MCDM Update: The Power Roll


B/X Known World
In a video released today, Matt Colville gives an update on the state of the MCDM RPG.

TL;DR: They've dropped everyone rolling 2d6 for damage and instead are using a PbtA-like three-step success ladder for abilities and skills going forward.

To be clear, there’s still no null result. It’s something like: 6- 3 damage, 7-9 5 damage, 10+ 7 damage. It’s not PbtA. It’s similar in that it’s 2d6 with three possible results. The ladder will remain the same (6-, 7-9, 10+) but the results will vary based on ability and skill.

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I respect and like Matt Colville. I get that a lot of this began in the uproar of anti-WotC becoming anti-5e/etc (we won't debate that here).

What I am seeing from this video is... it's like we're watching systems be pushed together. As soon as he talked about James saying the 2d6+X roll would be input into a chart - I immediately went... "Rolemaster?" ... at the same time Matt did.

I know we're early in the process, but it, to me, is feeling like the process is to make Frankenstein's Monster. Which, I am pro-Monster, AND I am pro-knowing how a system works before I buy it

Helena Real (she/her)
I think this is a solid decision and one that, in the long run, will make the final game better, regardless of whether it survives until the final design or not.

MCDM continues to be the only RPG company I can think of that is this transparent and honest when it comes to their design decisions, something that it'd be great if it became more widespread in the industry.


His design philosophy seems to be rules for their own sake which feels at odd with the rest of his approach. It's interesting.
If by ‘for their own sake’ you mean ‘to have a design that meets the specific ‘requirements’ of a certain module like spellcasting vs melee combat’ then yes. Sounds like he’d rather have specific modules than using the exact same resolution mechanic for everything, but he also realizes that they cannot be completely disparate.

I think the 2d6 plus power scale can work for pretty much anything however (but it does limit the flexibility of spellcasting he was talking about to what D&D can do)

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