Sand is a fairly simple role-playing game that was published in an unfinished state, at a point when the authors felt it could be used successfully in a campaign with an experienced game master to deal with shortcomings. Much of the rules are intended to focus on the harsh setting of the game but the setting, as published, is little more than a territorial map with the description of desert.
Characters has six Attributes: Might, Fortitude, Facility, Worldliness, Shrewdness, Essence, and Vitality. Vitality is parceled out among Head, Upper and Lower Torso, Left and Right Arm, and Left and Right Leg. Attribute have Points which are purchased during character creation, ranging from 1 to 6 (they may exceed that later during play). The same point pool also is used to purchase Skills (Skills are not defined though several are offered as samples). Vitality has a different scoring mechanism and starts at 900 (total).
Action resolution is performed by rolling a dice pool and looking for successes (using a peculiar method) against a target number. The number of dice in the pool is determined by the Attribute or Skill Points value associated with the action. The individual dice results are used to build a two-digit number that exceeds the target number. For example, a 4d10 roll of 2, 5, 6, and 8 would be scored at 86.
Combat is more complex and somewhat poorly defined. It also uses the peculiar method of dice result handling. Combat involves several "special case" rules for various weapons, armors, and so forth. Damage is calculated by a fairly strange method of doing two calculations, each of which does damage. A single hit may well do nearly 200 hit points of damage though 150 is probably more typical.