Lacking Natural Simplicity

Random musings on books, code, and tabletop games.

Looking at the Mini Six RPG and related games

I'm looking at the Mini Six RPG because I’m planing on running a couple of one shots while my regular online D&D game is on hiatus between campaigns. I’m going to run a Star Wars one shot and a Breachworld RPG (post apocalypse with rifts into space and time with invaders pouring through) one shot, probably using the light Virtual Table Top Owlbear Rodeo with Discord for voice and text chat and dice rolling using a dice bot and maybe image sharing, with character sheets as Google Doc documents.

Mini Six Described

Mini Six: Bare Bones Edition was published in 2010 by AntiPaladin Games. It is available as a PDF for free or POD at a small price at DriveThruRPG.

It is a descendant of the original D6 System Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game by way of OpenD6 (OD6-2).

Organization and Breakdown

Here's how the Mini Six rules are organized, with page numbers for each section. It has 38 pages, counting the front and back covers.

  1. Front Cover (color) — 1 page

  2. Copyright page — 1 page

  3. Table of Contents, Definitions of Common Game Terms, About this Book — 1 page

  4. Dice Basics, How to Make a Character (including Skills, Perks, Esoteric Perks, Complications, and Gear) — 2 pages

  5. Game Mechanics (including General (non-combat Challenges), Order of Actions in a Round, Multiple Actions, Movement, Experience, Hero Points, Scaling, and Healing) — 1 page

  6. Combat (including two variants of combat — Fast Static Combat vs Traditional OpenD6 Combat — and Wound Levels and Wound Level Effects) — 1 page

  7. Vehicles (including vehicle rules and sample vehicles) — 2 pages

  8. The Simple Magic System (including magic rules and about 34 spells, and enchanted items) - 4 pages

  9. Sample Characters by Genre (including All Genres, Modern Stock Characters, Sci-Fi Stock Characters, Pulp Stock Characters, Fantasy Stock Characters, and Fantasy Beastiary) — 4 pages

  10. Optional Rules — 2 pages

  11. Making the Game Your Own — 1 page

  12. Campaigning the TV Way and Converting Between Mini Six & Traditional OpenD6 — 1 page

  13. Sample Settings — 12 pages total

    1. The “Perdition” setting (inspired by series Firefly and the movie Serenity; 9 archetypes, 1 vehicle) — 2 pages

    2. The “Rust Moon of Castia” setting (inspired by the movie Willow; 1 map, 4 archetypes, 3 creatures) — 2 pages

    3. Farnsley's Phantasm Investigators, Freelance Metaphysics Constables setting (Victorian horror, with a occasionally lighthearted, action-oriented, twist; 4 archetypes, 5 creatures) — 2 pages

    4. The “Precinct ‘77” setting (Big collars, bitchin’ cars, side burns, Fog Hat, and Police Detectives; 4 archetypes, 1 vehicle) — 2 pages

    5. The “Imperium in Revolt” setting (inspired by Star Wars, harking back to the D6 system's origins in the Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game of 1987; 11 archetypes, 7 vehicles) — 4 pages

  14. Character Sheet — 1 page

  15. Useful Reference Charts (Difficulty levels, Range Modifiers, How to Calculate Static Defenses, Scale, Sample Gear List, Skill List, Healing, Wound Level, Wound Level Effects) — 1 page

  16. Open Game License Version 1.0a — 1 page

  17. Back Cover (color) — 1 page

It really packs a lot into a small package, although it is generally light on detail.

Thoughts on Mini Six

Mini Six is a stripped down version of the OpenD6 RPG. I like it for many reasons:

  • The base mechanics are easy to learn, and only take up a few pages.

  • Only D6s are used.1

  • Characters are easy to create.

  • Characters are relatively terse.2

  • Characters start out reasonably competent.

  • It has a metacurrency3, Hero Points.

  • It includes enough as is to run Historical, Modern, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy games, including a simple Magic/Power system.

  • Attributes, Skills, and Damage are rated by the number of D6s one rolls to use them, which makes using them easy.

  • Attributes and Skills are connected. Skills default to the dice rating of their associated Attribute, so you can always use a skill, except for a very few exceptions.

  • Attributes and Skills are used by rolling them against set target numbers or opposing die rolls.

  • The rules for multiple actions in a round are particularly easy to use, suitable for games where the characters are competent.

  • Since the rules are short and the game mechanics relatively light it is easy to customize for a particular game or genre.

  • Since the rules (but not the settings) are Open Content you can easily base a new game on it and release it for free or sell it. There are several Mini Six-based games on DriveThruRPG.com.4

  • There is a royalty-free Mini Six Trademark License that allows you to indicate that products you make are compatible with Mini Six, and you can sell those products. There are a few Mini Six adventures5 for sale on DriveThruRPG.com.

I think that several of those reason make it idea for one shots and pickup games.


1

This is especially useful if some of your players haven't ever played RPGs before and are unfamiliar with polyhedral dice.

2

Here's an example character:

Havan Zul — Smuggler

Might 3D — Brawling 4D
Agility 3D+2 — Dodge 5D+1, Piloting 5D+2, Pistol 5D+2, Stealth 4D+2
Wit 3D+1 — Navigation 5D, Repair 4D, Gunnery 5D+1, Shields 3D+2
Charm 2D — Streetwise 3D
Static: Dodge 12, Block 12, Parry 14, Soak 9+6=15
Complications: Large debt (=ship)
Gear: tool kit, flight suit (+2), 2 blaster pistols (5D), macro binoculars, body armor (+6)
Hero Points: 1
WL: S:1–3 □ W:4–8 □ SW:4–8 □ I:9–12 □ MW:13–15 □
3

I use metacurrency to mean something like a renewable resource that a player can spend to do something they otherwise couldn't do, like reroll something or convert a damage strike into a flesh wound or buying a clue or increase a die roll before or after the fact. Other examples are Bennies in Savage Worlds or Inspiration in D&D 5E.

4

Some published games based on Mini Six are:

  • Exilium Core Rules and the free Players Introduction (a game of science fiction adventure and intrigue set against a backdrop of post-human loss and redemption; the description at DriveThruRPG says it is based on OpenD6, which is true, but the credit page of the book specifically mentions Mini Six),

  • Summerland Second Edition (a game about desolation and redemption in a post-apocalyptic world destroyed by a vast supernatural forest),

  • Esoterica (a game about conflicts between mystics, magicians and occultists in the modern day world),

  • Breachworld RPG (a global catastrophe made rips in space and time through which unwanted monsters, aliens, and otherworldly environments continue to pour) 6,

  • Heaven's Shadow (a game of faith and assassination of the evil Nephilim in the service of God, set in the modern world),

  • The Mighty Six (superheros),

  • Twilight Fall (a post apocalypse world created by the arrival on Earth of billions of alien refuges from space and other dimensions), and

  • Mutagen RPG (Beta/Playtest) (MiraiCorp's Project Mutagen unleashes mutant uplifted animals on the world who escaped their abused lives as test subjects and who want to be left alone, or help other mutants or the persecuted, or take the flight to MiraiCorp).

† marks games I find particularly interesting, either for the setting or for how a game adapts Mini Six.‡

‡ Footnotes in footnotes are such fun! (:-)

5

Some Mini Six compatible adventures are:

I wish there were more.

6

There is an adventure for Breachworld on DriveThruRPG: Breachworld Adventure Folio #1 - The Big Score.

Last edited: 2020-12-28 11:44:10 EST

Print Friendly and PDF

Comments

Comments powered by Disqus