Other GM levers



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Hey there guys, I’m curious if you use or know of any other GM levers that use dice? I consider GM levers to be things like the Target Number in ICRPG, OpenD6’s Wild Die, Advantage/Disadvantage from D&D 5E, my Burn Die on this forum, the D8 NPC-attitude die, and the Escalation Die from 13th Age.

I just love to discover and create more of those, my current plan is to create an array of GM levers using every, common die type, just as players have Effort! :grin:


Interesting collection. I’m not sure I fully understand what makes something a lever that uses dice, so perhaps you can clarify? Do you mean something like “mechanics where the GM communicates changes in the fiction through dice”? So, for example, using a die as HP tracker would be a lever, whereas tracking them on paper is not?

If so, I use size dice (larger opponents roll additional d8s), which might qualify. Or the variable hit dice from 5e Hardcore, where a D4 signals a small opponent and a d20 a huge.


I don’t quitek now how to define them. To me they define the environment and the situations, I guess?


Ok, would a classic reaction roll fit, or an encounter die?


Reaction roll? Like the attitude die? Absolutely! :smiley: What is an encounter die? :grin:


Maybe the Black Hack’s Usage die, some people use rather than tracking ammo etc? It’s primarily player side, but picking the starting die size can be a GM ruling. And I have used Usage die as a GM for when a Horde will dissipate, so…


Pretty cool, thanks a lot! I will add it to my list!


In classic DND you roll each turn for random encounters, usually with a 1-in-6 chance of an encounter, followed by a reaction roll.

Now, this random encounter roll can be used to also produce other circumstances. In Warhammer Quest, for example, the encounter roll doubles as a magic power roll. And in more recent applications, people have suggested combos like 1: encounter, 2: torch is burning low, 3: hunger/thirst, 4: check to not get lost, 5: roll twice, 6: nothing. The idea is thus to handle multiple instances of time-keeping with one roll. This is often referred to as an “overcharged encounter die”, and what I meant by encounter die above.