Combining D&D and AW Dice Mechanics

D&D+AW Dice BabiesIn his ‘A Rather Odd Confluence of D&D and Apocalypse World, or, A Die Mechanic Late-Night Absurdium’ post, over at the Story Games forums, Paul_T has shared some really interesting thoughts on combining the dice mechanics from Dungeons & Dragons and Apocalypse World . I think the resulting love-child is pretty awesome.

Mostly using Paul_T’s words, the D&D + AW mechanic can be summarised as follows:

Assuming you have ability scores in the 3-18 range, with an average score around 10, and most abilities falling within the 8-13 range (you know, D&D baseline). Make ability checks by rolling 2d20, and comparing each die to the ability score (a roll of the score or lower is a success):

  • If both fail, you have a miss, or a total failure. (6 or less)
  • If one succeeds and the other fails, you have a partial success. (7-9)
  • If both succeed, you have a full success. (10+)

The cool thing here is that the odds match up very well, within a few percentage points in most cases:

Ability Score | AW Stat Value
3 | -2
5 | -1
7-8 | 0
10 | +1
12-13 | +2
15 | +3
17-18 | +4

So, if you want to import, say, 3d6-in-order stat generation to an AW hack, you can. Roll your six stats, then use ability score checks throughout the game. Or if you’re running D&D and you wish you could use that “Parley” or “Perilous Journeys” move from Dungeon World you can say something like:

“Ok, you’re going to need to roll a Charisma check. If you succeed, you’re almost there, a second roll will confirm it. If you fail, you’re facing disaster, but a second roll can save your bacon.”
You can roll the dice one at a time, with some extra narration or drama in-between if you like, or just roll both at once, AW-style.

2 thoughts on “Combining D&D and AW Dice Mechanics

  1. veilheim

    So, thanks for this… It’s now been flying around in my head for the last few weeks. Something wasn’t there for me, though, and that was the idea of advantage and disadvantage presenting as part of D&D Next. Wow. Just wow. So much fun and I’m totally looking forward to it.

  2. Bruce Post author

    Hi veilheim. You’re very welcome. And thanks for commenting. It’s nice to know that someone out there finds the odds and ends of RPG stuff I point out around the web interesting! : )

    I’d like to hear how you get on with using *World moves with D&D Next. I haven’t had the opportunity to try it just yet, as my group is currently playing Legend of the 5 Rings.Do you have a blog/Are you likely to post about it anywhere?


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