Diagnostic Ward and Liar's Dice: Rerolled

It must be spring, because I'm blogging again, with two new posts this week.

Diagnostic Ward takes its inspiration from House but you don't need any medical knowledge to play, as this game is set in a world of fantasy & myth, where you treat mundane patients with magical ailments or vice versa.

Liar's Dice: Rerolled is the first in a series of hacking articles, where I'll take the custom dice from a card or board game and re-purpose them for a mini RPG. First up: how to use those d6s which have a symbol instead of a 6 to play a game about small fairy creatures & animal companions getting by in a human city that isn't built for them.


  • These are both really good, James! I particularly like "Diagnostic Ward".

    However, it would be nice to have some more guidances on what "issues" are, and what to do with them/how to handle them. (I could use a Frame/Resolve procedure, a la Fiasco, being helpful here, on a sidenote.)

    I like some of the hidden behaviours/choices (for instance, refusing to do poorly as a doctor in your personal issue will often mean you're killing the patient!).

    What happens if a player doesn't take any dice for themselves? How do we resolve their final fate?
  • Diagnostic Ward is quite possibly a game I could expand on at some point... but saying that, so is Underfoot.

    Anyway, my answer to most questions about Diagnostic Ward is "Watch House," but to address the case of a doctor who takes no dice for themselves during the game, then technically they have less 1-3 and less 4-6 results than the patient's condition. That would mean the outcome for their issues is that it is both "complicated but ok" and "not all bad," so I would let the patient narrate the whole outcome instead of just adding a twist to it: this outcome should be an extension of the issue rather than a resolution of it, so it might carry over to the next case.
  • What do you think about an optional rule where a player with no dice simply rolls one at the end?
  • edited March 2016
    Sure, go for it: I've just started a whole series of blog posts about hacking games or their parts, so I can hardly complain if you start hacking mine! ;-)

    Edit: I've updated Diagnostic Ward with some examples of testing & treating patients, character issues and Paul_T's suggested hack for ending the game with no dice. Thanks for the feedback, Paul! :-D
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