Bad Time Dice and Their Buddy Bad Time Mod
The core of the Bad Time Game is the Bad Time Dice and Bad Time Mod systems. The Bad Time Dice are a group of 4d4 rolled against a roll-under system. For each point a character has in the stat applicable to the action they want to undertake, they roll one less die. The aim is to roll a value of 7 or lower. Roll 8 or above, you fail your action and add +1 to the Bad Time Modified (a.k.a. Bad Time Mod). Roll 16 or above? Your character has a BAD TIME, which can mean any number of things. A magnificent failure. Being spotted cheating. Or, in the absolute worst case scenario, death.
And that is the gist of how the dice are. Currently.
Of course, this was designed to be rather punishing to the average player, particularly the implementation of the collective Bad Time Mod. It was not only designed to ensure that at least one death happens, it was also instituted to prevent what should be a snappy game from going on for longer than it has to. However, you may find it is too punishing for your game, and might want to give your players a better chance of success. There are ways to tune it down, such as having individual Bad Time Modifiers or playing around with success and failure thresholds, but what is important is that the Bad Time Dice ensure a Bad Time for the characters. Players should still be engaged and enjoying themselves. If they aren’t, then you need to try and course correct.