Simple D6

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Note: This page is about Simple d6 - First Edition. For second edition, see: Simple_D6 - Second Edition

UPDATE: Simple_D6_-_Second_Edition has been posted. Feel free to post any feedback on the Talk:Simple_D6_-_Second_Edition page

UPDATE 2: Simple_D6_-_Third_Edition has been posted. Feel free to post any feedback on the Talk:Simple_D6_-_Third_Edition page

Simple D6 - First edition is a super lite free-form roleplaying system for all settings for people who hate explaining advanced systems. It can be summarized as "What skills do you have you think would help? Roll that many dice. Pick one. Done". It was made on /tg/ June 23rd 2011 and was fitted into a single A4 page with an additional A4 page Q&A for clarifications, suggestions and a few optional rules.

Since Simple D6 is not tied to any setting in particular. You can use it to play anything, from pirates to high fantasy to cyber punk, and still come out on top.

Character Creation[edit]

Pick your character's concept, find a name, flesh out details of who your character is, what his (or her) theme, purpose, goal and family is like along with what else you deem relevant. Then make up up to 5 skills which suits what you think your character does well. At this point you can exchange up to two skills for extra damage reduction or hit points (see Combat).

The skills must be somewhat specific in nature. This means that it is not enough to pick Violence, Athletics or Smart. Make sure you do not make them too specific either – broad skills like ”close combat” is as broad as it should ever get. You can build on top of this with increasingly specific skills like Sword Fighting followed by Stabbing if you wish. Skill suggestions running, occult, shooting, Throwing, Explosives, Thievery, Martial Arts, Punching, Melee, Survival, Sniping, Swords, Race Car Driving, Chemistry, Engineering and the likes. In the end the Game Master decides what is too specific and what is not specific enough.

Every character normally has 5 hit points and 1 damage reduction (which can be from brawn or agility or armor -- the source is purely narrative). You may sacrifice up to two skills at character creation for 2 extra hit points each or 1 damage reduction each.

Task Resolution[edit]

Roll Success?

  • 1 No, and... (Critical failure)
  • 2 No
  • 3 Yes, but...
  • 4-5 Yes
  • 6 Yes, and...
  • 7+ Yes, and... and... (Critical success)

When you do something where success isn't automatic, roll a d6. If you have a skill which you think would directly help in this specific situation, roll an extra d6. Do this for each relevant skill e.g.: in a melee, having the skills "judo" and "kick people very hard in the face" you get to roll +2 extra dice for 3 dice in total.

From these dice, pick a single die as your result. Then add 1 to your result for every other die showing "6".

If the Game Master decides that your task is especially difficult a penalty may be imposed on your roll. If you get penalized like this, subtract whatever penalty you get from the final result of your roll. Instead of making easier tasks give a bonus to a roll, just assume it was successful.

As a general rule, rolling 1-2 is a failure and rolling 3 or more is a success. Use the table at right and fill in the blanks according to the task at hand. Add one additional "and..." after the first for every point you roll more than 6.

See Destiny Cards for a diceless variation.

Combat[edit]

When you attack someone, roll for task resolution as normal with whatever relevant skills you have. You deal 1 damage for every point the final roll exceeded 2 – this means that rolling a 3 deals 1 damage, rolling a 4 deals 2 damage and so forth. Some weapons may add damage if the Game Master decides so. Once damage has been dealt, subtract the victims damage reduction and the rest from the victims hit points. Once a character reaches 0 hit points it passes out and at -1 hit point, the character dies. Everyone acts simultaneously.

Character development[edit]

Every session the Game Master may choose to give all players 1-4 points of experience. For 2 points of experience, players may buy a new skill relevant to what happened in the session. One extra hit point costs 3 experience points and one extra damage reduction costs 4 experience points.

Special Powers[edit]

Special powers are abilities such as spell casting or psionics and is performed like any other task resolution except that you must have a skill relevant to the power you have. You must have specific permission from your Game Master to pick any magical or psionics related skill since not all settings treat such things equally.

When using a power, the Game Master decides the outcome as per normal task resolution rules. Attack powers deal damage as normal combat but may have additional effects at the Game Masters discretion. Duration and effect is determined by degree of success of the Task Resolution. Some Game Masters may rule that you can only use a power if you have a skill of the same name. For instance, you must have the Fireball skill to cast a fireball spell. Others may prefer more freeform and allow skills like "Psionics" to mean anything from telekinesis to mind reading or any other psionics related power. Ask your Game Master what approach will be used.

Special Powers skill suggestions: Rituals, Fireball, Flight, Healing, Summoning, Psionics, Scrying, Bardic Music, Entropic Magic Necromancy, Dispel, Clairvoyance, Enchant Item and the name of any spell or specific power you think would suit your character.

Q&A Section[edit]

How does "and..." actually work? What, for instance, actually happens of someone rolls 8 on kicking in a door?
A roll of 8 gives 3 additional effects. One for rolling 6, one for rolling 7 and one for rolling 8. Examples could be that they manage to kick in the door AND it hits a guard in the room, stunning him AND makes his helm fly off and hit the other guard in the room, stunning him as well AND doing it hard enough that they do not cry out.
How much extra damage should I give for weapons?
It depends entirely on the game you want to play. If you want to play gritty and dangerous games, let small weapons deal 1 extra damage, hand weapons 2 extra damage and double handed weapons deal 3 extra damage. If you want more slapstick oriented games, reduce damage for not using weapons for instance and do not give any bonus to damage for using weapons.
How about rifles and pistols – what damage should I let them deal?
As above, it depends on what kind of game you want but a good starting point would be no bonus for pistols and an additional damage for rifles. Many people are really very bad at using pistols anyway so any more than a flesh wound is pretty unlikely unless you are shooting at point blank range.
How many spells can I cast and what do they do?
It is completely up to the setting and the Game Master but it would be a good idea to run through some basic spells you want and agree on the effect of them with your Game Master. Some will want to run free form mages able to bend space and time while others will prefer to run classical D&D wizards who have to learn every spell individually and both are fine. Just make sure Game Master and player agree what kind of spells are available.
How do I actually cast a spell then?
Game Masters will often either choose to have magic be a non-combat component of a setting which takes time and preparation to perform or may let spells be an integrated part of combat and everyday life. If the case is the latter, just assume that spells are like normal weapons with some added chanting. They deal the same damage as a weapon of its type but may also give additional effects like fireballs setting the victim on fire for instance.
Why is there a maximum of skills I can spend to get extra hit points or damage reduction?
Because otherwise people could technically sacrifice all their skills to become immortal from character creation and that hardly makes for a good story telling experience. If your Game Master approves, feel free to ignore the limit. It is there purely because of damage reduction limits and there should not be any real reason why you can not just spend your skills getting extra hit points if it fits your character.
Can I use this to play superpower characters?
Sure, just make sure your Game Master approves. If he does, you are free to pick skills like "shoot laser from my eyes", "fly", "strong", "retractable claws", spend all your skills on damage reduction or whatever else makes sense for your character.
I still don't get those skills. How do I pick skills?
You make up your own skills. If more skills feels like they could help you in a given task then they add a d6 to your roll. Generally you can go with whatever the setting and your Game Master allows but make sure not to confuse "skills" with special powers with definite effects unless you are playing a super hero game and/or your Game Master approves otherwise. Remember that, while related skills may be very good, too many makes your character very narrow and uninteresting and more than a few overlapping skills are generally not worth the while – partly because you get a boring paper cut-out of a character and partly because the statistical increase in effect from 3 to 4 dice in the same task is very minor.
Can I use this and pass it off as my own?
No. If you are going to use this, at least give some credit where due. And no permission is given for use in anything which includes anyone making a profit from using this set of rules in any way.
How do I contact you with more questions about this?
You can ask on /tg/ who helped me flesh this out. If I am around I may see it and respond, otherwise you don’t.