Exploding dice (a.k.a. “acing dice”) in Savage Worlds is my favorite dice mechanic among the games that I regularly play. It’s led to some of the most epic moments I’ve had at the table and is in keeping with Savage Worlds “Fast! Furious! Fun!” motto.
The best part of it is it that it leads to such unexpected results. Even if the player characters are playing it safe, exploding dice can let the them kill the villain in a single well-placed gun shot or allow them to accomplish near-impossible feats of heroism. Like the bennies I described in Day 20, the exploding dice also encourage people to take risks. There’s always a chance that something amazing will happen and that can lead to player characters jumping off bridges to save a falling friend (both sans parachute) or take that one final desparate shot at the climax of the battle.
As a game master, it can be hard adjusting to these wild surges of luck — particularly when it comes to one-shotting villains — but typically everyone’s having so much fun that it doesn’t matter.
Of the games I don’t play regularly, the mechanic that appeals to me most is the dice pool. Whether its Godlike, Fantasy Flight’s Star Wars RPG, or Fate, I love counting up the dice, dumping a half dozen or so on to the table, and then reading them to see what happened. It’s a visceral thing, the sort of sensation you get when casting fireball in Dungeons & Dragons … but it’s baked into the game play. I also like how different games have interpreted the idea of a dice pool (how it’s built, how it’s read, etc.); I just wish I got to play with them more.