Ooh fuck what if like
“I attack with my fire spell”
Meant you roll a d6 to see if you hit, and then you roll a Fire Die to see what the fire does
Like fire doesn’t do points of damage, fire does degrees of destruction: 1: your target is singed and disoriented 2: your target catches fire and can do nothing but try to put out the flames 3: your target is incinerated 4: your target is transformed into a Flaming Emberling
“I attack with my sword” isn’t just rolling a d8 for damage, it’s rolling the Iron Die to see what your sword does
Point of all this is that damage because a narrative thing, not driven by points but by story.
And then we can say stuff like…the Fire Die always has those four results, and it’s just a question of how many dice you roll. Big table of the various dice you might need to roll and the various effects that are possible. All of them terrible.
Looking at magic as a vector for play, you’re looking at like…
Mage: “I want to conjure a tree to sprout forth here and block their path to us.” GM: “okay, roll the Wood Die, the Stone Die, and the Time Die.” Mage: “okay friends I have good news and I have bad news”
The loop of this game would be “here’s the situation. You can try to use your skill to win with some losses, or to beat a strategic retreat with some gains, oooor you can use magic to win with no losses but at potentially terrible cost.”
So I’m thinking this is a Mnemonic game, but it’s the kind of game that people in that setting play to remind themselves why we don’t have mages. Like there’s discourse about “Magic is art” vs “Magic is war” there, maybe.
“Papa, why aren’t there mages anymore?” “Bean, what happens when you roll the Fire Die?” “Your enemies burn!” “And what happens when you roll poorly?” “Your enemies become fire…” “And if you roll too well?” “Fire becomes your enemy.” “That is why we have no mages.”