post on Roger's Roles, Rules, and Rolls blog, which is rapidly becoming the sine qua non of the OSR theory discussion group, inspired me to add an Escalation die to my game.
Why? Because it rips your arms out of your lazy boring sockets.
The short version: Every time someone rolls a seven or a thirteen, the escalation die gets incremented. This provides a bonus to hit and damage and a penalty to saves.
We tried it, and no one remembered.
On my character sheets, there is an escalation track. Anytime someone rolls these numbers on any die, they may mark in the next of ten dots on their escalation track. Once complete, there is a semi-circle with a "9" in it. The next time that player rolls a nine, they may clear their escalation track and raise one of their stats by one.
Questions you may have.
It seems like fighters will have their stats go up quicker, because they are more likely to roll dice with results of seven or thirteen.
It does! They will! This is by design.
Won't everyone die if the escalation die keeps going up?
It goes down by one after the end of every battle. It also gets reset if they return to town or take a rest. The general situation is that it keeps increasing.