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Author Topic: my dice pool system (feel its awesome power!)  (Read 2243 times)
Daz Florp Lebam
Member

Posts: 7


« on: December 18, 2009, 09:35:25 AM »

Well hello, all! This is my first post, after hearing a lot about this site and these forums over the years, and a wee bit of lurking.

I have a dice pool system I've been working on. Here is the current, editted-down version. This document is just the bones of the task-resolution mechanic itself, with some notes in brackets [like so], and some text shrunk because I might be dropping it. It's kind of informal, too.

I would love any and all comments, on nay as[ect of the mechanic, it's uses, permutations, implications, etc.

At this point I am particularly trying to figure out whther to have a fixed Target Number, or a variable one (default TNs for different kinds of actions, modified by things like armor or other basic advantages or hindrances). My goal is to keep things simple, but I can't see through to the implications.

The goal in designing the mechanic was to have a way to track things like health, hit points, fatigue, etc, without having to track abunch of numbers. As it is, the dice pool represents not only your options in terms of doing things that require rolls, but the character's current overall health or status as well.

I suspect there are things in the doc that I have assumed in my head and have not explained. Please ask questions, and I will answer as best I can, or at least shrug and say "Huh. I hadn't thought about that", and we can go from there.

Also, I am focussed on the mechanic itself right now. There is a note at the beginning about how characters are defined, but the specifics of that are not something i have ironed out. I know that I like how characters in Wushu and TnJ are defined, and that I like FATE/SOTC's Aspects and what you can do with them, though I would keep the complexity of those options simpler, as well.

Thanks for your time!

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Daz Florp Lebam
Member

Posts: 7


« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2009, 09:38:34 AM »

I'm not sure if that link is working. Maybe try this...

http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AX2NVwxrSligZGRxZ2p6MjRfOGZkOTVmaGhz&hl=en
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Warrior Monk
Member

Posts: 85


« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2009, 03:23:57 PM »

Looks nice but at this level I think it would be best for you to to post this on Playtesting. From what I see at plain view, it's easy because it relays on visual information. I'd advice to use the system with d6 or d10 because it doesn't look like you need a lot of granularity from the roll results with this system. Characters would gain both hp and power from each dice they get. I just finished a game with a similar system. Few issues I found so far:

-I didn't wanted to have any form of fixed numeric modifiers, so system would just add or take dice from the rolls. So good so far.
-But then I didn't wanted the players playing too much with options so they could end with a dice pool increased beyond control, so I had to eliminate a lot of fluff options from the system. I ended just using those who gave different tactical advantage instead of additional dice.
-For example, Weapons: Instead of weapons giving the characters more damage, they had a minimal dice requirement to be use. It goes like this: to use a bare-handed attack or a dagger you just need 1d6. To use a longsword you need 2d6. To use a heavy battle axe you needed 4d6. So if you had 8 dice in total, your character could do a couple of attacks with the axe or 8 attacks barehanded, or a combination of those... or a great attack with the axe using all dice available. Limit would be the double of dice required for that weapon. Special weapons could use more dice or grant one dice of magical attack for special weapons. Not so cool? yep, except that different weapons allow you to make different kinds of damage and had some tactical options like allowing you to disarm an opponent with your full dice pool instead of half, etc etc.

I just do this to help me keep the game balanced easily, otherwise players would get extra dice from nowhere and get opponents defeated too easily for my taste. Yet extra dice could be always welcome if you balance your game pretty well, whatever the setting would be. Best luck!
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JoyWriter
Member

Posts: 469

also known as Josh W


« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2009, 02:46:51 PM »

This reminds me of some of the stuff Vulpinoid has been working on, with modal dice pools, and based on that I have a suggestion:

If each of the dice pools work differently, then the moment you run out of white dice, a change of condition has already occurred; you are now incapable of doing anything without risking damaging yourself further. At this point you could actually make becoming unconscious a good thing! For example, say that if someone falls unconscious, perhaps they start to recover blue dice, but you may stay under for too long. An example mechanism is that you keep rolling until none of the dice roll under a specific number, or something like that, so that you may potentially stay under until you've recovered your whole blue pool. And perhaps red dice are just murder to get back, and dice lost from red never come back at all! (and perhaps lead to recorded scarring)

This makes an interesting death spiral effect; if you really start loosing, then you might push some of your red stuff in order to turn it around, leading to the possibility of scarring/permanent de-leveling. Now this kind of rutheless game type, where ability can go down as well as up, would have a serious effect on the stories that could be told with it. For example in very combative games, it could mean a player switches to being on the run, suddenly too weak to take on their foes, and needing to rebuild their strength before they fought them.

It seems with such a strong integration between effectiveness and health, and particularly the physical emphasis on both, this is likely to always favour games with a fair amount of injury involved, but you could stick such a mechanic in some kind of disaster survival game, poseidon adventure coming to mind for some reason.

Finally, if your considering different methods for task difficulty, I think Burning Wheel has a system of difficulty being measured by swallowing successes, which you might want to look at.
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Quizoid
Member

Posts: 19

Loving you is easy because you're beautiful.


« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2010, 07:45:54 AM »

It's all a little too involved for my tastes (I'm one of those types who like things very trimmed down).  However, for what it is, I can see it has a lot of potential.  I also really like the basic idea you have here of the same dice moving from one pool to another for fine/tired/dying.  Sweet system!
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Daz Florp Lebam
Member

Posts: 7


« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2010, 10:01:53 AM »

It's all a little too involved for my tastes (I'm one of those types who like things very trimmed down).  However, for what it is, I can see it has a lot of potential.  I also really like the basic idea you have here of the same dice moving from one pool to another for fine/tired/dying.  Sweet system!

I can certainly understand not caring for the fiddly-fumbly aspects of it. I have some reservations about that myself.
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Daz Florp Lebam
Member

Posts: 7


« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2010, 10:11:33 AM »

Looks nice but at this level I think it would be best for you to to post this on Playtesting. From what I see at plain view, it's easy because it relays on visual information. I'd advice to use the system with d6 or d10 because it doesn't look like you need a lot of granularity from the roll results with this system.

I might post this over there as well. Thanks for the suggestion. I tend to agree about scaling down the dice. It will make for quicker dice-reading, and I and the types of gamers I play with don't seem to need much granularity.

-I didn't wanted to have any form of fixed numeric modifiers, so system would just add or take dice from the rolls. So good so far.
-But then I didn't wanted the players playing too much with options so they could end with a dice pool increased beyond control, so I had to eliminate a lot of fluff options from the system. I ended just using those who gave different tactical advantage instead of additional dice.
-For example, Weapons: Instead of weapons giving the characters more damage, they had a minimal dice requirement to be use. It goes like this: to use a bare-handed attack or a dagger you just need 1d6. To use a longsword you need 2d6. To use a heavy battle axe you needed 4d6. So if you had 8 dice in total, your character could do a couple of attacks with the axe or 8 attacks barehanded, or a combination of those... or a great attack with the axe using all dice available. Limit would be the double of dice required for that weapon. Special weapons could use more dice or grant one dice of magical attack for special weapons. Not so cool? yep, except that different weapons allow you to make different kinds of damage and had some tactical options like allowing you to disarm an opponent with your full dice pool instead of half, etc etc.
I just do this to help me keep the game balanced easily, otherwise players would get extra dice from nowhere and get opponents defeated too easily for my taste. Yet extra dice could be always welcome if you balance your game pretty well, whatever the setting would be. Best luck!

Thanks for the ideas and well-wishing. Pool-bloat is a concern, so I appreciate you detailing your experiences here. However, I want to avoid charging dice for different actions, because it adds a layer of fiddliness to the moving around of dice. I will think on this. In a dice-pool system without the bowls, this would not really be a problem...Hmm...
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Daz Florp Lebam
Member

Posts: 7


« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2010, 10:18:38 AM »

This reminds me of some of the stuff Vulpinoid has been working on, with modal dice pools, and based on that I have a suggestion:

If each of the dice pools work differently, then the moment you run out of white dice, a change of condition has already occurred; you are now incapable of doing anything without risking damaging yourself further. At this point you could actually make becoming unconscious a good thing! For example, say that if someone falls unconscious, perhaps they start to recover blue dice, but you may stay under for too long. An example mechanism is that you keep rolling until none of the dice roll under a specific number, or something like that, so that you may potentially stay under until you've recovered your whole blue pool. And perhaps red dice are just murder to get back, and dice lost from red never come back at all! (and perhaps lead to recorded scarring)

This makes an interesting death spiral effect; if you really start loosing, then you might push some of your red stuff in order to turn it around, leading to the possibility of scarring/permanent de-leveling. Now this kind of rutheless game type, where ability can go down as well as up, would have a serious effect on the stories that could be told with it. For example in very combative games, it could mean a player switches to being on the run, suddenly too weak to take on their foes, and needing to rebuild their strength before they fought them.

It seems with such a strong integration between effectiveness and health, and particularly the physical emphasis on both, this is likely to always favour games with a fair amount of injury involved, but you could stick such a mechanic in some kind of disaster survival game, poseidon adventure coming to mind for some reason.

Finally, if your considering different methods for task difficulty, I think Burning Wheel has a system of difficulty being measured by swallowing successes, which you might want to look at.

Thanks for all that. One of the guys in our group ran a tweaked BW short-run game for us, so I will ask him about this.

I ran a version of this system for a while (so, yeah, I probably should post this over in Playtesting), and I didn't notice a problem with death-spirals and the like. I'm not sure why. I think the players either spent the necessary dice to Recoper enough dice to get by, or maybe learned to finish tyhe combat quickly! Cheesy

One could adjust the cost of Recovering dice. In a pulpy game, one die spent on Recovery could kick two dice up to the next bowl instead of just one die up to the next bowl. I kind of like this scalabality.
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Excalibur
Member

Posts: 94


« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2010, 03:20:20 PM »

This reminds me of a mash-up of the Marvel Universe RPG resource allocation mechanic, the Hero System's d6 mechanic, and a success/fail mechanic I like to use.

Here's what I see (very brief):

Marvel RPG:
Each character has bonuses/stats that provide a certain number of resources for use in the game. One of their stats (usually the physical stat, but sometimes mental or spiritual) acts as a regenerator of used resources and at the end of each turn/phase, the character regenerates a certain amount of those resources based on the stat's value.

Hero System:
Has LOTS of dice which are taken from attributes, talents, powers, environment, etc. and rolled. The results are then turned into various things. For instance, in combat, you have stun damage and body damage. Some of the damage is considered normal, some as killing, and some as not normal defense (armor and the like does not protect against it).

There's more to the systems than that, obviously.

Then there's my take on a d6 system of successes and failures.
Everyone rolls a certain number of d6s. The results are separated into 1s (failures), 4s & 5s (successes), and 6s (critical successes--2x successes). Each 1 cancels 2 successes. So a 1 cancels 1 6, 2 4s, 2 5s, or 1 4 and 1 5. 2s and 3s mean nothing in the mechanic. The goal is to get as many successes as possible.

Now, why do I see these 3 things? Well, your resource points become d6s. You allocate the number of d6s from your pool that you want to use towards your action. The more you allocate, the higher your chances of succeeding. Each turn, you regenerate xd6 where x is equal to the stat that governs energy regeneration. The number of successes you have vs the number of successes the challenge has indicates the winner of the challenge.

Now, when it comes to taking damage, you lose dice from your pool and that gets set aside. You can reclaim them through healing of some sort but usually the dice return when you are resting.

Anyway, I feel that I would put stun damage in your blue cup, killing damage in your red cup, and the rest in the white cup can be regenerated.

Just what I see Wink The pool system is pretty nifty.
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-Curt
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