One Roll Engine

One roll does it all. Different versions of ORE were developed for various games with the same basic mechanism. This writeup concentrates on the rules as written for Reign. The website states: "ORE resolves events in delicate detail without cumbersome layers of contingent rolls."

  • The hearth of ORE is as the name suggest one roll which gives a lot of information. One roll of up to 10 dice that is, as this system uses dice pools.

Character Creation

Either point buy or one random roll.

  • Stats: body, coordination, sense, knowledge, command, charm.
  • Skills: Cannot start with skill higher than five. Can buy expert or master dice.

Task Resolution

ORE uses a pool of D10s equal to a Stat + Skill. The maximum pool size is 10 dice (additional dice can offset any penalties). Success is achieved by rolling matches (a set). The more dice matches, the wider the set is which indicates speed and competence. The number on the matching dices is the height, where a higher roll is a more favourable result. The result is described as <width>x<height>, e.g. 2x7 for a pair of sevens.

  • Width: Widest strikes first and does more damage.
  • Height: Higher strikes in a more vital location, like head.
  • Static Contest: Succeeds on a match but there can be a Difficulty to roll over or Penalty to the dice pool.
  • Dynamic Contests: Two trying to do same thing, but only one can win. The best can be widest or heighest depending on what is being attempted. In a race widest would be best, but in a calm argument with plenty of time height would be best. The GM should indicate which before the roll.
  • Opposed Contests: One wants to thwart the action of the other, like attack and parry. The person attempting an action rolls as normal. If he succeeds the blocking characters rolls the opposed skill and any successes he gets of equal or higher value gobble dice. I.e. the blocker removes one dice from the active players success for each of her matches. If this reduces it to below a pair, it fails. If speed matters, like in combat, the blockers success must not only match the height but also the width. This makes blocking hard.
  • Difficulty: Is the required height of the roll. It makes it harder for everyone and are indicated for problems that make a task tricky but doesn't preclude great results. Minor: 1-2, Typical: 3, Imposing: 4-5, while 8 is appalingly hard. Difficulties are the default to use when penalties are not specifically indicated.
  • Penalty: Knocks dice out of the pool. This makes it harder for those lesser skilled, while experts will have poorer results. -1d for something a bit complicated up to -3d for outrageous stunts.
  • Expert Dice: Indicate unusual talent and instead of rolling can be set to any number before making the roll. Only one Expert Die is allowed in a pool and cannot be used with Master Die.
  • Master Die: Like Expert Die, but indicate tremendous proficiency and can be set to any number after making the roll.
  • Multiple Actions: Take the lower pool of the two actions' skills, remove one die and roll two sets (i.e. at least two different pairs). If two sets are rolled they can be applied to each action in any order. For each additional action another die is removed and yet another set required.

Combat Resolution

A combat round is not defined in time, except to say usually between 1/2 to 5 seconds. A round consists of declare, roll, resolve. Damage is recorded in boxes on a human figure for six different locations. Non-lethal damage, shock, is recorded as a slash, while deadly killing damage is recorded as a cross. The height of the attack roll determines location (head, torso, l. arm, r. arm, l. leg, r. leg).

  • Killing: Killing damage is applied first. If a limb is filled with killing it cannot be used and further damage goes to torso. If head or torso fills with killing damage character is dead.
  • Shock: If there is no more room for shock, shock turns into killing damage. If torso fills with shock you are dazed -1d. If head you are unconscious.
  • Healing: After a combat, half of shock taken dissapears. Once per day shock damage equal to the width of a healing roll can be healed from any location. Rest allows a Body+Vigor roll which removes the number of shock points equal to its width. Killing damage can only be healed once per day and only one point in any location. By going one week without taking more damage one point of Killing damage on each limb turns to shock.
  • Armour:


  • Qualities: Might, Trasure, Influence, Territory, Sovereignty

Social Interaction


  • <list of the most important or innovative features>

Character Development

Experience points are awarded at the end of each session, usually 1-5. The rules recommend rewarding points for attendence, great roleplaying or contributing out of character with drawings, a journal or bringing something to the game that enchances the fun (even literally like food and drink). XP is also awarded for when self-inflicted troubles come back to bite you or if the plot changes dramatically due to player actions.

  • Improving Skills: Cost is equal to new skill level. Promoting a skill die to expert die costs 1 xp. Promoting an expert die to master die costs 5xp. Skills cannot be increased beyond 6.
  • Improving Stat: 10xp, maximum to 6.
  • Buying Advantages*: Price listed in XP if allowed by GM.
  • Junking**: A skill that is useless can be junked. Must tell the GM and mark the skill. Each session skill is not used at all, add another mark, but if ever used remove all marks. Once has two marks, i.e. after a full session of not using it. When junked 1XP is regained for every level the skill is dropped.


What can it do? What can it not do?

Publishing Company

Reign is sold through Lulu and IPR



  • Greg Stolze


System Analysis

A well thought out and effective system.


  • A single roll with a lot of useful information which even eliminates the need for initiative. This is a very strong feature of the ORE system.
  • Expert & Master Dice
  • Maximum pool size of 10
  • Multiple Actions are handled simply and effectively.
  • XP Rewards are easy to determine and avoids encourages players to participate in every way they can rather than kill everything they encounter. Bravo!
  • Junking is a great way to diminish the pain for learning players who do not always know what skills to select. However, it should be noted that if a character selects a skill it usually indicates what sort of challenges the player wants to encounter and the GM should keep this in mind when creating scenes. Also, from reading it seems that only 1XP is regained per level junked, rather than the full cost of the skill. This imposes a heavy penalty on junking and makes it much less usable.
  • Locations are handled well and gives a bit of detail to combat without slowing it down.
  • Shock & Killing damage is also a simple but effective system for tracking combat damage with just about the right level of detail.


  • Complexity of interpreting the result of a roll (which can slow things down or lead to arguments) AND for the GM to assign the right difficulties and penalties.
  • Dice pools are fine, but rolling a handful of dice, while satisfying is slow, especially in the case of ORE as sets, heights and widths must be checked. Limiting size to 10 helps greatly here.

House Rules


In Progress…

As written for Reign.

A Dirty World is another ORE game that is noteworthy for its social conflict…

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