Roll mechanics

General Roll/Check Mechanic

Checks/Rolls are only made for actions with consequences or risk (including damage, wasted time when time is relevant, someone getting away, etc). 

Possible Results

There are 4 possible results from a check being made.


On a failure, either you don't accomplish what you're trying to do, or you accomplish it in a disadvantageous way, whichever is more interesting for the situation.


On a success, you accomplish what you're trying to do.

Harsh Failure

On a harsh failure, you fail in a way that's sure to create complications or twists, or is more punishing than a normal failure.

Critical Success

On a critical success, you get something extra on top of your success, or achieve a more complete success.


Each action described below requires you to roll a certain number of 6-sided dice (usually equal to Skill).  When you do so, count the number of dice that are 4, 5, or 6.  This number (noted as hits) is compared to either a static number (for a passive difficulty) or an opposed roll's hits (for an actively opposed action).  If your hits are greater than that number, the result is a Success; if not, the result is a Failure. If your hits exceed twice that number then the result of the action is a Critical Success.

If at any point you would normally roll zero dice, you would instead Risk for 1 die (see below).


Risking (see below) and some other things grant the Explode quality to your roll.  This always associates with a specific number (4, 5, or 6); for each die that rolls that number or higher, you roll another die.  This is recursive: if one die keeps rolling 6's on an Explode 6 roll, you achieve that many hits.


When making rolls, you may choose to what degree you will Risk the action.  This involves picking a level of risk from 0 to your Risk Limit.  Roll your check with extra dice equal to this amount (known as the roll’s Risk), and your roll either gains Explode 6 or upgrades Explode 6 to Explode 5.  If you do not achieve enough hits to achieve a Success and you achieve less hits than the roll's Risk, your Failure becomes a Harsh Failure. 


Fortune is meta-currency that allows you to gain advantages where there aren't any.  Spending one Fortune allows you to do the following:

  • Ignore the harsh failure chance of Risking for one roll.  This allows you to Risk up to your Risk Limit with no repercussions.
  • Add a small detail to a scene.  This can be anything from a sympathetic person to an unspecified pre-preparation for a heist.

Spending the rest of your remaining Fortune (which has to be at least 1) allows you to do the following.

  • Ignore the harsh failure chance of Risking for the rest of the scene.
  • Avoid death, dismemberment, or another permanent consequence.

Roll mechanics

Ruina Imperii binary01