A while ago, I got a copy of the indie PnP RPG Don’t Rest Your Head. It’s an interesting game, very influenced by stories like Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman and the neo-noir film Dark City, directed by Alex Proyas.
Although I’ve not had a chance to run it, it features a neat little resolution mechanic I’ve seen called ‘rich dice’. Conflict resolution involves rolling pools of dice of different colours; the success of the roll is determined by how many dice, regardless of colour, show a 1 or 2. The pool which shows the highest number ‘dominates’ the action and gives more information about how the character succeeded (or failed).
A similar mechanic is used in the new edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay; here, you can see at a glance (with practice) why a particular roll succeeded; maybe your second spent aiming was what helped you find the crack in their armour, maybe charging in screaming caught them off guard.
In DRYH, the GM rolls a pool (Pain) against 3 pools rolled by the players (Madness, Discipline and Exhaustion). What makes it interesting is any of the pools can dominate with a success, even Pain. Further, you can push certain stats (such as Exhaustion) for more dice; the extra dice might help you succeed, but if that pool dominates you end up with a further negative consequence.
I had a few ideas about how I could structure a similar system; I figured I’d feel them out on the blog to see if it all hangs together.