2019-08-28 How about 2d6

Hah, watching Secrets of Blackmoor has made me think about using 2d6 again.

On the one hand, I’m as fascinated as @lskh is by all the 2d6 mechanics surrounding me, from Traveller to Powered by the Apocalypse rules, and like a siren it’s calling me. And I remember older rules, too. I remember the very first such game I met was Fenris 2d6, and Pits & Perils. I remember being a bit disappointed when I realized that Pits & Perils was so simplistic even though I had read an enthusiastic review on Save vs. Total Party Kill.

But when I look at Dave Arneson’s table of old friends and his daughter in Secrets of Blackmoor, having fun, exploring dungeons, and just using just 2d6… It obviously works!

And I see that Norbert Matausch has been thinking about the same things, lately. To get a feel for his games, perhaps it makes sense to read Sophie’s review of Tatzelwurm, one of his 2d6 games. I first noticed his interest in 2d6 games when I read John Harper’s World of Dungeons, followed by Streets of Marienburg by unknown authors, and finally Norbert Matausch’s Advanced World of Dungeons. He took his old blog down, so you’ll have to do a little searching online to find the PDFs. Looking at his new blog, I see quite a few posts talking about the things I’m fascinated by right now:

Pre-D&D: How Dave, Gary, Phil and the original grognards played talks about people disliking Chainmail because it lacked hit-points and thus characters died whenever they were hit. There’s more about this in the Secrets of Blackmoor movie, actually. Anyway, the article tries to collect the actual rules used and continues with an example combat. A few days later, there is a second attempt at writing down the rules, Older School: Pre-D&D, 2nd edition, and finally How the Grognards really played, 3rd edition. Wonderful!

Ahhh... and yet here I am, writing spells and spellbooks. 😆​



At the moment I’m fascinated by Advanced Fighting Fantasy, which also uses 2d6, which is still very light on rules. Also, Troika!, which is Planescape without superheroes using (basically) a modified version of AFF.

Ynas Midgard 2019-08-29 00:25 UTC

You did convince me to buy Troika! which also happens to be the Deal of the Day at DriveThru RPG.

– Alex Schroeder 2019-08-29 05:54 UTC

Also enjoying this list of quotes: Play worlds, not rules: Juggling ideas for stone age rpg sessions.

– Alex Schroeder 2019-08-29 06:28 UTC

Was thinking of combining Troika! with Hill Cantons setting/adventures. Seems like it’d be a good fit.

I also think World of Dungeons would go great with the Magic system replaced with that of Wonder & Wickedness.

Starmonkey 2019-08-30 08:36 UTC

I need to think about what I want from a 2d6 system. I don’t actually want to recreate a complex system and I feel like all my RPG experience is pulling me that way. So now I think I need to play, maybe start with as little as possible, and then decide where to take it based on what happens at the table. Which then makes me think I need the right players for it as well.

– Alex Schroeder 2019-08-30 09:52 UTC

Once I read through this, Troika immediately came to mind. It’s basically the system that this is describing. And Troika is just amazing generally...

– Ian Schlom 2019-08-30 20:20 UTC

Regarding the idea of going back to Arneson... wheee! I was reading The Arnesonian Dungeon by Justin Alexander and found comments by Dan Boggs and a link to his blog, Hidden in Shadows. And I’m thinking, nope, Arneson isn’t just rolling 2d6 and figuring it out as he goes. It’s a complicated, confusing, malleable machine in his head, ever changing, and so now I’m suspecting that a simple roll high on 2d6 might result in a very boring game indeed. There needs to be much more in the background, in the setting, in the internal workings of the world to make those die rolls interesting.

– Alex Schroeder 2019-08-30 22:21 UTC

2d6 – the original tabletop role playing dice mechanic, in Wanderer Bill’s Journal.

– Alex Schroeder 2019-10-19 16:27 UTC

A review of the Troika rpg talks about another 2d6 rule set.

– Alex Schroeder 2019-12-23 14:21 UTC

Aw, the heck with it: Our rules now have a real name. I keep wondering if a simple 2d6 game would be enough for a longer campaign. I do like that “trusting the GM” is baked into the rules. After all: do I want to play a game where I don’t trust the GM? Of course not. The rules are never going to make up for that.

– Alex Schroeder 2019-12-23 14:22 UTC

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