Earthdawn: The Age of Legend uses standard six-sided dice. We suggest to use a slightly larger die as the main die and smaller dice to represent bonus or penalty dice. Using dice of different colors to represent their meaning is helpful to keep them separate. Of course, you can play the with a single die, but that might be a bit tedious.
The image below shows one setup of regular dice. The white one is the main die, red ones are penalty dice, green ones represent bonus dice.
The rulebook also talks about customizing your dice, so we'd like to show you how this can work out with pictures. The following image shows what this may look like:
We used a blank die with elevated edges for this, printing the various results of the Main Die Results table on each face.
Using simple paper stickers and a printer, we applied custom die faces showing the results and the number.
We also did this in german on the black die in the back. You can find blank dice like this at most dice vendors.
For the bonus and penalty dice, we used black and white Fudge Dice. White dice represent bonus dice, black ones penalty dice. Because we need these to be dedicated, we painted the unused faced over. As a result, the white bonus dice feature four blank faces and two with a + symbol. Likewise, the black penaly dice have four blank faces and two — symbols. This gets you the same results as a 5 or 6 on a regular die, but makes the roll much easier to read.
Lastly, we recommend the use of tokens to represent Karma Points. Karma is spent and rewarded often, so you'll need more than a handful. For Earthdawn: The Age of Legend, we used cheap plastic coins during our playtests.
...the dice mechanics in Earthdawn: The Age of Legend deviate from the original FU core mechanics? That's because the original rules feature a more extreme alteration of the success chance. Rolling only the main die gives you a 50% chance of success. The first bonus die has a lot more weight there, increasing the chance of success by 25%; the first penalty die lowers it by 25%, and so on. Additional bonus or penalty dice have less extreme effects.
In Earthdawn: The Age of Legend, the first beneficial bonus die increases this chance by roughly 15%, the second roughly by another 10%, and so on. Penalty dice decrease the chance of success by similar amounts. The chance to score matching bonus or penalty dice is also about 10%. It pays having the right tags ready, doesn’t it?