Rubric of the Goat: The Doom Mechanic

Hey folks, I have been playing around with coming up with Black Goat’s own easy-to-use rules system, or some modification of an open source one, or whatever. I like to call it “Grim Fantasy”. First as a placeholder, but then the name kinda stuck with me. These rules and such have been brewing in my head for a long, long time, and I keep playing and tinkering with them. Anyway, I hope this one will give you some cool ideas, or maybe you’ll use it in your own game. Sure, this can all be expanded– and it will. But for now, play around with it, see what happens, and I would love to read reports of your findings.

Once again, these are the basic notes.


Fate is fickle, but I feel that much of the fate of a character should rest in the hands of a player. I also feel players should be rewarded for taking chances and “letting it roll”. In this case, Doom means fate or destiny, and is being used in the more archaic convention.

The Doom stat is gained by rolling a d6 first. This will be the amount of times you get to roll your d100 Doom dice, and you take the number you wish. Usually this will be the highest, but if a player a lower number, they will get a Special Reward base on the rank of which roll it was. For instance, if you roll 4 on the d6 and take the next highest you get one Special Reward; take the lowest and you get three Special Rewards.

The Grim Fantasy RPG is about rewarding players for having fun with their characters and making the best out of a bad deal, so if the player decide to give themselves only one try at the Doom score, they should get a Very Special Reward (especially if they end up rolling, say, a 07 or something).

Certain “blessed” races, like elves, will get modifiers already, like only being able to roll d4 times and receiving later Doom penalties.


Next up, and after you’ve figured out which Doom score you’re taking, apply appropriate modifiers. As of this writing, most modifiers are suggestions; races themselves are also suggestions.

Elves: Roll d4 times. Subtract 2d10 from Doom.
Angelic and Demonic Blood: Roll d4 times. 3d10 from Doom.
Gnomes: 1d10 from Doom.
Dwarves: Roll d4 times. Add 1d10 to Doom.
Halflings: roll d8 times. Add 2d10 to Doom. Halflings are very lucky by nature.

During the game, Doom can be used as a Luck stat, and it can be used to modify rolls and cheat death. Often these choices will permanently affect Doom.

Influence a roll +/- 1, +/-10%, etc: Dock 1 Doom point per d6 increments in a single instance.
Automatically make a mundane / non-lethal check: Dock 5 Doom points.
Automatically make an important or life-saving check: Dock 10 Doom.
Cheat Death with fetters (consequences): Dock 20 Doom.
Fully Cheat Death, no strings: 30 points of Doom docked.
Bring Death Upon Someone (Doom them*): Subtract all Doom to -10**.

(*Note: This should never be allowed to used against PCs and the GM’s call is sacrosanct.)
(**The character must have at least 30 Doom to perform this in the first place.)

These subtractions are final. Though, a character can earn Doom points by extreme and interesting actions. They can also use gobs of Experience Points (XP) to gain more.


Another way one can earn lots of Doom is by simply “going with it”. If they make their character creation completely random, they will get 4d10+5 extra starting Doom. Yes, that’s a lot. They can also sacrifice a stat point level (-1/-10) for 5 Doom. Now, this can lead to a character to having a ridiculous amount of Doom, and that’s alright because it should lead to great amusement, as their character will most probably be a hot mess. Now, “going with it” also means Calling and Profession are also random. So, yeah, you and your friends might end up with the world’s clumsiest burglar who’s built like a brick shithouse. There’s also a possibility of having a halfling with a Doom of something like 165 or more.

The PC’s Doom can also be used as a Luck score, as mentioned. This works as a d100 stat with appropriate modifiers. And while this can all seem complicated, one must remember that one’s Doom is a primary aspect of Grim Fantasy, but if you finding it to be mucking things up to much, take or add what you whilst.

No matter how high or low a Doom is, 100 is always an automatic failure and 1 is an automatic success. Also, due to other nasty things, it is completely possible to have a negative Doom. These people are actually known as Doomed Ones.

Players could easily abuse this game mechanic, and it’s really up to the Gamemaster on how it’s all handled. How Doom Abusers are treated could be a fun mechanic in and of itself!


I’ll be sure to come up with some fun charts and tables as I flesh this out more. Overall, I think Doom can really make a game interesting and exciting in all the right/wrong ways.


Demon Cult image by Ed Geier, used with permission
Cat artwork © Jeff Freels 2008, used with permission
Crow Skull image by Nicole Turner
Anything else is found in the public domain

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