What I have for the fundamental dice mechanic right now is this. Your opinion is sought. Please vote in the poll, and if you have an idea that's not a poll option, or have additional thoughts, please comment on this post.
When you make a test against something living – trying to shoot a deer for dinner, heal a person’s wound, or argue your case before the council – you’re going to be rolling against their Balance plus Connection or Balance plus Skill. Balances run -5 to +5, Connections and Skills run 0 to 10. Inanimate objects don’t have Balances. You may end up rolling against a target number based on a parameter, such as the weight of a stone in order to lift it, or against its Connection, for instance the same rock’s Connection: Magic or Connection: Nature to use a spell to change it from granite to shale. This means your target numbers are going to range from -5 up to 15. Exceeding the target number gives you more effect – a Push, a second point of Connection loss or gain, etc. Failure has similar effects. Fail by a sufficient margin and you may take a Push to your Balance.
The question then becomes, what are the dice, and how are they modified? 1D20, 2d10, or dice according to the stat? Die plus Balance, die plus Balance and Skill, die determined by Balance and Skill, bonus dice?
My thought right now is a Savage Worlds model, where you get a die for the Balance and a die for the Skill or Connection, based on the value. The die roll is then unmodified, because the dice themselves represent the Balance and Skill/Connection.
-5, -4: D4
-3, -2, -1, 0: D6
1, 2, 3: D8
5, 6: D10
Negative and positive are determined by the end of the spectrum the Balance is on, with negative being the “wrong” end, i.e., Internal when you need External, and positive being the “right” end, i.e., Internal when you need Internal.
Skills and Connections:
0, 1, 2: D4
3, 4, 5: D6
6, 7, 8: D8
9, 10: D10
Thus, if you’re rolling External Sensuality plus Skill: Climbing, and your Sensuality is Internal 2 and your Climbing is 5, you get 2D6. If your target number is 14, you simply have no chance of success. That’s life.
Rolling a 2 is a critical failure. The worse the failure, the greater the consequences. Maxing out both dice is a critical success. You get a bonus on the effect. Exceeding the target number also gives you some kind of bonus, as mentioned earlier.
Dice based on Balance + Skill/Connection, with no modifier
D20 with modifier
2D10 with modifier
D10 with modifier