Our upcoming rpg Triune uses a new mechanic called the Effort System. Thanks to a very kind and smart gentleman in the UK, the system just got better.

Here’s how it works. At the core, it’s very simple: Roll 1d10 against a target number; equal or lower is success; and higher is failure. This is called the Tell Die roll, because that d10 tells you whether you succeeded or failed. However, things get more strategic with the introduction of Effort Dice.

Effort Dice are 1, 2, or 3d6 used to represent how much effort you are putting into the task at hand. They don’t affect your chances–that’s solely the purview of the Tell Die–but they affect the level of success or failure. Players decide whether to roll 1, 2, or 3 Effort Dice, and for each Effort Die rolled, 1-3 means a success and 4-6 means a failure.

  • If your Tell Die was a success, one successful Effort Die means a Basic Win; two successful Effort Dice mean a Major Win; and three successful Effort Dice mean a Critical Win. Any failed Effort Dice are ignored.
  • If your Tell Die was a failure, one failed Effort Die means a Basic Loss; two failed Effort Dice mean a Major Loss; and three failed Effort Dice mean a Critical Loss. Any successful Effort Dice are ignored.

The Effort System gives players have some control over the degree of success or failure. If a player really needs a big success on a roll, they can use all three Effort Dice. However … if you fail, you risk a big failure. You cannot get a chance at a Critical Win without a chance at at Critical Failure. Players manage risk in the Effort System–it’s their choice how much to reach for.

  1. If I roll a success but no successes on the effort dice what does that do for me?

    Or likewise if roll a failure and only successes on the effort dice what does that do?

  2. As of now, nothing.

    Yeah, I know. I’d like there to be a small but still real mechanical difference when you roll a successful Tell Die but all failures on the Effort Dice. It seems to call out for one. Yet the system works without it. So … I dunno. I’m thinking about it, but if you have any ideas, speak!

  3. I am thinking about it, I will write a full write up on the math of it, and the problem I see. I do not want to discourage as I really like the idea but, I see an easy way to “game” the mechanics.

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