Help with a system similar to Hero Kids & Silhouette

First post!

I’m dabbling with a simple system which requires very little math. You roll xd6 and keep the highest single result. Similar in respect to Silhouette/Silcore and Hero Kids. I’m not sure if any board games use this dice mechanic (let me know if you’ve heard of any).

Here is what I’ve got so far:

To succeed you need to roll higher than the nominal difficulty (from 1 easy to 5 extreme) set by the GM. If rolling against an opponent compare the highest single die roll. If tied, discard and compare the next highest die roll. Repeat until one player succeeds or runs out of dice. If it’s still tied, default to the player. Sometimes circumstances may make a task easier or more difficult than usual. If advantageous, roll an extra die (to a maximum of 6d6) keeping the highest result. With any disadvantages, roll an extra die and keep the lowest result (to a maximum of 6d6).

When making an action, roll a number of six-sided dice (d6) equal to your attribute. The highest die is your result. If the character has a score of 0 in an attribute they roll 2d6 and keep the lowest result. The maximum number of dice a player can roll is 6d6 (the rule of six).

Dice rolls are only made when attempting actions where there is a chance of failure. You wouldn’t need make a roll to open an unlocked door, climb over a low wall or run across flat ground. On the other hand, you would make a roll if you were trying to kick down a locked door, shoot someone, or run across broken or treacherous ground without losing your footing.

Thoughts so far?

You mentioned that dice are only rolled if there’s a chance of failure. Could you give an example of what a difficulty 1 roll might be vs a difficulty 5?

1 would be considered an Easy task—something that should be nearly routine. 5 is Extreme and at the opposite end of the scale.

I know I’ve got to really keep the scale in check, so that it doesn’t become too easy to succeed.

Space Hulk worked similar to this back in the day. It always been one of my reference points for excellent dice mechanics.

Storm Bolter: Hits if you roll at least one 6 with 2d6
Assault Cannon: Hits if you roll at least on 5 on 3d6
Close Combat: Genestealers roll 3d6, Marines roll 1d6. Highest roll wins, loser dies.

Also Far Away Land is a cartoony fantasy RPG which uses a very similar system. There is probably still a free quickstart available.

Yeah, I ask because with 2 levels in a skill you have a 97% chance of success on a difficulty 1 attempt. Similarly, with X levels in a skill, any attempt with difficulty X-1 or less will always have a 90%+ chance on success. Is that the intended difficulty curve?

Yeah, that is an issue I’ve got to figure out.

Thanks, I will look at both of these!

What’s the difficulty curve you’re aiming for? Characters with high skill pretty much always succeeding at tasks isn’t necessarily a problem.

I want this to be a fairly difficult game for characters to succeed. Let’s assume the average NPC has a 0 for each attribute. If you’ve got a 1 in any attribute that is significant. 2 is rare. 3 almost unheard of.

Now another thought is what if the difficulty scale of 1-5 isn’t a number, it’s the dice you’ve got to beat. You could have the GM roll the dice (or player’s if you wanted). For example: You are a thief trying to pick a lock and there is a chance of failure. It’s a routine lock, so the difficulty is 1. The GM rolls 1d6 and gets a 3. Your thief has a 1 in the relevant attribute and a set of tools that gives them another d6. So you roll, 2d6 and try to beat 3. Perhaps you could also waste a d6 to make the GM re-roll the difficulty.