Dice-based Trick-taking — a New [Year’s] Resolution

sean f. smith / he, him
2 min readJan 15, 2024

I issue a challenge to YOU and ye to all bloggers! In the dawning light of 2024, you must come up with a New Year’s Resolution. But I’m not talking about your typical forbearance from vices or oaths to lift weights. I’m talking something way more important: Resolution Mechanics.

from Prismatic Wasteland



  • 3D6 per participant
  • an understanding of Brag Tiers (repeated below)


In short, all actions are contested (for player-vs-environment, the referee rolls as the world).

  1. The inciting actor rolls 3D6
  2. If they’ve relevant experience or training or instinct, they may reroll as many of the dice as they wish
  3. If they’re suited to this domain / environment, they may reroll as many of the dice as they wish
  4. The final roll is declared as one of the brag tiers
  5. Responding actors repeat steps 1–4 above: they must declare the same tier as the inciting trick if possible, else must discard their dice
  6. Once all actors have declared, the highest dice sum wins: its actor narrates the outcome of the action

Brag tiers

In order of best to worst:

  • prial — three of a kind
  • straight flush — same suit, sequential values
  • straight — sequential values
  • flush — same suit
  • pair — two of a kind
  • high value — single highest value

For the purposes of dice, there are four suits:

  • odds — only ones, threes, fives
  • evens — only twos, fours, sixes
  • lo— only ones, twos, threes
  • hi — only fours, fives, sixes


  • trumps — the referee may declare one of the tiers as “trump”, where it beats the inciting tier. Typically this will be prials always trump (common variant). Sometimes this will be certain actions use certain tiers as trump (uncommon variant).
  • difficulty — for especially perilous actions, actors must reroll all of their dice if they wish to reroll any (uncommon variant).
  • polyhedrals — instead of 3D6, actors roll 1D4, 1D6, 1D8 (rare variant).

Prial? Didn’t you do something else with that in the name?

Yes I did.