I’d love to talk a bit about rule-light rules systems today, but I realised that I really haven’t played that many.
So instead, I’m going to talk about very basic mechanics that I think could be used for simple resolution mechanics in a very rules-light game.
So, here are a few of my favourite mechanics that I think work, other than FATE.
Roll a straight d20 vs a difficulty – between 1 and 20, equal or above succeeds.
Roll a straight d20 vs a difficulty – between 1 and 20, equal or below succeeds.
Roll a d6 – 1 fails, 5 and 6 passes, or alternatively 1-3 fails, 4-6 passes (though that’s just a coin flip really).
Dice pools – either in the same way as the d6 mechanic above (which I think is basically Houses of the Blooded?) or with d10s like in World of Darkness, with each success usually being a 7 or 8.
Flip a coin – for when we’re really going very basic.
Spend a plot point – automatic success per plot point spent and the GM can offer up fresh plot points for automatic failure (a very basic, diceless FATE).
I can see myself using variations of those all across games that I’ve played, or some mashed together – spending blood points for additional successes in Vampire the Masquerade or the destiny points in Star Wars Saga Edition.
Which one is the best? Well, they’re all the best, depending on what you’re using them for. I have a soft spot for dice pools and plot points, which is probably why I like FATE and Old World of Darkness games so much, but I also like simple.
Pretty much everyone owns a six-sided die, so I like the single die roll for success.
I should probably think about using that some day!