This is an experiment with rules for adventuring in Glorantha.?
When something happens which could go any of several ways, depending on how good the PCs are at what they do, this is an Action. It takes place during a Beat. First the GM Sets the Stakes by rolling a pool of dice and adding the two highest. The PC taking action then tries to Raise the Stakes by equalling or beating the GM's results with his own dice pool, adding the two highest results, and discarding any 1s they roll. A Beat may last anywhere from a few seconds to weeks or even months depending on the action. (Example: Harmast wants to punch a Lunar soldier in the face. This is a few seconds long beat. Jalat KON-hel, a Lunar Captain from First Blessing wants to execute a flanking manuever on the enemy forces. This beat may last an hour or two. Harrathos the Minotaur wants to gather enough food for a week's journey; this beat might last an entire day or more. Kinkasa the Vadeli wants to flee from Fonrit to the Righteous Duchy of Manira because the heat is on. This involves crossing the ocean and assuming you even allow this to resolve in a single Beat, it's going to be weeks, maybe months.)
Dice are only rolled if something important is on the line, from getting information to avoiding being caught sneaking into a place to combat to romance to finding the best cheese sandwich... if it's an important cheese sandwich. Conflicts can be low-stakes, where you succeed or fail but it's not a disaster, and high-stakes, where losing can result in being Taken Out. Someone Taken Out is out of action for the rest of the scene, though things may change this.
Your dice pool is typically an Atribute, a Skill, a Distinction, and any Bonus dice, from equipment, Runes, special abilities, and so on. Example 1: Sir Frederick of the Righteous Duchy of Maniria is confronting a filthy Praxian sorceror who cavorts with the undead. Maybe he's a Shaman, does it matter, they're all pagan filth! The Shaman, Kala of the Bison Tribe, snorts and sets the stakes by mustering a D8 Spiritual die, a D8 Death Rune, and a D8 Medicine Bundle. Sir Frederick draws his holy sword and begins slaughtering the dead. This is a pool of his D10 Physical Attribute, his D8 Melee Combat, and his D8 Knight of the Righteous Duchy. Example 2: Harmast has decided the best way to get to Pavis to meet up with the other PCs he was cut off from is to ride across the desert on a horse with no name. Having stolen a horse from the Poljoni, he sets out. The DM gives Prax a D10 Physical because it's tough to survive, a D10 Anti-Survival Skill, and a D10 Fire Season die. Unfortunately, Harmast is short on good dice for this. He burns a Hero Point to create a D8 Asset: Horse With No Name. He rolls his D8 Physical Attribute, his default D6 Survival Skill, and the D8 for the Horse Asset. He lacks a relevant Distinction to his frustration. He may well get Taken Out. Example 3:
In an Action:
This is shaped by the narrative situation and what you are deploying to affect it. You can only set objectives plausible for what you have to deal with. If you want to fight an entire company of Lunars, you're going to need your own military unit Asset or else have some really potent dice available.
A PC dice pool typically consists of an Attribute, a Skill, a Distinction and any Assets they have available, from swords to Runes to military companies.
You roll everything and add the two highest dice, which is your Stakes. If a player rolls a 1 (this is known as a Jinx), the GM can give them a plot point and create a Complication the GM can exploit for the rest of the scene.
High roll wins; some situations may turn into extended contests which require multiple rolls. The winner gets what they wanted from this.