Drifting uses a die system that is based on a static pair of dice plus a number of dice and a modifier determined by a character's "tokens", which measure their abilities and reputation as they travel throughout the Tigris system. Tokens are gained in character creation through Lifepaths, and are then advanced through use or training during play.
Character tokens are the realm of the average player. For the most part, they are pretty simple, but are divided into categories to represent different focuses.
Background tokens are things like "Military", "Space", "Engineer" or "Con Artist", which can be used for a vast number of applications.
Focus tokens are things that are specific abilities focused on by a character to enhance their abilities; these would be something like Weapons, Piloting, Repair, or Haggling. Focus tokens apply only to certain situations.
Reputation tokens are things that are used by the Narrator to give advantages or disadvantages in certain situations; having Exile reputation may lead to getting a good deal in Exile space, while it could mean troubles talking your way out of being caught with a shipment of weapons after running afoul of a United Systems patrol. They apply primarily to interactions with others, including trading.
Drifting uses the same dice system as Orchestra, with a slight twist. When a player wants to undertake an action, they roll two dice. If they have applicable tokens, they increase the result by one point per applicable token, up to a maximum of three; they may also choose to "deplete" up to three tokens and add an extra die for each to the two dice being rolled, which means that the token cannot be rolled again until the Narrator says tokens refresh; the modifier from having the token is still applied to future rolls. Once the dice are rolled, the highest two dice are kept at face value, and the remainder are halved (rounding down, zero is a possibility).
It is also possible to use tokens to assist someone, but only by depleting them to give an additional die (in which case the modifier from them also applies), though it is not possible to "lend" a modifier without using the token for dice.
Jim is in a tough firefight in the middle of Storm's jungle, and uses his Military, Firearms, and
Dodge tokens to add three dice on his pool. He adds a +1 modifier for
each, reaching the maximum of +3 before relying on adding in his second
Firearms token, and he also adds three dice; he is rolling a total of
five dice, and will add 3 to his final result.
When a token is used to give a modifier, the player who is rolling it marks a check by where the token is listed on their character sheet. When a token is used to put an additional die in the pool of dice to be rolled, the player using it adds two checks by the token. If the same specific type (i.e. Firearms or Military) of token is used multiple times, only a number of check marks equivalent to one token's use would be added.
When a number of checks equal to ten times the number of the specific type of token that character has accrues, they gain a token of that type.
After his firefight (see above), Jim checks out the tokens he used; he gains three check marks each towards his Military, Firearms, and Dodge tokens; he reached 10 tokens in Firearms and Military, but since he already has a Firearms token he cannot advance his Firearms; he can however gain a new Military background token.
Had Jim opted to save his Military token for later and used an additional Firearms token, he would have gained only three check marks towards Firearms despite his increased effort.
When a player opts to use a token to gain a die, they may give one of their check marks to another player; this represents training and observation. Should a character reach ten check marks in a specific token type they lack (i.e. if they had no Firearms token), they can add the token the next time the Narrator says tokens refresh.
Jim shares his extra Firearms check mark with Linda, since he doesn't get an advantage for it right now. Linda has been receiving instruction for a while now, and this is her tenth check mark, meaning that she adds a Firearms token to her character sheet the next time tokens refresh.
When a character is hurt in combat or fails rolls spectacularly, they may "lose" a token, rendering it unusable for either bonuses or rolling until tokens "refresh" at the Narrator's discretion. Lost tokens must be of a type related to the check, unless no tokens of that type can be lost (either by not existing or by already having been lost), in which case the player decides which type of token to mark off. Tokens are lost when a roll that should result in token loss (combat, accidents, or the like) results in a loss for the player; an additional token is lost for every five points the character's roll came up below the opponent's. Depleted tokens do not count as lost, though they must be lost last.
In the battle previously, Linda took damage from a shot by an enemy; she rolled a 6 to dodge (she had no applicable tokens), and he rolled 9. Since she failed by a margin of three (9-6=3), she notes that two tokens are temporarily lost; she opts to mark off Repair and Pilot since they are general tokens, and she probably won't need them while lost in a Jungle. Had she had a Dodge token, she would have lost that Dodge token and a token of her choice. If Linda's roll had been 7, she would have only lost the Dodge token if she had it, or a token of her choice.