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Author Topic: RfC on MX - Roll under TN against Oppositions, Raising the Stakes  (Read 808 times)
apeiron
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Posts: 135

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« on: March 27, 2008, 11:45:33 AM »

Inspired by Burning Wheel, i came up with this.  So far it's rather vague and incomplete, but i have to get it out of my head.  i hope you guys can help me refine it.

Traits are rated 1 through 5 (normal human range). 
- If someone has a 5 in something, they are probably famous for it, even if only to a select group.
- So Angelina Jolie could be said to have Appearance 5, or at least Fame 5
- Einstein had a 5 in Physics
- Char Gen and advancement rules would make 5s very rare for most settings

The Target Number is the sum of the Traits (usually 2) in use
- Perhaps a task calls for Appearance (attribute) and Seduction (skill)
- There might be times when you will use a third Trait.

The active character rolls against Oppositions which are expressed as a die
- The stronger the opposition, the bigger the die, d4, d6, d8, d10, d12
- Figuring out that E=mc^2 might have been a d12 (as an extended task)
- Oppositions are similar (pretty much stolen from) Hostiles in the game Immortal
- A die that rolls lower than the target number is a hit, any other die is a miss.  Use success/failure if you prefer.

The success/outcome of a task/result of a conflict is determined by Hits - Misses.
- Hits/Successes refer to the goal of the acting character, btw.
- Perhaps misses negate hits, if hits remain, you get what you want
- 3H, 2M = You hit the bad guy
- Some tasks/conflicts might have both sides getting what they want
- 3H, 2M = You seduce the cocktail waitress, but now she's in love with you or obsessed
- In both cases, the active player has a margin of one, which means a skin of the teeth success
- You can look at it as 3 and 2, or as +1.  It might depend on the situation.

A more radical option is that 1 - TN is a Hit, and 2TN+ is a Miss
- If the TN is 4, a hit would be 1 to 4, a miss would be 8 or more.
- A small die might have no chance of being a miss
- The way you'd compare hits and misses would change
- Some dice would roll neither, i'll call that a null. (things are looking Fudgey)
- Makes rolling a bit more complex as you have to check for it being a hit, miss or neither.
- i think the narrative possibilities might be clearer though


For a given task/conflict there will/can be multiple Oppositions
- Simple, straight forward actions would have fewer Oppositions
- The gate guard opposes letting you in based on his fear of being caught and his integrity
- In such a case, the player might add the third trait of Resources to his target number
- This is where things get... tricky.  Is he offended by the bribe or is he poor enough to take it?

The players and the GM alter the situation on both ends to make things more interesting

Alan - We need to get into the building to hack the Gibson directly.
Bob (GM) - You can walk into the lobby with no trouble, but* the elevator going down to the Gibson has a guard.
Cindy - Alan, you're our Face Man, it's all you!
Alan - OK.  My goal is to convince him to let me in.  I'll use Manipulation and Subterfuge at total of 4.
Bob - *yawns*  The opposition is his Wits, a d10.  That's only one possible hit.
Dan - Hmm, that kinda sucks.  But the guard is poorly paid and susceptible to bribery
Bob - You'll have to roll against your own Resources... that's two dice, and you get to add your Resources (d8) to your TN, so that's 5 now. (not sure how this all happens yet, this is like "Step 2: Huh"). 

2 Misses - Failure, and the guard is offended and calls his buddies to escort you out
1 Miss, 1 Hit - No movement either way, try again with a bigger bribe or give up. i like this bit....
2 Hits -  He let's you in for a minor bribe.

If a 3rd die was involved (somehow) the guard might have offered to information on how to pass the next obstacle, or declined the bribe.  Or a failure might have meant him attacking you right then and there.  The possibilities become more extreme.

But is the key word that means "things are about to get interesting".  This was inspired by the "But only if" mechanic of the ice apocalypse game.

If we go with Hit, Miss and Null, truly bad results might be more rare.

Example 2: Dan and the Cocktail Waitress

Dan's character is a big time player, it's a bit of a compulsion.  It just so happens that pleasure and business cross paths with a hostess at the high roller's room at the casino.  Dan and co. are investigating the disappearance of a hot shot cybernaut hired by the casino to protect their network. 

Alan - We know Devlin hung out at the casino almost 24/7 while he worked for them, so let's check there.  I bet he hung out at the big roller's room upstairs.
Dan - You know, they have hostesses there that make six figures a year in tips... and are damn hot.  He might of had a favorite.
Bob - You're just trying to feed your vice for some meta points....
Cindy - Nah, he just like making you squirm by making you RP female love interests.  Devlin prolly went for the red head that looks like Kari Byron.
Bob - Too bad she's sitting on the lap of a sheik.
Alan - Too bad her boyfriend is a mafia goon.
Dan - And she's the clingy type.
Bob - So first you have to get her attention, then get her to talk.
Dan - No, I want to take my room key to meet me for a... night cap.
Bob - Anything else at stake, besides the ire of a goon, a sheik, and blue balls?

What would follow is a series of checks to get her attention away from the far wealthier sheik.  Then comes the seduction check.  Dan's money isn't enough to enough to be a factor to her, she makes more a day than he does in a week.  So he has to rely on his looks and charm.  From this, they might be able to find out if she knew Devlin, if she knows something about his disappearance, or if her goon boyfriend was involved.  Because a roll can have hits and misses, some other interesting possibilities arise.  Misses might mean that she falls in love with Dan, or becomes obsessed, or that Dan falls for her.  She might have information about Devlin and the mafia, but a miss might mean that the goon finds out about Dan.  Good and bad things can happen in one roll.

i'll post another example soon if i have time.

Dropping the multiple types of dice would make things cleaner.

i think i'm on the verge of something pretty cool here.  But there are some rather big Huh points.  Let me know if you have some ideas on how to smooth out the kinks.
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If you live in the NoVA/DC area and would like help developing your games, or to help others do so, send me a PM.  i'm running a monthly gathering that needs developers and testers.
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