Sixcess Core is a universal, D6-based, dice-pool roleplaying game. Easy to learn. Versatile. Powerful. As lite or crunchy as you want.
"Sixcess is a versatile engine for storytelling that adapts well to virtually any style of play. With this game, the sky really is the limit. And even that's debatable." -- Cynthia Celeste Miller; President, Spectrum Games
Sixcess Core at a Glance:
Everyone has a pile of six sided dice. If you have Monopoly, Yahtzee, or any number of age-old board games, you’re bound to be loaded down with six siders. If not, Walmart has them for $2 for a 5 pack. No need to find specialized dice. If you’re an avid gamer, you probably have bricks and bricks of dice with a myriad of D6 available.
Since Sixcess is a dice-pool system, you’ll need to toss a few of them at a time. The average toss uses 4 dice. If you have a very specialized character, you might toss as many as 10. If you need more than that, then you are the uber-geek and there’s probably some min-maxing going on… In that event, you know exactly what you’re doing and you want to throw that many dice into the action!
It is easy to learn for all ages, for new and experienced role-players alike.
“Really enjoyed this system. This is my first RPG experience and I loved it." Matt Davis, GenCon 2012
Sixcess plays quickly to allow for maximum role-playing story elements, and yet is nuanced enough to satisfy the crunchiest of dice crunchers out there. In our playtesting experience, the dice mechanics and rules can be explained within 15 minutes and within a matter of a few tosses the players are explaining the dice mechanics back to you! This was our experience with completely inexperienced roleplayers (first timers) as well as experienced gamers at GenCon.
“It was easy to pick up and didn't drag.” Jacob Schuck, GenCon 2012
If you’re unfamiliar with a dice-pool system, it only takes a bit of time to pick up on the fact that each die value is treated individually. You’re looking for a total number of dice that reached the target, not adding them up to compare them collectively. Although other dice mechanic systems allow for degrees of success, we find that a dice-pool system is more readily adapted to this type of play.
“This was the most fun RPG I have played in over 10 years!” Jim Morriner, GenCon 2012
Sixcess is based around a pairing of Attribute and Skill ranks to provide the dice-pool. Each die that meets or beats a defined Target Number is considered a “Sixcess”. Sixcesses are broken into two types: Ticks and Marks. Marks are the best results and provide an extra (or “exploding”) die to be added to the test. This allows for even the lowest skills and weakest attributes to have a chance for glorious success. It also means that pushover opponents can become lethal assailants with the toss of a die!
“I enjoyed the die swapping/extra actions/lower TN mechanics.” Jayson Utz, GenCon 2012
For example: Your character is running from the big, bad cave-troll and encounters a chasm that needs to be jumped. He pairs his Reflexes attribute (3) and Athletics skill (2) to build a dice-pool of 5 dice (3+2). The GM determines that it’s an average effort so the Target Number (TN) is a 4. Each die that equals or beats the TN is either a Tick or a Mark. The player rolls 5 dice with the results of 3,3,4,5,6. This is not a 21. Each die is compared to the TN. The two results of 3 are failures. The 4 and 5 are successful (called “Ticks”) and the 6 (called a “Mark”) garners another die for the player to roll. Taking one of the failed dice and rerolling it, the player gets another 4—another Sixcess (“Tick”). The result is one Mark and 3 Ticks. This is a very successful action.
Another example: The second character rolls his Reflexes (2) and Athletics (1) to build a dice-pool of 3. He rolls and gets 2, 2, 4 – only one Tick. It’s not enough to make the jump successfully, but has a small margin of success. The GM declares that the character makes it to the other side, but only by his fingertips. He is dangling from the edge, hanging over the deep, dark chasm.
“Very simple to learn, good for beginners and experienced alike.” Jordan Cline, GenCon 2012
Sixcess also incorporates a system for the players to take over the action from the GM to craft and mold the world in their own way. This is called “Dissonance” and every player has a “DISk” to activate this capability. Some of the Tiers provide official DISks for you and your players to use.
Example: The player has failed every one of his Willpower rolls to resist the influence of a vampire who is enticing him to get on her horse and ride away—presumably to his doom. The player tosses his DISk and says, “I fall off the horse and break my leg.” He is now physically unable to follow the enticements of the vampire. The player has saved his character by taking over the action and modifying the result.
“Extremely easy to pick up and play.” Gregory S. Stines, GenCon 2012
“It was really simple to learn, so we could jump right into things.” Jeremiah Heady, GenCon 2012
"Sixcess is the most fun game I've ever played!" Vera Moore, GenCon 2012
Is it better for small or large groups?
Sixcess scales nicely to any size group. Smaller groups that stick together tend to play a little faster—but this is true of nearly any gaming experience. Larger groups can accomplish more and provide a larger, more “epic” feel, but they don’t hamper gameplay at all, nor overbalance the mechanic.
“Fun, interesting, active, simple, interactive” Will Wilson, GenCon 2012
One of the hallmarks of the Sixcess Core system is the flexibility. As a players you can use and manipulate the world (and the rules of the system) to give your characters bonuses. You are not constrained to a narrowly defined corridor of character development. You can grow and enhance your character in any way that you choose.
“Fun game. Rules are easy to learn and very flexible.” Patricia Biel, GenCon 2012
Characters can be made in any combination of abilities that are desired. There are no classes and no levels. Gameworld-specific details may provide Backgrounds, Edges, Flaws or Qualities that nuance your choices, but there are no system restrictions. If you want to play a Dwarf raised by Elves, you can. Exotic backgrounds are entirely feasible.
Sixcess provides a plethora of Backgrounds, Edges, Flaws and Qualities to breathe life into the character. Some have a system effect; some simply enhance the role-playing of the character. It’s completely open-ended and up to the GM and players to use as they see fit.
Players can also use the system to change their Target Numbers or gain multiple actions by sacrificing dice from their dice-pool. High levels of skill make it possible to sacrifice dice in order to reduce the Target, making actions easier.
In a similar fashion, dice can be sacrificed to gain extra actions. This allows for a more heroic, cinematic feel to the gameplay.
“Fun, quick, easy system. I enjoyed the flexibility.” Chris, GenCon 2012
“The system seems flexible enough to handle most everything.” Mark Schmidt KC Game Fair 2011
“Easy system, very versatile.” John P. Hans, GenCon 2012
Sixcess is coming out. That’s all there is to it. It was extremely well received in demos at various conventions. We ran 46 events at GenCon 2012. If we had product to offer at the time, we would have sold them like hotcakes. (Without the butter and syrup, of course!)
Kickstarter is a new resource for us and may change our plans. Originally, our intent was only to release Sixcess Core electronically (PDF, Epub, Kindle, etc.). However, with the potentiality of Kickstarter, we have expanded this to include several print options.
If we meet our goals, Sixcess Core will be printed. Even better, if we meet the stretch goals, then some or all (depending on the goal reached) who chooses a printed copy of the book receives an upgrade. See the Stretch Goals for details, but the idea is that when you buy-in to Sixcess, you get a “print copy”. Stretch goals determine the type of printing we can provide—whether softcover, hardcover or color hardcover. Just choose a Tier that offers a print copy. The stretch goal reached determines the printing type.
Of course, we’ll also offer Sixcess Core in electronic format for those who prefer to carry their library on their electronic device.
Sixcess Core is initially targeted at 200-250 pages with beautiful illustration by some of the finest names in the industry. As additional stretch goals are reached, the page count grows—so do the number and quality of the illustrations.
“I like the magic system. Good concept. Look forward to seeing more.” Mark Alan Bisanz, GenCon 2012
What are the Stretch Goals?
The most obvious stretch goals that we have are those mentioned above. Our intent to provide an enhanced print copy to those who choose a Tier that includes a printed copy. You don’t have to spend more money, you just get a better product.
In tandem with those print goals is an increase in the budget for artwork. We currently have most of the artwork already commissioned – and it’s really great stuff! You can see some of the examples here, on our website and on our Facebook page. These are just the tip of the iceberg! We’ve already talked to the artists who are on board and some others. As the stretch goals are reached, we shall commission more artwork (and more detailed artwork) to bring Sixcess alive visually.
But that’s not all.
We have plans to stretch into additional support material. We’ve already talked to several writers about producing mini-settings and adventure packs. As these stretch goals are reached, we provide electronic copies. Higher goals provide printed copies of these expansions.
We’ve kept our stretch goals at what we consider to be a “good challenge” level for now. However, we have wonderful plans if Sixcess is well-received on Kickstarter.
How Far Along is Sixcess?
Sixcess has been developed and playtested for the last five years. It is nearly completed. We need to detail a few critters, include character creation examples and finalize the edit. We have already commissioned the artwork that brings it to life. Kickstarter doesn’t really make Sixcess happen—it just makes it happen faster –and potentially more dramatically.
Our initial goal is modest: $2500. This allows us to meet contracted obligations with our artists, graphic artists and editors ahead of schedule. This work is already contracted and scheduled to be paid out-of-pocket by the core developers. Kickstarter allows us to pay it early and expand into additional content.
Our first couple of stretch goals allow us to commission more and better artwork – and give some swag for those who are so kind to help out. Thank you!
If we can make Goal #5, that’s when the real bonuses start. The mini-setting —Blackout—penned by Joseph Wolf is made available to everyone who spent as little as $25 to help us out.
Initial Goal: $2500 -- ACHIEVED!
* We’re funded! Yay! Everyone who buys-in gets the basic stuff promised!
Goal 1 – $4000 -- ACHIEVED!
* Additional artwork, more color artwork in the PDF.
* First signed art print by Scott Harshbarger added to all Tiers from AIDE and higher.
* Limited Edition color hardback print copy available as an add-on to any level.
* Five additional, illustrated races: Cnidar, Doblik, Nikeen, Ouri, Sfurn.
Goal 2 – $5000 -- LOWERED AND NEW FORMAT ADDED!
* Additional artwork, more color artwork in the PDF.
* Second signed art print by Scott Harshbarger added to all Tiers from AIDE and higher.
* Five additional, illustrated races: Arbri, Kyi’Vye, Klystel, Myrlihk, Pinnip.
* 6x9 Format available – this goal pays for the specific layout of a 6x9 format. This is not a rehashed 8.5x11 format, it is specifically laid out as a 6x9. When you choose a printed copy, you may choose either the 8.5x11 or 6x9 – and you may add-on either format to any Tier.
Goal 3 – $6,000 -- NEW STUFF ADDED!
* All Tiers from AIDE and higher receive a free 24”x36” full color Sixcess poster.
* Additional Game Master content including Power creation and expanded gameworld creation.
* Expansion of the Bestiary including more page count, more artwork and more than 10 new creatures (as we get closer to the goal, more details will be made available.
Goal 4 – $7,500 -- BLACKOUT MINI-SETTING AVAILABLE!
* All Tiers from AIDE and higher receive a free, fully illustrated, 50+ page electronic copy of the mini-setting “Blackout” written by Joseph Wolf. Blackout is a steampunk/noirpunk setting. More information can be found about it in the Updates. Every level that has paid at least $25 receives a copy of this mini-setting.
* Softback (B&W) printing of “Blackout” add-on unlocked for all other Tiers
Goal 5 – $8,500 -- MORE STUFF ADDED!
* All Tiers from COMRADE and higher receive a 5 pack of DISks (5 additional for those Tiers that already receive the DISks)– with exclusive artwork only available for Kickstarter participants.
* Increase the art budget for both Sixcess and Blackout. More color art in the electronic copies.
* All Tiers from AIDE and higher receive a free 24” x 36” full color poster for the Blackout mini-setting.
Goal 6 – $10,500 -- UPGRADE TO HARDBACK!
* All Tiers from SPONSOR and higher receive a free upgrade to a Hardback (B&W). No extra cost to you, your Tier just gained a Hardback (B&W) instead of a Softback (B&W) (Yes, this impacts the retailer levels, too.)
Goal 7 – $12,500 == SECOND MINI-SETTING AVAILABLE!
* All Tiers from AIDE and higher receive a free, fully illustrated, 50+ page PDF of the mini-setting “No Man’s Land” written by Benjamin Rogers and Cynthia Celeste Miller.
* Softback (B&W) printing of “No Man’s Land” add-on unlocked for all other Tiers
Future stretch goals pay back to the kickstarter supporters in the form of additional free material, more content and enhanced product. For instance, all you have to do is agree to buy a "printed copy" and if we reach certain stretch goals, that printed copy becomes a "hardback" or a "full color hardback" automatically. (These goals will be revealed as we get close to them.)
“Fun system! Looking forward to seeing more of it!” Trish Richards, GenCon 2012
Where are we going from here?
Over the next few months, we’ll be announcing additional settings for Sixcess Core. These settings are fully developed, 160-200 page gameworlds. Each setting is unique and presents a detailed and exciting world with its own unexpected twists. All of our worlds have their share of twists.
“A lot of fun. Interesting settings and this was my first D6 based game. I enjoyed it immensely.” Glen Elliott, GenCon 2012
Here are some examples of the gameworlds you’ll be seeing in the near future:
How Can You Help?
Obviously, support the Kickstarter. If you want to do more, then spread the word. Share your interest with others. Get them involved and supporting it. If you want to help out more, there are several other ways—you can buy into the add-ons that let you work with our developers to define an element of the world. Or, you can even talk to the developers about becoming a playtester, freelance writer or freelance artist.
“The system is great and I am very much looking forward to its release” Jason Parachoniak GenCon 2012
A note to those who don't live in the US:
International shipping is expensive. We think that in most cases, $15 will cover just about anything we would package to ship internationally. If you want physical product and are willing to add $15 to the pledge, we'll ship it out.
Credits to our Artist Freelancers
(Listed alphabetically by last/only name.)
We have many thanks for our artists who have contributed mightily to our cause. These are the ones tasked with bringing our ideas and vision to life. Each one of them represents an amazing talent -- whether in their art skills or in their willingness to support. They are who we shall turn to first for additional commissions when we start hitting the higher stretch goals.
These artists works can be seen in the Kickstarter presentation video and promotional pieces.
Frankell Baramdyka – http://frankelldesign.weebly.com/resume.html
Maria Jose Barros – Primarily a comic artist working for clients in Chile, Canada, and USA.
Storn Cook – Champions (Hero Games), Mutants & Masterminds (Green Ronin), Legend of the Five Rings (RPG and CCG), Warlord CCG, Black Gate magazine, Burning Wheel Gold, Other Worlds, Jaws of the Six Serpents, Inkwell Monsters, and tons of private commissions.
Danny Cruz – G.I. Joe cover artist for IDW Publishing, Kingdom Death Miniatures
Liz Green – Deadlands: Hell on Earth (Pinnacle Entertainment), Greenmaul Gaming’s Lore of Steel, as well as The Sacred Flame and The Lost Heralds supplements (also Greenmaul Gaming), featured in ImagineFX Magazine’s June FXPose segment, and the cover art for Michaela Grey’s ebook Finding the Path.
Scott Harshbarger – Precis Intermedia, Misfit Studios, Spectrum Games, Vigilance Press, 93 Games Studios, Greymalkin Designs, and Keck Publishing.
Evgeni Maloshenkov – Primarily private commissions. A very talented and easy to work with artist!
Adam Schmidt – Dark Skull Studios, QT Games, and Savage Worlds (Pinnacle Entertainment)
Daniel Wood – Several private commissions, a greatly talented, reliable, and fast-working artist just making a splash in the game industry!
Other artists working on the Sixcess artwork
Natalia Emilia Piesik
Credit to Our Musician
Dr. H. Todd Evans is a consummate musician. He shapes and molds the musical talents of children, which is his calling in life. Early in our gaming experiences in college, Maestro (as we always called him) was extremely supportive and encouraging of our success. "If there's anything I can do to help..." he said. Well, he came through for us. The music you hear on the video is the "Sixcess Theme" written by our dear friend Maestro. There may be more coming, though he's told us it depends on how much his students need him, as they take first priority.
Thank you, Maestro!
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Low Risk. The project will happen even if the kickstarter fails. Kickstarter allows us to bring it to fruition faster and more dramatically.
1) Writing is complete
2) Artwork is contracted
3) Layout is contracted
4) Editing is contracted
Challenge. Providing the support that we plan to provide if success pulls us in too many directions. We’re starting modestly to mitigate the risk and challenges.
Experienced Developers. Previously released products by the developers and freelance efforts in the industry. Ben Rogers and Ren were both involved in the Promised Sands RPG. Scott Harshbarger has illustrated numerous RPG products for the last ten years.
"Sixcess" is playing off the word "success" -- because when you roll the die and get the best result, you are successful. Since the die has 6 sides, that number happens to be a six. Thus, Success = Six = Sixcess.It perplexes me when armchair-numerologists use ancient catholic dogma taught by superstitious priests and carry these superstitions about the number six forward into modern day. Six is not a "satanic number." That's actually "christian mythology". Six is the number of man -- because man was created on the sixth day. The only reason why "666" is connoted as evil is that it is creating a "triunity of mankind" -- in other words, "placing man in God's role". I find that six is "just another number" and even if I were a numerologist -- which I'm not -- I would not ascribe it any specific importance, either good or bad. :)
A Target Number (TN) is assigned. An average TN is 4. Any of the dice that comes up as a 4 or 5 is a Tick. (It equals or beats the TN, but is not a 6.) A Mark is always the 6. If the character makes a dicepool from Reflexes: 2 and Melee: 2 – that provides 4 dice. Rolling 1, 3, 4, 6 provides a Mark and 2 Ticks. The Mark explodes, providing another die to roll: 3. Since it did not equal or exceed the TN, it is of no additional benefit. The final result is 1 Mark, 2 Ticks. (Or 7 Ticks, if it needs to be broken down for any reason because a Mark = 5 Ticks.)
The average roll in Sixcess is 4 dice. An average attribute rating is 2. An average skill rating is 2. If the character has an amazing attribute (5) and is exceptionally well-trained (5) then the dicepool might grow to 10. This is highly unusual. In that situation, it is also likely that the player chooses to “Slide the Difficulty” or take “Extra Actions” and buys those off with dice from their dicepool. Sacrificing some dice for better odds or more chances is only available to a highly skilled character.
The writers of this game system are Christians. We are believers in Biblical truth. The worldview we are presenting is based upon these beliefs. Our intent is not to convince you that we are right (though we would like it if you come to that conclusion). Our intent is not to make you change your ways. Our intent is not to “convert”. Quite frankly, that’s not our job. All Believers were given one specific task to perform: to proclaim the truth to every creature—not to “convert”.
As avid roleplayers, we realized that nearly every world that is presented in nearly every roleplaying game, everywhere, has a specific worldview. You can find the roleplaying world rife with various forms of heathen, pagan, agnostic and atheistic worldviews. No one ever seems to make apologies for presenting what they believe in a game system. Nor shall we.
However, due to the overzealousness of some who claim to follow our path, presenting our worldview has earned a bad reputation. Thus, we thought this word of explanation was appropriate.
We are followers of the teachings of Christ. We are believers that the Bible is the word of God. We’re not here to debate these points. We’re not trying to convince you of these points. What we are trying to do is present a game system that can model that perspective, a game system that we believe models reality. It is a worldview that few of you have ever encountered—even if you think that you have. Thus, as avid roleplayers, we think it is worthy of presentation. We hope that you also find it interesting.
We’re going to step on toes. Be warned. We’re not pulling any punches. We anticipate that this background may be offensive to those who are trapped in “the traditions of men” that pervade the churches. But, they’re usually not the audience interested in roleplaying games anyway. We’re quite certain that those of you with minds open to many different perspectives shall find this quite an interesting worldview.
Now that we’ve laid our cards on the table and you know the system background, we hope that you’ll give it a chance and use the “rules of the world” no differently than you would use the rules of other gameworlds to have fun adventures.
Since few of you have ever seen the Biblical worldview presented, we think you’ll find it interesting.
Again, let’s reiterate: This is not the Christianity your momma warned you about.
The tag line for Harsh Realities, "Life lessons without the brick wall," originates in the real-life experiences of Harsh Realities’ Art Director, Harsh (Scott Harshbarger). Harsh is a self-proclaimed graduate from the School of Hard Knocks.
As a youth, Harsh's parents tried to instruct him as best they could—but you can't teach those who won't learn, so Harsh started down the path of most resistance. He did catch some of what they tried to impart, but, and he had other instructors along the way: Captain America, Spider-man, the X-men, and many characters in role playing games as well. Still, life has a way of hitting you upside the head with an aluminum baseball-bat if you're not careful. Sure, Harsh made it through, but without those trials in his life he wouldn't be who he is today. No regrets, as they say, but what about those who do not have loving parents who try and try again? What about those who do not have positive role models or friends to pull them out of the fire? What about all those who hit the brick wall and just slump down and give up? At that point in their lives their life lessons are coming from dark, ugly places that leave them scarred, bitter, broken, and very possibly dangerous to both themselves and others.
This is what our tag line is about. Through games and fellowship with your friends certain life lessons can be learned—without requiring you to experience them! You can put your characters through the courses and see what consequences and repercussions they face. You can learn wisdom from trial and error through fictional characters, without necessarily experiencing the real life trauma of the big, bad, brick wall.
In this way, Harsh Realities hopes to pay forward what little wisdom we have gained over the years, and hopefully have a positive impact on the lives of those who enjoy our games.