Each player begins the game session with a single action point. Action points are spent during the game to reroll the dice, add dice to a roll, influence the narrative of the game, or temporarily alter the rules of the game. Additional action points are earned during the game for accepting complications based on the hooks in a character’s description or at the Game Master’s discretion for exceptional role-playing that entertains the table in a memorable way.
Whenever FreeD6 calls for an ability check, it’s calling for a dice roll. Sometimes FreeD6 calls for a skill check when referring to a specific skill or specialization. All skill checks are also ability checks; all skills are also abilities. Any time the dice are rolled, it is referred to as an ability check, no matter the circumstance.
Players make decisions and take actions in the game. When a player makes a decision, he describes his decision and the Game Master narrates the results. If there is no element of uncertainty, if the dice do not need to be rolled, or if the decision is not dramatically important, the Game Master simply adjudicates the results of the decision and the game moves on.
Characters are described as having abilities; the specific abilities a character possesses are determined by the character’s narrative background. Abilities are ranked by a die code and further described by one or more skills and specializations which enhance the die code. Abilities are either normal or extranormal. Abilities describe broadly defined actions which they allow the character to perform. Rolling the dice to test an ability or skill against a difficulty is called a skill check (when testing a skill or specialization) or an ability check (when not testing a specific skill, or when using a default value). The term “ability check” is a blanket term for rolling the dice to test against a difficulty number.
FreeD6 uses ordinary language to describe the conflicts and events of an adventure narrative. The conflict structure uses die codes (ranks) and difficulty numbers to turn narrative actions into a game. The action point economy allows players to influence the dice or to introduce elements to the narrative. The die codes, difficulty numbers, and result points help the players and Game Master determine how strong, fast, or effective something is within the context of the game.
FreeD6 is a narrative conflict role-playing game compatible with OpenD6. The abilities and skills have a slightly different emphasis, the application of the Health Track is slightly different, and there is a greater emphasis on relative values instead of absolute values. Character creation and the dice rolling mechanism are the same, and conditions are emphasized as a core mechanism. The core mechanisms in FreeD6 are: narrative structure, abilities and skills, conditions, and taking action.
Elements within the game are understood to function and respond in the game setting in the same way as their real-world counterparts. It would be exhausting to try and detail all possible circumstances and assign them game mechanics. Instead, conditions are used to describe ways in which abilities are restricted or enabled as game elements.