What are the alternatives to FATE dice?

gundark

Registered User
Validated User
Just wondering what are the alternatives to rolling Fudge dice. I know there are 4dF, and 1d6-1d6. I've seen things like 4d4 (where 1=-1, 2-3 =0 and 4 = +1. I saw a d100 system on the FATE wiki, and FATE 2e had some dice pool mechanic that reminded me of d6. What else is out there, and how do they work?
 

AilphanG

Eventually you'll be dead
Validated User
Note that you can use d(size)-d(size); I've done FATE with d4-d4 before, for example.

FreeFate has a zonky thing where you have a Plus D6 and a Minus D6. You roll them both, but you only use the smaller -- so if your Plus D6 is a 4 and your Minus D6 is a 3, your roll is a -3. (If both dice match, it's a zero.)

It is zonky.
 

mitchw

Viral Marketing Shill?
Validated User
You can find a 3d6 or D100 conversion table here. I know some people hate to look things up on any table but if you print one of these small tables on the bottom of each character sheet and on the back of your GM screen, it runs just fine.

There is another version about 2/3rds of the way down on this page that may be easier to read.

Mitch
 
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Zed

in Berkeley, California (he/him)
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Roll 4d6 & add 'em up. For every odd result, add another +1. Divide by 2, subtract 8. What could be easier?

I'll tell you. Roll 4d6. Discard 1's and 6's. Subtract the number of odd dice from the number of even dice.

Or, roll 4d6. Discard 1's and 6's. Discard any pairs of odd and even results until you have no dice or only odd or even dice remaining. If you have no dice left, the result is 0. If you have odd dice left, the result is the number of dice, but negative. If you have even dice left, the result is the number of dice.

The fudge rules suggest 4d6, 1&2 = -1, 3&4 = 0, 5&6 = +1. I think my 2nd and 3rd suggestions above are a little easier (though they're really the same thing, just with slightly different details of how to map and how to yield the result.)

Or find some Kismet or Michigan Red Eye dice and let the 3 different colors mean -1, 0, +1.

These are all kind of wonky, but yield the exact 4d3-8 results that 4dF do; most of the alternatives don't. Personally, I gave up and bought Fudge dice.

hemflit noted:
I just confirmed my feverish suspicion that a d8 marked {-2,-1,-1,0,0,1,1,2} plus a d10 marked {-2,-1,-1,0,0,0,0,1,1,2} add up to a near exact duplicate of 4dF in distribution. This changes everything.
 

Charles Green

Sorcerer of some Repute
Validated User
Add 7 to the Ladder to get difficulties.

Roll 2d6 and add skill level to beat difficulty.

Opposed tests are the same; the winner gets the higher result.
 

CLAVDIVS

Postmodern Futurist
Validated User
Note that you can use d(size)-d(size); I've done FATE with d4-d4 before, for example.

FreeFate has a zonky thing where you have a Plus D6 and a Minus D6. You roll them both, but you only use the smaller -- so if your Plus D6 is a 4 and your Minus D6 is a 3, your roll is a -3. (If both dice match, it's a zero.)

It is zonky.
How is that zonky? It's how I'd do it if I wasn't using fudge dice.

EDIT: What I mean is, it feels way more intuitive and faster and easier to mentally process that d6-d6. Subtraction is, for whatever reason, more cognitively taxing than addition for most people, even for single digits, and so is dealing with negative numbers. d6-d6 inflicts both of those on the player, while the lower absolute value method does neither. In fact, finding the result of the dice doesn't even involve addition, just comparison, which is even easier; subtraction can occur when applying it to the base skill level, but that's true with any dice method (unless you're just using straight 2d6 and increasing the target numbers of non-opposed rolls by 7.)
 
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AilphanG

Eventually you'll be dead
Validated User
How is that zonky?
You are performing a completely different arithmetic procedure on every single roll, and you have no way of knowing which one you will be performing until after you roll.

I'm pretty sure even (d6)*(d6) would be faster than that.

Also, contrary to your assertion, there are plenty of subtractions and negative numbers... that's the whole purpose of the second die. I know you were drawing some sort of distinction, but I have no idea what it is.
 
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DigitalMage

Geek in wolf's clothing
Validated User
I must admit, some people find teh LowDie method easier, others don't and can use +d6-d6, they both have exactly the same probabilities overall, but the results for any particular roll will be different. I first used the LowDie method in my LowDie system but using d10s, I later re-read The Babylon Project and realised they used they LowDie mechanic with d6s as well, but with additional results for Snake Eyes and Box Cars.

The main difference between LowDie and +d6-d6 is that with LowDie you compare the two results and either add one number or subtract one number, whereas with +d6-d6 you don't do the comparison but you both add one number and then subtract one number. I.e. LowDie replaces one arithemetic addition/subtraction with a comparison.
 

Zed

in Berkeley, California (he/him)
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Oh, and it's pretty much obligatory to link to these instructions for using a black marker to turn white dice with black pips into fudge dice.

Or you could get some d3's (either a 6-sided die labelled 1-3 twice or a weirdly shaped three-sided die) and do 4d3-8.

Steffen O'Sullivan, one of Fudge's authors, suggested this 3d6 Fudge scheme; I can't find it now, but somewhere I saw a table translating 3d6+skill (I think) into Fudge results that actually mapped very well to 4dF results.
 

AilphanG

Eventually you'll be dead
Validated User
I.e. LowDie replaces one arithemetic addition/subtraction with a comparison.
For me, the main issue is that it involves a decision after the comparison -- "which of these dice shall I use?" In my experience, decision-making is exactly the thing that some people can't mentally automate. Also, it has the amusing thing where the largest possible outcome on the Plus Die (6) is the worst possible outcome for that die (since it guarantees a result of 0 or lower).

It's little stuff, but die mechanics are always little stuff. Also, LowDie sounds like "Lodi", and Lodi is a terrible place. So that's a third strike against it.
 
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