VDS - Clocks (WIP)



Reviewing my back of GM tricks while pondering VDS, I keep seeing a more approachable version of Apocalypse Worlds, Blades in the Dark, Burning Wheel, and other narrative dice pool systems.

One mechanic in particular keeps catching my attention: Clocks. I will not go into position, effect, or other BitD mechanics here. Below is a proposed implementation of only Clocks in VDS.

Clocks may be useful in broad, abstract situations like leading a group, investigating a ruin, or simulating a chase. They are an additional tool and do not displace any other mechanics.

I am not in love with this quite yet, and it may be that Clocks here really serve no critical purpose. Maybe someone can come up with a more efficient solution or improve on my muddled mechanics.

TEST against a target decided by GM. A Simple clock is 4 a more complex one will be 6 or 8 ticks.

On a Failure, suffer the narrative/mechanical consequences of failure
On a Success, the Clock advances 1 tick.
On a Critical, the Clock advances 3 ticks.

SKILLs are better at advancing Clocks. Pick one applicable SKILL. The group determines if a SKILL is applicable.

On a Failure, suffer the narrative/mechanical consequences of failure
On a Success, the Clock advances 3 ticks.

PUSH adds additional ticks based on applicability. Pushing a sword to help pilot a ship is unlikely to add any additional effect, but pushing a sword to help pry a door open does help (+1 tick


This is great! I’ve just finished reading VDS and, as I look further to test it out in gameplay, I can’t keep myself from getting ideas on how to hack it already ha.

I’ve been thinking on implementing a different core dice mechanic that doesn’t require you to add those d6s together (I have certain abhersion to adding d6s xD) for tests and maybe allow for that kind of “fail/suceed forward” feeling you see in Blades and PbtA games.

Def going to be using clocks and timers so thanks a lot for that, and will probably also post if I get a dice mechanic hack going on! We might just end up with a Forged/PbtA style VDS hack ha.



Love it. I think there is a ton of potential in VDS for the diy mindset.

I have similar thoughts about summing d6s. That being said, the consistency around adding dice is really nice. It makes results more predictive for players than a d20. I’d love to see if you come up with as an alternative!


What about “dice poker” type scenario. Still roll high.

Highest die wins with tie breakers determined by next die. Roll with more dice has higher chance to succeed and has more dice before they auto lose a tie breaker because they lack dice.

Similar to BitD. Position and Effect are baked into the Target and maybe if something is especially hard the GM rerolls anything below a 6.

Critical is when both your highest dice are higher than the highest dice of the GM/player.

EDIT makes skills More important too because they do not Test, generally.


gotcha on the other post aabout it!