What's your favorite dice system?

I don't have a favourite but I do have some least favourites.
-dice pools I really dislike.
-funky dice where you need to roll a lot at once, so 6+.
-And arse "there is no real mechanic ones so we shouldn't bother rolling ones" like Tales from the Loop


I do like:
-Dragonquest d100 roll under.
-Rolemaster d100 and add
-Modiphius roll a few and under.
-Talisman RPG/Dragon Age roll a few and something funky may happen
 

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Jacob Lewis

Ye Olde GM
edge-of-the-empire-symbols-dice-min.png

The narrative dice system for the Star Wars and Genesys RPGs is one the most innovative and intuitive dice mechanics I have ever come across, and is hands down my favorite system to run narrative and cinematic games. It is not designed for tactics or min-max strategies, which makes it perfect for games that aren't combat heavy or centric. That also puts off potential players who are used to numbers and building characters primarily for battle. It's not for everyone, obviously. But it has changed the way I describe results and consequences in other games beyond the basic pass/fail state.
 

Aldarc

Legend
I would add the dice pool system from Cortex Prime to the list of fun dice systems. You assemble a dice pool of different die types based on your character's prime traits (e.g., Attributes, Values, Distinctions, etc.) and pertinent tools (e.g., Assets, Resources, etc.). Then roll and add the two highest, typically against the GM's roll of their pool.
 

Like a lot of people here I'm really drawn to a dice pool. They're fun to use, and I want the underlying math of most rolls obscured, while also having some sort of a curve, even if I don't know exactly how the probabilities shake out (Never tell me the odds, etc.).

For those reasons I really hate the flatness of a single d20, as well as a percentile mechanic. Both just seem completely swingy and boring to me.

My current favorite dice pool mechanic is in most Forged in the Dark games, where you're rolling a pool of dice and looking for the highest number. In Scum and Villainy you might roll 2d6 for a given action (based on a rating of 2 in Helm, for example, to fly a ship), then you could add a d6 if you push the roll (taking 2 points of Stress, which act sort of like HP), or a d6 for taking a Devil's Bargain from the GM (get a consequence on the action no matter how you roll, like maybe you'll overload and damage the engines), and so on. If your highest single roll in that pool is 6 you fully succeed, if the highest is 4-5 you succeed with a cost, and with only 1s to 3s you fail and typically take even more/worse consequences. Multiple 6s is a critical success.

That kind of dice pool isn't as empowering as a giant handful of d6s in Shadowrun or Vampire, but it makes for really dramatic moments, with lots of cool ways to increase the tension by adding a die here and there, usually at a cost.

I'm also really into the weirdness of the dice pools in Trophy, which borrow some elements from FitD--including the Devil's Bargain mechanic--but include some unique twists. I won't get into all of the options in the game, but for most actions you roll light and dark d6s at the same time, and the result on the dark dice can mean PCs take Ruin (you usually take five Ruin before you're dead/transformed). Dark dice factor into rolls in different ways, and there's a completely awesome dice pool mechanic where during combat you roll a single pool of dark dice, one for each PC fighting the monster (the game assumes most fights are desperate group efforts against one horrible thing) but each PC also rolls a single light die for themselves. That number is their Weak Point for the fight. If any of the dark dice come up with a PC's Weak Point number, they take a Ruin, or lose a piece of armor (regardless of whether the overall dark dice pool rolled high enough to beat the monster). And if the dark dice roll isn't enough to beat the monster's Endurance, you have to either retreat, find a way to lower its Endurance, or take a gamble, and add an extra dark die to the pool, and rerolling the now-larger pool. And you can keep gambling like that, adding more dice, rerolling the pool, and risk taking more and more Ruin until you beat the thing, die trying, or run away.

It's way too abstract a combat mechanic for a lot of (most?) gamers, but to me it's one of the coolest approaches to making combat scary that I've seen.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
View attachment 155374
The narrative dice system for the Star Wars and Genesys RPGs is one the most innovative and intuitive dice mechanics I have ever come across, and is hands down my favorite system to run narrative and cinematic games. It is not designed for tactics or min-max strategies, which makes it perfect for games that aren't combat heavy or centric. That also puts off potential players who are used to numbers and building characters primarily for battle. It's not for everyone, obviously. But it has changed the way I describe results and consequences in other games beyond the basic pass/fail state.
I had a little issue with the intuitability of some of the symbols (why not something simple like +/- for some of them?), but turns out they're pretty easy to pick up over the course of even one session.
I particularly like the Force die and Destiny Pool they set up.
 





DeviousQuail

Adventurer
D20s are my go to because I play D&D more than anything else. The math is clean, if a bit boring at times, and it's become iconic enough that most anyone I game with has experience with them.

2d6 is my favorite bell curve dice system. It creates a better feel for being skilled at something without removing the chance for particularly high or low rolls. The biggest downside I've found with them is that some games can make the roll nearly meaningless with potential modifiers.

I haven't played too many dice pool games but I've recently been delving into Coriolis' d6 with a success on a 6 system and I really don't like it. The game and it's trappings are amazing but the pile of dice gets real big, real fast, and I don't like games that stack up tons of different modifiers from different places whether its more dice or greater +/-.

The best dice pool I've played is probably Betrayal at House on the Hill. It uses six sided dice with 0, 1, and 2 as the outcomes (1/3 chance of each similar to Fate Dice). You roll your pool of dice and get a bell curve of outcomes. The average roll is always equal to the number of dice you're rolling so it's easy to gauge against the difficulty thresholds, your max roll is double, and your min roll is 0 so every roll has a chance to fail. The biggest downside is I haven't played using this in a TTRPG, just the board game. For all I know it sucks outside the confines of Betrayal.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
For me it's hands down Forged In Dark dice pool (used in Blades in the Dark). Wildsea also uses a variation of it. Static dice pool of d6s, only the highest counts. 1-3 results in a complication and you make no progress. 4-5 is success with complication. 6 is a success with no complications. Multiple 6s are a crit.

What I love about is that dice pools are fairly small, there is always a chance for success and failure, that the game is weighted towards success with complications which helps to propel the game forward, and that there is no need to mess around with target numbers.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
The best dice pool I've played is probably Betrayal at House on the Hill. It uses six sided dice with 0, 1, and 2 as the outcomes (1/3 chance of each similar to Fate Dice). You roll your pool of dice and get a bell curve of outcomes. The average roll is always equal to the number of dice you're rolling so it's easy to gauge against the difficulty thresholds, your max roll is double, and your min roll is 0 so every roll has a chance to fail. The biggest downside is I haven't played using this in a TTRPG, just the board game. For all I know it sucks outside the confines of Betrayal.
This does work in RPGs. FATE uses Fate dice (often seen as dF on automatic rollers) which are six sided dice with two each of -1, blank, and +1. It's always four dice, and it averages around your skill so it's very easy to estimate what you will get. FATE also has Aspects you can engage after you roll for additional bonuses or a reroll if they apply and you spend the meta-currency.
 

DeviousQuail

Adventurer
This does work in RPGs. FATE uses Fate dice (often seen as dF on automatic rollers) which are six sided dice with two each of -1, blank, and +1. It's always four dice, and it averages around your skill so it's very easy to estimate what you will get. FATE also has Aspects you can engage after you roll for additional bonuses or a reroll if they apply and you spend the meta-currency.
I know it doesn't matter mathematically but I like the idea of 0, 1, 2 more than -1, 0, 1. Perhaps I should try a FATE game so that I can know instead of just guess.
 

Emirikol

Adventurer
We really, really reallyenjoyed Warhammer Fantasy Rolepllay 3e. The stance dice were very popular. The entire system with Special actions made it fantastic.
Didn't care for the SW dice change. Felt too sterile and petty.
 


I like systems with a bell curve. 2d6 and 3d6 work well, simple and fast to do the calculations.

I also like a good dice pool. I've enjoyed WEG Star Wars; Shadowrun, and L5R. I do enjoy rolling big fists full of dice.

I don't like D20 as I think the dice roll completely outweighs whatever bonuses a character may have.
 

Aldarc

Legend
I know it doesn't matter mathematically but I like the idea of 0, 1, 2 more than -1, 0, 1. Perhaps I should try a FATE game so that I can know instead of just guess.
It's pretty intuitive in play, since the gut reaction I've seen players do after rolling is to remove dice that cancel each other out: i.e., -1 and +1.
 

Arawn76

Explorer
Best dice system? D100, easy to grok with any player it’s fairly instinctual to grasp pass and fail, difficulty is an easy division of a whole number Skill 70%, Hard roll (2/3rds rounded up) 47%

Best implementation? Mythras, clever and innovative use of that D100 to give us great social, exploratory and combat systems.

Also some of the best setting books I’ve ever seen.
 

dragoner

solisrpg.com
I like polyhedrals, fancy math rocks, and now one can buy them everywhere so not as much a gimmick as they were in the beginning. With the discussion of statistics, as someone who evaluates numbers for a living, what one really wants is that every time the players touch the dice, they should have about two thirds to a third of a chance of success. This way they feel they have an acceptable amount of risk vs reward.
 

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