Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Quick Resolution Mechanic

I don't like skill lists in D&D. The words "Feats" and "Proficiencies" make me itch. There are, however, times when a random outcome needs to determined. It isn't unreasonable to assume that some characters will be better at some tasks than others. What is undesirable, at least to me, are lists, restrictions, and hard-and-fast applications. Such a system should be fluid and malleable to the specific situation and participants. In that regard I give you my Quick Resolution Mechanic, which includes guidelines for characters becoming, let's say, reliable, at certain tasks.
Quick Resolution Mechanic

Basics: Roll d10+relevant stat and any other reasonable bonuses (arrived at by mutual agreement) VS. Referee roll of d10+modifier (based on situation/adversary). Obviously the higher the mod, the more it cancels character's bonus, making it a wash. It can exceed the character's bonus, meaning the character is relying on dumb luck and/or divine providence.

Here's where it gets interesting
If the character should succeed and his roll is a 10, note what was specifically rolled for, ie sneaking, high jumping, bluffing, etc. From then on, whenever that conflict is tested again, the player rolls a d12 instead of d10. Anytime a d12 resolution check succeeds and is a 12, note a +1, +2, and so on, beside the check. From then on, that modifier is added to the player's d12 roll. The maximum bonus is +5.

Please feel free to offer comments and (constructive) critiques.


  1. I like it because it fits the feel and gamey quality of the looser versions of the D&D rules.

  2. Thanks, Charlie. I was going to say more about it here, but I think I'll just make a follow-up post. Stay tuned.

  3. The improvement through rolling maximum is a handy feature, as in its own way we see the character's skills improving without having to buy them. It's sort of like a mechanic I'd been fooling with before, in that all characters use the same Saving Throw table, but their saves only improve per level per experience. So surviving poison would make the character more wary of its threat next time around.

    This might not make sense from the blunt presumption that passing a save just reduces the consequences. I imagine passing a Save vs Dragon Breath would be akin to barely dodging the majority of the blast and getting singed, and Saving vs Poison as avoiding the spider's stinger entirely.