RPGaDay 2015 – Day 25: Favourite Revolutionary Game Mechanic
Short Answer: Ubiquity Roleplaying System.
Long Answer: It might seem odd that a rules system would be considered revolutionary, but Ubiquity certainly fits the bill. Exile Game Studio built their system around dice pools and binary results. Each die rolled has equal odds of rolling a success or failure (e.g. all odds are successes, all evens are failures). This means you can use any type of dice when making your roll, as long as they all have an even number of sides.
To further simply matters, Exile sell specially designed Ubiquity dice. These are D8’s that have been specially labelled to represent the rolling of a certain number of ‘normal’ dice. These dice come in three varieties: one representing a single die, one representing two dice, and one representing three dice. Using these dice, you can take a large dice pool and break it down into a relatively small number of dice. On top of this, you only have to count the numbers on the Ubiquity dice to find your number of successes.
Again, this might not sound like much, but it really does help simplify game play. Also, the binary nature of the system makes it easy to streamline more simple actions within the game. A character with lock picking 8 could be expected to easily unlock any lock with a difficulty of 4 or less under calm conditions. Of course, should the same character try picking a lock in the middle of a firefight, they should be encouraged to actually make the roll.
I’ve seen the rules system, and dice, in action at GenCon. People are hesitant at first, but a few rolls in it’s like second nature. The only thing you need to check is which die is which. Sounds like a winner to me.