A table of story tellers are happily making up a story. Suddenly they come to an impasse on a story point. Grab the dice.

Four Steps of the 4D2 Mechanic

  1. A story point needs a decision
  2. Roll dice to get the Number
  3. Look up the Outcome on the table
  4. Use the Outcome to describe the story point.
  5. Number = 2d6 minus 2d6
    Number Outcome
    +10Immaculate Success
    +9Wondrous Success
    +8Magnificent Success
    +7Majestic Success
    +6Masterful Success
    +5Extraordinary Success
    +4Outstanding Success
    +3Superior Success
    +2Solid Success
    +1Barely Successful
    -1Minor Failure
    -2Clear Failure
    -3Major Failure
    -4Severe Failure
    -5Massive Failure
    -6Complete Failure
    -7Grievous Failure
    -8Disastrous Failure
    -9Calamitous Failure
    -10Cataclysmic Failure
    Number Outcome

    How To Roll Dice

    The more dice rolled at once, the more efficient the mechanism. The player first rolls two six siders (2d6). The first roll is the positive value. The same player rolls another two six siders (2d6). The second roll is the negative value. Some quick arithmetic generates the Number.

    The below toss of four dice yield a "barely succesful" outcome. 6 + 1 minus 4 + 2 = +1.

    Top down view of four dice two red two green. The values are green 6 and 1 and red 4 and 2.

    Using with RPGs

    If you are using the 4d2 mechanic in a table top RPG, you may require more specific descriptions of outcomes. Amazingly, there are tables to help with that.

    Task Descriptors
    Number Outcome Descriptor
    +10 Immaculate Invention
    +9 Wondrous Enhance, Perm
    +8 Magnificent Enhance, Temp
    +7 Majestic Improve, Days
    +6 Masterful Improve, Hours
    +5 Outstanding Improve, Minutes
    +4 Extraordinary Repair, Months
    +3 Superior Repair, Weeks
    +2 Solid Repair, Days
    +1 Barely Repair, Hours
    0 Detent Keep Trying
    -1 Minor Try Again
    -2 Clear Wait Minutes
    -3 Major Wait Hours
    -4 Severe Wait Days
    -5 Massive Wait Weeks
    -6 Complete Complix
    -7 Grievous Severe Complix
    -8 Disastrous Damage
    -9 Calamitous Severe Damage
    -10 Cataclysmic Destruction
    Number Outcome Descriptor

    What about combat?

    Combat Descriptors
    Number Outcome Descriptor
    +10 Immaculate Fatal Blow
    +9 Wondrous Fatal Wound
    +8 Magnificent Mortal Wound
    +7 Majestic Mortal Wound
    +6 Masterful Severe Wound
    +5 Extraordinary Wound
    +4 Outstanding Severe Stun
    +3 Superior Stun
    +2 Solid Knockback
    +1 Barely Backfoot
    0 Detent Ongoing
    -1 Minor Fail Nil
    -2 Clear Fail Backfoot
    -3 Major Fail Knockback
    -4 Severe Fail Stun
    -5 Massive Fail Severe Stun
    -6 Complete Fail Wound
    -7 Grievous Fail Severe Wound
    -8 Disastrous Fail Mortal Wound
    -9 Calamitous Fail Mortal Wound
    -10 Cataclysmic Fail Fatal Wound
    Number Outcome Descriptor

    What if the target is a robot?

    Combat Descriptors Inorganic
    Number Outcome Descriptor
    +10 Immaculate Destroy CPU
    +9 Wondrous Destroy Power
    +8 Magnificent Destroy Periph
    +7 Majestic Damage Periph
    +6 Masterful Destroy Software
    +5 Extraordinary Damage Software
    +4 Outstanding Impede Software
    +3 Superior Severe Rattle
    +2 Solid Rattle
    +1 Barely Cosmetic
    0 Detent Ongoing
    -1 Minor Fail Nil
    -2 Clear Fail Cosmetic
    -3 Major Fail Rattle
    -4 Severe Fail Severe Rattle
    -5 Massive Fail Impair Software
    -6 Complete Fail Damage Software
    -7 Grievous Fail Destroy Software
    -8 Disastrous Fail Damage Periph
    -9 Calamitous Fail Destroy Periph
    -10 Cataclysmic Fail Destroy Power
    Number Outcome Descriptor