*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 09, 2022, 11:37:18 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 81 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: d12 vs d20 and my dilemma  (Read 5503 times)
gaelyn
Member

Posts: 7

Fledgling RPG designer/writer


WWW
« on: June 13, 2006, 06:09:14 AM »

I'm currently trying to finish the core rules to my LORE: Realms of the Omniverse (tentative title still) game.  This is the core book that all Realm books will reference for mechanics.

In discussing with various gamers in my area, many like the idea that I will be using a system that uses a number of dice dependant on the level of attributes and skills.  I've gotten good feed back on the two axis sliding difficulty system.  What I've been hearing that gets me thinking is the type of dice I am using.

Currently, the rule system calls for d12.  If I have 3 in Int 2 in Knowledge, I would roll 5d12. The difficulty scale is not important at this point.  What about half the folks I've talked to have said is they are for more likely to have other dice than d12 in their RPG toolkit.  Most suggest d10 (not going there...White Wolf) or to d20.

I am looking for a bit of an informal discussion/survey on whether, as a game designer, I should say, "My vision, my decision," change to d20s, or to compromise and include modification rules for d20s.

The change would not be difficult with the underlying mechanics. However, I'm not sure I want to switch to dice that make doing percentages in your head easier.  The d12 is not as easy to run percent chances in a players head.  In my experience, some folk I've played with will run the numbers in their head to determine what they want to do on how likely they would be to succeed instead of what a character would normally decide to do.
Logged

The history of Dragons is ancient and dark,  Dark only to those not versed in the Grande Path.  I have studied well the Dragon and it's kin.

--Myrddin
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2006, 06:13:43 AM »

Hi there,

Asking for poll information isn't going to help you design a better game.

I think the question you should be asking is, "what special features of my game should be preserved no matter what?"

Then all other decisions, including the type of dice or even the skill list or whatever, should be assessed in relationship to the answer.

Any thoughts on that answer? Remember, no one can answer that for you. But if you don't state it here, then we can't help you with anything else.

Best, Ron
Logged
gaelyn
Member

Posts: 7

Fledgling RPG designer/writer


WWW
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2006, 09:26:23 AM »

Thanks Ron.

I guess what I was trying to say was summed up by you fairly accurately.  My concern is that the d12 system I am developing may be prohibitive to players who do not have many d12 from trying the game.  I've been wondering if that has been something that other developers have run into and what solutions they came up with, whether they stuck to their vision or tried a change or compromise in order to keep the game more accessible.

My core mechanics are the basic target number and successes, with a twist.  Depending on what is being tried, it has a base target number that refers to in a perfect situation, how hard it would be to perform.  The second target is the number of successes needed to actually pull the move off in the situation the character is in.  Makes contested rolls a bit more interesting in some situations.

Now, the math with d12 is harder to just mentally run through for most percentage-power players I've had the "fortune" to play with, those who litterally only do things that are statistically benificial. Not only that, but it forces botches (1) and rerolls (12) to be harder to obtain than the traditional d10 without being too tiny to care for a d20.  I'm leaning personally towards keeping d12, but considering alternate rules for d20.  I'm just not sure if I should and am looking for others who have been in similar situations and what led to their final decisions to help me make my own.

Once again, thanks Ron!

-Chris
Logged

The history of Dragons is ancient and dark,  Dark only to those not versed in the Grande Path.  I have studied well the Dragon and it's kin.

--Myrddin
jeremycoatney
Member

Posts: 48


WWW
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2006, 10:10:19 AM »

This is just my opinion, obviously, but I think that both d12 and d20 are currently minority dice. That is to say that people rarely have very many of them, because the games they currently play do not require a lot of those types of dice.
     This is a hindrance when creating an independent game because people are less likely to play a game where they must roll a lot of dice, but cannot do it all at once unless they invest in more dice for their collection. I suppose I am saying that I would choose a type of dice that you know people generally have a few of, somewhere around 4 or more average.
     I have gotten this impression from speaking to players in my personal area, so obviously it is not concrete, but it does tend to be the case amongst them. Dice they tend to have a lot of include d4, d6, and d10, all other dice are kept within the range of only 1 to 3 dice owned. I believe the reason is that most popular games do not currently require the use of more than 1 or 2 of the others at once.
     Admittedly I can understand why you wouldn't use those dice for your system. D4 are so small that you would have to either make the number of dice way bigger, or the difficulty ranges way smaller than normal, the chances of a botch in a white wolf style roll being a little to close for comfort too, the d6 is the cornerstone of the West End Games d6 system (thus the name), and White Wolf uses the d10, as you noted, for their own system.
     Despite this, I think you should probably go for either a d6 or a d10, failing that, my next suggestion is actually the d8. While people don't appear to have as many of these, they do tend to use them more often than the d12, and therefore I would assume there is more likely to be a larger stock of d8 than of d12.
     In the event that you, the one with the final say, are not going to change from the d12 or d20 option, I would have to say that it depends on how you want your mechanics to work which one you choose. Between the two I would say that the d20 gets more overall use, but usually people only roll the one d20 at any given time, thusly, they don't tend to own a lot of them, however, at least around here, people tend to not use d12 AT ALL. I don't know why, it just seems like they do not often get implemented. People still have two of them on average though, probably just in case.
     If you are doing white wolf style success rolls, go with the d12 if you want to stick with the system of rolling a 1 is a botch.
     If you are planning a total them up sort of system instead, I suggest using the d20, because it allows for a wider range of possible difficulties and results. Also it is easier to determine propability, which is something you mentioned earlier.
     If you are planning on something completely new, I suggest that you just go with whatever seems to work best when you try it out.
     Well, I hope this is helpful to you, ultimately the choice is always up to you.
Logged

www.myrpgstore.com
Home of the No '&' RPGs system.
Roger
Member

Posts: 168


WWW
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2006, 10:16:07 AM »

In my experience, some folk I've played with will run the numbers in their head to determine what they want to do on how likely they would be to succeed instead of what a character would normally decide to do.

Can you expand a bit on why you think this is a problem?



Cheers,
Roger
Logged
gaelyn
Member

Posts: 7

Fledgling RPG designer/writer


WWW
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2006, 11:10:08 AM »

Thank you Jeremy for your input.  It has given me some options to think on.

Roger, I do not find them too often, but I have played with folks who look at RPGs, LARP or otherwise, as a win/lose situation only.  Of course you want your character to succeed, but to make all decisions on the probability of dice not only raises my hackles, but it can seriously hamper an enjoyable game experiance.

Now, no matter what dice I use, there will be folks that can still pull this trick off.  However, when I ran the numbers in some roll tests and probability tables, the d12 seems to have made it a bit more difficult.  I also like the fact I can have a range of difficulties like a d20, easily have botch and re-roll options of a d10.  The mechanics of the skills/attributes/etc. also is easier to develop, at least for me.

I'm not sure the d8 would lend itself to that.  The probability of 1 and 8 are much higher.

To really answer your question, and to stop this stream of conciousness, I am determined to bring forth a story/narrative element in the game that is supported by quick mechanics that only the GM will be able to control.  Force a bit more randomness than White Wolf has, plus add a bit of realism. 

Talking with you guys, I think that for the initial rules, the d12 still seems like what I want, but I may need to develop alternate mechanics off of a different type of die as an alternate rule system.  Sort of a, "for those who don't have d12s, try this d6 system..."  I just am wary of this becoming cumbersome.

Ah well.  I should be able to go to first rounds of beta in a couple of months, barring writers block again.  Maybe that will be the true acid test I need, with someone other than myself rolling the die.

-C
Logged

The history of Dragons is ancient and dark,  Dark only to those not versed in the Grande Path.  I have studied well the Dragon and it's kin.

--Myrddin
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2006, 01:13:17 PM »

Hiya,

Although you said "thanks" a few times, I would like you to chew over my point a little more carefully. The details of your reply indicate to me that you didn't really process it.

I'll re-state here for that purpose.

1. The only thing that will make your game more "accessible" within the role-playing culture is if it is a good game. The better it is, the more accessible (usable, playable, fun, and so on). There is no other form of accessibility; all such claims are false. Dice types included.

2. The only meaning or use of a given die type is to contribute to the quality of the play-experience, for your game. Differing die sizes are, as you say, different in terms of how they are processed and experienced. However your game is intended to work and "feel," there is a right die size for it.

It's your job to figure out the answer to #2. Once you have that, then you have automatically contributed to #1.

The secondary point, then, is this: this statement ...

Quote
I think that for the initial rules, the d12 still seems like what I want, but I may need to develop alternate mechanics off of a different type of die as an alternate rule system.  Sort of a, "for those who don't have d12s, try this d6 system..." 


... is babble. It is distracting you from the task I've outlined here and interfering with the constructive act of actually designing your game.

I strongly advise you to say, "this was a dumb question, screw'em if they don't own d12s and don't want to buy them," and move on to the real questions of design.

Don't thank me. I'm not doing you a favor; I'm instructing you in some facts of life. I'm telling you something that will - if you process it - will aid you in your goals toward game design.

Best, Ron
Logged
dindenver
Member

Posts: 928

Don't Panic!


WWW
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2006, 01:35:38 PM »

Hi!
  I want to follow up on what Roger said, because I think it highlights an alternate philosophy that might aid in your decision making process.
  You said that you were concerned that certain dice lead to easy math and that min/maxers will always try and 'work the numbers' in so many words.
  He asked a simple question that could have a deeper meaning. 'Why is that a problem?'
  The root of this question if taken in a positive manner can lead you to an interesting design philosophy.
  What if the numbers were easy to min/max. BUT, what they represented is important to your game. So, for instance if your game is about fighting monsters, then pick the dice you want and make sure the math lends itself to the kind of monster fights that fit your vision of a good monster fight. If your game is about true love, then pick the dice you want and make sure the numbers they apply to are about romance, attraction, compatibility, etc. I mean, wouldn't it be brilliant in such a romantic game to have the min/maxers deciding if charm or sincerity is their dump stat?
  Ron has a point, dice are just accesories, unless the dynamic they add matches the theme of the game.
  And you could look at it the other way, maybe game sellers might pimp your game more if it means that they can also sell the player a stack of d12's like they have been doing with d10's and WW.
Logged

Dave M
Author of Legends of Lanasia RPG (Still in beta)
My blog
Free Demo
billvolk
Member

Posts: 39


« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2006, 07:43:44 PM »

I agree with Ron as well.
You want to avoid pools of d10s because White Wolf's system uses pools of d10s, too. Personally, I don't think that's enough of a reason to avoid the prospect of pools of d10s altogether. Using pools of d12s instead would make the game only superficially unique. Surely there is something that makes your system genuinely unique. If you develop it fully, your game's uniqueness will be apparent even if you use pools of d10s. It's not like White Wolf owns the rights to the decahedron.
Logged
Larry L.
Member

Posts: 616

aka Miskatonic


« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2006, 08:38:03 PM »

Hi Gaelyn,

There was another thread quite recently which had some good advice on why focusing on something like die size for your design is basically missing the point.

[AEgypt] Are Per Centiles Still Fashionable?

Pay particular attention to Ralph Mazza's and Mike Holmes' replies.
Logged

gaelyn
Member

Posts: 7

Fledgling RPG designer/writer


WWW
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2006, 09:05:04 PM »

Yes, I know I've said this alot...but thanks all.

I've thought long and hard on the situation, read that "are percentiles still fashionable" thread and here is what I think.

d12, gotta love it.  It works for the underlying mechanic of the system.  Anything else would not mesh easily with the difficulty scale I've developed, I could force a d20 or any other multisided die larger than 4 to work one way or another, but it doesn't flow.  Also, I've come to the conclusion, the dice do not make the game unique nor accessible, I was too focused on that aspect, primarily since I'm working on the mechanics as we speak.  What is the unique flavor to my game is the fact that I'm trying to put a universality to the system, a core set of rules with guidelines to making "Realms" to play in, a set of "Canon Realms" that I write and support and an underlying theme of balance and the effect of trying to maintain it when everything is pushing you to just not give a care.

Now if I could only get the combat rules out of my head and legibly on paper...along with general skills and spells.  Hrm...may have to streamline that a bit. ANYwho, thanks again guys for helping out a first time developer. Just got to dry behind the ears.

-Chris
Logged

The history of Dragons is ancient and dark,  Dark only to those not versed in the Grande Path.  I have studied well the Dragon and it's kin.

--Myrddin
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!