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[DitV] King of Life does not throw dice

Started by Filip Luszczyk, November 01, 2006, 09:36:02 PM

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Filip Luszczyk

So, I've been thinking about a diceless resource bidding mechanic for my planned Mage: the Ascension game, and checking stuff like Sorcerer Diceless - and an idea occured to me some hours ago. Making DitV diceless would actually be pretty easy, as the dice work only to generate sets of numbers that are used throughout the conflict. Providing pre-determined sets of numbers allows to eliminate the dice, and doesn't really take much from the game. (Actually, I've been thinking how to reduce the unwieldy amounts of dice in DitV for some time now, and geez, turns out it's so simple I can't believe now.)

I created some pre-determined sets of values, by taking the average result on a single die, multiplying it by the number of dice (rounding up, if necessary), and distributing among the dice that would be rolled. These sets probably need some balancing between the high and low values, though.

1d4 = 3
2d4 = 2 3
3d4 = 2 3 3
4d4 = 1 2 3 4

1d6 = 4
2d6 = 3 4
3d6 = 2 4 5
4d6 = 2 2 4 6
5d6 = 2 3 3 4 6
6d6 = 1 2 3 4 5 6

1d8 = 5
2d8 = 4 5
3d8 = 3 5 6
4d8 = 2 3 5 8
5d8 = 2 3 4 6 8
6d8 = 1 3 4 5 6 8
7d8 = 1 3 3 5 5 7 8
8d8 = 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

1d10 = 6
2d10 = 4 7
3d10 = 4 5 8
4d10 = 2 4 6 10
5d10 = 3 4 5 6 10
6d10 = 3 3 4 6 7 10
7d10 = 3 3 5 5 6 7 10
8d10 = 2 3 4 5 6 6 8 10
9d10 = 2 3 4 4 5 6 7 9 10
10d10 = 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Obviously, pools of dice coming from a single source will rarely be higher than 4, so I made sure that 4d always provides the highest possible result on one of the dice. I did the sets for up to XdX anyway, making sure that the distribution on XdX is always from 1 to X. If there would be need for, say 7d4 or 10d6 or the like, lower sets should be combined together, e.g. 7d4 = 4d4 + 3d4 (1 2 2 3 3 3 4), 10d6 = 6d6 + 4d6 (1 2 2 2 3 4 4 5 6 6) and so on (always as many XdX sets as possible, plus what's left).

Still, I think every stat/trait/relationship/belonging or any other source of dice should provide a separate set, so Acuity + Will of 2d6 + 5d6 would be two sets: 3 4 and 1 2 3 4 4 5 6. Same goes for massive Fallout.

Fallout sum would be determined simply by looking at the sets and taking two highest numbers, so it would always be consistent for the same amounts and types of Fallout. Experience Fallout needs to be changed, though. On average, player would get one 1 per every XdX Fallout dice rolled, so 1dX is worth 1/X of "advancement". An easy way to solve the problem would be to note down the Fallout gained in every conflict and accumulate it, until XdX is gathered - and then change it into the "advancement". So, the character would get one "advancement" after every 4 total d4 Fallout, 6 total d6 Fallout, 8 total d8 Fallout and 10 total d10 Fallout gathered in conflicts.

Unless I forgot about something, the only remaining procedure in the game that uses dice is rolling the NPCs. This normally occurs in pre-game preparation, so they could be rolled as normal. Another solution would be to give the GM a pool of points to distribute among the NPC generation tables (probably equal to the average sum of all rolls for the six-pack of proto-NPCs), but that could be a bit unwieldy. Removing individual NPC characteristics alltogether and treating every conflict as one with spiritual opposition is another solution - but I'll create a separate thread for this idea of mine, as it can also be used in dicey DitV.


Sounds interesting, I guess you could print up a bunch of slips of paper and then cross numbers off as you use them for Sees and Raises instead of moving dice around.  It would take a fair bit of variability out of the results, to be sure.  My guess is that this would make conflicts more predictable, since a given stat will always give you the same distribution of results (and thus the little girl won't ever be able to face down the big bad Dog who rolled crap!). 

But does that make a difference in actual play?  Only one way to find out. 
I believe in peace and science.


I definitely want to see an APR on this one.
"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker

Filip Luszczyk

Yes, another thing to test in AP - too bad I play DitV almost exclusively at conventions, and the next one I'm going to is in February. Unfortunately I can only dry-test this now.

Danny - I've been thinking about writing the sets of numbers on the character sheet, next to their respective sources, and then making some checks next to those numbers. Maybe covering them with small coins or something. This should reduce conflict setup time considerably. (Whenever I played DitV, we've been running out of dice at some point, and had to scribble or move tokens on sheets with numbers - it was really slowing things down, and using up time that would be better spent on passing judgement and stuff).

Also, notice that after the initial roll, conflicts in DitV generally are predictable - but the little girl still has some chances, depending on player's and GM's choices. And the little girl might just as well be the best proto-NPC in the six-pack ;) I don't think there would be much more predictability than there is now - only the conflict setup would be determined completely by GM's choice of proto-npc and not by chance. DitV is kind of like chess with randomly determined sets of figures, anyway.

Darren Hill

Quote from: Filip Luszczyk on November 03, 2006, 06:22:03 PM
Also, notice that after the initial roll, conflicts in DitV generally are predictable -

I find this a bizarre claim. I've seen many reversals in DitV conflicts.
The dice each side has at the start of the conflict are only a small subset of the total dice they will have had by the end, if its a hard fought conflict. Plus, the initial dice are usually all made up of d6's, so the real upsets - the d8's and d10's - are lying in wait, their effect unknown to either side (since they may roll low or high).
Only the stat dice are rollied in large enough numbers to be approaching any kind of statistical predictability - and even they aren't that predictable. So any time a trait is rolled, or any time anyone escalates, there is great potential for the current perceived balance of power to be upset.

That's why I'm not keen on this approach. It looks to me like it robs the game of its inherent uncertainty.