A Different Order

When someone with an encyclopedic knowledge of Ars Magica asks about an idea and invites you to submit it, you need to write it down. This idea lives in a spreadsheet now, but will live here when I am finished with this post.

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Five dice showing 4, 5, 5, 2, 6

Doubles and Lonely Dice

This is the description I found on the troll dice roller website about a novel dice mechanic. An anonymous person was experimenting with an idea for a GURPS magic system using the site. The mechanic was documented this way:

Experiment with a custom magic-system in GURPS using HP as blood sacrifice, using 2-10 d6.
Doubles, triplets and above count as their value, lonely dice only add +1 per dice.
a roll with 5 dice [4,5,5,2,6] will make 1+5+5+1+1=13.

I immediately played with various numbers of dice and wrote scripts for d8s, d10s, and d12s. Yet after all that, I was drawn to 5d6. It reminded me of Dice Throne and ultimately Yahtzee. I had to admit that I was drawn to this idea using 5d6 because of the endless games of Yahtzee and Kismet I played as a kid. That shared memory makes this dice mechanic feel intuitive through repetition.

This is the point where my co-worker would say that my Nerd is showing.

When I began looking at the probabilities, however, it inspired me for possibilities in my home game with the kids, retroclones, and various other games. For the curious, here's a handy table.

At this point, my co-worker would use their teacher voice and talk about all the work they need to do.

The next few posts are going to explore how this dice mechanic can be used in 5e and other role-playing games. It not only provides an interesting sub-system, but it can be a part of the world-building. Specifically, I'm going to look at using this to build a bolt-on and hopefully simple way to make magic different.

Summoning with the Words of Power

Having effects words of Servitor I - IX seem to be redundant. Every effect word is the ability to summon a single creature. As the Spell Level goes up, so do the CR of the creatures that can be summoned.

Moreover, have a separate table for druids and rangers is just annoying to me.

Here is one table to handle all Servitor effect words:

Spell Level CR
1 <1
2 1
3 2-3
4 4-5
5 6-7
6 8-9
7 10-11
8 12-13
9 14-16

This reduced nine effect words into one.

Combinations and Boosts

Any other effect words combines with this effect word will only affect the summoned creature. One boost can be used to summon 1d4 creatures instead of just 1.


This entry was very short. I'll have more on my next Words of Power post.