Simple D6 - Second Edition

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UPDATE! Simple_D6_-_Third_Edition has been posted. Feel free to post any feedback on the Talk:Simple_D6_-_Third_Edition page. Expansions for different settings are getting added a little by little. Feel free to help make guides to your own settings


Intro[edit]

Simple D6 is a super lite free-form roleplaying system for all settings for people who hate explaining advanced systems. It can be summarised by taking one dice for each skill which would help in the given situation and add one – then roll them and take the highest result and you are done.

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 to 40k to Supers or even Zombie Survival.

This is a full system which can be used in long campaigns or short one-off sessions and it only takes up a single a4 page of rules

Character Creation[edit]

To make a character, find a concept and a name you like. You start with 5 Hit Points and 1 Defense in all aspects now have 5 Build Points to make your character. For 1 Build Point you can either buy a skill of your choosing, raise a single type of Defense (for instance, either Combat Defense or Social Defense) from 1 to 2, raise a Hit Points type of your choice from 5 to 7 or buy a Quality.

Skills are free-form and entirely made up by the player. Skills may be as broad to cover a field of expertise but should never be usable outside a specific area. Skills like "Close Combat" is as broad as it should get but you can build on top of this with increasingly specific skills like Sword Fighting followed by Stabbing if you wish. Very broad skills, jobs or stereotypes like Charismatic, Strong, Athletic, Soldier, Diplomat, Ranger or Smart are considered Qualities. You can only have a single Quality.

Task Resolution[edit]

Roll Success? Degree of Success
1 No, and... 0 Critical Failure
2 No 0 Failure
3 Yes, but... 1 Partial Success
4 Yes 2 Success
5 Yes 3 Success
6 Yes, and... 4 Critical Success
7+ Yes, and..., and... 5 Critical Success

When rolling for task resolution, count how many skills you have which would reasonably help you doing the task at hand and add one. That is the number of dice you roll. After rolling, pick one dice which becomes your result – then add 1 to that result for every natural 6 remaining.

If the task resolution is in relation to scenery or environment consult the "Success?" column on the Task Resolution Chart. Rolling a Critical Failure means that you fail and a single bad thing happens, a Partial Success means that you succeed but not completely (or something bad happens despite your success) and a Critical Success means that you succeed and a single good thing happens. 1 additional good thing happens per point the roll exceeded 6.

If the task resolution is in relation to another character, roll as above but instead of going by failure or success, consult the Task Resolution Table for Degree of Success. Each degree of success in your roll subtracts 1 hit point from your opponent. When the other character reaches 0 or less hit points in the area, you won the match. If the match was interrogation, you got your information, if it was combat the opponent is lying unconscious and if it was a trading situation, you got your discount. Remember to deduct the opponents Defense before resolving hit point loss.

If a task is hard but manageable without specialist knowledge, the Game Master may impose a penalty to the roll. The penalty is subtracted from the final result of the roll. This is called a Point Penalty.

Advanced Tasks are tasks which require specialist knowledge. When performing an advanced task, roll 1 dice fewer than normal – this may reduce you to 0 dice, making the task impossible. This is called a Dice Penalty.

Easy tasks are never rolled for. If a task is easy enough to confer a bonus to a roll, just assume it was a success.

Character progression[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 Defense costs 4 experience points.

Special Abilities[edit]

Special abilities are abilities such as spell casting or using psionics and is performed like any other task resolution except that they are always considered Advanced tasks. 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 special ability, 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. Depending on what kind of special powers your character has and how common they are in the setting, they may require a Quality to activate or even be a Quality in themselves. Ask your Game Master what approach will be used.

Q&A Section[edit]

Simple d6 - Second Edition rules in gif form for sharing on image boards or easy print
Is there an easily printable version somewhere?
Yes, right here to the right
How does ”and...” or "but" actually work? What, for instance, 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 you manage to kick in the door AND it hits a guard in the room AND it stuns him AND his helmet flies off, hitting the other guard in the room, stunning him as well. "But" is the reverse and in the above case, the door would be kicked in BUT very loudly, alerting all nearby guards to the situation.
How does combat work?
Exactly like any other character-to-character action. Hit points are self explanatory and Defense is damage reduction from dodge, armor, pain threshold or what suits your fancy.
Example Part 1: John pulls out his SMG and fires it at the charging werewolf. John has the Ganger quality and as such is considered proficient with the gang's signature weapon: the SMG. Other than that, his skills are Ranged Combat, Street Smarts, Driving Really Fast and Gardening (he always secretly wanted to be a florist). John picks up the standard die, then adds one for both his Ganger quality and one for his Ranged Combat skills, and rolls the three dice. They end up a 1, a 6 and a 4. John picks the 6 because he really wants the werewolf dead as fast as possible (but he could pick a lower dice if he just wanted to harm it a little or try and scare it off). Consulting the chart, John sees a roll of 6 is has a Degree of Success of 4 - the werewolf suffers 4 damage. The Game Master secretly deducts the Defense (Combat) for the werewolf (3 - it's a badass werewolf pack leader) and subtracts the remaining 1 from the werewolf's hitpoints (Combat). The Game Master then narrates what happens and how the werewolf dodged the worst of the shot and only seems to have suffered a minor injury.
Example Part 2: Following the above example, if John's roll had been 6, 6 and 6 for instance, he would take one of the 6´s as his roll and then add 1 for each extra six he rolled. John rolls an 8! Consulting the chart, John sees it is a Degree of Success of 6! The Werewolf suffers 6 damage as above, the Game Master secretly subtracts its Defense (Combat) and deducts what is remaining from its Hit Points (Combat) and then narrates how the werewolf was unable to dodge the shot and suffers what seems to be a potentially pretty serious wound.
Example Part 3: If John is lucky and reduces the werewolf to 0 hit points (Combat) before it kills him, it will be rendered incapacitated - either dead, stunned, knocked down, wounded badly or whatever the Game Master decides fits the situation. If it is not dead now, John will be able to kill it without much effort.
How does the various Defenses and kinds of Hit Points work?
Different situations have different Defenses and Hit Points. These can be social, willpower, combat or whatever else fits the setting. All Defenses and Hit Points start at 1 and 5 respectively but can be increased with Build Points and experience. You only improve either Defense OR hit points and only in a single aspect. Hit Points regenerate at a rate determined by the Game Master. Normally Combat Hit Points, for instance, will be regained over time whereas Social Hit Points will usually recover instantly after a conversation.
As a Game Master, what do I do with different weapons and damage?
It depends 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 relaxed and survivable games, reduce damage for not using weapons for instance and do not give any bonus to damage for using weapons. If you want more detail, give heavy weapons a -1 point penalty to hit and balance it out adding bonus damage if they actually hit, and vice versa with smaller weapons. For instance, a two-handed battle axe could give -1 to-hit but +4 damage (effectively, +3 damage but harder to actually hit with) while a rapier could give +1 to-hit and no bonus damage (effectively +1 damage total while being easier to hit with)
What damage should rifles or pistols 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. Most people are really very bad at using pistols anyway so any more than a fleshwound is pretty unlikely unless you are shooting at point blank range
I want to give my players armor but how should I handle it in the rules?
Give them 1-2 more Defense in combat situations and possibly some drawbacks for heavy armor as well - like making a lot of noise, give a -1 penalty to attacks or whatever fits the situation. Remember that 1 more defense means that opponents must roll at least 5 to even wound the player and that is assuming the character has the standard defense of 1 so if you make armor give more Defense it will be very hard to damage characters in normal combat situations
How many spells can I cast and what do they do?
It is 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 DnD wizards who have to learn every spell individually. 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, taking time and preparation to perform, or 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. Spells 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. Hitting a person casting spells could (and, in some settings, should) have dire consequences for the caster.
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”, ”super strong”, ”retractable claws”, spend all your skills on damage Defense or whatever else makes sense for your character. It may be relevant for Game Masters to remove the "max 1 Quality" restriction for super power characters.
Result 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "hit" "crit"
Damage 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 3+ "and..."
1 die 16.7 16.7 16.7 16.7 16.7 16.7 - - 50% 17%
2 dice 2.8 8.3 13.9 19.4 25.0 27.8 2.8 - 75% 31%
3 dice 0.5 3.2 8.8 17.1 28.2 34.7 6.9 0.5 88% 42%
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 unless you are playing a super hero game and/or your Game Master approves otherwise. Remember that, while related skills may tempting, 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 as you can see on the Probability Chart to the right.
Can I pass this 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.

Sample Characters[edit]

Resources[edit]