Grit System

“GRIT” is a system I’ve begun to develop in order to run a game online with some casual friends.

I’ve run World of Elements and World of Dungeons (both are simple PtbA games) with this group of players before. They aren’t too keen on the rules aspects of the games, remembering all the numbers, and which dice to roll. Also, dice roll rooms online SUCK. Don’t get me wrong, they ROLL dice, technically speaking, but the amount of silence between the declaration “I do this or that!” is unbearable. So simple rules, simple rolls.

But what if instead *I* do all the rolls? That would speed things up a lot, but still have the random element. I’ve been watching a lot of HarmonQuest recently. The DM in that series simply rolls the dice behind the screen and narrates to the players what happens after they declare, “I do this or that!” Leaving the dice-rolling and rules stuff to me sounds much more appealing

Also, I’ve been reading about some Arnesonian design from this chap. Check out THIS and THIS.

That said, here’s a powerful resolution mechanic:

When the world takes action against you, the GM describes the setup of the danger and asks “do you Grit Your Teeth or Push Your Luck?”

  • If you Grit Your Teeth, the danger happens. Take action.
  • If you Push Your Luck, the GM rolls a d6. Add +1 if you have an advantage or -1 if you have a disadvantage.
    • On a 4 or higher, you avoid the danger completely. Take action.
    • On a 3 or lower, the danger happens and it’s worse than you thought. Take action.

These are your “saves” for all intents and purposes. Here it starts with the GM setting up the danger. “The goblin cuts into your side with its scimitar. The boulder falls on top of you as you climb. The horse stomps you into the dirt.” Then the players choose: take the hit, or gamble for better. Most of the rolls should be fifty-fifty, and players should feel that. Eventually, players will learn that the dangers might be better off taken as is rather than risk it.

The cool part of this is that the GM can control the impact of the danger, which largely colors the style of the game you’re playing. Under one GM you might only suffer scrapes and bruises as the initial danger, whereas under another GM you might lose fingers or limbs if you choose not to roll.

Then notice that whatever the outcome, players are told to Take Action, which feeds into the next “move.”

When you take action against the world, the GM rolls the die. Add +1 if you have an advantage or -1 if you have a disadvantage.

  • On a 5 or 6, you do it.
  • On a 3 or 4, you do it, but there is a consequence, cost, or compromise.
  • On a 1 or 2, you miss and the world takes action against you.

The players are going get what they want with this roll most of the time. It’s 2/3 chance that they “do the thing” just by default. This is the roll that makes them feel like heroes. Also notice that rolling a 1 or 2 feeds right back into the first move. It keeps things in a constant flow back and forth…

In any case, that pretty much it. Comments, queries, concerns? Have a great weekend, y’all!

This whole system makes me think of this video. I’ll let you dream up why.

2 thoughts on “Grit System

  1. Hey, Jones from “Was It Likely” here. Just wanted to say I fuckin love this system, it’s a great evolution (and requires even less math, somehow) than my original take. I’ll definitely give this a test drive next time I run a Pyrrhic Weaselry game.

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