Simple D6 - Third Edition
Simple d6, or SD6, is a super-lite, free-form roleplaying system which can be used for all settings and is written for people who hate explaining advanced systems or just love simplicity in their games. It can be summarized 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.
To make a character, find a concept (a profession for instance) and a name you like. You start with 1 Quality, 5 Skills, and 5 Hit Points in each Aspect. All your Aspects have 1 in Defense at start. You may give up 1 Skill to get either +2 Hit Points in a single Aspect or +1 Defense in a single Aspect per Skill you gave up.
Aspects are different areas of interaction and relevant Aspects will change from game to game. Common Aspects are Combat, Social, Magic or Sanity for instance. There is theoretically an infinite number of aspects so make sure to ask your Game Master which Aspects will be used before the game.
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 Fencing if you wish.
Qualities are very broad skills, jobs or stereotypes like Charismatic, Strong, Soldier, Diplomat, Ranger or Smart for instance. You can only have a single Quality.
|Roll||Success?||Degree of Success|
|1||No, and...||0||Critical Failure|
|3||Yes, but...||1||Partial Success|
|6||Yes, and...||4||Critical Success|
|7+||Yes, and..., and...||5||Critical Success|
When rolling for task resolution, count how many Skills/Qualities 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 die which becomes your result and add 1 for every natural 6 remaining.
Interactions which are not actively resisted, like scenery or environment, use the "Success?" column on the Task Resolution Table. 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.
Character/NPC related interactions, are all considered a form of combat, be it social combat, physical combat or magical combat. You roll 1d6 plus a number of dice equal to the Skills/Qualities which would help you in the relevant situation, the opponent subtracts his Defense in that Aspect from your Degree of Success and the rest is lost in Hit Points from that Aspect. When a character reaches 0 or less hit points in the Aspect he loses that match. You got your information, got your discount or your opponent dropped unconscious. 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.
Every session the Game Master may choose to give all players 1-4 points of experience or roll a d20 for how many points . 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. You can put a points into a stat.
Special powers, which are abilities such as spell casting, psionics or special powers granted by mutations for instance, are 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 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. 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.
- 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/NPC related interactions action. Hit points are self-explanatory and Defense is damage reduction from dodge, armor, 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 table, 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 table, 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 various Defenses and kinds of Hit Points work?
- Different Aspects (or situations if you will), have different Defenses and Hit Points. These can be social, combat or whatever else fits the setting. All Defenses start at 1 and Hit Points start at 5, but both can be increased by sacrificing skills or getting 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. Hit points do not affect each other between Aspects so getting beat in a debate does not hinder combat for instance.
- How do I handle Initiative in combat?
- Roll 1 dice plus a number of dice equal to the relevant Skills/Qualities. Pick any 1 dice and add 1 to that dice for each natural 6 remaining of the dice you rolled. The player rolling highest goes first, then the next in line etc
- 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 play this with a Lovecraftian horror theme?
- Do what feels right for your style of play – that is the most important thing. Streamlining it with the rest of the system, treat Sanity as another Aspect and have arcane horrors deal Sanity damage when they attack and when characters cast spells (if applicable). Psychologists can only “heal” the last batch of Sanity lost by characters, ensuring that the ultimate end for any character is retirement or insanity.
- 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 Table to the right. The table shows the probability to get at least a certain result with the dice you have.
- Isn't this very similar to Second Edition?
- Yes it is - this was an overhaul where a lot of stuff was much better clarified in the rules and Aspects were more clearly defined. The other changes are that everyone has 5 skills AND 1 quality. 2 skills can still be changed for bonus defense or hp in an Aspect. Also, the Q&A was updated to be more relevant, taking the changes in the wording into consideration and this change also made it much easier to make extra resources for SD6 like guides for settings.
- 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.
- First edition was made on /tg/ June 23rd 2011. Second edition is made and maintained on 1d4chan. The author of all three editions is the same. Probability table is made by NotBradX. 3×5 character sheet below made by Minty
- Sample Characters
- Puck the Apprentice - Low fantasy wizard's apprentice
- Dmetriev Hemlov - Science fiction government fugitive
- Abdul al Hamid - Modern setting middle eastern terrorist
- Jeremiah Friedman - Grimdark Imperial Psyker
- Percival Winthrop Orrington - Gentleman
- Dennis Harlow - Vampire cannibal vagabond/doctor
- Version 3.86 by Remoon101 - Includes equipment, wealth, tactical combat and advanced rules on second page. A full Power creation system on the third, and some basic GM resources on the fourth.
- Character Sheets