Rulebook: A Thousand Miles of Dust

BASIC RULES: The Dice Pool and Difficulty

All rolls are done with d10, 10-sided dice. You will want at least five to ten of these dice per player to play. Digital dice are fine, but you need to know the value of each die, not the total.

Each die that you roll is your dice pool. Your dice pool is usually an Attribute plus an Ability, although sometimes you will roll single stats. If you are told to roll your Strength plus your Athletics, you would add those two values together into your hand as your dice pool. The dice pool can be further modified by injury, special character stats, or other factors. In general, it is not possible to have more than 10 dice in your dice pool.

Each roll is assigned a difficulty. If the difficulty is not stated, assume that it is 6. All damage rolls are difficulty 6.

9Extremely Difficult
10Practically Impossible

Each die that comes up at or above the difficulty counts as one success. Each die that comes up below the difficulty (except for 1) does nothing. Each die that comes up as “1” will subtract a success. Take the die that says “1” and one success die, and remove them both from the roll. If you have more “1”s than “successes” then you have botched (a critical failure).

Examples: Using 5 dice in the dice pool and a difficulty of 6:

10, 9, 7, 7, 3 – 4 successes

9, 6, 6, 3, 2 – 3 successes

10, 9, 3, 1, 1 – 0 successes (failure)

10, 5, 5, 1, 1 – (-1) successes (botch)

The more successes you get on a roll, the better the outcome. 1 success is just barely successful, 3 is a complete success, and 5 means that the action was overwhelmingly successful. A failure means that the character failed the action. A botch means that not only did the character fail the intended action, but also they have made a mistake that could destroy equipment, cause injury, hurt allies, or worse.


Standard rolls are simple actions or results from a single roll.

Examples: Attacking a target; Dealing damage, Jumping a gap

Extended Rolls may take several turns to resolve.

Examples: Unlocking a difficult lock; Removing rubble; Performing research

Opposing Rolls occur when two characters are rolling against each other. Set a number and see who can get more successes; the greater the margin of victory in successes, the greater the effect.

Examples: Grappling; Determining the winner of a footrace; Tense negotiations for the scrap value of fuel


If you roll two dice with the same face value, and both of those are successes, you can add 1 Adrenaline point to your Adrenaline pool.

Adrenaline is a stat you have that can (potentially) go up to 10. By spending an Adrenaline point, you can get 1 automatic success on a roll but you must declare that you are spending the point before you roll.

Example: You roll Perception + Intimidation, difficulty 6, to see if the raider is bluffing about your car being rigged with explosives. You roll 9, 9, 6, 2, 2.. You earn 3 successes, and in addition you earn 1 Adrenaline point.

For more Adrenaline rules, see its section later in this manual.

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