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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 138 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: RPG based on the TV show 24, mechanics that simulate time running out?  (Read 1541 times)
SpoDaddy
Member

Posts: 34


« on: February 18, 2010, 01:33:42 PM »

Hey all, I've been away for a while but I'm getting back into game design.  I'm trying to create a 24 RPG from the ground up, and I've decided that it needs to take time into account in a major way to emulate the show. I originally thought about making the game run in real time, but upon further review I realized that real-time gaming just wasn't that fun. Now I'm thinking about something more abstract, like giving each player a pile of dice that depletes as their character attempts actions. This would require carefully balanced adventures, and I'm thinking the dice should probably refresh every encounter.  I'm either going to use D6's (since the game should be newbie friendly and everyone has tons of D6's) or D12's (since they offer a bigger range, are thematically appropriate, and are just plain awesome).  My initial idea for the mechanics is that the player rolls a number of dice equal to the attribute, and the skill determines the number they need to roll under for a hit.  Using D12's, if Jack Bauer's Agility is 5 and his firearms skill is 8, he rolls 5d12 looking for 8's or lower.

The question is, how to manage the dice running out?  My original thought was to have every rolled action take away the dice used in the roll from the player's pile of dice, but that penalizes characters with high attributes (when those characters would probably be more efficient, not less).  Perhaps a die gets added to a pile each time a player attempts an action and fails, with the Disaster Event (nuke goes off, President is assassinated, etc.) occurring if the pile reaches 24?  That would require a ton of calculation up-front for the GM; laying out the adventure, determining how many rolls the average player would have to make to be successful, calculating the failure rate, etc.  I need a method that is fast and easy, yet intuitive.  Perhaps players should be able to remove a die from the pile each time they're successful?     

I want the mechanic to somehow be open ended; perhaps if two successes are also doubles they can both be rerolled?  Or, any dice that roll the same number as the hour in real life can be rerolled?  The problem with that mechanic is that it's biased against night gaming (which is when almost everyone games); if the hour is always 8, 9, 10, or 11 when you're playing then only high level characters can take advantage of the exploding dice to keep rolling successes.  Perhaps it should be changed to rolling the hour in-game?  This introduces the problem of forcing the GM to keep close track of the game time, which detracts from the fast-moving feel the game needs to have.  I could always just make 1's reroll, but I'd like to do something more thematically appropriate or clever that allows everyone to have a shot at doing anything at any given time.   

All thoughts, suggestions, criticisms, etc. are appreciated!  Thanks for taking the time to check this out!
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SpoDaddy
Member

Posts: 34


« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2010, 01:34:58 PM »

This thread is a double-post (I'm not sure what happened).  Please delete.
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David C
Member

Posts: 262

lost in the woods...


« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2010, 11:20:49 PM »

Anytime it would be too much overhead for the GM, flip it around and put it in the player's control.

How about each player starts off with a pool of 24 d6s?  These 24 dice represent how much time they have left (consequently, the players with the most dice act first). 

Now, each action requires a skill roll with players getting 1 to 5 d6 depending on how skilled they are.  The GM sets a difficulty (2 being easy, 6 being extremely difficult).  If a player must absolutely beat a task, they can add extra dice from their pool of remaining time.

Also, if a player fails a task, they lose dice from their remaining time because of complications. 
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Warrior Monk
Member

Posts: 85


« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2010, 09:59:55 AM »

Probably you're familiar with the D&D rule "take 10" or "take 20". If not, it works like this: for any conflict that could be solved given enough time, player can choose to "take 10" instead of rolling the dice to succeed, and the GM states that an appopiate amount of tima has passed; it could be an hour or a day depending on the task. "Take 20" works the same way, except it drains much more time.

I think this can be extrapolated for your game in this way: all players have a common pool of 24 d6. They can add these dice to their rolls one at a time, meaning they spend extra time doing something or recovering from a great effort. However, for each roll they fail using these dice, one of those dice goes to the final event. If they succed, the dice goes out of the game. Since these dice also indicate the remaining time, instead of keeping track of time the GM could roll 1d6 (or an smaller dice) each escene and substract that amount of dice from the pool.
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dindenver
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Posts: 928

Don't Panic!


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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2010, 02:19:43 PM »

Spo,
  There is a game called Zombie Cinema. It uses a great timing mechanism.
  Each time there is a conflict, each player can add their die to one side of the conflict.
  The trick is, each side, only takes the highest die.
  The timing comes from, if both sides roll a tie, the Zombie Clock advances.

  I don 't know if this will be of any use to you, but I hope it helps.
Dave M
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Dave M
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Ar Kayon
Member

Posts: 190


« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2010, 09:02:46 PM »

How about each player starts off with a pool of 24 d6s? 

Jesus Christ!  Do you buy your dice at Sam's Club?!
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David C
Member

Posts: 262

lost in the woods...


« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2010, 12:14:57 AM »

How about each player starts off with a pool of 24 d6s? 

Jesus Christ!  Do you buy your dice at Sam's Club?!

You've never seen a block of d6 dice?  They're like $6 at any hobby shop.  There's 36 in the box.
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