So I dug up some notes I created a while back on an RPG resolution system that just uses D6. No doubt it's similar to some existing games already out there, but for posterity I thought I'd note it here.
Basic Roll Mechanic
Roll D6's equal to the skill or attribute (typical range of 1 - 5).
If this value is zero, roll 2 dice and discard the higher one.
If less than zero, also reduce the rolled die value by this amount.
Any die that exceeds a Roll Difficulty (RD) value is considered a success.
RD 1 = Trivial
RD 2 = Easy
RD 3 = Demanding
RD 4 = Difficult
RD 5 = Very Difficult (requires at least 1 six)
RD 6 = Extremely Difficult (requires 2 sixes)
RD 7 = Insanely Difficult (requires 3 sixes)
RD 8 = Improbable (requires 4 sixes)
Each 6 set aside from the rolled results reduces the RD by 1. This is the only way to succeed with RD's of 6 or higher.
If no results meet the RD, examine the highest rolled value (including any 6's set aside).
If it is equal to the RD, this is a failure.
If it is below the RD, this is a fumble. The amount below the RD is the degree of fumble if it is needed.
You cannot get more successes than your basic Skill or Attribute value (regardless of the rolls). You only fumble if no failures or successes were rolled.
Each participant typically rolls against an RD of 3 (though this can be higher or lower depending on the circumstances of the contest) and compares the number of successes. The difference is the actual degree of success for the competitor with the highest number of successes. Note that fumbles count as negative successes (so a roll of 2 fumbles vs a roll of 2 successes equals a total degree of success of 4 for the victor).
Tasks take Time
Tasks have Progress
The Time aspect of a task is how often the character gets to make a roll.
The Progress aspect is how close the character is to completing the task. The success of the roll determines the amount of progress gained.
The number of successes squared is added to Progress.
The degree of fumble squared is deducted from Progress.
Negative Progress indicates the current task can never be completed (something breaks, goes disastrously wrong etc.)
A standard Progress requirement would be 10 points of progress.
A character may reduce the Time Step by 1 by increasing the RD by 1.
A character may reduce the task RD by 1 by increasing the Time Step by 1.
Example Task - Lockpicking
Time Step: 6 seconds
RD: Complexity of Lock
Co-operative Rolls - Quantitive
For quantitative tasks (such as lifting a heavy object) where the addition of extra help increases the effort that can be applied to the task, then simply combine all the dice of all the participants. However, after all modifications have been applied to the RD (ideally reducing it based on 6's rolled), check for fumbles on an individual basis - for example if helping to lift a heavy rock a fumbling character may injure themselves, even if the combined result was successful.
Co-operative Rolls - Qualitative
For qualitative tasks (such as cooking some broth, or fighting an opponent) then each participant contributes as in quantitative tasks, but with 1 less die than usual*. In addition, any individual fumbles are removed from the total successes to determine the final result of the roll.
*If a participant only has 1 die to start with, instead of removing a die, they roll 2 and discard the highest, just like making a basic roll with a skill of zero.
I've been a fan of Magic: The Gathering for a while now, though haven't been collecting the physical cards for a good while - played a ton of the standalone PC games and more recently been drawn back in to 'Arena', the latest digital incarnation of the game.
One of the core rules of the game is that you are allowed 4 copies of any individual card in your deck (bar basic lands and a few special cards), and typically most 'successful' deck builds max out the copies of their core cards accordingly - so you may have a deck of 40 spells, but there may just be 10 - 15 actual unique spells in that list.
This tends to generate decks with very singular 'engines' that the player is attempting to start up, and typically once running the game is usually won.
This is great at the meta-level, where much of the skill is in deck construction and finding these clever 'deck engines' to utilise, but at the individual duel level, can lead to rather stale gameplay without much creativity (as the deck has a very specific rhythm and response).
The most recent 'fun' duels I've had took place during a promotion where only 'singleton' decks could be used. As the name suggests, these decks can only have a single copy of any given card.
So, one mechanism that springs to mind that would perhaps promote more creative matches and flexible decks is to modify that '4 copy' rule and expand it to consider the rarity of a card (common, uncommon, rare & mythic). The rarer the card, the fewer copies one can include in the deck. 4x common, 3x uncommon, 2x rare and 1x mythic.
This would probably promote decks with multiple possible win systems, as the limitation on rare and mythic cards makes it dangerous to focus on a single win strategy.
While the game rules are too established to entertain such a change, and it would not be the best from a commercial standpoint (chasing the rares and mythic cards drives sales after all), it could form the basis of a nice deck building limitation for fun matches and campaigns.
Short article presumptuously detailing how I would modify elements of Hello Game's "No Man's Sky" .
Visual Display of Resource Extraction
The current design does not display the amount of resources remaining in a Flora or Mineral Deposit unless you highlight the object with the cursor. It then shows the resource remaining as a small circular progress indicator (percentage progress to depletion). There is no visible change to the object until fully depleted, at which point it is destroyed and disappears.
1 - Visibly transform the object to indicate the depletion state
The object should visibly change to reflect it's resource value. This would be the most intuitive way to show the player how 'healthy' an object is in terms of resources remaining.
This could be achieved through a mix of modifying the object textures and transforming the object mesh. The idea is to impart that the object is being 'drained' of it's resource. Understandibly this may not be easy to do given the way the objects are procedurally generated. Difficulty aside, suggested methods:
Saturation - drain the object of some of it's colour, shifting it toward an ashen, lifeless version.
Texture - apply a texture that suggests damage. For minerals, a cracked or pitted surface can suggest the remaining health of the object. Flora may be trickier, as it may not be possible to devise a common 'damaged' or 'drained' texture that looks appropriate on all possible flora types, given the wide range of visuals.
Mesh - for flora, some subtle adjustment of the mesh could help re-inforce it's health. Making the object 'thinner' than a typical healthy version (perhaps up to 25%) would suggest wilting and the extraction of it's mass.
2 - Don't destroy flora
Don't immediately remove flora, or perhaps even mineral deposits. when they are depleted - leave the withered husk of the original object as an indicator of the players impact. This serves additional purposes - it can indicate to the player an 'explored' area by highlighting the effects of their passing, and also gives visible context to why the Drones are so protective of the environment. If a player wants to completely remove an object, further 'damage' should be required to totally destroy it, with perhaps only a tiny additional amount of resource gained. Hiding the effects of your 'industriousness' then has a small overhead in terms of enery spent to completely remove the depleted object.
Wayne Imlach is an occasional games designer. Gameography highlights include Theme Hospital, Wipeout 3 & Startopia. He's worked for Bullfrog, Psygnosis, Muckyfoot, Rockstar, Climax, Popcap, Lionhead, Odobo & Casumo.