Monday, 27 March 2017

Dice Dice Baby

Please forgive the post title!

Dice are a funny thing when it comes to gaming I think. A history of tabletop miniatures gaming has seen all kinds of dice randomisation methods, from single die rolls, to pools, with or without polyhedral dice. And then there are games which eschew dice in favour of cards systems.

I knew I would be sticking with dice instead of cards for Supers Unlimited, making a key decision the type of dice used: to employ the ubiquitous d6, or the slightly more varied outcomes of a d10? I knew I didn't want d20's (yes there are a number of systems using d20 suggesting a renaissance, but I don't really feel any game I enjoy really needs 5% result increments offered by a 20-sided die, and a d8 or d10 can also elegantly work as a scatter mechanism with equal ease, so for me a  non-starter).

While thinking through the options as mental exercises, I explored whether or not I wanted the Attacker and/or Defender to roll dice (either unilaterally or in opposition), and what I perceived in terms of benefits of using variable die types.

My final decision made, this meant I wanted dice to be variable, allowing a scale of six die types (including d2); this would help limit outcomes for lesser characters, but allowed me to scale the auto-fail probability (at the cost of auto-successes based on rolls being sacrificed). I decided against the Defending model rolling their own dice. Instead, for most Attacks the Attacker rolls a single die of the indicated type, adds modifiers, and tries to equal or exceed the relevant Defensive Trait. Beating the required value by a sufficient amount can trigger extra effects. What this creates is a broad scale of competency, with limits, including the opportunity for bonus results. It also offers a way of varying the traditional 'always fails on a 1' (16.7% on d6). I am pretty satisfied with the final design and hope that it will be welcomed when players get to grips with Supers Unlimited.

Copyright (©) Kitbash Games 2017

Additional miniatures from Black Hat Miniatures' Mutants and Madmen range;


  1. I'm intrigued by this. Having a set of supers already painted and scenery ready for Pulp City makes it easy to get into so I await the rules with interest!

    1. I am glad to have piqued your interest JamieM! I am hoping the rule-set will be accessible to a lot of gamers with all sorts of stuff to hand. :)

  2. I'm a sucker for dice mate, so I'm glad you went this way over cards, plus I like the idea of other dice and not just D6 - finally I can crack out the dusty but trusty D10s!!

  3. Interesting, it's a bit like an RPG of the good old first editions of WH40K.
    Both cards and dice have their charm and flaws. Ultimately it comes down to which suits your ruleset and ideas best.

    1. Absolutely - no 'right' or 'wrong' per se, but more about best fit. :)

      I am hoping that the varied dice sizes will fit the feel of the game while offering validation of the choice. :)

  4. Your making me twitch with all these different dices! :D


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