What mechanics or subsystems do you use regardless of the game you are running/playing?


Do you have a favorite mechanic or subsystem that you port into most or all of the games you run (or play, but this is usually a GM level decision).

For example, I use a 2d20 inspired metacurrency pool in almost every game I run: whatever the currency is, the PCs start with a set pool (maybe based on level or other metric, usually adjusted for the size of the group). Whenever they spend one to do whatever it does, it doesn'd get discarded, but instead goes into the GM metacurrency pool (usually the same thig, but some games makes distinctions). it goes back to the player pool when I use it, and so on.

I have successfully used this with 5E Inspiration, Savage Worlds Bennies, Star Wars d6 Force Points and more.

I find it really improves the fun at the table and enhanced choices around metacurrency.

Do you have a mechanic you like that you import most or all of the time?

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Less often but still regularly, I import the Warmachine and Domain Management systems from the BECMI rules into all forms of D&D and most D&D adjacent games, since they are effectively bolt-on.
Me too! I've used both rule systems forever. Plus the Seamachine and updates from Dragon.

Edgar Ironpelt

My character-death rule: When a character is at negative hit points (or the equivalent) but not yet past the 'death threshold,' then PC death is at the player's option (and NPC death is at the GM's option).

The player may choose whether his character (a) dies at once, (b) lingers for a lesser or greater length of time before dying, or (c) clings to life long enough to be healed. All without reference to any "staunch the bleeding" actions or die rolls being required to keep the character alive - my house rule drops those.

(b) allows the classic bits of a final dying speech, or of a mysterious NPC stumbling into the tavern, whispering a few mysterious words and/or handing the PCs a trinket, and then dropping dead of injuries. (c) means letting a character live for an absurdly long period at negative hit points - not just the time needed to get healing spells cast, but (if necessary) the days or weeks needed for natural healing to bring the character back up to positive and full hit points.

The Hero System "luck roll" mechanic gets used in a lot of the GURPS and D&D that I play. Roll 3d6. Sixes indicate good luck, ones bad luck. Other numbers don't mean anything. A mixture of 1s and 6s is mixed luck.


Replacement PCs come in at same xp as last character (retired, dead, whatever). Seems like a house rule because so many systems have "player punishment" as their standard.
Fate/Fortune points (bonus die or reroll whatever) - with an "alter the scene" mechanic from COLONIAL GOTHIC rpg.
Spells always have a chance of Chaos Effect (e.g. in D&D roll a d20..on a 1 it's a "fumble"). Most other games already have this. WFRP-style.
Social Influence systems of one form or another--WFRP3e style.


Relaxed Intensity
Outside of discrete subsystems like combat I often like to add success with complications into otherwise traditional games. In our group's Vampire hack 1-2 successes is success with complications, 3-4 is success with complications and 5+ is critical success. In Worlds Without Number I often use the classic PbtA scale (6- hard move, 7-9 you do it with complications, 10+ you do it).


Or a sequence of self-contained scenes that exist in isolation and can be engaged at a leisurely pace where the party is always at peak strength.

Voidrunner's Codex

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