Age Past employs a novel rolling system called Elegant10. Elegant10 allows the player to choose the level of reward and risk with every roll. The player has total control of how to use her pool on every roll, and in response to what is happening during play. In Age Past characters have a pool for each skill but the players can modify how the roll occurs.
Here’s how Elegant10 works…
Lets say a player has a pool of 6 dice. If she rolls all the dice and the results are 3, 5, 8, 9, 9 and 10 she takes the highest score for her total. In this case it would be a 10.
So therefore the more dice a player rolls the better chance she has at getting a maximum score.
Sometimes a player is especially lucky. If she rolls again and gets a 3, 5, 8, 9, 10 and 10 her total score would be a 10, but since a second 10 is rolled a +2 is added so the total score is a 12. A +2 is added for each additional 10 rolled after the first.
However, rolling a lot of dice isn’t especially interesting or anything much the player has control over.
So, she can hold dice – or choose not to roll them. Each held dice grants a +1. Therefore if our player holds 3 dice and rolls 3 she will gain a +3 to the highest value rolled. If she rolls a 3, 7, and 8 while holding 3 dice the total score will be an 11. But if she rolls a 10 as her highest die then the total score would be 13. Extra 10’s always add +2.
If she rolled a 7, 10 and 10 while holding 3 dice the final result is a 15.
What’s great about holding dice is that the more dice that are held the higher the potential of score can be but the risk is higher as well. The fewer dice that are rolled the greater the chance of rolling low as well. So the player can mitigate risk by choosing to roll more of the pool. Extra +2 from bonus d10’s happen just enough to mix things up.
With each roll, there is a chance of critical success or fumble. If the target score is doubled, the PC has critically succeeded at their task, but if the result is half or less that what was needed a fumble will occur. During PC interactions, including combat, if the PC doubles her opponent’s score then a critical hit or effect has occurred.
By rolling lots of dice and always choosing the highest, the player can expect the score she will get and thus can control the skill level her character has. Also, the total scores rolled generally fall between 6 and 18 and since the pools are calculated before rolling the entire system is both satisfying and efficient for game play. The final value is added very quickly so you spend more time playing and less time number crunching.