Welcome to the fourth installment of our introductory Rivenstone gameplay series. These blogs are meant to cover some of the basic rules of the game, giving you a taste of what the tabletop experience will be when the game launches later this year.
If you’re just joining us, you can find previous blogs exploring the gameplay as well as the fiction of Rivenstone on our website.
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In today’s post, we’re going to show you a map of the three types of dice used in the game and explain what their various icons all mean.
Rivenstone utilizes three different dice to resolve the action in game: skill dice, attacker dice, and shard dice. These dice are six-sided, ten-sided, and twelve-sided, respectively. Let’s start by taking a look at skill dice!
Skill dice are the game’s most common dice. They are used for many rolls, such as when models perform attacks, attempt to harvest rivenstone from deposits, or use their Ingenuity to solve a puzzle.
The outcome of a skill dice roll is determined by how many successes are rolled. Sometimes this is measured against a static number. For example, when a model harvests a rivenstone deposit they must roll one success on their Ingenuity roll to safely harvest a shard token from that deposit.
In other circumstances, there are opposed rolls where the player who rolls the most successes wins the contest. For example, an attacking model rolling a number of skill dice equal to their weapon’s Strength stat vs. the defending model rolling a number of skill dice equal to their Defense stat.
The icons on the skill die count as successes for different types of rolls, as described below.
Wild: A success in all rolls.
Fist: A success in all rolls except defense rolls.
Shield: A success only in defense rolls.
Focus: A success when a model burns a vigor to focus.
There is also one blank face on each skill die. A blank usually has no effect.
The Attacker Die
Each time a model attacks, in addition to rolling some skill dice they also roll a single attacker die to determine if their attack has any additional effects.
This means that no matter what model you are attacking with, there are some common effects you can expect to encounter in addition to their own unique special rules. This provides a bit of consistency that you can potentially plan around.
For example, the chances of a model pushing their enemy on an attack are higher than any other result. So, more times than not, if you successfully attack an enemy standing near an objective, you will push them off of it!
Cleave: This result allows a model that destroys the target of a melee attack to immediately declare a free Attack action with the same weapon against another model within the weapon’s range. This free attack rolls one fewer skill die than the attack that triggered it.
Critical: This result determines if a successful attack causes more damage than normal.
Misfire: There is always a chance that an errant wind or faulty ammunition will foul a shot. If this symbol is rolled during a missile weapon attack roll, the attack misses regardless of the results rolled on the skill dice.
Push: This result allows a model that made a successful melee attack to push the target the distance of Tight range and follow up.
Vigor: This result indicates that the attacker has inspired their allies in some small but noticeable way. When this result is rolled, the attacker recharges a vigor regardless of whether the attack is successful.
The result of the attacker die determines the type of the attack. For example, if a model makes a successful attack and the attacker die result is a Push, that attack is referred to as a push attack.
An attack can also be referred to by its associated weapon type or by special rules involved in making that attack. For example, an attack made with a melee weapon could be referred to as a melee attack.
The Shard Die
The game has one shard die, which is used to determine which models have a chance of harvesting rivenstone from erupting deposits and when the rounds end. Let me break both of those aspects down.
Models can harvest shard tokens from a rivenstone deposit in two ways. During a model’s activation it can spend an action if it is close enough to a deposit to manually mine a shard token from it.
Additionally, at the end of each player’s turn they choose a deposit to erupt and place a token on it to show that it has erupted. A deposit can’t be chosen to erupt if it has a token on it already, and all the tokens clear off when every deposit has one.
When a deposit erupts, the player rolls the Shard die, which tells them the distance that the erupting shard goes, as well as how many shards come out.
So if a player rolled the result of L and a single pip, that means one shard token is available to each player that has a model within Long range of the erupting deposit.
The second half of why this die is important is that the number of shard pip rolls on the die are added to the round timer. Remember that when you play Rivenstone you choose a scenario and an event deck.
The scenario tells you how many rounds the game lasts, while the event deck tells you how long the timer is for each round. When the round timer has a number of tokens on it equal to or greater than the amount indicated by the chosen event deck, the round ends and a new one begins.
You’ll notice that two of the Shard die facings have two shard pips on them, while another is blank. This means that there is an element of uncertainty to exactly when a round will end. In most cases the round timer will carry forward 1 “tick” at a time, but there is a 25% chance each time you roll the Shard die that the time goes off-kilter!
Some special rules give players the opportunity to reroll one of their skill dice rolls or force an opponent to reroll. These rules can affect all dice in a roll or just a single die.
Multiple rules that give rerolls can be used on the same roll. When a rule allows for a reroll, that rule can be used only once per dice roll. This means that a player cannot infinitely reroll from a single rule, but they can have multiple rerolls on a single dice roll from multiple rules.
For example, say a player has two rerolls — a model rule that allows an attack to be rerolled and a coalition ability that grants a reroll. If they are not satisfied with the result of the first reroll, they can use the additional rule to reroll again. Without a third rule allowing them yet another reroll, those are the only two rerolls they could make during that attack roll.
The shard and attacker dice can only ever be rerolled by special rules that mention them specifically.
Thank you for joining us for this installment of the gameplay blog series. Join us again next time as we dive further into more rules!