Thursday, January 27, 2011

1d6 based RPGs

Adam's post about Teenagers from Outer Space got me thinking again about RPGs that only use a single die. If you take the idea of a rules lite game seriously then it seems to me you should go all the way and only use one die. Besides, the 1d6 roll has a long pedigree given that most wargames use a single die to resolve actions.  There are actually quite a few 1d6 based RPGs around. Or at least there were. Several of them, like Bad Attitudes and Superteens, seem to have vanished into the Phantom Zone. But the ones that are still around are pretty cool.

Aside from R Tal's games ( the other being Dream Park) the only other commercial 1d6 based game I know about is The Dying Earth RPG. (Or maybe I should say was since it's now out-of-print.) It uses a clever mechanic where instead of rolling more dice you have a pool of points you can expend that allow you to re-roll your die. Very much a story-telling game, but I like the mechanic.

As for free games using just one die there's  Zak Arntson's Adventures in Space!!  It's a cool little game focused on space opera. The clever bit is that not only do you roll 1d6 for for character actions, you also have the options to roll the die to introduce plot twists to the game. Again very story-telling oriented, but very cool. There are a few others out there, like Simon Washbourne's Have a Go Heroes, but the one that really stands out for me is Michael Wolf's Warrior, Rogue and Mage.

It's a great fantasy RPG that uses an open-ended 1d6 roll allowing for higher throws. Check out Rob Lang's review for a good overview. It's a really well done RPG and the system could work in other genres as well.

Are there any other cool 1d6 based RPGs out there that I should know about?


Nero Grimes said...

SKETCH from Farsight Games

It plays fast and has some support settings. I don't know if it will hold up over a campaign length game - but so far so good.

Jerry Cornelius said...

Good call. Looks like a fun little game with a setting for just about every taste.

Nero Grimes said...

I have a few interesting 1D6 games. Until I suss out where they came from I'd rather not post them.

Meanwhile, MircoliteD20 is a clunky fit for 1D6, but still fun.

With scads of support

A friend is converting Stargate: 1895 to SKETCH - with steampunk Daleks no less.

Nero Grimes said...

A SKETCH to MicroliteD20 conversion chart

D20---d10---2D6--- Or Lower %
02----1-------3------- 8%

Or Lower
5 --- 83%
4 --- 66%
3 ----50%
2 --- 33%
1 --- 16%

I've used the Any-System Key a few times. Choose players carefully with this.

Nero Grimes said...

One more.

The Ladder

Lots of good stuff at Zozer.

Jerry Cornelius said...

Thanks for the suggestions, but those first two are a bit of a stretch. MircoliteD20 is by definition a d20 game, not a 1d6 game. Sure, you can convert it to d6, but that's true of just about any system. Pretty much the same goes for Any-System Key.

The Ladder definitely fits the bill. I even have it in my "1D6" game folder but just never put it on the list. Thanks for adding it. And you're right, Zozer has some excellent stuff available.

Nero Grimes said...

MircoliteD20 is more inspirational reading than anything else. A friend is working on a SKETCH version of Stargate: 1895

Nero Grimes said...

Resolute, Adventurer & Genius a Pulp iteration of the Wyrm System, popularized in Warrior, Rogue & Mage

It looks interesting.

Jerry Cornelius said...

Nice find. Sounds like a cool twist on the original.

Nero Grimes said...

Looks cool.
I was hoping to run a Pulp Sidekicks game, a Doc Savage game without Doc lording over The Fabulous Five, GURPS Cliffhangers has an interesting take on that. However among the less than hardcore, the novelty of a Pulp, or Steampunk, setting wears off all too soon.

I figure a simplified game mechanic will help speed things along. I still have most of the game material for an expansive jaunt through the Indiana Jones Trilogy.