3-2-1 Dice Mechanic: Roll Three, Keep Two, Give One

Three Three Three
Here's another odd dice idea I tweeted last weekend. Assume you're playing a story game. Assume that each turn, players state one thing that they want to change in the story, using their characters as the means of change. And also assume that each turn, the active player will get a graduating range of complication on her stated actions.

This range is drawn from a pair of d6 dice results, ranging from 2-12. 2 is the most complications, 12 is the fewest complications. The most common result is 6 or 7, which represent just a few complications.

Here's the trick: You actually roll three dice on your turn. After rolling, you choose which two dice to keep as your official results. Then you pass the third dice result to the next player for their turn.

He then rolls two dice and now has to choose among the three results: Those two he just rolled and the one result you gave him. If he takes your result, you earn a point. If he doesn't take your result, it passes to the next player, and so on until someone takes it or it comes back around to you. If it comes back to you, you lose one point.

There are some interesting choices here: You can offer a high result to your neighbor in the hopes of tempting him to give you a point, thereby possibly complicating your turn in the short-term. You can offer a low result, thereby reducing your complications by possibly finding it come back to bite you in the end.

And what are points for? Let's brainstorm that a bit.
  • Perhaps points are a pacing mechanic, so the "mission" ends when there are a certain number of points across the whole group.
  • Or perhaps it's competitive, so the game ends when one player has a certain number of points.
  • They could buy off complications.
  • They could buy re-rolls.
  • Maybe you can buy +1 modifiers on the lowest, middle, or highest dice.
You tell me! Share your thoughts in the comments.
Daniel Solis
Art Director by Day. Game Designer by Night.