Basics of D6

Any game using the D6 System follows the same basic principle: Roll a number of six-sided dice equal to the characterʼs skill or attribute score. If the total generated equals or exceeds the difficulty number, then the character succeeds. However, in each application of the system, attributes, skills, and other character details are tailored to the genre of the game.

Rolling Dice

There are two types of dice used in the D6 System. One is a regular die, and most of the dice you roll will be these. The other is a Wild Die. It represents all of the flukes of nature and chance. It allows even an incredibly incompetent character a chance to do something great. The Wild Die should be a different color from the rest of the dice, so that you can easily tell it apart. Most of the time, youʼll just add whatever is on the die as normal. But if you roll a 1 or a 6, something special happens.

With a 1 result (sometimes called a “Critical Failure”), that something is bad. Normally, you donʼt add the 1 to the total. Instead, you take away the other highest value that you rolled, though the rules gives the gamemaster other options for what to do with this roll.

With a 6 result (sometimes called a “critical success”), however, that something is good. You not only add the 6 to the total, but you also roll the Wild Die again. (If anything other than a 6 turns up, even a 1, just add that result to your total and stop rolling.)

Making Actions

Each player has a character with attributes and skills that describe how well that character can perform various actions. What the attributes and skills are called and represent depend on the genre and the game master, though West End Games offers three suggested attribute and skill combinations, one each in the D6 Adventure, D6 Fantasy, and D6 Space rulebooks.

A die code, or value, associated with each of those attributes and skills indicates how good the character is. The gamemaster informs the players when to roll the dice, and uses the rules to interpret the die rolls to see how successful an action is. Die codes (1D, 2D, 3D, 4D, 5D, and so on) represent the number of dice you roll when your character uses an attribute or skill. The die codes sometimes have a “+1” or “+2,” called “pips,” after them. The numbers that show up on the dice rolled are added together; then you add any pips to the entire roll as a bonus.

Example: SarʼJoanʼs Strength attribute is 3D+1, so if she tried to lift a box, her player would roll three dice and add one to the total to get her score.

Attributes, such as Strength and Knowledge, represent basic physical and mental capabilities.

Skills are more specific applications of an attribute. For example, the skill dodge is a
more specific use of your characterʼs Reflexes or Agility (the attribute name depending on the world youʼre playing in). All skills beneath a given attribute begin at that attributeʼs die code; those in which the character has trained or has some experience are improved. If youʼre asked to roll a skill your character doesnʼt have, find out which attribute it belongs under and roll that attributeʼs die code.

Higher rolls are better. When your character attempts an action, the gamemaster might assign a difficulty number to it. At other times, the character competes against another character at a task, so you need to beat one of his skill rolls in an opposed skill. Some tasks are easier than others, and the gamemaster often wonʼt let you know what number you need to beat to succeed. Sometimes a gamemaster will drop clues about a taskʼs difficulty (“Hitting that flywith your pistol at 100 meters? Thatʼs going to be tricky…”).

Standard Difficulty Example: SarʼJoan wants to find out some specific details about Nyles, the planet sheʼs traveling to. Nyleʼs a pretty out-of-the-way system, so the gamemaster decides that Amy (the player running SarʼJoan) needs to roll a 20 or higher for her character to find the information sheʼs looking for. SarʼJoanʼs planetary systems skill is 6D (respectfully high), so Amy rolls six dice. She gets 25, beating the difficulty number. The gamemaster refreshes SarʼJoanʼs memory about the information sheʼs seeking on Nyle.

Opposed Roll Example: SarʼJoan is involved in a blaster fight. Sheʼs shooting a traitor whoʼs just shot at her and is dodging toward some important controls. The traitor makes a dodge roll of 12: this is the difficulty number SarʼJoan must equal or exceed to hit the traitor. SarʼJoanʼs firearms skill is 4D+1, so Amy rolls four dice and adds one to the total. She rolls a total of 16 and hits the traitor. Since this is combat, and SarʼJoanʼs pistol does 4D damage, Amy rolls 4D to find out how badly SarʼJoan wounded the traitor.

Your character can also perform more than one action at a time. Of course, since the characterʼs concentration is split between tasks, there is a penalty: for each action beyond the first, you subtract one die from the normal total that you need to roll for each skill or attribute. (Some special abilities allow you to get around this.) Thus, if you wanted your character to perform three actions at the same time, you would roll two less dice for each score than you would if you did each action by itself.

Example: SarʼJoan hasnʼt managed to subdue the traitor. She decides to both shoot and dodge. Since sheʼs doing two actions in one turn, each action is reduced by 1D. If SarʼJoanʼs dodge skill is 3D+2, Amy rolls 2D+2 to find her characterʼs dodge total and 3D+1 to get her firearms total.

Since the gamemaster keeps track of whoʼs doing what and what everybody needs to use, you donʼt need to be too concerned about what to roll. If you have any questions, ask the gamemaster.

Standard Difficulties

Automatic (0): Almost anyone can perform this action; there is no need to roll. (Generally, this difficulty is not listed in a pre-generated adventure; it is included here for reference purposes.)

Very Easy (1–5): Nearly everyone can accomplish this task. Typically, only tasks with such a low difficulty that are crucial to the scenario are rolled.

Easy (6-10): Although characters usually have no difficulty with these tasks, a normal adult may find them challenging.

Moderate (11–15): There is a fair chance that the average character will fail at this type of task. Tasks of this type require skill, effort, and concentration.

Difficult (16–20): Those with little experience in the task will have to be quite lucky to accomplish these actions.

Very Difficult (21–25): The average character will only rarely succeed at these kinds of task. Only the most talented regularly succeed.

Heroic (26–30), Legendary (31 or more): These kinds of tasks are nearly impossible, though thereʼs still that possibility that lucky average or highly experienced characters will accomplish them.

Improving Rolls

In addition to scores for your characterʼs attributes and skills, she has Fate Points and Character Points. You can spend these points in particularly difficult and heroic situations.

Character Points: When you spend a Character Point, you get to roll one extra die when her character tries to successfully complete a task. You may choose to spend a Character Point after youʼve made a roll (in case itʼs an important roll and you roll very low, or you want to improve your result). For instance, if SarʼJoan tries to hit that traitor and she needs a 10 but she only rolls a 7, she may spend a Character Point and roll one more Wild Die, adding the result to her skill total. You gain more Character Points at the end of a game for completing goals and playing well.

Fate Points: When you spend a Fate Point, that means your character is using all of her concentration to try to succeed. You may only spend a Fate Point before any die rolls are made. Doing so doubles the number of dice youʼd normally roll for one round and one action only (though in climatic situations your gamemaster may allow the point to affect more than one roll). This allows the character to do one action really well. When a Fate Point is used, itʼs lost but may be gained back at the end of the game if used in a brave, heroic, or climactic moment.

Getting Hurt

To represent how much damage you can take, your character has Wound Levels or Body Points. Which one you use depends on your gamemaster.

Wound Levels: When youʼre hit in combat, you roll your characterʼs damage resistance attribute (usually Strength or Physique) while the attacker rolls damage. Compare the difference between the damage and your roll on the “Wound Levels” chart. When your character has six wounds, sheʼs toast.

Body Points: Players subtract the amount of damage the attacker rolls from the total number of Body Points your character has (which were figured out when you created the character). In games where characters ought to last a long time in combat, your gamemaster will have you subtract a roll of your characterʼs Strength or Physique attribute from the attackerʼs damage total.

Wound Levels

Damage Total ≥ Resistance Total By: Effect
0 Bruised
1–3 Stunned
4–8 Wounded,
Severely Wounded
9–12 Incapacitated
13–15 Mortally Wounded
16+ Dead

Related Skill Bonus &Damage Bonus

Gamemasters have the option of rewarding great rolls. For combat rolls that could affect damage, the damage bonus equals the difference between the skill total and the difficulty divided by 5. For skill and attribute rolls that could affect other skill or attribute rolls, the related skill bonus equals one-half of the skill roll minus the total difficulty. For example a gamemaster might allow a Knowledge roll to help a piloting roll (and the Knowledge roll would give the piloting roll a related skill bonus). The gamemaster can also employ the value to determine how successful (or unsuccessful) the character is at the action, and thus what the roleplaying results are. In either case, the greater the difference between the difficulty number and the rolled total, the greater the success or failure.

Permission is hereby granted to photocopy or print this pamphlet for personal or promotional use only. This booklet is not for resale. © 2004 Purgatory Publishing, Inc. D6 System, WEG, and West End Games are trademarks of Purgatory Publishing, Inc.

Basics of D6

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