What is the DPS?

2024 / 04 / 26

Hello everyone! Today we’d like to talk to you about the engine behind the forthcoming Arkham Horror Roleplaying Game, the DPS. 

No, it’s not “damage per second.” In this case, DPS stands for Dynamic Pool System, the brand-new game mechanics invented to bring you into the heart of the action, mystery, and terror of Arkham Horror.

The dice in the Dynamic Pool System are standard, six-sided numeric dice. There’s nothing fancy about them, but they are easily available. And that’s good, because you’re going to need quite a few of them! (Lucky for you, we’ve included no fewer than 24 dice in our Starter Set, which should take care of all your dice needs!)

Those dice form the dice pool, or what we call the dynamic pool. Each character has a dynamic pool of dice that they can spend to do stuff like run, climb, study ancient tomes, and shoot eldritch abominations. Characters spend dice by removing them from their pool, sometimes rolling them, but sometimes just removing them is enough to do something. The pool empties quickly, but luckily it refills at the start of each turn (or each scene, when dealing with narrative events that aren’t so action oriented). 

However, how much your character’s dice pool refills depends on whether they’ve suffered any damage in their adventures. Bullets, blades, and the claws of otherworldly monstrosities can all decrease the size of a character’s dice pool. Obviously, this can seriously limit their ability to perform in combat. However, don’t worry! Characters can restore the size of their dice pool at any time…for the minor cost of a lasting injury. A small price to pay for being able to leap back into action at a critical moment! 

But what will your character spend their dice to do? It might be minor but useful actions, such as moving from one place to another or picking up an object from the floor. But the most important activities your character performs will be done using their skills.  A character has an array of skills, ranked from 2+ (an amazingly talented person) to 6+ (unusually bad at this skill). Of course, if your character is not very good at using a skill, they have the option to roll multiple dice from their pool. Generally, all they need is one successful result in order to succeed on their task. So the more dice they dedicate, the greater your character’s chances of success. 

And those are the basics of the gaming mechanics of the DPS. Of course, the game builds a lot on those basics, and elements such as knacks, skills, and archetypes all add a ton of fun and depth to your characters and the game.  

But we’ll tell you about that in new articles. So stay tuned for more news.

Arkham Horror RPG Starter Set will be out on August 2, 2024.