2d20 Basics

By Georgie R.
Art by CLOUD


You’ll have seen over Modiphius Entertainment’s social media channels and newsletters that our newest game, titled Dreams and Machines, has now been released! For those who have not played games with this system before, you might be wondering “What is the 2d20 System?”

The 2d20 System is a cinematic RPG ruleset that was developed for various roleplaying games. Dune: Adventures in the Imperium, Fallout: The RPG, Achtung! Cthulhu and Star Trek Adventures all use the system to help you tell your stories. For Dreams and Machines, once again, we’ve redeveloped the rules from the ground up to tailor it for a brand new world.

Every RPG system has a 'main' roll and the 2d20 system is no different. Here's how it goes:

Roll 2 twenty sided dice. Your goal here is to get equal to or under a target number on each one of your d20 die. Each 2d20 System game determines this target number slightly differently according to what the game’s about. In Dreams and Machines, the target number is simply equal to the Attribute you’re using: one of Might, Quickness, Insight, or Resolve. Each time you roll equal to or under your target number, you score a Success. Each skill test also uses one of your Skills: each die that rolls equal to or under the score you have for that Skill scores a Critical Success, worth two successes instead of one!

Let’s say your character wanted to climb a cliff. The Gamesmaster would decide the Difficulty of this Skill Test and you would then look at your Might (Attribute) and your Move (Skill). In this character’s case, their Might total is 6 and their Move total is 3, meaning each d20 you roll which is 6 or less is a success. Any dice you roll which are equal or less than your Move total - 3 - is a critical success, giving you 2 instead of 1 successes.

Many basic tests like this one will have Difficulties of 1 or 2, but the GM can raise this to 3, 4, or even 5 depending on how tough the situation is! 

If you get more successes than the GM asked for, you gain something called Momentum!

This can be used to improve the outcome of succeeding at a skill test, and it can do a whole arsenal of amazing things with the only limit being your imagination (and the GM’s permission, of course)! All friendly characters in play have access to this resource pool and the actions you can use. As you learn and play more with this system, you’ll get more of a feel for how much Momentum you need to get the results you want. In Dreams and Machines, common things to do with Momentum include getting more information when searching or investigating, being able to take extra actions during tense moments, and restoring your Spirit and that of your allies.

The GM also has some fun ways they can utilise their own resource, called Threat, that they can spend to influence the challenges and perils you will face on your adventures!

In our next blog, we’ll be going over what Evera Prime is and discussing the history of the planet in a little more detail.

Until then, you can ready yourself for your own adventures in Evera Prime by ordering the Dreams and Machines Starter Set today!


Thanks for reading this article, and thank you for your interest and support of Dreams and Machines! Trust in your d20s and subscribe to our newsletter for news about Dreams and Machines and other Modiphius product releases. 



Dreams and machines