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Dice & More Dice (D&MD) is a system designed to run modules created for other game systems using an online game table, including maps and virtual miniatures. Play usually involves the GM selecting a module to run, and the players creating characters with motives to deal with the contents of the module. The system bears resemblance to Danger Patrol (and several hacks of Danger Patrol), with elements from other systems thrown in.


Below are a list of terms, and the dice associated with the terms, where appropriate.

  • Obstacle: something that may stand in the way of the characters achieving their goals. Obstacles must be avoided or eliminated on the way to the character's goals.
  • Obstacle Rating (OR): a rating that indicates how difficult it is to overcome an obstacle.
  • Threat (D4): a die representing the current situation as actively threatening imminent harm to a character.
  • Danger (D6): a die representing action that is potentially dangerous, but also potentially beneficial.
  • Ability (D12 for Major): assets the character has that they can bring to bear in dealing with obstacles that apply in certain situations.
  • Attribute (D10): assets the character has that are always available to deal with obstacles.
  • Background (potential D8): a source of abilities, and occasionally a source of bonus dice.
  • Bonus Dice (D8): dice obtained from having a situational advantage over an opponent.
  • Assets: everything that gives dice other than threats and dangers.


Attributes (D10)

Each player rolls 4d3-7 six times, and records the values.

The player selects which of the scores they've generated will be associated with that attribute.

Attributes provide D10s in conflicts.

Backgrounds (Bonus D8)

Starting with the next player in order to go first, that player selects their backgrounds. These are broad areas of competence similar to Classes in D&D, but being sure to relate to an actual sort of background rather than a description of a package of powers. Once each player has selected a background, start with the next player in the order and go around again and select backgrounds.

When applicable (see below,) backgrounds will provide bonus D8s.


Players may now select 15 points to purchase abilities. These are things that make the character stand out from the crowd as an extraordinary individual. These should fit in with the background unless the player can explain to the GM how the character came by them, and the GM agrees to allow them. But otherwise they can be whatever abilities the player decides to define for their character.

Ablities come in two forms, major abilities, and minor abilities.

Major abilities (D12)

Major abilites cost 3 points, and provide a d12 in a conflict. These represent broad areas of competency in which the character really excels. Typical major abilities include Melee Combat, Ranged Combat, Elemental Magic, Illusion Magic, Rituals of [fill in a deity], Thievery, Scholarship, Well Traveled, Perceptive, If it likely is a superset of other smaller abilities, it's a Major Ability. If you want to make a character quickly, stick with all Major Abilities.

Minor abilities (Bonus D8)

Minor abilities cost 1 point, and provide a bonus to the player in a conflict (which is a D8). These represent narrow areas of competency that help a character out in more limited circumstances, and not quite as reliably as a Major Ability. Typical minor abilities include individual skills or similar sorts of abilities like Plant Lore, Lock Picking, Sense Enemies, Swordsmanship, Knowledge of [City], or individual spells or magic abilities. If it would fit as a subset of a Major Ability, it's a minor ability. Also what constitutes one or another may simply be at the whim of the player depending on what they're willing to pay for the ability in question.

Exceptional Gear

Abilities may be purchased as special gear. Normal gear provides bonus dice under the right circumstances, and does not have to be purchased with the points used to buy abilities. Characters will start out with whatever normal gear the GM and the player can agree is appropriate.

If the gear is broadly applicable, it is a major ability. If the gear is narrowly applicable, it counts as a minor ability. Again which it is can simply be determined by how much the player is willing to pay for the ability.


Each character may have up to three motives identified for their character at any time. The player must determine at least one of these motives before play begins.


Each turn a player can have their character take actions. What they can do depends on their current situation.

These actions are usually available:

  • Move Fast
  • Move Carefully
  • Move and Act
  • Move and Address Obstacle
  • Rest

If the character is currently threatened by an obstacle these are the only safe actions:

  • Disengage from Obstacle
  • Shift and Address Obstacle

If a character does one of the normal actions while engaged with an obstacle adds two threat dice to the pool.

Action Resolution

Die Pool

For each action, create a die pool using the following rules.

Motives (D20)

For each motive that applies to the action, the character adds a D20 motive die to the pool.

Major Abilities (D12)

For each major ability that pertains the character adds a D12 ability die to the pool.

Attributes (D10)

The GM selects two attributes that apply to the situation at hand. The player gets as many D10 attribute dice added to their pool as the sum of the ratings for these two attributes. If the sum is negative, then the player takes a number of D4 threat dice equal to the absolute value of the sum instead.

For instance, if the action is fighting, and the GM declares that the attributes being used are STR and DEX, and the character has a sum of -2, then they take two d4 threat dice, and no attribute dice. Good luck!

Bonus Dice (D8)

If a character has a minor ability that pertains, or a situational advantage that they've generated, they get


The player may opt to narrate something about their background that pertains to the activity in question to get one (and only one) more D8 bonus die.

Danger Dice (d6)

A player may elect to roll up to three danger dice. The player must narrate what extra risks their character is taking in order to push their chances of winning, and attempt to narrate proportionally to the number of dice. More dice meaning more danger.

Reckless Acts

If the player has nothing but threat dice in their pool, or no dice at all, this is considered automatically dangerous, and they get one D6 danger die.

Threat Dice (D4)

Any threats that pose an active threat to the character rolling, add threat dice to the die pool equal to their rating. Threat dice are D4s, so they obviously cannot produce hits.

Obstacle Ratings (OR)

Each obstacle is rated by the GM from 1 for a very minor obstacle, or a binary sort of contest (often perception where you either find something or you don't find something) to 12 for something like the boss of the dungeon.

Roll Results

Read each die and determine how many successes and dangers result.

  • 1 = Trouble Plus
  • 2 = Trouble
  • 3-4 = Neutral
  • 5-7 = Hit
  • 8+ = Hit Plus

Strengths and Weaknesses

If the character is using some asset that seems to have a particular advantage that deals with a weakness of the obstacle being addressed, each “Hit Plus” result counts as two hits. Otherwise “Hit Plus” is just a normal hit.

If the opposition has some sort of strength that works well against the character's action, each Danger Plus counts as two dangers. Otherwise a danger plus result is just a normal danger result.


Creatures and situations present various threats along the road to success. These are not obstacles themselves that have to be overcome (although they can be, see below), but instead they are qualities of the situation that add to the risks involved in dealing with an extant obstacle. For instance, a troll might be “Tough,” “Large,” and “Regenerates.” Or maybe there's a fire raging out of control nearby. The GM should look at the module text to discern what threats a particular creature or situation may present. Another common threat is multiple opponents. Each additional foe that one is currently dealing with counts as a threat (they do not add to the obstacle rating).

Each Threat has a rating assigned to it by the GM, with bigger threats rated higher. So a Bugbear might be “Large 1,” a troll “Huge 2,” and a giant might be “Gigantic 3.”

For each un-addressed threat that might hamper the character, add a number of D4 threat dice to the pool equal to it's rating.

Dealing With Threats

A player may instead elect to avoid a threat by citing one of their applicable dice as countering the hazard in question. If the GM agrees, then the player does not roll the die used to cancel when addressing the current obstacle, and and the threat does not add threat dice either. This cancelation has to be done for every roll, as long as the threat is uncanceled.

For instance, a player might cite that his character has a Major Ability of being a giant himself, and thus use this to cancel out the Gigantic 3 threat from another giant.

Enabling Threat Avoidance

A player may opt to attempt to have their character attempt an action, which if successful, will create a bonus die meant specifically to avoid the threat in question. This is often a lot easier (has a lower OR) than attempting to cancel threats, if the player is creative in their approach. This die can only be used by the character who obtains it to avoid the threat, unless they can manage to donate it by using the Helping rule and doing something that would result in the leverage they have acquired becoming applicable to the helped ally.

Such dice disappear as soon as the situation changes in a way that renders them obsolete. For instance, if a character creates a die to represent being on a ledge to attack a giant with a sword, and thereby avoid the giant's Gigantic 3 threat, this goes away as soon as the giant moves away from the ledge.

Canceling Threats

A player may instead opt to try to change the situation such that the threat in question no longer exists. The GM will rate the threat with an OR as usual, based on how difficult the attempted action seems. A player must overcome that OR in order to succeed in being rid of it.

For instance, in the case of our giant, a player may decide that their character is attempting to cut off one of the giant's legs so that it can no longer take advantage of it's size to threaten the characters.

Effects of Hits and Dangers


Check the number of hits done to see if it meets the obstacle rating of the obstacle. If so, the obstacle has been eliminated. Otherwise the player can convert the successes into bonus dice that they can use against the obstacle going forward.


The GM spends trouble generated as any combination of the following:

  • Trouble 1: Escalate a threat. Have the obstacle take some action to raise the stakes or make the situation worse in some way. The rating of one threat goes up by one.
  • Trouble 2: Introduce a new threat as a consequence of the action. This move is good for things like fires that start, magic going haywire, reinforcements arriving, etc. Fallout from the action at hand. The threat starts with a rating of 1, but the above option can be used to increase this as normal, even from the same roll that created the threat.
  • Trouble 3: Do a reduced hit to the character. This can be from an attack the threat makes or from the consequences of one of the dangers the players narrated before the action.
  • Trouble 4: Introduce a new obstacle as a consequence of the action. This should usually be one or two OR lower than the obstacle the character was facing. This move is good for things like wandering monsters arriving on the scene, summoned demons, etc. Fallout from the action at hand. If there are plenty of obstacles in play already, do both a combination of lower moves instead.
  • Trouble 5: Do a full hit to the character. This can be from an attack the threat makes or from the consequences of one of the dangers the players narrated before the action.
  • Trouble 6: Total disaster! The threat does the worst possible thing. Be ruthless and destructive in your descriptions. NPCs die. Halls collapse. A hero can mitigate a disaster by taking a full hit, then getting locked in battle with a new, major threat. Spin it off from the obstacle they were facing. It might be something like “trapped in a burning room.” The player gets to say how their hero stops the disaster from coming true, and how they end up trapped by the new threat as a result. That hero can’t do anything but fight the new threat until it is defeated.
  • Trouble 8: Character defeated! The character takes a full hit, and is temporarily out of the action for some reason that makes sense with the action. For instance if being attacked by a monster, the character may well be knocked out and laying there dying. Or for a large monster, perhaps they've been swallowed. Other characters may attempt to defeat an obstacle to bring the character back into play, but if that fails, the character is removed from play (often dead).

Design Goals

  • Run D&D Modules with just the data included.
  • Make use maps and tokens.
  • Have the escalation of tension from Danger Patrol. No death spirals, instead increasing tension until resolution.
  • Encourage creative solutions by having dangers enumerated that can be avoided or circumvented.
dice_and_more_dice.txt · Last modified: 2017/05/06 08:47 by Mike Holmes