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Author Topic: mechanic idea (is this FitM?)  (Read 2179 times)
Matt Wilson
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« on: October 18, 2002, 07:48:07 AM »

I had this idea that stemmed from thoughts over improving S&H time, then thought maybe I could make S&H time more interesting, where rolls to determine something are divided into two stages:

The first stage is a "Trait" roll, where traits are very generic Mental, Physical, Social dice pools. The player makes a vague statement of intent and rolls the dice. Usually the trait in question will be obvious.

Then you look at that outcome, and decide which descriptors you want to apply to modify the roll and resolve that round/scene/whatever. The descriptors could be anything - talents/skills/passions, etc. Any of these that applies allows the player to tweak the roll by one "step." The exact use will depend on the mechanic. Right now my system is a "choose highest die" dice pool, and the descriptors allow your choice of either rolling an additional die, or adding +1 to the high die you choose.

The catch - although it's not really a catch - is that the successes generated need to be divided among the descriptors used. Once this is figured out, the player narrates the outcome.

Example: Malachai Drax is caught in a firefight, and the player, Jeff, says Malachai is going to do something that relates to his physical trait this round. Jeff rolls and gets a decent result, but this is a dangerous situation, so he looks through his descriptor list. He doesn't have a "crack shot with pistols" descriptor, but he does have "athletic." So Jeff uses that descriptor to bump up his successes by +1 and chooses to apply all successes to defend Malachai. He then narrates how Drax fires off a couple random shots and dives for cover behind a nearby crate before the bad guys can blast him.

Had Jeff rolled really well, he might have decided to spend a success or two on having Malachai shoot one of the bad guys as he dove for cover.

Thoughts?
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Valamir
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2002, 08:30:59 AM »

Yup, that's very fortune in the middle.  Retroactively describing "dive for cover" because the roll was successful with an "athletic" descriptor is text book FitM.

I like it alot, of course I'm likely biased because I've been working on something roughly similiar myself.

One thing to think about is failures.  If the roll doesn't succeed, even after descripter bumps, how is that narrated and what's the roll of the descriptor in terms of balancing out the narrative.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2002, 08:41:58 AM »

Hi there,

Yup, that's it all right. I suggest that what/how much is required to be announced before the roll is a crucial issue. The second issue is whether the roll itself can be tweaked through a secondary mechanic (both "yes" and "no" are acceptable).

Hero Wars, Alyria, Trollbabe - a fine evolutionary sequence of influences on game design to check out for Fortune-in-the-middle stuff.

Best,
Ron
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Matt Wilson
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2002, 08:50:34 AM »

Quote from: Valamir
Yup, that's very fortune in the middle.  Retroactively describing "dive for cover" because the roll was successful with an "athletic" descriptor is text book FitM.

I like it alot, of course I'm likely biased because I've been working on something roughly similiar myself.

One thing to think about is failures.  If the roll doesn't succeed, even after descripter bumps, how is that narrated and what's the roll of the descriptor in terms of balancing out the narrative.


Thanks for the feedback, and yeah, failure is a toughie. Since there are degrees of success, the descriptor still plays an important role, but who narrates? How about the GM adds info which the player then incorporates into the narration. I would suppose that in opposed rolls that involve two opposing characters, both players involved use the successes/failures to narrate at the same time. Jeff narrates diving for cover, and I (GM) narrate frustrated goons shooting at thin air, or perhaps ducking from Drax's wild shots and not getting a good shot off themselves.
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