Impressions: Simple D6 RPG

I wanted to post this as a bit of a shout-out to one of my all-time favorite lite RPGs, Simple D6.

The Game:

Simple D6 is a really fast, easy light RPG, using only D6s. The entire rules fit on a single sheet of paper, and a character can take up as little space as a notecard. In general, the rules generally are either unopposed (Where rolls result in a Yes, No Yes but […], No and […], Yes and […] format) or opposed (Where you reduce enemy health from a pool in order to win the encounter)


First Thoughts:

So right off the bat I liked this system because of a few things. One, it was a one-page ruleset. I absolutely love concise rules, especially if they hold up well under playing, and I am a firm believer that you can get just as good of a game with half of the rules if condensed properly (Microlite20 is the only way I prefer to play D&D 3.X, for example, and I plan on gushing about that system in another Impressions post at a future point). I had decided to try this in a Warhammer 50K RPG, The Ship Moves on the /tg/ section of 4chan, since it seemed like it would fit the fast and loose playstyle of an imageboard that would be harder to play on in a more complex system.

Mechanical Analysis:

The game runs incredibly smoothly, and the way skills work, as a GM you really don’t have to worry about balance issues from increasing skills. Because the system is “Roll the dice, pick the highest, and add 1 to that for each additional 6 rolled,” you get diminishing returns for absolutely loading out a character, discouraging powergaming and minmaxing a character and encouraging more well-rounded (and usually more interesting!) characters.

The only complaint I have here is that the Defense system is a bit twonked, in that it’s a flat bonus when the potential damage is the diminishing returns line mentioned above. All character start with 1 Defense, but at character creation it’s very easy to bump Defense, and a Defense of 3-4 is high enough that it’s incredibly difficult to make an opponent who can damage and challenge that character but won’t one-hit-KO the rest of the party. I ran with the rule that anything beyond Def 2 needed good fluff reasons to justify it, and basically tried to make sure that the bigger combat baddies focused on the tougher players.


Final Verdict:

This is easily my favorite lite RPG I’ve played. It’s a lot more freeform than Microlite, has less of the structure of Risus (Which, while not intrusive imo, still feels like unnecessary baggage compared to Simple D6), and is incredibly easy to teach, learn, play with, and GM with. I highly recommend checking it out, especially if you’re looking to introduce someone to RPGs without scaring them off with a thick World of Darkness or D&D tome.

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