Electrum Pieces and Paper Pills

Rube Goldberg Dice Mechanic

Work is overwhelming, so I took some time tonight to noodle over an unusual dice mechanic in my head. I wanted to see how frequently rolling a prime number occurred.

Turns out that counting primes is not very significant except that the smaller the dice, the more frequently it occurs.

Oh well, still not a waste of time. I spend a couple hours thinking about games. I had an idea and discovered that my idea was a Rube Goldberg machine.

It was a fun Rube Goldberg machine, just like playing Mousetrap when I was a kid. 🙂

Electrum Pieces and Paper Pills

Advantage, Disadvantage, and Fate

If a magic item or circumstance provides an advantage to a character, any subtraction results on the Fudge die are treated as addition.

For disadvantage, multiplication results are treated as subtraction.

For magic items or traits that leave the results to the fickleness of Fate, addition results are treated as multiplication.


After each session, the referee awards up to 3 xp based on criteria agreed upon before play. If I flesh out this idea more, there will be suggested criteria depending on what all the players and referee consider fun for them.

After XP is awarded, a player may spend 2 XP to buy a trait, 3 XP to increase their luck, or 4XP to increase their skill.

Traits cannot be increased above +1. A character has a limit of nine positive traits at any time. A player exchange one positive trait for a new one at any time, but this is required if a character already has nine positive traits.

In play, a character may acquire a negative trait due to a curse or other circumstance. It costs 1 XP to eliminate it, however, a character must always have at least one negative trait.

Increasing skill or luck advances the die up a step d4 > d6 > d8 > d10 > d12. The limit for a luck die is d10, a skill die is capped at d12. With powerful artifacts, other dice can be used above, below, or between the thresholds stated here.

Players are encouraged to provide a brief story about why a trait was gained, exchanged, or added. The same is true for an increase in skill or luck. It is assumed that these stories take place between game sessions. These are entirely optional.

Target Numbers

A target number of 12 is roughly equivalent to the top 5% of human achievement. A target number of 0 is considered easy while a target number of 24 is superhuman.

Electrum Pieces

Dice by the Dozens

This one is easy. The one type of die I already own that I dearly love is the humble d12. The one type of die I do not own, but wish I did is the d24.

From an RPG math standpoint, 2d12 rolling against a difficulty score hits that sweet spot for me in having easy to understand difficulty numbers and a bell curve. (Yes, it is a triangle, not a curve.) Something for me is easier to imagine that difficulty moves in 4% increments and that a DC of 25 is technically impossible without some help from a bonus.

From an aesthetic standpoint, I like pentagons. I also like the way it rolls due to its round shape. Holding a handful is almost like holding marbles.

In the same vein, a d24 is like hold a big Cat's Eye marble.

Oh yes, I would buy a pound of d12s if I could afford it. One day, I'll purchase some d24s just because.

Tomorrow, maybe another petty little post. 🙂