At the heart of the Shatterlands game system is a set of six dice: a red d20, an orange d12, a yellow d10, a green d8, a blue d6, and a purple d4. The order of these dice is easy to remember because it descends in the order of the rainbow. Each time rolling dice is called for, the player aid and Character Cards will specify which combination of dice colors to roll, and add together. There are never modifiers to add to the roll, though extra dice may be rolled based on the situation. The sum of all the dice rolled is always considered the result.
In Shatterlands, rolling lower is always better. Therefore, rolling fewer and smaller dice is preferable. More skilled characters in more favorable situations will always roll fewer and smaller dice, whereas less skilled characters in more difficult circumstances will roll more and larger dice.
In this way, the game hides a large amount of statistical complexity in a simple mechanic. Once you become accustomed to the game, the easy to read color coding system makes play fast and intuitive. As you learn the game you will begin to automatically associate purple and blue with good, orange and red with bad etc. The only exceptions to this are in the case of cover and armor, where larger dice are preferable because you are contributing those dice to your opponent’s roll to make success more difficult.