guard making it easier for an ally to shoot them with their blaster (advantage). It's a really fun and engaging system and their rules for Force use is actually really cool as well.

        describes it, bring encounters to life with dynamism, depth and excitement
        However, the drawback as the extra, qualitative interpretation that goes into every roll and the burden that places usually on the GM who is looked at to have the final say on what happens. This can lead to a generalized easy way out when you don't want to think of something that gets more and more lent on - you spot credits on the ground due to advantage or something.
        Not as bad but the interpretable nature of advantage/disadvantage can cause disagreements. If you succeed at lock-picking with disadvantage, do you trip an alarm or break your tools? One of them puts pressure on the whole group rather than just the player who failed, but does your group have a kind of understanding that you'll rule in their favor in ambiguous cases? It comes up in every system, but will come up a lot when part of the resolution mechanic.

        Still, that makes it no worse than most systems at the worst of times but with the potential to make every roll interesting.

  14. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    quit fetishizing dice fuckshit

  15. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Weapons of the gods/Legends of the Wulin.

    Roll a number of d10s depending on your "level" (different term, same concept), group them by value. If you say rolled 3 7s, the value of those is 37, same if you say roll a pair of 5s, 25.

    Now obviously you can get multiple groups of similar values. Those all matter, for different actions you take with that same roll. (typically a main action with supporting minor actions)

    (distribution of numbers sketched out in the picture, I HAD a proper graph, but it was on a previous PC and I am NOT redoing the horrendously painful math to get it again)

  16. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Hellfire Trading Company uses an unusual system involving a target number and D8s, D10s and D12s. A test asks for either Body, Spirit or Mind and you roll whatever combination of dice you assigned to that area. If you roll the max number on the die it explodes and you get to roll the next size up which can in turn explode.

    PDF included if you're interested.

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