The following is a list of resolution systems used by roleplaying games. I’m sure someone has already done this, but that’s not the point. I remember things best when I create them. By creating this list, I hope to increase my knowledge of our wonderful, geeky hobby and become a better game designer. (It helps to know what’s out there.) Also, I hope this list will help people understand rpg mechanics more easily and help game designers decide on what system would work best for their game. I welcome comments, advice, additions, etc. That said, please limit these to the forum page dedicated to this list. Otherwise, this page will go feral and become impossible to read. Thanks!
Can be divided into system-dependent and character-dependent.
System-Dependent (Dice): The number and type of dice rolled is defined by the system.
Roll High: Roll one or two dice, add or subtract modifiers, and get higher than a target number to succeed on task.
- Castles & Crusades (SIEGE engine): Roll 1d20 + attribute, above 18 (12 if within a skill bundle) to succeed.
- D&D 4E: Roll 1d20 +/- ability modifier +/- misc. modifier over target number (AC, difficulty, etc.) to succeed.
- D20: Roll 1d20 +/- ability modifier +/- misc. modifier over target number (AC, difficulty, etc.) to succeed.
- Dying Earth: Roll 1d6 +/- difficulty; 3 or higher to succeed. Spend ‘ability pool’ points to reroll.
- Effort System (Triune): Roll 1d10 under attribute to succeed. Rol 1-3 d6s as “effort dice” to set level of success or failure.
- FATE (Dresden Files, Spirit of the Century, etc.): Roll 4 “Fate” dice, add/subtract from skill, final result equal to or higher than difficulty to succeed.
- HoL: Roll 2d6 + stat + skill +/- difficulty; 15 or higher to succeed.
- Outlive Outdead: Roll 2d10, add results, higher than attribute to succeed. Roll too high and snap from stress.
- SLA Industries: Roll 2d10 + stat higher than 11 to succeed.
- Unisystem (AFMBE): Roll 1d10 + stat + skill +/- difficulty, 9 or higher to succeed.
Roll Low: Roll one or two dice, add or subtract modifiers, and get lower than a target number to succeed on task.
- 3:16 Carnage Amongst the Stars: Roll 1d10 under skill to succeed.
- Call of Cthulhu (Basic Role Playing, BRP): Roll 1d100 under skill to succeed. (Note: d100 is usually done by two d10s but it counts as a single die.)
- Cyborg Commando (D10x system): Roll 2d10 and multiply the numbers rolled, roll under a target number to succeed.
- Eclipse Phase: Roll 1d100 under skill to succeed.
- GURPS: Roll 3d6 under skill to succeed.
- HarnMaster: Roll 1d100 under skill to succeed. (Note: d100 is usually done by two d10s but it counts as a single die.)
- In Nomine: Roll 2d6; add results, lower than target number to succeed; roll 1d6 as check digit for degree of success or failure, higher means larger degree.
- PARANOIA XP: Roll 1d20 under attribute/skill to succeed. Spend ‘Perversity’ points to increase/decrease roll result.
Roll Low Pool: Roll a number of dice set by the system and get lower than a target number for success on task.
- Wushu Open: Roll 1d6 and add d6’s for each narrative detail added; roll a 2 or lower to succeed.
Character-Dependent (Dice): The number and/or type of dice rolled is defined by character attributes.
Roll High Pool: Roll a number of dice equal to a character attribute, count how many are higher than a target number.
- Burning Wheel: Roll d6’s equal to stat’s exponent; higher than 3 is a success; count successes to succeed on task.
- D6: Roll several d6s equal to stat rating; add results; over difficulty number to succeed.
- Dogs in the Vineyard: Roll several dice; add two highest dice; higher number wins. Can ‘Raise’ (as in poker) and add 1-3 dice results to total until someone cannot/does not match the raise with dice results of their own.
- Hot War: Roll dice, compare against other dice, highest roll wins; number of winning dice indicate level of success.
- Sorcerer: Roll several dice; compare highest die to threshold or opponent’s highest die; highest number wins; if tied, go to next highest.
- Ubiquity (Hollow Earth): Roll dice, count number of evens.
- World of Darkness: Roll d10s equal to stat rating; count how many are above 7.
Roll Matching Pool: Roll a number of dice equal to a character attribute, count matching dice.
- One Roll System (ORE – Godlike): Roll several d10; count how many match (i.e. 2, 2, 2 ….).
Roll Higher Step Die: Roll type of dice set by character attribute, roll higher than a target number to succeed on task.
- Savage Worlds: Roll type of die according to stat (d4, d6, etc.) higher than target number to succeed.
- Cortex System (Serenity): Roll two dice, type set by stat and skill; add result; higher than difficulty number to succeed.
Can be divided into comparison and randomizer.
Numbers: Compare character attributes to determine success.
- Amber: Compare stats; higher stat wins.
Cards: Use playing, Tarot, or similar cards to determine success.
- Everway: Draw from a tarot-like deck; GM interprets results based on card name and up/down status as it is turned face up.
Coins: Flip a number of coins to determine success.
- Prince Valiant: Flip coins equal to stat, +/- difficulty; number of ‘heads’ equal to or higher than target number to succeed.