Radiance games use a dedicated game mechanic based on six-sided and eight-sided dice. Almost all actions and situations in a Radiance scenario are resolved using the same basic rules, described below.
Radiance – The Basic Rules
Every character has nine Attributes, rated from 1 to 6, which are inherent qualities common to all people. Attributes are instinctive, which means that they are rolled using six-sided dice (d6). The nine attributes are Coordination, Stamina, Strength, Logic, Memory, Perception, Charm, Intuition, and Resolve:
- This Attribute covers physical agility and the body’s harmonious movements of muscle and nerves for most effective results.
- This Attribute covers physical constitution, enduring strength, and energy; as well as the power to endure disease, fatigue, and privation.
- This Attribute covers bodily vigour and muscular power.
- This Attribute covers a mental faculty of sound judgment and reasoning, applicable to any branch of knowledge or study.
- This Attribute covers a mental faculty of retaining, recalling, and recognising past experiences, information, and impressions.
- This Attribute covers a capability for comprehending and identifying internal ideas and external evidence through the senses or the mind.
- This Attribute covers a manner that pleases or attracts others, and inducing other people to behave as desired through the power of personality.
- This Attribute covers an inwardly aware personality capable of quick and keen insights, independent of your primary senses or any reasoning process.
- This Attribute covers a personal quality that is resolute and determined, and firm of purpose or intent.
An average person has 3 dice in each of their Attributes:
| ||1 rank||Deficient or disabled|
| ||2 ranks||Poor|
| ||3 ranks||Average|
| ||4 ranks||Exceptional|
| ||5 ranks||Extraordinary|
| ||6 ranks||Human peak|
Characters are also defined by their Skills, also rated from 1 to 6, which are learned or acquired characteristics, abilities, or areas of competence. Skills are conscious, which means that they are rolled using eight-sided dice (d8). Possessing 1 die in a Skill represents basic training or familiarity, whereas 2 dice represents competency. Skills with 3 or more dice indicate above-average talent or increasing expertise.
| ||0 ranks||Untrained or inexperienced|
| ||1 rank||Basic training or familiarity|
| ||2 ranks||Competent|
| ||3 ranks||Experienced or talented|
| ||4 ranks||Professional or gifted|
| ||5 ranks||Genius|
| ||6 ranks||Peerless|
All actions are based on a combination of one of the character’s Attributes plus one of his Skills. Whenever you attempt an action, the GM calls for an appropriate Skill and determines the target difficulty number. To resolve an action, you roll a dice pool determined by the relevant Attribute and Skill. You roll 1d6 for each point of an Attribute, and 1d8 for each point of a Skill. For example, if you had Logic 3 + Navigation 2, you would roll 3d6+2d8.
The result is the highest score on a single die or the total of any set of matching dice. If the result is equal to or higher than the difficulty assigned by the GM, then the action is successful.
If you roll more than one set of matching dice, you choose either set to determine the success of your roll. The total of the numbers on these dice is your result.
Occasionally you will get a bonus to the use of some skills (for example, a +2 bonus to all Logic: Pilot Spacecraft rolls). Rather than rolling even more dice, this allows you to add 2 to the total of your chosen Pilot Spacecraft dice when determing the final total. Skills for which you have a bonus are more reliable, because this bonus increases your minimum result as well as your average.
The GM assigns a target difficulty number to each action based on the following guidelines:
| ||Very Hard||15|
The quality of success or failure is determined by the number of matched dice in a roll. For example, against a Very Hard difficulty of 15, a roll of five 3s is a better success than a roll of three 5s, even though they both result in a total of 15.
More dice in a successful roll is good, but more dice in an unsuccessful roll is bad. As another example, you might choose a matched set of five 3s. If the difficulty is Very Hard (with a target result of 15), then you get an astounding success ("five successes"). However, if the difficulty is Extraordinary (requiring an 18), then you have suffered a horrible failure ("five losses").
As Skills are conscious, they are much more advantageous than Attributes. Not only can you roll higher numbers on a d8 than on a d6, if you roll an “8” on your action attempt, you can choose to change that die to any number of your choice. For example, if you had rolled two 5s and one 8, you could change the 8 to a 5. This makes your action more likely to meet the target difficulty number, and gives you a higher quality of success if you do.
Nothing special happens when you roll a 6 on 1d6, or if you roll a 1 on any die.
- Roll 1d6 for each point in an Attribute and 1d8 for each point in a Skill
- Choose the highest single die or highest total of matching dice; this is your total
- Any 8s rolled on d8s are wild, and can be changed to any other number rolled
- If you get a bonus to the Skill used, add it to your total
- If your final total is equal to or higher than the Difficulty, your action is successful with a number of successes equal to the number of matching dice
- If your final total is lower than the Difficulty, your action is unsuccessful with a number of losses equal to the number of matching dice
There are some more specific details for particular situations (such as actions in combat, or actions that affect a much larger group), but the same basic rules still apply. Determine how many six-sided and eight-sided dice you need to roll, choose the highest single die or set of matched dice, and compare the result to an appropriate difficulty. Any questions? Leave a comment.