OK, shields, I’ve been burning my noodle on this idea for a long time coming - the idea of a roll which escalates the situation, excites the action, gives heroes hardships and opportunities, and this morning, while teaching 4 year olds, I got this idea, and I think it’s pretty good. Let’s call it a fate die for right now. I’m taking submissions for a better name, but that works for now.
It’s a D20. You are going to roll it along with the D20 you roll to determine whether your action is successful; make certain this second D20 is a different color, but roll them together. Nothing changes about your regular D20 action resolution mechanic; you add your bonus to that number, and try to beat the target; you’ve probably done it in your sleep by now. That second D20, the fate die, you’re going to compare that number to what you rolled on your action D20. If your action roll is lower than the fate die, you get a bane; if it’s higher than the fate die, you get a boon. If they’re the same, you get both. We’ll talk about what that means in just a second.
So, what is a bane?
- A little toxic yellow D6 that can be added to damage or attack rolled against you.
- A narrative condition: winded, blinded, limp, weak, etc.
- Damage to gear, or dropping/losing an item.
And, I guess a boon is?
- A little berry red D6 you can add to action or damage rolls.
- Relieve a narrative condition.
- A narrative advantage or opportunity: sure footing, a distracted enemy, or improvised item, etc.
When you roll a boon and a bone together, you can choose to have them cancel each other out, or take the bad with the good.
Just like karma in EZD6, these D6s can be accumulated, and spent in groups, or one at a time; my initial thought is to start PCs off with 3 boons at the start of each session, since they are the heroes, and you don’t want them feeling like they start off in the hole after the first few dice have been rolled.
I think this strikes a balance with having some edges to keep it grounded, but being open enough to improvise, and not so complex as to be a big cognitive load on player or GM, but it needs testing. I hope to be able to give it a shot, soon. If you are at all inclined to try it at your own table, please tell me in great detail how it went. Cheers!