How Our Contested Die Rolls Work
By Sean Patten
Most of the games found on this site make use of a simple die
rolling system that compares the rolls of two contestants to determine
a winner. The short name for this system is Die-Con(tm).
Here's how it works!
CONTESTANTS ROLL DICE
roll is when two competitors both roll dice, then compare the roll to
determine who won, and by how much. Usually contested rolls are
for resolving a COMBAT, so contestants would be the ATTACKER and the
DEFENDER. They both roll dice, the number of which depends on
their attack and defense abilities. So the contestants roll their
dice- then what happens?
- DO NOT ADD YOUR DICE TOGETHER.
The whole point of the DIE-CON system is that you will
be comparing each die to each opponent die.
- Read out each die seperately, from highest
to lowest. For
example, would be read "Five, Two,
- Compare your HIGHEST die with your
opponent's HIGHEST die. Whoever has the highest die wins!
5 is more than 4.
- If the highest dice are the SAME, compare
the NEXT highest dice, and so on.
because 5 and
5 are equal, but 4 is more than 3.
- Contestants with more dice have an
because 5 and 5 are
equal, 4 and 4 are equal, BUT 1 is still more than having no die at all!
- It is still
possible to win, even with less dice!
BEATS because 6 is
more than 5.
- If both
rolls are EXACTLY the same, you have a tie result.
TIES because both
contestants rolled the same roll with the same number of dice.
So say you
won. But HOW MUCH did you win by? In most combats for
example, how much damage did you do? This degree of "win" is
called OVERKILL, and here's how you get it.
What is Overkill good for?
- You only get OVERKILL if you have dice that
are HIGHER than your opponent's highest die.
5 and 5 tie, and 2 is more than 1. BUT THERE IS NO OVERKILL,
because red doesn't have any dice that are HIGHER than blue's 5.
does ONE POINT of OVERKILL because ONE of the red dice (the 5) is
HIGHER than blue's highest die (4).
does TWO POINTS of OVERKILL because two of the red dice (the 6s) are
HIGHER than the highest blue die (5).
Note that in the example above, even though the red 5 is higher
than the blue 3, it does NOT count as overkill, because it is NOT
higher than the highest blue die (5).
- The EXCEPTION to the rule is 6s. If
BOTH contestants roll 6s, it is still possible to get overkill by
having MORE 6s than your opponent.
-- Subtract the loser's number of 6s from the winner's number of
6s. Each 6 left over counts as a point of OVERKILL for the winner.
does TWO POINTS of OVERKILL, because red rolled THREE 6's, minus blues
ONE 6, equals TWO 6's left over, for two points of overkill.
doesn't do ANY overkill, , because red rolled a single 6, minus blues
single 6, equals zero overkill.
most games, an attacker will do one
hit per point of overkill to the defender, so it is possible to
destroy a multi-hit target (such as a pirate ship in Starcrashers) with a single attack!
- If there
is no overkill, a winning attacker will usually still do one hit, or may get another result (such as a
wipeout check in Road Wolf).
can help the defender too!
When defending in melee, the defender will usually do a hit to their
attacker for every point of Overkill (unless they are using a shield
or other kind of passive defense.)
that games use Overkill in different ways, so consult the game for
details. Some games don't use
Overkill at all, like Galactic Heroes.
special rules allow you to REROLL one of your dice when attacking,
defending, or making other die roll attempts- for example, ACE pilots
in MS ERA. Rerolls can really
help out, turning a lose into a win, earning more overkill, or even
preventing a Jam Result when two dice roll the same number in your game
- You may only reroll ONE die per reroll
ability. Usually you'll want to reroll your lowest
die to try to make it better.
- If you reroll, you MUST stick with your new
result, even if it is lower than before rerolling.
- Some abilities actually let you reroll one
of your OPPONENT'S dice. Usually you
can choose whether to reroll one of theirs or one of yours.
- You can choose to wait until your opponent
takes any of their rerolls before you decide if you will take yours.
- You do not HAVE to reroll if you don't want
to. Sometimes it is better to stick with your roll
than risk making it worse. Other times, your
result may not change even if you reroll worse, so it is worth the
We hope you find the
DIE-CON system fun and easy to use, once getting the hang of it.
It aims to provide exciting and interesting results, without endless
die rolling and chart checking. Best of all, once you get the
hang of it, you'll be able to learn other games of ours with ease, as
many of them share this core system. Thanks for playing, and
happy tabletop gaming!