Which 2d20?

Unlike savage worlds or GURPS or Genesys there isn’t a core 2D20 book (yet). So it’s more like the Eden systems (buffy, AFMBE) or Cortex/+ (Firefly/serenity, bsg, MHR, Leverage, smallville) or the FFG Star Wars (AOR, EOE, FAD).

The 2d20 games share the same underlying rules but have differences.

What’s the same? i.e. how does 2d20 work?

The 2d20 system games share the same main parts

  • Any kind of test is made by rolling 2d20. For each die under the relevant attribute+skill you get a success. There is usually a way to get 2 successes with one die.
  • You gain gain extra dice (up to 5) via momentum and threat.
  • If you get as many successes as the difficulty or beat the opponent in an opposed roll you succeed.
  • If you roll 20s you causes a complication. This is decided by the GM. You can succeed and get a complication.
  • There is some sort of bonus point system you can use to gain extra dice or reduce the effects of harm. You can earn these by good play or choosing to fail tests.
  • When you succeed by more than you needed you gain momentum. This can be spent to give special effects in combat or get more information or saved for future use.
  • Threat is the GM pool. It can be spent like momentum for NPCs or to increase difficulty, cause hazards, have more minions appear and other effects.
  • When damaging in combat you normally roll a number of special dice which have 1 and 2 damage faces and then effect faces which trigger item or skill abilities.
  • Damage causes points of stress. When your stress track is full, or you take 5 stress in one go, you take harms. Minions are KOed on 1 harm, PCS and nemeses need 5.
  • PCs have talents which are usually linked to skills and grant extra momentum or rerolls.
  • You gain XP which is used to buy higher levels of talents, attributes or skills.
  • Buying gear is done through tests rather than tracking all money.
  • NPCs are rated in a more simple fashion than most PCs


You want to shoot some minions. You need to roll 2d20 vs Co-Ordination(10) + Ballistics(3). You have 1 momentum which you spend and give one heat to the GM for an extra die. You roll 4 dice getting 8, 11, 14, 20. You have 2 Successes, but also a complication. The extra success than you needed (standard 1 if they didn’t dodge or counter) is a momentum. Your gun is 1+6cd, AP 2, Vicious 1.You roll 6 combat dice. you get [ ][1][ ][2][eff][eff]. You have 4 damage. You spend 1 effect to ignore 2 Armour and 1 to gain +1 damage. The 5 damage is enough to cause a wound, taking out 1 minion. You could re-roll the two blanks using the momentum, but there’s no point so you save it…

In general the system has a lot of flexibility, runs pretty quick and is a lot of fun.


What’s different?

Mutant Chronicles (3E)


MC3e was the first iteration of 2d20. It is also the crunchiest.

The main differences are:

  • MC3 uses hit locations for health (the only 2d20 game to do this)
  • Combat Dice only have 1 effect [1][2][ ][ ][ ][e]
  • The lifepath system allows you to “hazard” a chosen specialist career. You can have up to 4 careers.
  • Threat is called Dark symmetry points (DSP)
  • There is magic of a sort which works by having talent trees for areas of magic, and as you gain new talents you also access new spells.
  • There is an 8th attribute. The attributes are Agility, Awareness, Co-ordination, Intelligence, Mental Strength, Personality, Physique, and Strength



Infinity was the 2nd version to appear, but actually the 4th book to come out. [I’ll leave it at that]

  • Threat is called heat.
  • the bonus points are infinity points.
  • Hacking rules are included under infowar
  • There are rules for social combat, both as one-off attacks and entire infiltrations of social networks called psyops.
  • All characters have “onboard” AI called Geists which have stats and skills and can do some tasks for PCs
  • The lifepath system has careers at the end, which give different benefits. You can have up to 4 careers.
  • Armour has hit locations for PCS
  • There is harm and stress for Infowar – Firewall and Breach
  • Combat Dice only have 1 effect [1][2][ ][ ][ ][e]
  • 7 attributes : Agility, Awareness, Brawn, Coordination, Intelligence, Personality, Willpower



Conan first appeared as a playtest, then a quickstart, then was the 3rd kickstarter, but released before infinity and currently has a number of books out.

  • There are not careers as such, early on in CC you choose an archetype. You only have one, not multiple.
  • Armour has hit locations for PCS
  • Bonus points are called Fortune
  • Threat is Called Doom
  • In melee reach is a thing and affects attacks and defense
  • There are “displays” of prowess which can intimidate opponents
  • There is a cumulative trait called renown which characters build up over time.
  • Sorcery exists. Sorcerers choose a particular talent tree which unlocks various abilities and “spells” which are mostly rituals
  • Combat Dice have 2 effects [1][2][ ][ ][e][e] and effects do 1 damage
  • 7 attributes : Agility, Awareness, Brawn, Coordination, Intelligence, Personality, and Willpower.

Star Trek Adventures


Star trek was the first 2d20 game to not have a kickstarter. It had a open beta playtest, followed by a pre-order and then released in the summer of 2017. Currently it has 2 books.

  • Combat Dice are called challenge dice have 2 effects [1][2][ ][ ][e][e] and effects do 1 damage
  • Threat is Threat!
  • The bonus dice are called Determination
  • New attributes :  Control, Daring, Fitness, Insight, Presence, and Reason.
  • Disciplines instead of skills. The six Disciplines are Command, Conn, Engineering, Security, Science, and Medicine — representing the departments aboard a Federation starship.
  • Characters have focuses related to areas of expertise, rather than being part of skills.
  • Rolling under a discipline is 1 success, or 2 if you have a focus.
  • Rolling a 1 is always 2 successes
  • The lifepath has career events but no career options
  • There are minigames for scientific and engineering discoveries

John Carter of Mars


JCM just finished it’s kickstarter. It has a quickstart out.

  • The system is referred to as the momentum system
  • Normal Attributes and skills are out, replaced by 6 new attributes which are partly values and you roll under a combination of 2 of these : Cunning, Daring, Empathy, Might, Passion and Reason
  • Talents are now based on your character not skills and are more important
  • Combat Dice have 2 effects [1][2][ ][ ][e][e] and effects do 1 damage
  • Threat is threat and the bonus dice are called luck.

Devil’s Run

Devil’s run is the first non-modiphius 2d20 game, although most of the writers are linked to modiphius. It is currently kickstarting. Back it now!

  • At this point all I know is it’s closer to Conan than anything else, and has vehicle rules. This section will be updated as I get more info…
  • Threat is fallout and bonus points are salvage points.

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