ATTACK! MCDM's new rpg and removing the to-hit roll

"Boon on Max Dice" or something, maybe, rather than the known concept of Exploding Dice.

🤷‍♂️ the way I see it the key thing about exploding dice as a mechanic is that it determines things by rolling a max die first. Without that the mechanic isn't one, so whether Im rerolling dice and/or keying other things off of it is immaterial imo.

And given I was being pretty explicit towards what I was speaking to, saying outright that the exploding die provided means to do X,Y,Z, and not merely re-rolls, that should have indicated that I wasn't using the strict traditional version of the mechanic, regardless of what the name implies.

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B/X Known World
Law and Chaos! Such a shame it was cut.
The cosmic die could be more like the escalation die or something......I love that system.
The die was cut from the mechanics but the concept remains. Law and Chaos are a big part of Matt’s setting. I thought he mentioned it in the video why it was cut and that it was shifted to the PC rather than a die roll.


New Publisher
The die was cut from the mechanics but the concept remains. Law and Chaos are a big part of Matt’s setting. I thought he mentioned it in the video why it was cut and that it was shifted to the PC rather than a die roll.
He did. He also said he really likes the die..... But it didn't work as originally thought.

aramis erak

Yes, that's what is commonly called exploding dice. Interestingly (at least to me), Hackmaster has slight variation. If a N-sided dice explodes, you roll a (N-1)-sided dice for all successive rolls. This avoids a "jump" in the distribution by not skipping "N" as a possible result. With this mechanism, the expected value rises exactly by 0.5 for all values of N.
I've only encountered one game doing it that way... Prime Directive 1E.

  • Savage Worlds it's add the full die, not a die-1.
  • L5R 1e-4e: again, add the full die.
  • Shadowrun 1e/3e, add the full die.
  • Rolemaster/Spacemaster: on most rolls, 96-00 adds another full 1d100, On non-attack, many rolls open downward, as well, on 01-05, with the later 1d100 suptracted and opening on 96-00 to continue reducing the total...
  • WEG Star Wars 2.x - the wild die adds full die.
  • VTM 1E - if within specialty, 10's grant another die, same TN as initial rolls.
  • Tunnels and Trolls:
    • 2d6 DARO - on Saving Rolls, any doubles, roll two more dice and add to the first pair; if the second pair is doubles, add a third pair. no subtractions.
    • 3d6 TARO - on attribute gen, triples are roll another 3d6 and add, and again, if the second set of 3d are tripples, repeat.
    • Berserk: on any set of multiples of the same face, roll that many dice again and add the full rolls.
  • Decipher Trek: 2d6, on double 6's, roll another die, adding it to the 12; if the additional is a 6, add another die.
    • Decipher LOTR is the same mechanic
  • LUG Trek - (Att+Relevant Edge)d6, keep highest single die; one of the dice is a different size or color, called the drama die - on a 6, it adds 6 to the highest other die's result. If the test was on a single die, it gets a roll of 1 more die, non-openending.
The other open ending scheme that's common is in best die dice pools... in a roll, if you have 2 or more of a given number, the best die is that number plus 1 per additional die showing that number. e.g.: fred rolls 5d6 on his attack, he gets 1, 4, 4, 4, 5. He counts this as 4 + 2 = 6.
  • Orkworld: 2 or more of a number count as number +1 per additional of that number in the pool.
  • Silhouette System (Heavy Gear, Jovian Chronicles, Tribe 8), (skill)d6, keep highest; if highest is a 6 and multiple sixes, each additional adds 1 to the total; lower dice do not add thusly.
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Y'all have diverged a lot from the discussion idea of "removing the to-hit roll".

I feel like basing melee off the combatants' comparative skill level makes sense, while ranged combat is based almost entirely on the shooter's skill level (with maybe a little modifier for the target's dodging activity). But even there I look at "compare the skills involved" as "make a to hit roll", just dressed up differently. And if the "roll" involved is based on skill, then you minimize the potential importance of the weapon. If "difference between my attack and your defense is base damage, plus X" (on d20s), then either the X has to be huge to be meaningful, or the difference between a dagger and a greataxe is easily overwhelmed by a wide spread on the dice.

The other ideas I've seen mentioned on here - like rolling multiple kinds of dice, based on skill and weapon and (insert other factor here) might make that a little different, though. If your skill gives you two to four d6s, and then you add the weapon's damage die as well (or a "damage die" based on the defender's shield), then I could see weapons having a larger impact... and daggers never being used.

I like the idea that a dagger can be as deadly as a greataxe in the skilled combatant's hands, but I also like there being a good reason to use different weapons (which 5e doesn't have, admittedly, but 3.5e did). Finding/building a combat system that makes both skill and weapon choice impactful without bogging things down though - especially for that one player at each table that takes 30 seconds to add up his modifiers FOR EACH ROLL (despite being written on the character sheet) - seems like an unachievable Holy Grail. It seems like you need to focus on just one aspect ("Skill" or "Weapon") to keep the streamline. the Greataxe outperforms the dagger in a "you only hit if you do more damage than the armor" system; the dagger is just as useful as the greataxe in a "I have more skill" (or "I am luckier with dice!") system.

Every time I think I have a system that does both, my players inform me "this is better run by a computer, to do all the math and fiddliness." (Pillars of Eternity comes to mind, with weapons modifying attack speed, bonus/penalty against certain armors, different skills modifying different weapon and armor effects... and in the end, I took the weapon and armor that looked cooler in my head, and ignored the modifers.)

I love the distinction in the mecha game Heavy Gear between "talent" (a plus on the d6 roll) and "experience" (rolling multiple d6s, hoping one meets the Targe Number). The young gun prodigy with d6+2 makes that TN 4 shot most of the time, but sometimes misses; the veteran with 3d6 almost never misses - one of those d6s is always 4 or higher - but that TN 7 shot requires 3 "6s" to pull off while the prodigy hits it 1in3. (yeah, sorry, that's a tangent again, because it's a hit roll, then damage, system.)
None of this is true. Look into Howitts Hollows game alpha, which has solved weapon issues and provided a tech that can be greatly innovated on for both lite and crunchy games.


I crit!
Matt made a character sheet!

Matt made a character sheet!
View attachment 293934
Surprised he has the torch and rope listed. He had a whole thing a while ago about how he wasn't going to have a basic dungeon crawling equipment list, feeling like it was only still in D&D because of tradition. I guess those two aren't much (and there's no rations or anything), but I was still expecting items that they'd bother keeping track of to be bigger things.

Voidrunner's Codex

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