“Senior moments” seem to be coming harder and faster for me after turning around that four decade mark. I failed to mention in yesterday's post kicking off the Pendragon D&D thread (the follow-up sections are being worked on tonight) that I had adapted the stress saving throw from AD&D house rules used by the Lord of Green Dragons, Rob Kuntz.
A couple weeks back I had played a less-than-heroic role in the Saturday evening session judged by Kuntz at the North Texas RPG rumpus. One of the more interesting things I noticed from playing with the man was his frequent use of attribute checks.
Depending on the situation he would call for a throw of 3d6, 4d6, or 5d6 against a particular attribute—the dice being added for the relative difficulty of the task at hand. Exceeding the number meant failure. I wasn't entirely sure, but beating a roll handily or failing it badly seemed to have consequences.
Here a 3d6 against would be thrown against CHA for attempting to cajole some information from a hooded servant, there a 4d6 would be thrown against DEX to avoid dropping into an invisible pit of certain death.
INT checks of various proportions were frequently used to see if he would feed us metagamey knowledge (a sudden perception of a weakness in a trap, the direction that the air currents were taking a cloud of sulfurous gas, etc)
Not rocket science, nothing earth-shattering, but a far simpler and more elegant solution than the constant addition and subtraction of modifiers on a d20 roll or the matching of various challenge systems.
Consider it borrowed, oh Lord.