Skip to main content

Alternative Rule for Positve and Negative Die (as well as Advantage and Disadvantage)

As I am writing the text for the future Revised, Expended and Updated edition of Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells (to be released in partnership with Gallant Knight Games), I thought about a cool new way to use Positive and Negative Dice for those who want more nuanced results and consequences for their tests. The rule can also add a tactical element that can be quite fun. Below is the first draft of the rules that can also work pretty well for D&D 5th Edition's Advantage and Disadvantage rules.

Positive and Negative Die as d6s


Positive and Negative Die are a great way to simplify situational modifiers, eliminating the need for various tables of modifiers trying to codify every possible event that might occur. However, they may simplify things a little too much, since they nullify one another, usually don’t stack and don’t offer much information on the consequence of their use. And that might be fine for the majority of players.

However, this book would like to propose the use of d6s for Positive and Negative Dice, one color for each. Positive Dice can be added or subtracted to the d20 result in an Attribute Test, but the player can only do this with one of the Positive Dice rolled. Negative Dice are added to the Difficulty of the test, and the Referee can only choose one of them to do so, no matter how many are rolled. Note that you can roll multiple Positive and Negative Dice together with your d20 roll, as long as multiple circumstances apply.

If either the Positive or Negative Dice come up as a “6” additional consequences apply. If one Positive 6 is rolled, the player may roll a Positive Die on his next action an must narrate what happened to give him this advantage. If they roll two 6s, the player may give a Positive Die to another player and must narrate what happened to give that individual an advantage. With three 6s the player get an immediate extra Action if they narrate what gave him this opportunity!

On rolling one Negative 6, the Referee describes what happened to give the player a Negative Die on their next action. With two Negative 6s, the Referee can give a Positive Die on an Opponent’s next action while describing what happened to allow this. With three Negative 6s, the Referee can immediately act with an Opponent or apply a harmful effect, if they explains what happened to allow this. The table below summaries this information.

# of 6s
Positive
Negative
1
Small benefit gained, possible providing a Positive Die on next Action.
Small hindrance, possible imposing a Negative Die on next Action.
2
Good benefit gained, possible providing a Positive Die to an ally.
Reasonable hindrance, possibly providing an enemy with a Positive Die on their next Action.
3
Major benefit obtained, possibly allowing an immediacy extra Action.
Major Hindrance, possibly allowing an Opponent to get an immediacy extra Action.
If you like what you've just read, check out my books over RPGNow and Lulu.

Popular posts from this blog

Dark Streets & Darker Secrets - Complete Game Text

November was NaGaDeMon (National Game Design Month), and I decided to create an Action Horror RPG using my system (updated with all the modifications of Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells).

Inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, X-Files, The Chilling Tales of Sabrina, Grimm and many more TV Shows, comics and books, I quickly worte Dark Streets & Darker Secrets. It is written in a very direct and simple way, similar to Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells originally was, but with uodated rules and a lot of tools and tables to assist the Referee in creating adventures, NPCs, locations, artifacts, monsters and much more.

The book itself will eventually be release in partnership with Gallant Knight Games, but the text is already written and ready to be used, so I am sharing it here with you all! There is no official character sheet yet. I am working on it. But a simple Index Card will work just as well!

So here it is: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1QlFYafvxvJAyk_zMgBNmC5TZ…

Download the final text and sheets of Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells

Hello space hobos!

Layout is about to begin and I have a surprise for you guys: The (as of right now) final text PDF of the Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells, together with the Character Sheet and Vehicle’s Sheet!

With those, you can begin your crazy adventures in the Known Universe and try your luck under the cruel gaze of the Galactic Overlords. Try to earn a good amount of credits transporting goods or refugees through the sectors. Or even try to awaken a sleeping Star God to repair some of the damage the wars have brought upon our reality.

So grab your Solar Blade and ready your Cosmic Spells! We are about to go on an adventure!

SB&CS - Complete Text
SB&CS - Character Sheet
SB&CS - Vehicle's Sheet

If you like what you've just read, check out my books over RPGNow and Lulu.

Words of Power - An Alternative Spell System for Old Skull Engine

I am writing the second edition of Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells, my first published game (a sword and sorcery RPG with streamlined rules, modern system with old school spirit) and I wrote an alternative spell system to go with it inspired by many things, including Barbarians of Lemuria, Blades in the Dark and the great articles about Magic Words written by Nick L. S. Whelan on his great blog Papers & Pencils.

Words of Power
The default magic system of Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells is inspired by a series of authors both in literature and in gaming. It assumes practitioners of sorcery dabble with incredible powerful and unstable energies to cast their spells, which they must learn the exact formula to cast. They usually can't devise new spells of modify the spells they know, as true sorcery is not a creation of mortals and these can only mimic this sinister arc with sinister consequences.

This alternative system proposed here changes things a bit. Magic will still b…