2d6 Quick & Dirty Roleplaying Game Rules
By Chris Garrison

0. Introduction - 2d6 Q&D is just for playing a quick roleplaying game off the cuff... maybe you're between events at a convention, perhaps your regular DM isn't prepared this week, or maybe you want to teach someone new to roleplaying the simplest kind of interactive storytelling. If you find yourself tempted to add options to this barebones "systemless system", you probably should play some RPG-lite game that's more developed and thought out, like Risus or Big Eyes, Small Mouth instead.

1. Game Play - One player will play the Game Master (GM), who will play all non-player characters, monsters, and who'll come up with the basic story and world you play in. Anytime you want to do something that might not succeed, the GM will have you roll two six-sided dice (2d6). Every trait you have that could apply to the task gets you a +1 to this roll. If the task really doesn't fit your Class (see below), the GM will probably make you subtract two from the roll. In general, you'll need to roll a target number of 8 or better to succeed at any task. Very difficult tasks might require a target of 10 or better, and near-impossible tasks might require a 12. A roll of 12 is always a success, 2 is always a failure.

With GM permission, items may also be used as traits, such as armor or weapons or pocket computers.

2. Character Creation - First, think of the kind of character you want to play. Maybe you want a Badass Barbarian who's got minor shamanistic magic powers. First, start listing the kind of traits she might have. Super Strong. Swordplay. Wilderness Survival. Shamanistic Mojo. Na´ve Charm. The GM should set starting number for the number of traits a character has. A good starting number is 6 for normal heroes.

If you want additional "plusses" in a trait, you must "buy" it by giving up additional traits for each plus. This has the negative effect of overspecializing and taking away some versatility. It is up to the GM whether any set of traits is too powerful or too limiting, but why power-game in a simple system like this?

What weaknesses or oddities might set her apart from the stereotypical Barbarian? List one or two of these: Afraid of snakes. Vengeful: Pirates killed her father when she was young.

Okay, there you have a description of what she's like, and can begin picturing her in your mind.

So if you hadn't already done so, think of the one to three words that define the character's job or archetype. We did this right off, she's a "Barbarian Shaman". This is your character's Class. The first word always defines the most important aspect of the character, what they're best at, followed in sequence by lesser descriptors.

3. Combat - All opposed actions are combat, whether arm-wrestling, swinging swords, flinging spells, having a gunfight, or playing chess. Each person involved in the conflict first rolls 2d6 and adds any appropriate traits to see what the order of combat is. After that, the first to go makes an attack by declaring which traits she will use against the defender. The defender declares any traits being used in his defense. Both roll, adding traits. The highest total is the winner, and if the attacker wins, the defender must mark off a trait. Damaged traits may not be used until healed. If a combattant has no traits remaining, they are defeated, and the winner may determine the loser's fate, keeping it appropriate to the type of combat.

Damaged traits will heal over time at the GM's discretion, or through use of healing traits. Some non-physical damage may heal instantly, such as after a chess match or a verbal debate. Item traits can be "healed" by being repaired by indindividuals with skills and tools to do so.

4. Advancement If you continue the adventures of your Quick & Dirty characters, then the GM may allow the addition of traits after a session is over. Optionally, the GM may allow exchanging unused traits for new ones, or for additional plusses on existing traits.

Sample Character Sheet:

Name: Faoui of the Glacier

Class: Barbarian Shaman

Skills/Traits: Super Strong. Swordplay. Wilderness Survival. Shamanistic Mojo. Na´ve Charm.

Quirks: Afraid of snakes. Vengeful: Pirates killed her father when she was young.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.