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D6xD6 RPG Core Book $10.00
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D6xD6 RPG Core Book
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D6xD6 RPG Core Book
Publisher: Lester Smith Games
by Bob [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/29/2023 18:26:34

Masquerade Macabre (26 pages, on sale at DriveThruRPG) is meant to be played as a party game. I did not play it that way. It comes with a tarot card chart, so I used this product as my solo engine and its theme for an adventure. The RPG system that I used was the D6xD6 RPG Core Book. I created six characters. The year is 1938 and the PCs are invited to a free dinner party.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
D6xD6 RPG Core Book
Publisher: Lester Smith Games
by James B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/19/2021 07:04:28

Happy to say this game system altered my perception of gaming. I was never a fan of systems with tons of rules and each genre needing it's own rule system. Furthermore I despise character generation. This system allows quick and easy character generation and allows for ANY genre to be played in about 5-10 minutes with a decent GM (or "Host) running the game. It is simple enough that if you need to add additional rules, you can quickly enough to reflect your idea of a particular genre. For my money- quite simply the best RPG system I have used on over 30 years of gaming.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
D6xD6 RPG Core Book
Publisher: Lester Smith Games
by Christopher R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/12/2019 18:50:09

An elegant dice mechanic with worlds of potential. Highly recommended for fans of games powered by GUMSHOE, One-Roll Engine, and the Apocalypse Engine.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
D6xD6 RPG Core Book
Publisher: Lester Smith Games
by joshua r. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/01/2015 15:50:15

Very rich die mechanic that also allows for a very 'lite' rpg in terms of mechanical overhead but while still allowing for many character and tactical options.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
D6xD6 RPG Core Book
Publisher: Lester Smith Games
by Billy W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/03/2015 18:15:32

In terms of my experience with rpg systems, I felt this system was beautifully simple. No erroneous elements, or features that felt like they were added last minute, and by means of a crowbar. There are few systems, in my opinion, that started out with such a strong, pure and simple core book, yet seem open and comprehensive enough to span as many genres as this one so elegantly does.

My reasoning is as follows: Recently, I've introduced a small group to the pen and paper rpg world (4-7 players in size); before then, they were all console or board game enthusiasts, and somehow had completely missed out! As I was the only one with any knowledge on the subject matter, I was voted to be GM. Knowing that they haven't had exposure to ANY rpg system, I decided to learn a new and simpler one to start them off (simpler to learn, not necessarily simpler to play). As we found out, character gen is fast, the rules are intuitive, and the system was perfect for us.

My only concern is that GM's may find it tedious generating beast/monster cards for every possible creature they could meet. A handy addition may be a selection of cards in a similar format as the pc's cards, for beasts and monsters, so (along with a selection of setting and rough plot) players could jump straight in to a fairly 'seat of your pants' style, improv' session.

Cheers, -Billy

[5 of 5 Stars!]
D6xD6 RPG Core Book
Publisher: Lester Smith Games
by George C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/08/2015 21:56:18

Ok, so I backed this on Kickstarter and I have played it. I'm giving it a middling score and would edge that closer to the good side. I like the concept of a stripped down, easy to learn and easy to use game system. My intention being to hand this off to an 11 year old boy to have his own special RPG he could learn on.
With that in mind, here's my review.

I found the overall idea of a central theme (Focus) to be a fun idea. And it works for the most part. I just found myself having to go back and re-read and re-read through the materials to pick up the actual "rules" of the game. I felt like I was gleaning a rule here and there. To that end I think a general rewrite to clean up the presentation of the material would really help.

The game itself reminded me somewhat of Megatraveller where two skill of your choice would be applied to make the basis of your dice checks. In this case D6xD6 presents the idea of an Occupation which allows you to dramatically speed up the character generation and really become whatever you want it to be and encompass. Coupled with focuses these become the basis of your dice checks. One persons Wizard may be able to do many kinds of magic by virtue of his occupation, while someone else's wizard may be "focused" on elemental magic and not competent with other types. Seems to me to be your choice.

To me this game is ripe for house rules. It is definitely not fully realized in terms of a catalog of monster, weapons, equipment, economy, etc which is to be expected since the game itself allows you to play any genre you want. In my opinion it relies on you as a GM to spend a fair bit of effort creating your enemies, equipment, and such if you're going to run a bit of a classic fantasy hack-n-slash. This is not a bad thing, just something to prepare for. Again the system is flexible enough to let you play on the fly but spending the time to develop your menagerie first. Conversely I think it would probably shine in terms of just role playing through a story.

Combat a little different and reminded me more of some of the modern video games. No hit points here. Just a scale that you go from Good to Bad to Worse. Different actions can push this up or down. It's a scale of effect. A powerful gun scales up the damage, a set of armor scales down the damage and if you end up taking a hit then you go from Good to Hurt to Really hurt, to :P

Visually the look feels very much like someone with photo shop decided to do most the art work. Not terrible but didn't exactly feel like it fit to me. I think the book would have been better served to find a local artist to do some simple pen drawings. Even to this day I still remember those simple Willingham and Elmore drawings in the basic D&D book that were simple but let your imagination fill in the gaps.

My overall impression is this game concept is good and definitely worth the money. You can easily modify it with house rules to make a game that really fits your style and you can play literally anything (just like Champions). In my opinion it wants a clearer terminology (dice rolls and dice totals), a cleaner presentation of the material, and some full blown examples of game play would be really nice.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
D6xD6 RPG Core Book
Publisher: Lester Smith Games
by Don P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/02/2015 10:50:58

I love this system. I remember its predecessor Zero, and this game goes beyond. It's actually very similar in the mechanics, but the addition of such a great mix of settings is just great. And because I have a copy, I get access to more and more settings as they are released. I'm in love!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
D6xD6 RPG Core Book
Publisher: Lester Smith Games
by Tim R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/01/2015 15:11:07

Disclosure: I backed D6xD6 on Kickstarter.

I grew up playing AD&D, Gamma World, Traveller, Twilight: 2000, Shadowrun, Star Wars, Call of Cthulhu (all-time favorite!), and other RPGs. As a player I have come to dislike memorizing voluminous complex rules, drawing intricate plans for spaceships/tank platoons/etc on graph paper, and the "stat monster" approach which encourages players to obsess about experience points needed to reach the next character level or obtaining some magical item that will incrementally up their armor class.

What I value is storytelling, camaraderie, and any game that shares those goals. I'm happy to say D6xD6 is a such a game. The game's primary mechanism of "Focus" is unique, elegant, and deceptively simple. It makes for rich decisions during the quick character creation you want to be an incredible expert in one or two areas, a jack-of-all-trades, or something in-between? It feels equally rich when attempting tasks during gameplay. The dice rolling aspect is quick, fun, and suspenseful. While some reviewers commented it was a bit complex, I found it easier than adding up a laundry list of modifiers to my attack (for instance) while my opponent does the same with their defense modifiers, and then comparing results, calculating ripostes, etc etc. D6xD6 gameplay is fast, fun, and keeps the focus on the story.

Some RPGs lean heavily on the tone of their genre/fictional world to carry a player's interest, counting on that to plaster over mediocre game mechanics. D6xD6 is the opposite; at its heart is an excellent set of well-constructed rules that enable players to explore any genre or world setting they choose. I really like this approach and appreciate the variety of Worlds in the Core Book (with many more from famous fiction authors apparently on the way!).

One final thought for those of you reading these reviews while considering a purchase. It is impossible to fully understand and appreciate any game without playing it. You've probably found this in your own gaming experiences. Perhaps you've been surprised that a game sounded really cool but didn't feel right during play. Or maybe you thought the rules seemed a little complex but made so much sense during gameplay. Good game designers are familiar with this effect, too. It's why they don't just write a bunch of rules and chuck it out into the marketplace. They conduct extensive playtesting with real players, make adjustments to the rules, and do it all again.

Some reviewers have not played D6xD6, much less read the entire set of rules, but are sharing lots of opinions. Other reviewers like me have actually played the game multiple times and really enjoyed it. You decide which approach is right for you.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
D6xD6 RPG Core Book
Publisher: Lester Smith Games
by jim t. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/30/2014 15:03:25

I have actually played this system a few times at the most recent Gamehole Con in Madison Wisconsin. I have no read every single word of the rules. I've read entire sections and then skimmed the rest. This systems claims 3 things at the outset:

  • Five-minute character creation.

Verdict: True. We made characters for both games I played in. It was fairly simple and easy to understand.

  • Quick-and-easy tactical combat rules.

Verdict: True. They do read as described. perhaps more importantly, when I had them described to me verbally in the games I played, I understood what I was told immediately and didn't need a full combat to figure out how things worked.

  • Endless setting possibilities.

Verdict: True. They've already got a ton and after you've played it once, you can see how easily this system can be used pretty much anywhere. Magic adds a bit of thinking to it, but nothing insurmountable.

Likes: Lester has delivered on his promises. With one exception I'll note below, the writing is clear and concise. D6xD6 is a fine system and worth your time.

A few nitpicks:

The section "Dice: An Aside". I understand why it's in the book, but it doesn't read very well. There is A LOT of information crammed into 9 paragraphs.

I've looked at this PDF on my 3 work PC screens, my home laptop, my iPad, and my wife's Chrome book and the D6xD6 results (page 7) chart looks like it had colored shadow figures around the bars. It looks pretty awful, but I can easily read the chart.

The majority of the art is fine, although anything with blood added or 'zombified' is a bit weak, but doesn't hurt the rules at all.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
D6xD6 RPG Core Book
Publisher: Lester Smith Games
by Chase K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/29/2014 23:48:17

Reading these reviews, I am concerned at how many say “I haven’t played but here is my review…” How can you review a game you haven’t played? A lot of these reviews are very critical of the art direction. I have to agree, the art direction could be better. Unlike these other reviewers I have played the game and let me tell you, it was an amazing experience.

Being a long time roleplayer, the major challenge I have is time. I never have the time to play as many games as I want. When I sat down with D6xD6 the first time I had only glanced over the book and wasn’t sure what to expect, but in 15 min I had a unique character that I built and I was invested in. Over the next 2 hours I was taken on the journey of my warehouse worker turning into a flattened ghost, discovering his new ghostly powers, teaming up with other ghosts as unique as he was, and doing everything in their power to save a bus full of children. I have had full D&D campaigns less memorable than that one session.

D6xD6 is a diamond in the rough. It is a simple system with surprising depth. The art doesn’t do the system justice but try it. It is well worth the small amount of your time.

P.S. I got angry and used my ghost powers to flip a bus. Enough said.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
D6xD6 RPG Core Book
Publisher: Lester Smith Games
by Chris W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/29/2014 15:54:00

I really want to love this book. I am a kickstarter backer, and the author asked for an honest review.

I'm not particularly impressed with the layout, the fonts, or the art content. The photos don't follow any discernible theme, some are badly photoshopped, and add little to the content of the book. The nudity, while not offensive, seems out of place and unnecessary.

I've not run the system yet, so I can't really comment on that, other than to say it looks simple enough and is probably reasonably fun.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
D6xD6 RPG Core Book
Publisher: Lester Smith Games
by Simon E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/29/2014 06:17:13

I (like many others) am a Kickstarter backer for this product.

The character generation system is quick - a big plus point for some people.

The skill system requires you to add (or subtract) the modifiers to the highest D6 and then multiply the result by the second dice roll - which I have discovered takes some people a lot longer than just adding them together. For some people this makes every game feel like a maths test at school, even if you give them a "cheat sheet" with the per-calculated results on. When you keep having to work out "what is 5 x 4 with a DM of 2 for a focused skill?" you find it interrupts the flow of action. The answer is 28.

But I did not buy d6xd6 primarily for the rule system, I bought it for the many Settings. There are four in the core book (so, less than $1 for each setting), and many more are planned - as Lester says on p34 of the book, you can visit for an ongoing list. For me the setting are inspirations for characters, plots and a "little bit of something unusual" to sprinkle throughout my Traveller campaign. While I could use some of the settings in a D&D-type game it would be harder, but for me I find that many of the Settings can be used to inspire a evening (or two) of interesting play. And if a particular setting "clicks" with your group, then you can develop more of it on your own.

If you are like me, and find the Settings are where your interest lies, also check out the Protocol games. These use a story-telling game mechanism (no dice rolls at all) that some gearheads find hard at first - a bit more $ per setting than d6xd6, but each one one offers multiple play opportunities. So far, Joan of Arc is my favorite by a long way.

But, back to the d6xd6 core book. No d6xd6 setting has the detail needed to present the epic scope of a campaign spanning 50 play sessions - that will require the DM to put in lots of effort. Instead, consider d6xd6 the RPG equivalent of one of those card games that you spent $20 on and play occasionally when your regular DM fails to turn up. When you put it like that, $3 is a good price.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
D6xD6 RPG Core Book
Publisher: Lester Smith Games
by Stephen J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/28/2014 23:08:59

[I was a Kickstarter backer, but I have not read the rules before today. Honestly, I didn't have the time and have plenty of other systems to go through. But, the author asked for honest reviews so I sat down to have a look.]

My overall impression is that this is a VERY good deal at only $2.99. It's rules-lite, but not overly simplistic, and covers all of the critical stuff an RPG needs to cover. It keeps it's promise of a system easily adaptable to any setting and one in which characters can be generated within ten minutes. The interior artwork ranges from excellent to adequate; the layout and fonts are easy to read and understand. The book was very easy to read through and get the rules, first time. There is room for improvement, which will probably come in another edition, but nothing that spoiled the product. The inclusion of four well thought out settings, with more promised, was the primary reason I backed this project in the first place.

Here are my detailed notes from my first read through:

  • The PDF is 68 pages, though that includes cover art and such, so the highest page number is 62.
  • The format is 8.5" x 11", portrait, two column, full color with wide dark margins.
  • The cover art is very good and quite evocative.
  • The table of contents is hyper-linked to referenced page numbers, which is a nice feature of PDF's that often gets overlooked.
  • Pages 1 & 2 are the preface, including the story how the game came to be.
  • Page 3 is the introduction, and a nice half page of text on "What is an RPG."
  • It's very refreshing not to see a lot of column inches going to this, just a couple of paragraphs to introduce the topic.
  • Page 4 begins the section, Dice and Tactics.
  • The system, like the name suggests, uses two d6's multiplied together.
  • There is only one number, namely 'Focus'.
  • Focus is based on the number of skills chosen.
  • The more skills, the higher the Focus.
  • For "Focused" skills, you need to roll over your Focus score
  • For "Unfocused" and "Unfamiliar" skills, you need to roll under your Focus score
  • This leads to an easy to understand balance between having many Unfocused and only a few Focused skills
  • But this does lead to the odd situation in which positive and negative modifiers have to be sometimes subtracted from the highest die and sometimes added to the highest die. The best way to remember which is to realize what would help or harm the success of the roll. If this is a Difficulty Rating, then it's meant to make things harder on the hero, so it should be subtracted when rolling a Focused skill (reducing the chance that the player will roll over their Focus) and added when rolling an Unfocused skill (reducing the chance that they'll roll under their Focus).
  • There is a Benny / yum-yum / fate chip mechanic called "Drama Points"
  • At the start of each session, each player gets six (6) Drama Points
  • They may spend up to three (3) on any one action, increasing or decreasing one of the rolled dice, to aid or interfere with the results of a roll
  • They may spend them on themselves (as expected) but they may also spend them on (or against) someone else. That's interesting! It allows a direct aid-other so that one PC can directly help another make their roll. Or, it allows them to interfere with a PC's roll, in the case that there is PC/PC antagonism.
  • Pages 6 & 7 have an aside on dice and statistics, with a nice breakdown of the odds of various Focus scores.
  • I'm not sure I would have put this in the rules section, it should have been an appendix. Even so, it's easy enough to skip over.
  • Page 8 contains the entire Character Creation rules!
  • The usual: Name, Gender, Age
  • Four attributes: Brawn, Grace, Will, Wits
  • They don't get scores, they get tagged as Unfocused, Focused, and Unfamiliar - just like skills
  • They are typically used for passive rolls, like checking to see if the PC spots an exit or dodges the poison dart
  • The PC gets one occupation, which is like a "skill bundle" or a primary trait in FATE
  • The rest of the PC is the set of skills, up to nine (9) total
  • Three can be Unfocused, but the rest must be Focused
  • The Focus score is derived from the number of skills plus one for the Occupation, for a maximum Focus of 10
  • The character can easily fit on the back of a business card and should take ten or fewer minutes to generate
  • The official character sheet is, in fact, business card sized!
  • Page 9 & 10 is a sample list of occupations, and these are good examples.
  • Occupations seem much like classes in other systems.
  • Examples include: Artisan, Scholar, Outcast
  • Page 11 & 12 is Basic Skills, which are generic enough for any modern settings.
  • Each setting is expected to have it's own list of 15 to 20 skills
  • Examples include: Athletics, Lock-picking, Shooting
  • Page 13 through 16 is Conflict and Damage
  • Game Host determines enemy action
  • Each player is asked what their PC will do
  • Everyone rolls their dice simultaneously, with the Game Host assigning enemy dice as needed
  • Initiative is determined from highest roll to lowest
  • This means that the dice roll not only determines if an action is successful, but how successful (via success levels) and the order the actions take place in
  • Focused actions tend to happen first, followed by Unfocused, then Unfamiliar - but, this follows naturally from the roll-under vs roll-over rules
  • There are five ranges from Brawling (within 2 meters) to 'Lost' (greater than 2 Km)
  • There is an annoying note that in areas that still use English distances, namely America, Liberia, and Myanmar, these should be converted to yards instead of meters. What's the point of this? Rubbing it in, that three countries haven't switched to metric? Insulting the players that they can't figure out what a meter is?
  • Damage is ranked in one of six ratings from Graze to Kill, each with greater negative impact on the injured character
  • The damage an attack does is determined by the kind of attack, with fists doing Graze and pistols doing Hit, and how many level of successes are rolled. So a punch does Graze, but a +1 success level brings it up to Graze +1, which makes it harder to defend
  • If a character receives damage equal to their current damage rank, it goes up one rank. This means you could be killed, eventually, by being repeatedly punched
  • If the character receives damage of a rank higher than their current rank, then their current rank is brought up to the rank of the damage done. In other words, a character at Graze who is shot, is now at Hit, bypassing the level of Stun in between
  • Defenses are static, a single number reducing the damage rating done
  • Reactive defenses would include skills (if they are Focused) such as dodge or athletics or martial arts, and reduce damage one rating (i.e. Stun down to Graze)
  • Passive Defenses are things like armor, and they operate instead of reactive defenses (not cumulative), and reduce the damage rating between 1 and 3 levels. Of course, heavier armor makes success less likely by reducing the total dice results.
  • Players may spend Drama Points to reduce damage ratings, one-for-one
  • Page 17 is for Optional Rules
  • These include Second Wind, Held Actions, Combat Team's, and the like
  • Page 18 is Rest and Healing
  • Page 19 is Character Growth
  • At the end of a session, each 3 unspent Drama Points becomes one Experience Point
  • Up to 2 Drama Points can be carried over to the next session
  • This section introduces the concept of "plussing a skill" which adds an automatic level of success on a successful role
  • The cost of changing skills from Unfocused to Focused or back, and for plussing skills are covered
  • Pages 20 through 33 are a set of notes for the Game Host
  • Choosing a setting, plot, enemies
  • Planning acts I, II, and III
  • Presenting a threat for the PC's to encounter
  • A set of sample beasts are provided
  • A set of sample Lieutenants are provided
  • A set of sample monsters are provided
  • A discussion of vehicles, their use in the plot, and vehicle combat
  • A set of sample vehicles from "on foot" to star-fighter
  • Rules for determining vehicle chases
  • Suggestions for running a session and a campaign
  • Page 34 is Settings, as in how to define and create one
  • Pages 35 through 40 is a sample setting, Blood Type
  • A blood born virus ravages earth, this is a post-apocalyptic setting with both zombies and vampires, reminiscent of Resident Evil
  • Pages 41 through 46 is a sample setting, Ghost of a Chance
  • The characters are ghosts of recently deceased, which unfinished business among the living
  • With elements of Sixth Sense and Ghostbusters, but written in a serious tone
  • Includes rules for dealing with supernatural abilities
  • Pages 47 through 52 is a sample setting, The World of Esfah
  • Play in the TSR Dragon Dice setting of Esfah
  • Very D&D-esque fantasy world
  • This setting has rules for playing different fantasy races: Elves, Dwarves, Goblins, and the like
  • This setting has rules for playing with magic
  • Pages 53 through 58 is a sample setting, The World of Zero
  • A dystopia world of humans-as-ants-in-a-hive, with an immortal body hopping queen at the center
  • Reminiscent of the 1974 movie Phase IV (, which could be the prelude for World of Zero
  • This setting is a detailed sci-fi dystopia with psychic powers and cybernetics, which means rules for dealing with both are included
  • Pages 56 through 62 is a set of bonus characters generated by Kickstarter backers of a sufficient contribution level
  • They make excellent example PC's, NPC's, or enemies as needed
  • ... and that's the end!
  • There is no index at the end of the book or an ending graphic or back cover. I suppose it's not needed in a PDF, but it felt odd not to have something!

[4 of 5 Stars!]
D6xD6 RPG Core Book
Publisher: Lester Smith Games
by Jose F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/28/2014 20:25:35

The art is not the best I have seen (and by far not the worst, there are some nice images here), but this isn't an art book, and look at the price tag - looks real good for the price. And four 'worlds' are included; this is a 'universal' system, so the artwork should be diverse. And speaking of price, you get your money's worth with the book the first time you play. It is a fast system, it is quick and simple without being shallow. The character sheet is the size of a business card, and contains an entire being. The d6xd6 system is clever as can be. Once the light bulb goes on about why you can pick as many skills as you want, but won't want to, you'll understand the elegance of how this thing works. One mechanic, sometimes used high, sometimes used low, to make everything work. Slicker than snot. A reviewer rated the game very low and yet admitted not understanding focus . . . that is like rating a meal after sticking the food in your ear. Understanding the focus is key, and it really isn't complicated. If you need to, make a quick character and try some examples, you will quickly see how the numbers work. I'm a fan of bang for my buck, and that makes me a fan of d6xd6.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
D6xD6 RPG Core Book
Publisher: Lester Smith Games
by Shervyn v. H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/28/2014 13:13:50

Full disclosure I am a backer.

I have not played the system yet, but have read through the book and find it really a very light version of the D&D/Pathfinder end of the RPG universe. It would be really useful for someone's homebrew system. It is more than worth the $2.99 price point.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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