In the Dragon Age RPG, we are told on page 47:

When doubles are rolled on certain types of tests, this generates stunt points. You can then use these points to pull off a number of special maneuvers. Stunt points are used primarily in combat encounters (see page 54) to keep fghts dynamic and fun, along with spell stunts, which let mages enhance their spells (see page 106).

Here's the problem... per page 46, tests require you to roll three dice. So, rules as written, it is impossible to roll doubles, as you are never rolling two dice. There seems to be no place in the rules where you only roll two dice for a test. There's also no rules example in this section.

However, many of the game's equivalents to "critical hits" require stunt points, generated by "rolling doubles." So, what are doubles?

Trying to read the rules lead to four interpretations.

  • Any Two Out Of Three: "Doubles" count any two dice among three matching, including the dragon die as a die that can match. While it's the most permissive interpretation of the rules, it's unlikely from a gameplay standpoint; matching two on 3d6 leads to 4/9 of rolls (technically 96/216) generating stunt points. (This also leads to a followup question: if all three dice match, do these "triples" count as "doubles"?)
  • Doubles Only Count Non-Dragon Dice: "Doubles" count the two non-dragon dice. This is the most sensible from a grammatical standpoint, since the two non-dragon dice are the only pair of dice you roll in a test. However, it would still generate stunt points 1/6th of the time.
  • Tests Are 2d6, The Dragon Dice Is Rolled With The Test In Case It's Needed: Tests are just 2d6 + modifiers, with the 'dragon die' rolled simultaneously with the test die but the dragon die's value only becoming relevant if the 2d6 come up doubles. This is another possible reading of the rules, since the rules never explicitly state that the dragon die is added to the result of the test; the only mention of using the value of the dragon die outside of generating stunt points are the opposed test tiebreaker rules and the degree of success rules on page 48. This still generates stunt points 1/6th of the time.
  • Tests Are 2d6, 'Doubles' Are Generated If The Non-Dragon Dice Match The Dragon Dice: Implied by the paragraph of Combat Stunts on page 54, it has the most sensible frequency for generating stunt points (1 in 36 rolls). However, it is contradicted by the rules example on the following page.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Was an official errata ever published for this question? \$\endgroup\$ – sgfit Feb 19 at 5:25

The intention is at least two out of three dice showing the same face.

First of all, the Ability Tests section on page 46 makes clear that when making an ability test, your final result absolutely includes the Dragon Die (emphasis mine):

To make an ability test, first pick up three six-sided dice (3d6). Two of the dice should be one color and the third a different color. The off-color die is known as the Dragon Die (see The Dragon Die sidebar on page 47). Roll all three dice and add the results together; you want to roll high. You then add the ability you’re testing and another 2 if you have an applicable ability focus. The final number is your test result.


The Combat Stunts section on page 54 of the Dragon Age Core Rulebook states (emphasis mine):

The stunt system is simple. If you make a successful attack roll and get doubles on any of the dice, you can perform one or more stunts in addition to dealing your normal damage.

This is consistent with the worked example on the following page:

... Her test result is an 18 in total and her dice read 3, 5, and 5, with one of the 5s being her Dragon Die. This beats the tough’s Defense so Jannelle hits. Since she also rolled doubles, she receives a number of stunt points equal to her Dragon Die (5 in this case)...

And with a much later non-combat example regarding roleplaying/exploration stunts on page 132:

... Gerhard has Communication 2 and possesses the Investigation focus. He rolls 4, 3, and 3, with the 4 being the Dragon Die result. His total is thus 14, which exceeds the target number. The GM tells the player that Gerhard was successful. Since doubles were rolled, the test generates stunt points equal to the Dragon Die result of 4...

Which makes clear that the double can be on any two of the dice and it doesn't matter if one of them is the dragon die or not (at least for determining if a double has been rolled).

It appears you feel that this cannot be intended because that would generate stunt points too frequently. However, the DA system expects that you will regularly be generating stunt points. Much of the interesting stuff you can actually do in the system requires stunt points and many of the class abilities are based on reducing the cost of certain stunts to support a specific playstyle. This is not directly equivalent to getting a critical hit in D&D or similar games; stunts should be common. Remember that even if you do generate stunt points, the number is still variable - what you are able to do ranges from very minor (for instance, being able to move a bit further or push your opponent) to striking a Lethal Blow (which is more of a critical hit equivalent).

  • \$\begingroup\$ The rules example on page 132 contradicts the written rules on pages 46-47 but suggests that the first possible reading of the rules was the intended rules. Thanks. Accepting this answer until an official explanation is found. \$\endgroup\$ – sgfit Mar 19 '18 at 9:44
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ How does it contradict? \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Mar 19 '18 at 9:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @sgfit It does not contradict, merely illustrates another possible case. Moreover, the quote from Carcer answer wich states that stunt points are generated when you make "doubles on any of the dice" seems enough official to me :) \$\endgroup\$ – Glaerferyn Feb 25 at 12:02

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