The Stunt Die



Taking some inspiration from DCC’s Mighty Deeds of Arms, and my own quest to include multi-stat applications for single actions (and bearing out from my conversation here), I submit for consideration the Stunt Die.

The Stunt Die does not change how you normally resolve attempts in ICRPG, but it allows a PC to add an additional effect to your attempt related to a different stat. You do this by identifying which stat best reflects the effect you are seeking to achieve, and then rolling to beat the room TN with a lower die type - a D12, D14, or D16. Just like normal, when you beat the DC, the effect is successful. The point is that the stunt die is less likely to succeed than the standard check, and does not fumble or crit. I think it’s also advisable to make certain the stunt is never related to the same stat used for the attempt - because you don’t want a PC doubling down on the same high stat for bonus effects. So, let’s learn what I mean through some examples.

Brom the Bold is battling a brutal berserker with his battle axe. Brom is going to roll his STR to hit, as usual, but Brom also wants to attempt to disarm his opponent, so the GM rules Brom can do so with a DEX check on a D16. Brom’s player will roll the D20 and the D16 simultaneously, and may both hit and disarm the berserker, may only disarm him, or may only hit him.

Now, Brom had options here; he could have attempted an intimidating roar to intimidate his foe (CHA), tear off the Berserk’s bear skin by cutting the strap (WIS), or making him trip by maneuvering the berserker toward the slime covered flagstone (INT).

Snikt, the Gerblin hunter sees another warrior charging against Brom. Snikt looses her bow, rolling DEX to hit, but also wants to use the arrow to pin the warrior to the wall; she’ll have to beat the TN with a STR check, having to bring the bow to full draw to get the needed power. She may hit the warrior and anot pin him, or may miss the warrior, but still pin his cloak to the wall.

Could Snikt have shot the warrior’s helmet to spin it sideways, blinding him instead with an INT roll instead? Heck yeah!

Now Barhgalost the Mad gets to go. Seeing a band a brigands barging toward the part from an adjacent corridor, and lacking magics which might affect multiple targets, he conjures a magical missile, rolling INT to cast, and dispatch the nearest of those foes, but also wishes to deal out the bolt with such force, that it knocks the target back against his foes. Different tables may rule differently on this, but let’s say the exertion of additional energies is ruled to be a CON check. The missile could miss, but the force wave could still knock the target back, or it could whizz past them all - let the dice decide!

I think this is a simple way to encourage creativity at the table without adding a lot of mechanics, or even extra rolls. I don’t really know where the sweet spot for the different sized dice lies, so I didn’t really weigh in on that. It doesn’t necessarily need to be consistent; you may decide that the more powerful the effect, or the more targets the stunt die impacts, the lower the die type which should be rolled.

If you try this out at your table, please let me know how you did it, and how it played. WOOT!


do you account for the change in action economy in room/ monster design?
players mostly take one action (except for some edge cases), so they need to choose between trying some high risk- high reward shenanigans or attacking. now they can do both every turn, no?

maybe as a mastery or tied to loot with some restrictions? or maybe a player can choose to attempt both but with a penalty to the attack? i love DCC so the ideas sounds great, just wondering…


I think that it’s already less likely to occur than the primary action is penalty enough. This may lead to a more gonzo game, depending on what the GM allows players to attempt, but I feel like it’s never hard for me to increase the danger or difficulty, and in not forcing players to choose between the interesting thing, and the thing that makes mathematical/statistical/tactical sense, you get to see more of their creativity and ingenuity, and when I’m playing that’s the best part of the game. Great question! Thank you for thinking about it so deeply.


Okay, this stayed in my brain, here’s where I’m at: players have the option to attack regularly and take another action with a smaller die or switch the dice to increase the chances of creative solutions. Excluding stat and effort, all other bonuses only apply to one of the actions.

Die size will either be determined by the stat modifier or the effort type modifier. Probability influences check difficulty, for extreme options, it goes up to +6. I really like the concept, although it could complicate things a bit.

(I’m a bit more hesitant to apply completely, at least until i try it)


I think I need an example to follow, but I think you’re saying that the size of the die rolled for the secondary effect will be based on the stat and or effort bonus which would normally apply?



So, let’s say Brom the Bold has +3 STR, +1 WEAPONS, +2 BASIC.

How do you determine which die will he get to disarm?
my suggestion: if he has decent bonuses in both relevant stat and effort, he gets the max stunt die, if only one- the mid, and if none- the smallest.
He can only apply each mod once per turn, so he can take both mods on the attack and try to disarm with his bare hands to get the BASIC effort he didn’t use yet or distribute his STR and WEAPON mods however he wishes between the two if he tries with both with the axe. the TN which can go up to +6 means some feats could only be possible with a hero coin but I’d scale the consequences as well.

Also pondering about allowing to switch the dice (the d20 and the stunt) to increase the chances of a creative solution succeeding.


You’ve completely lost me. So, you’re tossing out using multiple stats, and are using stat+effort type to determine applicable die type? I’m still unclear on the “if _, then _” of your example. Could you play it all the way out to help out my poor addled dad-brain?


oh no, it’s probably my fault, I sometimes forget other people don’t live inside my head, I’ll try to articulate my thought process better:

Your stunt die concept as i understand it
you get an extra action per turn, which:

  1. can’t be a “regular” attack.
  2. can’t use the “regular” attack stat- to prevent further min/ maxing.
  3. rolled with a smaller die, determined by the GM.

my suggestion

  1. can’t be a “regular” attack.
  2. each stat & effort modifier can only apply once per turn, so if they were used to attack, the won’t count for the stunt.
  3. rolled with a smaller die, determined by the stat & effort modifiers (even if they’re not applied to the roll)
  4. GM determines probabilty and adjusts check difficulty accordingly (easy/ regular/ hard/ extreme= +6)


  • players who spread up their modifiers increase the chances of being able to add bonuses to both attack and stunt + increase the chance their stunt die will be bigger.

  • the +6 means sometimes stunts can only hope to succeed using a hero coin, this is reserved for the EPIC longshots…


A general flow chart:


In this example, Bron either tries to break the berserker’s weapon with his axe, disarm him with his axe (using dexterity) or disarm with his bare hands (using brute force):

(I used the dice sizes and not “attack” and “stunt” because I may allow switching the stunt and attack dice, for those who wish to increase the chances of their stunt succeeding even further)

I hope I managed to explain myself better


I think I understand, but with what you wrote down, shouldn’t the attempt to break the weapon be working with the D12 (stat and effort > 0), and none of the examples you proposed get a D16 (stat and effort = 0); something between your flow chart and your example seems to have gotten mixed up or reversed.

It’s a very modular idea, and I like the flexibility, but I feel like with all the modifier and die type shuffling, it would be hard to interpret a roll at a glance.


Oh wow, that’s embarrasing. I fixed it, it was indeed reversed

Ease of use is a good point. perhaps the calculation should be on the player’s side since they see the sheet. the concept is pretty simple:
2 positive mods= d16, 1=d14, 0=d12. then add each bounus only once.

I think your idea feels faster and more intuitive if the GM is comfortable with determining on the fly. I tried codifying a bit to add cohesion and some mechanical incentives to diversify at the cost of speed and simplicity.

I need to test this


Go for it! I like this “effort bonus as a free agent” idea.