Table of Contents 00. Introduction 01. Glossary 02. Dice Pools 02.1 Assistance 03. Thresholds 04. Explosions 05. Luck 06. Difficulty Classes 07. Mind Affecting Magic 08. Dice Tracking Back to Top
Three On A Match - Strike & Cinder Storytelling Dice Strike & Cinder Storytelling Dice


Here on Three on a Match we use a pass-fail dice pool system, that we call Strike & Cinder Storytelling Dice. If you’re not familiar with a system like this, rest assured that it is a very lightweight system which allows you to focus on writing and playing while simultaneously offering a sense of mystery and adventure. It has been pared down and simplified for forum play-by-post roleplay, but we always welcome feedback, so don't hesitate to let us know if a mechanic feels off, too difficult, or too clunky.

Rolling the dice is completely optional, and should be considered like a tool in your toolbox. Using them is rewarded, but foregoing them is perfectly acceptable as well if you'd rather just talk things out with your partner. That said, each character is statted out according to the system at creation. The dice pools are simple mechanical values, but do not necessarily define what a character can and can't do. Players have the freedom to use skills outside of the dice pool. Some may find it entertaining to play with mixing flavour and dice involving mundane skills, but this is up to the player.

Likewise, they are required for threads that you intend to use for advancement and will often be utilized as part of the game mechanics for events.

Using the System

To keep it simple, the dice system only describes degrees of success or failure. The way success or failure is interpreted into the story or flavored is left up to the player. Things will be accounted for in broad strokes, rather than something a little crunchier like a tabletop RPG system.

It's imperative to remember that the dice system is there to work for you and your storytelling. We just ask that you're faithful to the dice rolls in your interpretation, even if the outcome isn't precisely what you'd hoped for. That said, you are welcome to ignore rolls, but if you decide to do that, it cannot be used for advancement.

How To Roll

For Strike & Cinder rolls that you intend to track and use for Advancement, please use the #official-dice channel on the Discord. For everything else, you may use the #general-dice channel or any other system you're comfortable with. Also read the Dice Tracking template guide to see how you can track your dice in a post.


Dice Pools

A dice pool is a set number of dice that is rolled all at once.


A threshold is the number a die result needs meet or exceed in order for the die to be what's known as a Pass.


A Pass is when a die in a dice pool meets or exceeds 4.


An explosion occurs when a die rolls a certain number and player can then roll again.


When one character spends a post assisting another, the recipient may add 1d6 to their next roll relevant to the type of Assistance.

Difficulty Class or DC

A Difficulty Class (also known as the DC) is the number of Passes you need in a rolled dice pool in order for that roll to be considered a success.

Success Range

Untargeted Strike and Cinder rolls are measured against the success range, which decides how successful they were (or how badly they failed.)


The "Luck" stat represents a PC's or NPC's staying power in a risky situation.

The Dice Pools

Strike & Cinder Dice uses the good ol' six-sided die. Each character except basic humans possess two pools that reflect two broad categories of skills and abilities: physical and magical ability. These pools known as Strike and Cinder, respectively. More on that below.

Certain elements, such as magic items and event mechanics can increase the number of dice in your various dice pools--leveling a character on their Path can permanently increase Cinder dice, while taking and leveling Mundane keywords can permanently increase Strike dice.

Each Path has a unique set of Strike and Cinder pools. Shifters display a great deal of physical prowess, while arcanists wear the crown for the most magical potential. Both dice pools can be temporarily enhanced with magic, magic items, weaponry, rank abilities, and circumstance bonuses.


Strike represents a character's physical prowess. If a character is a metahuman it can be enhanced by taking Keywords related to strength and speed. Although it is primarily for combat, Strike can be used when attempting any physical feat or practicing a physical skill.


Cinder is a character's magical and mental prowess. A character can gain additional Cinder dice by gaining ranks in their Path. Cinder can be used to determine success when using or interacting with magic in any scenario (e.g. activating or identifying enchanted items, identifying spells or runes).

Starting Dice Pools

Human 4d6 n/a Arcanist 4d6 7d6 Cursed 5d6 5d6 Possessed 4d6 5d6 Half-Blood 5d6 5d6 Natural Shifter 6d6 5d6 Afflicted Shifter 7d6 5d6 Undying 6d6 5d6 Spirit 1d6 6d6 Notes

A base human has 4d6 Strike ability. They have no Cinder pool, but they can wield enchanted items.

If a half-blood comes into physical contact with Sky Iron, then they lose 1d6 Cinder for as long as they are touching the material.

If an undying is exposed to true sunlight, their Strike pool is reduced to 4d6.

A spirit has 1d6 in their Strike pool, unless they Manifest. Then they have 4d6.


An explosion occurs when a die rolls a certain number. In this system, it is when you roll a 6. On a 6, you may take that die and roll it again, adding the result to your total.

During the Full Moon, all Cinder dice explode on a 5 or a 6.


Assistance is a mechanic that allows for a temporary increase of a characters dice pool. The assistance itself can come in many forms, from another character helping out, offering the right tools for the job, or possibly enchanted items.

When one character spends a post assisting another, the recipient may add 1d6 to the next roll relevant to the type of Assistance being given. If they attempt to roll for it, an Exceptional Success adds 2d6 to the same type of dice pool rolled for, but anything below that results in no bonus at all.

In the case of Mundane Humans, they have a temporary 4d6 Cinder pool that only applies to rituals. This is to enable Mundane Humans who may be theoretically familiar with rituals to offer Assistance, even if they are not practitioners themselves.

  • The one offering Assistance cannot do any other rolls that impact mechanics.
  • The post must clearly show the character Assisting, through dialogue and interaction.
  • If you choose to roll and try for the Exceptional Success 2d6 bonus, you must also accept no bonus if you fail.
  • Assistance does not stack with itself, but it can stack with enchanted items.
  • Thresholds

    A threshold is the number a die result needs meet or exceed in order for the die to be what's known as a Pass.


    When a die in a dice pool meets or exceeds 4 it is considered a Pass

    When you roll, you roll all the dice in your chosen pool, but rather than needing to add up to the sum total, you only need to ask yourself: “How many of these dice meet or exceed the number four?”

    Passes are added up and then compared to a "Difficulty Class", or "DC".

    A successful roll is determined by comparing the number of Passes against the DC. If your roll matches or exceeds a DC, then it is considered a success.


    The "Luck" stat represents a PC's or NPC's staying power in a risky situation.

    It is phrased as "Luck" because it isn't an exact measure of physical hardiness and isn’t 'hit points'. A better way of thinking of it is a stamina gauge and how much fortitude a character has to stay in the fight. It is about the lucky breaks and quick thinking just as much as physical prowess.

    Losing Luck can be framed as a physical blow. Still, a character could also narrowly dodge, parry, or perform a quick bit of countermagic to ward off the worst of an effect. These examples are not exhaustive, but the essential point is that when a character loses Luck it can be framed in many different ways.

    When Luck Runs Out

    When a character's Luck runs out, it is exactly what it sounds like. This is the point at which a character might be dealt a blow they cannot recover from, they are knocked out, they are tossed away from the fight, they lose the spar or many other results, as per the flavour in the thread.

    In lethal situations, death is always optional. We do not and will not require anyone to kill their characters when their Luck runs out, although players are expected to write a decent explanation as to why they survived or got away.

    Determining Luck

    Luck for all Paths is set at 4, regardless of rank or experience.

    Some Mundane Keywords add temporary bonuses to Luck, especially skill and ability keywords. These bonuses are situational, so this means the character needs to be in a situation where they would use the relevant keyword and thus apply the bonus. In flavour, this means the character is prepared for the Encounter.

    Skill keywords, such as Ballistics, Melee, and Brawler, all apply a bonus, one (1) Luck bonus at every two ranks in the skill. This means Brawler II offers a bonus of one (1) Luck, while Ballistics IV adds two (2) luck. However, these skill bonuses do not stack and the keywords cannot be used simultaneously.

    The Mundane Keyword of Exchange Equipment offers one (1) bonus to Luck for Human Paths (Human, Arcanist, Cursed, & Possessed) and Half-Bloods. The prerequisite for this Keyword is to be an active member of the Exchange.

    Luck Bonuses Rank II (any skill)

    1 Luck Bonus

    Rank VI (any skill)

    2 Luck Bonus (total)

    Exchange Equipment

    1 Luck Bonus

    Max Bonus Luck

    2 Luck Bonus (3 for humans/half-bloods)

    Striking Luck

    A Strike or Cinder roll that meets or exceeds the DC of the target drains Luck by one (1).

    As the DC range is a binary result between ‘hit’ or ‘miss’, the number of Passes do not need to mean anything, but a player can choose to match them to the Success Range for how spectacular of a hit it can be.

    Critical Hits & Weaknesses

    Critical Hits

    If the number of Passes in a Strike or Cinder roll meets or exceeds 10, then the target loses two (2) Luck.

    Weaknesses Silver vs. Shifter

    -1d6 penalty to Strike. When physically hit, deals 2 to Luck

    Silver vs. Undying

    -1d6 penalty to Cinder

    Sky Iron vs. Half-Bloods

    -1d6 penalty to Cinder

    Salt vs. Spirits

    Bypasses a Spirit's DC

    Salt vs. Possessed

    -1d6 penalty to Cinder

    True Sunlight vs. Undying

    Reduces their Strike pool to 4d6 on exposure. When physically hit, deals 2 to Luck.

    Difficulty Class (DC)

    A Difficulty Class (also known as the DC) is the number of Passes you need in a rolled dice pool for that roll to be considered a success.

    There are two kinds of Difficulty Classes in Strike & Cinder Dice: Static DCs and the Success Range

    Static DCs

    Static DCs are a single number, and meeting or exceeding it is considered a success. The result is binary. Either it is a success, or it is not.

    Defense DCs

    Strike & Cinder rolls against PCs, NPCs, and Encounters are measured against Defense DCs. Each Path has a unique Defense DC. To 'hit' a PC or NPC, you need to meet or exceed their Defense DC. Feel free to use these for other physical scenarios as well, such as grappling or even something more mundane like, chasing or dancing together.

    Human DC 1 Arcanist DC 2 Half-blood, Cursed, and Possessed DC 3 Natural Shifter DC 4 Afflicted Shifter DC 4. If they Shift, their DC becomes 5. Undying DC 4 Spirit DC 10. If they Manifest, their DC becomes 2. Notes

    As noted before, the dice system is not required for combat unless the thread is for advancement. If it is not for advancement, then feel free to discuss it with your partner. Feel free to use it even if it isn't for advancement.

    A successful hit goes to the roll in cases where the roll matches the DC. This means that the attacker wins.

    A successful hit is pure abstraction, with possible reasons for the result up to the player.

    A successful hit that reaches 10 passes or above deals two strikes to Luck, considered a critical hit.

    A successful hit with Cinder versus a Spirit targets the Spirit's Manifested DC.

    The Success Range

    The Success Range is used for untargeted magic checks, magic resistance, mental resistance, and untargeted skill checks and physical skills. Instead of a static number, it is a range which allows you to determine the degree of success between Critical Failure and Exceptional Success.

    The way that these ranges are interpreted in the actual thread is up to you as you write your character, so long as you honor the dice roll. You can adjust your odds to make them more difficult if you choose, but you cannot make them easier without admin approval. Admin approval does include enchanted items which the player has made.

    Success Range

    0 passes Critical Failure 1 pass Failure 2 (net) passes Partial Failure 3 (net) passes Complete Success 5 or more passes Exceptional Success Notes

    As noted before, the dice system is not required unless the thread is for advancement. If it isn’t for advancement, a player can decide whether the character succeeded in what they were trying to do.

    An exceptional success can be interpreted as a success with a little extra flair. Whatever the character did, they did it really well.

    Mind Affecting Magic

    Hypnosis, Prey Paralysis, Charm, Empathy, and other keywords that could affect the mind.

    When using mind magic on another character, a character initiates with a Cinder roll and measures it against the Success Range. In response, the target may choose to resist with a Cinder roll, initiating a contested roll.

    A contested roll means the target rolls with the aim of meeting or exceeding the amount of passes of the attack roll to successfully resist. If the contested roll fails, but the roll is still a "success" on the Success Range, flavour can allow the target to be aware of what's happening.

    Anything that goes completely against the target's ideals and beliefs may be ignored. If this magic is used against a PC, communication is critical. When mind affecting magic is used with the intent of lasting over time, the magic fades when the target is exposed to sunlight, either daylight or True Sunlight.

    Iron Will

    Humans without a Cinder pool have no defense unless they possess Iron Will. In this case, they can roll to resist with a 5d6.

    Dice Tracking

    Tracking dice rolls and results can get tricky in threads you're using for Advancement. It's helpful to log whether the roll is Cinder or Strike, which keywords, the result, and who rolled. Simultaneously, it is necessary to track the Luck of those involved in the thread, whether it is a PVP thread or a PVE thread. Below is a useful template for how you can organise your dice roll information.

    For a full explanation of Encounters and how they work, read the Encounter page in the Guidebook.

    Important Aspects of Tracking

    • Note which bonuses you have applied (if Luck, do this only in the first post when the Encounter begins).
    • Note which degree of success you have rolled.
    • Note keyword(s) used.
    • Note abilities used.
    • Include the DC of your opponent or Encounter for ease of reference.
    • Remember to roll for yourself and the Encounter in your post. Use the Strike/Cinder die listed in the Encounter table.
    • Interpret the dice rolls through flavour in a way that works for you but reflects the dice results.
    • If you're in combat against another PC, the PC being "hit" is the one who interprets the hit, not the attacker.
    • If a dice result does not work for you at all, you can disregard it, but you cannot list it and use it for Advancement.
    • Luck is not hit points; you do not have to take damage if your Luck is lowered. Luck is the stamina gauge of how long a character can keep fighting.

    Players can use our code shortcuts to add visual appeal to their dice tracking. You can use them by simply framing the phrase with square brackets ([-]). The list of all the shortcuts are: [strike] [cinder] [luck] [cantrip] [charm] [boon] [aspect] [sorrows]. Our full custom code list can be found on the Code Guide.

    Example, with summary post
    [note][cantrip], Fire
    [cinder], Fire, Complete Success
    Encounter [strike] hit, 4 passes vs. DC3[/note]

    The PC strikes out at the Encounter using their [cantrip] and expands on that with a [cinder] roll, which allows for hitting the Encounter's [luck]. They can then describe the attack, flavoured by the "Complete Success" modifier and the used keyword. The PC also rolls and describes the Encounter's counter attack, flavoured to match the roll and type of attack, either [cinder] or [strike].

    If the PC uses any abilities like [cantrip], [charm], [boon] or [aspect], note this as well in the dice tracking area. Those on the Cursed path should note when they roll on their [sorrows], as well as the result of that roll.

    If the combat is between PCs, it is up to the character getting hit to describe how it lands, not the one rolling the successful hit.

    [footnote]PC [luck] 3/4
    Encounter [luck] 5/6[/footnote] [note][cinder] or [strike] rolls, w/ keywords & relevant bonuses[/note] [footnote][luck] count for PC and Encounter[/footnote]