I posted my dice variant on the forum for Thunderstone Advance awhile back, but it seems that this forum gets more eyes, so I'm posting it here. I think a lot of players would enjoy it.
If you like a little randomness added to your dungeon fights, and want to simplify the sometimes confusing element of the light penalty, here's a variant that addresses both of these in one simple step. Plus, I think it speeds up the game a little.
For this variant, I use a set of black dice (penalty) and a set of white dice (light). Each die is a D6, but has numbers 1-3 twice--equivalent to a D3. Once you've chosen a monster to attack, roll the number of black dice equal to the light requirement (aka "darkness"/typically the dungeon rank, of course), and the number of white dice equal to the amount of light you have. Total the results for the black and white dice, but the number of white dice you count is limited to the number of black dice that were rolled. (If you have 3 light sources, but are fighting in rank 1, roll 3 white dice, but just count your highest single die). Of course, if the black total is higher, subtract the difference from your attack, but add the difference if the white is higher.
On average, this will result in -2 attack points per light penalty, but there's some unpredictability (excitement) and it's a simpler exercise to determine the light penalty.
The other thing I really like about it is that it removes the need to calculate perfectly carefully and precisely when deciding whether or not to go to the dungeon. Lots of times the rolls won't even factor into the result, but usually it's close, so the dice can make or break an attack. Of course, it's up to the player to choose whether or not to take chances by attacking when the outcome is in doubt.
I think this speeds up the game because there's less time spent repeatedly calculating the outcome before choosing whether or not to fight.
Here's the original post:http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/798614/light-penalty-dice