Class-specific surge/grit dice



I recently purchased the Waste is Not Kind and I really like the use of Grit. They work like Surge dice in other ICRPG games.
I was thinking how I would adopt these for my family game and I thought it would be cool if the dice were class specific.
For example, a warrior/fighter could spend a surge die to add 1d6 to weapon effort or to prevent that much damage from an attack or spend a surge die to make two attacks. The Shadow could use it to free action hide or dodge-making attacks on them difficult. has anyone thought about adding something like this to their game, or have any suggestions or ideas?


One of the absolute best parts of The Waste Is Not Kind’s GRIT dice, that set is apart from Altered State’s SURGE dice, is that it’s a shared pool. You get this wonderful group dynamic of discussing when to use them, what to do with them, and how they’ll impact the game later on or with the growing level of Adrenaline everyone is developing.

So on the idea of a class-specific version, you could keep the shared pool and a general list of what GRIT dice can do (move extra far, absorb damage, add damage, take extra actions, etc…) but then for each class type you add one or two special things that only that class can do with GRIT, like you mentioned already.

That way you can pull a GRIT from the shared pool to do something awesome and specific to your character, but balanced out with knowing that when you take a dice, that leaves one less for everyone else too.


In the setup I use for Galrheim, each player has 2 Mighty Deeds each session, represented by the 2D10 in a dice set. You can spend them to boost rolls, take extra actions, and ignore damage. However, each Craft (Type) has a Signature Mighty Deed. They are more powerful, but I try to keep them more specific in use.


I like that. They can be used in a generic way but each class gets a specific use that is unique to that class. I was thinking about using the terminology of mighty deeds for the surge dice in my family game.
Are you willing to share what mighty deed each class can do?


Yeah sure! Hopefully you get to see these in action in the Pale Archives One-Shot, as well.

Craft Skulltaker, the Berserkers and Storytellers, have One Against The Horde: As a Mighty Deed, damage all CLOSE enemies with a single attack.

Craft Beastwarder, the grapplers and druid-y types, have
Nature’s Might: As a Mighty Deed, make a STR or CON roll succeed automatically. Roll double effort for that action.

Craft Frostcutter, the tricksters, have
Escape The Cold: As a Mighty Deed, completely dodge an attack.

Craft Dawnsmith, the protectors, have
Bring The Dawn: As a Mighty Deed, inspire each of your allies to make a free attack.

Craft Nightspear, the hunters and stalkers, have
Into The Night: As a Mighty Deed, disappear into your surroundings for 3 Rounds. You cannot be detected by enemies unless they make a HARD WIS roll.


That reminds me. You haven’t sent me a discord link, yet.


Could have sword I had. So sorry!


A mage could spend their die to add to the DC of another mage’s spell, or use it to lower the DC of the saving throw.


A little food for thought when it comes to Surge dice and related mechanics. The reason I wanted to incorporate after seeing it in action with altered state is that it is not specific!

The beauty of it is that it allows players to do extra-ordinary things AND there is a clear restriction in how many times those things can be attempted. It is elegant for the GM as well, as it allows you to say yes far more often IF they are willing to part with a surge/grit dice.

Not having it specific means that any character has potential to any ability they want! As long as they can burn a Surge/Grit/mighty deed etc.

When they start to be narrowed down, it can change this dynamic, which is absolutely fine, rock on, you do you etc. Just beware that you will lose out on the creative potential of NOT having it written down.

If you want warrior specific and such, I think that is best accomplished with abilities or loot-based powers. I am also a big fan of abilities that manipulate surge dice or put a twist on them. Like rolling a D20 instead of a D10 for example.

Just some food for thought, just wanted to chime in that keeping Surge/Grit general saves a lot of ink and brain power specifically because you don’t have to define its use. I think the examples given of the warrior adding to effort, or the shadow burning a grit to hide would be great examples to provide players without fencing it in as a written rule, I would absolutely allow these as uses of Grit!. Introduce the concept of Grit and see what players do with it.

In summary,
player says “can I do X?”
Then you as the GM can pretty much say “Yes, IF you burn a Surge”
The agency rests with the players by how they choose to use a limited resource.

The real kicker is making sure earning more Surge/Grit dice does not get out of hand. Once the limited resource is not limited anymore, things can get tricky.


The trouble I’m finding is that my players are not getting that creative with these things, and so at least having a few more suggestions in my pocket I can pull out and show them can encourage that creative thinking.


Absolutely! Examples are great, and I try to sprinkle in suggestions of Grit use throughout sessions to help spark ideas along the way. I also tried to make the page with Grit uses have a good example list that could be used when introducing the mechanic.