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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 158 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [SYSTEM] Reinventing system mechanic; need help task resolution  (Read 3658 times)
Dangerboy
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« on: April 19, 2006, 11:20:03 PM »

Hey guys.

Posted this on RPGnet, but I'm not getting any responses yet, so I'm shotgunning it here to for a larger feedback pool.

Ok, here's the idea I got going so far. Colored parts are things I need help with.

System Mechanic
Attributes set the number of dice rolled
Skill sets the Target Number (roll under). Each die that rolls equal to or under is called a Hit.
So with a Str of 3 and a Melee skill of 4 and using d6's, I would roll 3d6 and look for 4 or lower

What changes if I make the Attribute the TN and the Skill the Dice Pool? I know my example would then be roll 4d6 and look for 3 or less, but the system I'm currently using, dice pool equates to potential and skill equates to success/failure, right?

Resolving Actions
Task resolution one:
Using a known chart, PC's narrate what they are trying to accomplish and this sets the action Penalty, removed from the dice pool before rolling. Extra Hits beyond the first one can be discarded to further narrate the action. A Task with no Hits is considered a failure.
When assigning penalties, the GM will deterine any and all applicable aspects of the task that can be penalized, like the general difficulty of the task and the time taken to complete the task. the final penalty will follow this formula: (highest penalty value)+1 for each additional augmenting aspect.

Task resolution two:
PC's roll and tally Hits. The PC then removes a number of Hits set by the action's Penalty, set by the GM (which can be known before the roll). The Task fails if this results in zero or less Hits. Any remaining Hits can then be discarded to narrate the task further.

With Task Res 1, the PC knows what he's getting into before the roll and gets a bonus for extra Hits. The PC also gets to know beforehand how much narrative control he/she has.
Task Res 2 looks to be a more simplified way of the system I'm currently using; the narrative control is still pretty random.
Which method is better? Would this change any if I switch the way Attributes and Skills are used?


The penalty chart would look something like this (below). The values I'm assigning here aren't set in stone, but are just here to help with examples. The format is TRes1/TRes2.
Difficulty (General dfficulty; running on a plane vs. running uphill)
-Easy (1/0)
-Challenging (2/1)
-Hard (3/2)
Duration (the length of time a task takes to complete; may be n/a )
-Time x .75 (1/1)
-Time x .5 (2/2)
-Time x .25 (3/3)
Permanence (this sets a difficulty for anyone trying to change/undo your task, like rewrite a software program you created. Can't think of a better name.)
-Easy (1/0)
-Challenging (2/1)
-Hard (3/2)
Damage (The task must be able to inflict Light Trauma first)
-Deadly Trauma (4/3)
Resistance (adds or subtracts dice from the target PC's 'saving throws'; primarily used in magic or social situations)
-+2 dice (0/0)
-no change (1/1)
--2 dice (2/2)

-----

The one thing that stands out for me is that if I go with Task Res 1, the PC gets some free buys. For example, if the PC performs a Hard Task, then he/she can just select any aspects that fall short of the -3 penalty because they'll only add -1 die. So a Hard task could have a 50% time reduction, set a Challenging difficulty for other players, and impose a -2 dice penalties to resist (using the numbers above). I don't know if that's a bad thing, though since I want the player to feel like they have control over the story. I think this might entice players.
Task Res 2 doesn't fix any of the problems I have with my current system other than helping to facilitate design (I don't have to make a chart for every skill). Originally, each skill had a chart next to it (most were redundant). After tallying hits, you discard dice and use the number rolled to purchase a quality, like shortening the time taken. I felt this was ultimately too random (and I couldn't add a skill if I couldn't think of a chart to go with it).
Which is better?


Once I know which one to go with, I can work on getting the numbers right.

Also, though I don't own it, I have seen Zir'An. I actually had something written on notepaper for D&D before White Wolf brought the game out. So rather than sit and say, "Dammit! That's my idea!" I want to try a diiferent way to do the same thing. Any other inspiration material would be appriciated.
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Dangerboy
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2006, 11:23:02 PM »

I also need help thinking of different aspects of a task that could be modified. Should Quality be one (completing the task or completing the task well)? I plan to use this resolution system in combat as well and a quality aspect could mean more damage or a better defense.
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dindenver
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2006, 01:35:40 PM »

Hi!
  Wwith multiple dice pools and shifting TNs, maybe the difficulty should chang ethe number of hits needed to succeed?
  I think taking the highest applicable penatly in the way to go with these few dice. I know that takinghits after rolling is too harsh. Each penalty will be negating 2, 3 or more dice rolled...
  Good luck man!
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Dave M
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Dangerboy
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2006, 11:48:54 AM »

Hi!
  Wwith multiple dice pools and shifting TNs, maybe the difficulty should chang ethe number of hits needed to succeed?
  I think taking the highest applicable penatly in the way to go with these few dice. I know that takinghits after rolling is too harsh. Each penalty will be negating 2, 3 or more dice rolled...
  Good luck man!


Mechanically, requiring additional hits is the same as subtracting them after rolling; the wording is different. I'll see if I can edit my first post to change the wording (requiring more hits is an easier way of thinking than saying roll and then remove hits).
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Dangerboy
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2006, 11:50:59 AM »

(editing is turned off, lol)

Ok, so here's what Task Res 2 should say now:
Task resolution two:
PC's roll and tally Hits. The task is a failure until a minimum number of Hits is met, called the Difficulty and set by the GM. Any remaining Hits can then be discarded to narrate the task further.
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Dangerboy
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« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2006, 12:58:53 AM »

Well, people are reading it. Is it just not worth commenting on?

Anyway...

Here's the categories so far:
Difficulty
Duration
Permanence
Damage
Resistance
Quality


I want to keep the categories the same and split them into Non-Combat, Combat, and Magic. Difficulty in combat would be things like Cover and Distance and something like disarming an opponent would be a Quality. Is there anything else anyone can think of?
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Anders Larsen
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Posts: 270


« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2006, 03:35:31 AM »

Quote
Well, people are reading it. Is it just not worth commenting on?

It can be very hard to comment on a system alone. You need to tell us what you want to achieve with this game, so we have some context to work from.

A resolution system can greatly influence the feeling of the game, so you have to look at what the resolution system should accomplish. What events lead op to a resolution roll, and how does these affect the roll? How are events, and the characters, affected by the outcome of the resolution roll? What role does the GM and the player have in all this?

 - Anders
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monsterboy
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Sean Miner


« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2006, 05:18:29 AM »

What changes if I make the Attribute the TN and the Skill the Dice Pool? I know my example would then be roll 4d6 and look for 3 or less, but the system I'm currently using, dice pool equates to potential and skill equates to success/failure, right?

Yes, you're correct (AFAIK, I could be having a stupid moment).

Attribute=TN/Skill=Dice is the system I'm using, in fact. What changes with that is that the skilled opponent becomes able to get more successes (Hits). The character with 1d6 skill and a 5 attribute has a higher chance getting at least one single success than the character with 3d6 skill and a 2 attribute, but can't get as many successes. So an attribute can carry you a ways, but it doesn't let you know how to do what you can to the best of your ability. To use a combat example, a person who is fast and nimble may make contact with and evade an opponent without knowing how to fight, but the person who knows what he's doing knows where to hit to cause the most damage, and how to maneuver him to best advantage (feint, circle behind, get him to walk over a cliff, etc.). Thus, while a person of great prowess will nearly always have the advantage over an invalid, innate talent is most significant between those with similar skills.

The other way (Attribute = dice and Skill = TN) is interesting to think about. Essentially, it would seem to foster the opposite ethos: "Skill is good, but no substitute for talent." You'd either have the knack of doing difficult tasks with style, or you don't. This might be good for a setting where inborn power (magic, chi, whatever) is important, or where characters have a destiny of some sort.
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Dangerboy
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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2006, 10:20:00 AM »

I'm looking for a system that gives more narrative control to the players. Unless the game was built to be purely narrative, my experience is that most systems put all the work on the GM and if the GM gives any control to the player, it's house-ruled into the system. Aside from social interaction, it's very easy for the players to just roll their dice and wait for the GM to interpret the outcome.

I guess a typical scenario should work like this (if this example sucks, let me know):

Players have come up to a locked door and want to sneak in...

GM: Alright it's a typical keypad lock; shouldn't be too much trouble if you have a codebreaker, but you don't have one, right? (GM sets difficulty).

P1: Nope, gonna have to do the old pencil-shaving-finger-print trick. (to P2) Are we rushing it?

P2: Faster would be better.

P1: How long will it take?

GM: Ehh... ten minutes.

P1: What? Supposed I get it in one try?

GM: If you want to toss combinations my way, I'll get a stop watch until you get it right...

P1: Ok-ok, I'll roll, but I at least wanna cut the time in half (P1 increases the penalty for his roll).

P1 gets enough hits to succeed, plus a little extra.

P1: Cool, I wanna use some extra hits to hide my tracks.

Rather than ask for a "stealth" roll, the GM thinks this is fair. the extra hits spent will be used to set of the difficulty for anyone searching the area.

GM: Ok, you wipe the keypad and make sure nothing tips you two off. You're in...
--------------

I guess if I had to compare it to something, I guess it's similar to L5R in that the player can increase the difficulty him/herself for a better outcome, but with the addition of being able to further narrate the task if you get a better margin of success. I'm also looking for magic to be freeform, so knowing how much you have to work with as far as succeeding goes factors a lot into it.

To reply to monsterboy, yeah I'm using the opposite approach; stat offering more chance at succeeding and skill setting the pass/fail bar.
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Tommi Brander
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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2006, 11:37:15 PM »

When in doubt, let the players know as much as possible. Letting them predict the consequences of their actions is a good thing. That would mean task resolution 1.

Also, have you heard of/considered using conflict resolution/setting stakes?
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Dangerboy
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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2006, 06:53:41 AM »

When in doubt, let the players know as much as possible. Letting them predict the consequences of their actions is a good thing. That would mean task resolution 1.

Also, have you heard of/considered using conflict resolution/setting stakes?

I'm gonna say no and see what your reply is? Maybe?
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Tommi Brander
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2006, 01:33:39 AM »

See Conflict versus task resolution here.

Basically, you determine what success and failure on a given roll will result in, and only after everyone agrees, roll the dice.
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Dangerboy
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« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2006, 09:48:49 AM »

I don't necessarily have a problem with the GM rewriting the story off the cuff as they did in the task resolution style example. I could see the GM using both styles during a session. I'm leaning towards Task Res 1 myself and don' see it leaning one way or the other, as it's just a mechanic and Task/Conflict Resolution is a play style. Since I know it's out there though, I will give both examples when I write down the rules. Thanks for that link.
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Tommi Brander
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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2006, 08:10:37 AM »

Including both there is a very good idea.
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