Dungeons of Olde

Trashing old-school dungeons, one tile at a time!


WARNING: Outdated Rules

The rules in this section have become obsolete following the recent rules overhaul. The most current version of the rules are those included in the Core Rules section of this website.

Dice in Dungeons of Olde

Dungeons of Olde uses polyhedral dice throughout the game, ranging from two-sided dice to 20-sided dice. For most rolls that players make for their characters, they’ll be rolling either a single die, or two dice of the same type. Occasionally, usually when rolling for very powerful monsters or villains, the game master may roll three or more dice. The dice used in the game, and the way that the rules will describe each roll, will be familiar to experienced tabletop gamers.

Die-roll format

When a die roll is called for, the rules will specify how many dice of which type are to be rolled using a specific format, consisting of two numbers, separated by a lower-case letter d. The first number specifies the number of dice to be rolled, and the second number describes the type of die to roll. When multiple dice are rolled, the values rolled on all the dice are added together to produce the final result of the roll. For example, if the situation requires a roll of two 8-sided dice, the rules will specify 2d8; the player rolls two 8-sided dice and add the values together to get a result between 2 and 16.

Often, a die roll will be adjusted by adding or subtracting a specified number from the total shown on the dice rolled. In such a case, the adjustment will be appended to the die-roll “code.” For example, if the necessary roll is two 6-sided dice, with an adjustment of positive 1, the roll will be described as 2d6+1. If the roll is be three 8-sided dice, minus 1, it will be specified as 3d8-1. In such cases, the adjustment is made to the total rolled on all dice. For example, if a player is rolling 2d6-1, and rolls a 3 and a 5, his final result would be (3 + 5) - 1 = 7.

d2 and d3

The Stats and Dice Table includes two-sided dice and three-sided dice for very low stat values, but polyhedral dice sets usually don’t include anything smaller than a d4. Fortunately, d2s and d3s are very easy to roll using ordinary six-sided dice. For a d3, roll a d6, halve the result and round up: 1 and 2 count as a 1, 3 and 4 count as a 2, and 5 and 6 count as a 6.

There are two ways of rolling a d2 using a d6. In the high-low method, roll a d6 and count values of 1 to 3 as a 1, and 4 to 6 as a 2. In the odd-even method, roll a d6 and count odd values (1, 3, 5) as a 1, and even values (2, 4, 6) as a 2. The group should agree which method they are using before the game begins, not after a d2 roll has been made!

Alternately, a d2 can be replaced with a coin-toss, with heads counting as 1, and tails counting as 2.

Unlimited dice

Many die rolls in Dungeons of Olde are unlimited. Despite being rolled on dice with a finite number of sides, unlimited die rolls have the potential to produce results much bigger than the physical dice being rolled. Veterans of other roleplaying games may recognize this mechanic as “exploding dice.”

Rolling unlimited dice

When a die roll is unlimited, the dice are thrown, and the values totaled as normal. If any single die shows its highest possible value (a 6 showing on a d6, for example), that die is thrown again, and the new value is added to the previous total. If the second throw also shows the highest possible value, the process repeats—the value is added to the previous total, and the die is thrown again. This process can be repeated infinitely (which is why it’s called an unlimited roll!). For example, on a 1d8 roll, the player rolls an 8. Since this is the highest you can roll on a d8, the die is thrown a second time, this time showing another 8. This 8 is added to the first 8 for a total of 16 (so far), and the die is thrown a third time. On the third throw, the die shows a 3—not the highest possible value on a d8—so the roll is complete. The final result of the roll is 8 + 8 + 3 = 19. Not bad for a single d8!

If multiple dice are involved in an unlimited roll, each die is considered separately for the purpose of exploding, regardless of the value shown on any other dice in the roll. For example, in a roll of 3d6 unlimited, the player rolls 2, 3, and 6, for a total of 11. Since the last die is showing its highest possible value, that die and only that die is thrown again, and the value shown is added to the previous total. If the second throw of the exploding die is a 4, for example, the final result for the roll is (2 + 3 + 6) + 4 = 15.

Any adjustments to an unlimited roll are made after the die roll is complete. For example, on a roll of 2d4+1, the player initially throws a 2 and a 4, for a total of 6. Since the 4 is the highest possible value for a d4, that die explodes, and is thrown again, showing another 4 and exploding a second time. This 4 is added to the total, bringing it to 10, and the die is thrown again, showing a 3 on the third roll. The 3 is added to the previous total, bringing it to 13, and the die-throwing is complete. The adjustment of +1 is then added to the running total, making the final result of the roll a 14.

Unlimited dice in the game

Dungeons of Olde often pits characters with very different Stat values against one another, but the unlimited dice mechanic gives characters with a very low stat some chance of winning a contest against an opponent with a much higher stat. Imagine two characters are trying to be first to grab a jewel from a pedestal. This would likely be treated as a contest of Finesse. If Thudd has a Finesse of 4 (Check dice, 2d4), and Flash has a Finesse of 10 (Check dice, 2d10), there doesn’t look to be much of a contest. An average roll by Flash, a 10 or 11, beats Thudd’s maximum possible roll of 8 . But everyone gets lucky once in a while, and if Thudd can roll an exploding die or two, he’s got a shot at winning the contest. A long shot, but a shot, nonetheless.

In general, smaller dice are more likely to explode than larger ones. This makes a certain amount of logical sense. Characters with a high degree of skill or experience at a task will generally produce more consistent results than rank novices. Since highly-skilled characters are usually rolling larger dice, they are less likely to see the spikes experienced by amateurs rolling small dice that are much more likely to explode.

Any dice rolled on behalf of a character in the game, including all Check and Effect rolls, are considered unlimited rolls unless the rules specify otherwise. This applies to both player-controlled heroes and their non-player opponents. Other rolls, such as rolls on tables, are not unlimited. The rules should specify in each case whether a roll is unlimited, but in general, rolls that produce a numeric value are unlimited, while rolls that pick a result or outcome from a list or table are not unlimited.