Here’s some sketchy ideas for a step-die role-playing game system that I’ll never actually expand into a full system.
Character attributes, skills, and gear are rated by type of die. Dice with fewer sides are better than dice with more sides. Here they are with Fudge equivalents.
- d2: Legendary
- d4: Superb
- d6: Great
- d8: Good
- d10: Typical
- d12: Mediocre
- d20: Terrible
Notice that we’ve lost the Fudge step—Poor—between Mediocre and Terrible. We use this natural gap between the d12 and the d20 to represent “unskilled” or “no gear”.
When making a “check”, a player rolls three dice. One each for...
- Relevant attribute
- Relevant skill
- Relevant gear
(Or the game might us a different trio. e.g. attribute, skill, and specialty.)
Add each character’s dice together. Low roll wins.
e.g. Herc—with Superb strength, Superb fighting skill, and a Superb sword—would roll d4 + d4 + d4. Mouse—with Mediocre strength, no fighting skill, and no weapon—would roll d12 + d20 + d20.
In unopposed situations, the judge could either pick a static difficulty number that must be rolled under. Alternatively, a die roll could determine the difficulty. You could even come up with three different aspects of difficulty each represented by its own die.
I like the roll-low for a step die system, although it creates a ceiling. I’m not sure that the more typical roll-high step die is really any different besides swapping the ceiling for a floor.