Dozens and Dragons

TIL genesys dice

check out these weird funky dice


okay so once upon a time there was this star wars roleplaying game by fantasy flight games. it used these colorful six, eight, and twelve sided dice that instead of having numbers had these weird abstract symbols. they are oddly compelling with their mysterious glyphs and their red, yellow, green, purple, black, and blue.

then ffg decided to abstract this system into a generic roleplaying system called genesys. they changed up the symbols a little bit to make them a little less star wars-y and a little more… generic. and they call them “narrative dice.”

here is my own emoji based interpretation of the dice faces.

type 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
boost ⬛️ ⬛️ 💥 💥👍 👍👍 👍
setback ⬛️ ⬛️ 🚫 🚫 👎 👎
ability ⬛️ 💥 💥 💥💥 👍 👍 💥👍 👍👍
difficulty ⬛️ 🚫 🚫🚫 👎 👎 👎 👎👎 🚫👎
proficiency ⬛️ 💥 💥 💥💥 💥💥 👍 💥👍 💥👍 💥👍 👍👍 👍👍 💯
challenge ⬛️ 🚫 🚫 🚫🚫 🚫🚫 👎 👎 🚫👎 🚫👎 👎👎 👎👎 💣
⬛️ = blank, 💥 = success, 👍 = advantage, 🚫 = failure, 👎 = threat, 💯 = triumph, 💣 = despair

so the gist of it is that you assemble and roll a big colorful dice pool:

  1. start with some number of green d8 ability dice and yellow d12 proficiency dice based on your skills and abilities.1
  1. the gm determines the difficulty and gives you some number of purple d8 difficulty dice and red d12 challenge dice.

  2. add some number of blue d6 boost dice and black d6 setback dice based on situational advantages and disadvantages.

and then you roll em! your ability, proficiency, and boost dice will give you some number of successes and advantages. (and maybe a special ‘triumph’ from the proficiency dice.) your difficulty, challenge, and setback dice will give you some number of failures and threats. (and maybe a special ‘despair’ from the challenge dice.) successes and failures cancel each other out, and so do advantages and threats. if you have more successes than failures, then you succeed at the task!

but advantages and threats still apply regardless of success or failure! so you can fail at a task and still gain an advantage. or you can succeed at a task and still suffer several threats.

it seems like a system that heavily favors roleplay. you don’t want to be rolling this dice pool all the time. and you don’t really want to be using it for turn-based, grid-based tactical combat. i imagine you do a lot of roleplaying, and then roll the dice once or twice to resolve a situation or scenario.

it has a weird fan base online. people seem to really enjoy its nuance. but also reddit and the threadiverse seem to build a consensus that you should just use a dice rolling app instead of trying to use the dice for some reason. i, on the other hand, think the dice are super appealing. although i have never rolled any, nor tried to read the little glyphs.

i also imagine the negotiation while building the dice pool to be pretty fun. you might try to convince your gm that you have advantage on a roll because you have the high ground or something. and they might agree and give you a boost dice.

anyway, i just found out about this system. and i think it looks pretty fun. and now you know about it too! you’re welcome.

« older | 2023-11-22