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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 70 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Action Dice - a core mechanic  (Read 9807 times)
John Blaz
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Posts: 77


« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2008, 06:26:58 PM »

Players have three groups of dice. Dice on their character sheet are an unspent pool. Dice in hand are currently being used. The third group are spent dice from previous actions.

Perhaps players with the highest number of dice remaining on their character sheet act first.

In the first round against equally matched combatants, the player who spends the most dice on an action will have the least number of dice on their character sheet, therefore they will act last. As the rounds progress, the combatant who has paced themselves the best will be more likely to act first.

Note that I'd also make sure that characters expend dice from this action pool for active defense.


This is the idea I want to try to detail a little more. The way I see it is:

3 characters enter combat. Alpha has 21 Action Dice, Bravo has 20 and Charlie has 19.
Alpha goes first, and spends 4 AD on his first action, leaving him with 17.
Bravo goes next, since he has the highest amount of unspent dice (20). He decides to spend 7. He now has 13.
Charlie spends 5, leaving him with 14.
Now, the person with the highest amount of unspent dice is Alpha with 17. He spends 4, and has 13 remaining.
Charlie goes next with his 14 unspent AD.

And so on......

Now to refresh the Action Dice pool, we basically have a few ideas to choose from:
Each character refreshes their pool when they run out of AD.
All characters refresh their AD when one player has only a small number (say 4 for now) in their pool.
All characters refresh their AD when the total amount of AD in all unspent pools equals some number based on the number of combatants.
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Altaem
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Posts: 49


« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2008, 09:19:32 PM »

Quote
All characters refresh their AD when the total amount of AD in all unspent pools equals some number based on the number of combatants.
That one!  It should generate the correct balance between conserving action dice and cutting loose as required.

One potential problem I can see.  What happens if the first character to act chooses to use every action die in a single killing strike?

The obvious solution is to limit the number of action dice used per action.
Instead I'd like to see some option for counter attack for targets of attacks of excessive dice.

John,
If you like the counter attack idea, I'll brainstorm some ways it could work.
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John Blaz
Member

Posts: 77


« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2008, 10:10:35 PM »

One potential problem I can see.  What happens if the first character to act chooses to use every action die in a single killing strike?

I had an idea to add in a Focus attribute, which could change based on race or perks or what-have-you. Your Focus score is the maximum amount of Action Dice you can use on one action in a turn. Defaults to 5 (?) for humans.

This way, a character could spend a ton of Action Dice if they want to, but no more than 5 would be used on a single action. So maybe 2 heavy sword strikes using 5 AD each for example.

Not to mention I still haven't hammered out how I want the number of successes to relate to damage. I was thinking of giving weapons a Damage rating, just one digit. So a knife might have Damage 2 and a sword Damage 4. The number of successes you roll on an attack could dictate the damage dice rolled, upgrading by die-type with each subsequent success. So rolling 1 success with a knife would deal 2d4 damage, while rolling 3 could deal 2d8.
Note: I have a separate damage system (not standard hitpoints) that I believe I mentioned in an earlier thread where the number of damage dice rolled is the weapon's Wounding Potential and the die-type is the weapon's Penetration. Each die that rolls higher than the target's Armor Value would deal 1 wound, sorta like World of Darkness.
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Creatures of Destiny
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Posts: 66


« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2008, 02:34:43 AM »

Why have a seperate damage roll? Why not just use a flat number multiplied by the successes? So a dagger does 2 per success.

The killing strike doesn't seem such a problem, since the opponent who uses less dice will have a chance to disrupt the attack - actually that should be incorporated - damaging attacks should weaken the later attack (like a boxer fending off an opponent with jabs). Alternatively, the player can always choose to use successes to count against the opponent's attackes.

Example: The first attacker rolls three successes, and chooses to use 1 to count againt the opponents 4 die attack ( which thus counts as a three die attack)
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John Blaz
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Posts: 77


« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2008, 12:20:38 PM »

Why have a seperate damage roll? Why not just use a flat number multiplied by the successes? So a dagger does 2 per success.

The killing strike doesn't seem such a problem, since the opponent who uses less dice will have a chance to disrupt the attack - actually that should be incorporated - damaging attacks should weaken the later attack (like a boxer fending off an opponent with jabs). Alternatively, the player can always choose to use successes to count against the opponent's attackes.

Example: The first attacker rolls three successes, and chooses to use 1 to count againt the opponents 4 die attack ( which thus counts as a three die attack)

I'm loving the idea where you can disrupt an opponent's attack. Due to the fluid combat of the system, I see it like this: Whenever a character attacks another character/NPC, the defender has an opportunity to spend dice to defend against or dodge the attack. This occurs as part of the attacker's turn. For counter-attacks, I think that might have to be a separate Perk or something. Or maybe if the attacker somehow critically fails his attack, the defender gets a free shot at him.

And I'm considering your idea on damage, too. I originally wanted melee weapons to have a Penetration, and the actual Wounding ability of the weapon would rely on the character's Strength. This is because the system (as I've been envisioning it) needs to work for guns as well. And as far as damage goes, I would say that all bullets of the same caliber, regardless of the weapon firing them, do the same damage and have the same Penetration (aside from armor piercing rounds). A character achieving several successes on a shooting attempt would boost the damage a little bit, but measures would have to be taken so that nobody dies from a single 9mm round to the arm because the expert gunslinger rolled all successes.
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Vulpinoid
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« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2008, 01:57:09 PM »

A character achieving several successes on a shooting attempt would boost the damage a little bit, but measures would have to be taken so that nobody dies from a single 9mm round to the arm because the expert gunslinger rolled all successes.

Who says that all successes means the gunslinger shot their intended target in the arm? Does narration of hit effect come after successes are rolled, or does intention of hit effect come before dice are resolved?

If narration occurs after the dice, then I'd allow a player to narrate the expert marksman shooting their victim in the eye socket and allow appropriate gory details of the bone shattering in their skull for an instant kill (after scoring 5+ successes). If they only scored one success, then their bullet only manages to find a neglible location to place a flesh wound (like the arm).

Of course if the player scores more successes, they don't have to do more damage, they could simply be more specific about where they place the hit (eg...I shoot the gun out of his hand, I shoot the rope hanging around his neck...etc.).

If intention of hit location occurs before the dice are rolled, I'd put forward a basic system where a minimum number of successes will need to be acquired before a more specialised hit effect can occur.

Just trying to hit them wherever there's an opening...that only takes 1 success.
Trying to hit them in the leg...that'll cost you one success from your final result.
Trying to hit the eye...that'll cost you four successes from the final result.
Bypassing their armour by aiming at a specific point...that'll cost you a variable number depending on the armour type.
Cumulative successes left over apply to damage.

In exchange for sacrificing these potential successes, you get some special effect if you manage to hit. Eye hit might blind someone, a leg hit hinders their movement, etc. Proportionally better effects to offset the lost damage potential.

V
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A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.
John Blaz
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Posts: 77


« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2008, 06:06:33 PM »

A character achieving several successes on a shooting attempt would boost the damage a little bit, but measures would have to be taken so that nobody dies from a single 9mm round to the arm because the expert gunslinger rolled all successes.

Who says that all successes means the gunslinger shot their intended target in the arm? Does narration of hit effect come after successes are rolled, or does intention of hit effect come before dice are resolved?


What I was saying is that I don't want the dice to be able to add a ton of damage. So I really think it would be better to either keep damage separate from the success level, or put a limit on the maximum damage that can be dealt by certain weapons (probably the best solution). Example: give weapons a damage per success rating (say 1 for a dagger) and then put a cap on the max damage that can be dealt due to rolling many successes. So a dagger could have Damage 1-5, where 1 is the amount of damage per success and 5 is the damage cap. This would keep ridiculous things from happening.


Also, I would make the intention come before the dice are rolled, and just subtract successes or make them spend more dice when they attempt to hit small areas (-1 for a leg,-2 for an arm, -4 for a head, -6 for an eye etc.)


In exchange for sacrificing these potential successes, you get some special effect if you manage to hit. Eye hit might blind someone, a leg hit hinders their movement, etc. Proportionally better effects to offset the lost damage potential.


Here, I had planned to make this a basic feature of the combat system, where the main body parts all have Hit Points, and as they deplete, the character could lose speed or coordination and such.
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Creatures of Destiny
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Posts: 66


« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2008, 05:47:12 AM »

A character achieving several successes on a shooting attempt would boost the damage a little bit, but measures would have to be taken so that nobody dies from a single 9mm round to the arm because the expert gunslinger rolled all successes.

Who says that all successes means the gunslinger shot their intended target in the arm? Does narration of hit effect come after successes are rolled, or does intention of hit effect come before dice are resolved?


What I was saying is that I don't want the dice to be able to add a ton of damage. So I really think it would be better to either keep damage separate from the success level, or put a limit on the maximum damage that can be dealt by certain weapons (probably the best solution). Example: give weapons a damage per success rating (say 1 for a dagger) and then put a cap on the max damage that can be dealt due to rolling many successes. So a dagger could have Damage 1-5, where 1 is the amount of damage per success and 5 is the damage cap. This would keep ridiculous things from happening.



Well a dagger could potentially kill anyone - even a guy in full armour could get on in the eye - that's always seemed silly in HP based games to me - the  10th level AD&D fighter KNOWS that the guard with a crossbow cannot kill him in one shot.

Of course it would be ridiculous to destroy a tank with a dagger, but that could simply be based on your "penetration" - remember this should be based on the weakest point - so full plate still has eye-slits but Space Marine Power Armour does not as even the visor is armoured (so a dagger could kill a knight but not a Space Marine) or even, horror of horrors - GM fiat.

Also, do you want the roll to represent a SINGLE dagger (or whatever) strike, or an attack routing (someone going to town with a dagger).
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John Blaz
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Posts: 77


« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2008, 10:47:52 AM »

That's part of the reason for the hit locations: You can kill somebody with a blow to the head from pretty much anything, but a dagger to the arm isn't going to kill somebody outright.

And the attack roll counts as one single swipe, slam, shot, or stab with any weapon. So for a character to go to town on somebody with a dagger, they will probably want to do several small attacks using few Action Dice per attempt. The only thing is, I need to make sure there is a difference between making several 1 AD attacks, and one massive attack using several AD.
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Vulpinoid
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« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2008, 01:05:58 PM »

How about this?

When rolling 1 die or multiple dice...the highest scoring die determines whether a hit is scored, the number of other dice meeting a certain threshold value determine how much damage is applied. Everything still comes down to a single roll of the dice, but reading it in two different ways gives the variability between hit and damage.

Rolling one die will only ever generate a single hit success, and regardless of whether if this die meets the threshold, it won't contribute to extra damage.

When rolling five dice, any one of them could end up as a success, and the remaining four can be consulted for extra damage potential.

The threshold required for doing extra damage could be determinate on the weapon, or on the body part. Or both.

The same type of system could then be applied across the rest of the game to determine extra degrees of success for any type of skill action.

More to write but gotta go..

V
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A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.
John Blaz
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Posts: 77


« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2008, 03:53:02 PM »

How about this?

When rolling 1 die or multiple dice...the highest scoring die determines whether a hit is scored, the number of other dice meeting a certain threshold value determine how much damage is applied. Everything still comes down to a single roll of the dice, but reading it in two different ways gives the variability between hit and damage.

Rolling one die will only ever generate a single hit success, and regardless of whether if this die meets the threshold, it won't contribute to extra damage.

When rolling five dice, any one of them could end up as a success, and the remaining four can be consulted for extra damage potential.

The threshold required for doing extra damage could be determinate on the weapon, or on the body part. Or both.

The same type of system could then be applied across the rest of the game to determine extra degrees of success for any type of skill action.

More to write but gotta go..

V


I think I see what you're saying, but please elaborate when you get a chance, Vulpinoid.
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Vulpinoid
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« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2008, 07:56:59 PM »

...back...sorry about that.

Let's hypothetically say that the action dice are d10s.

Let's put forward a hypothetical situation for the purposes of explaining out some details.

Matt is playing Sgt Mort (10 dice to play with).
John is playing Jack the Quick (also 10 dice to play with).

The two players have different aims for the scene and the two characters get into a fight.

We've touched on how characters can expend dice from their pools to perform actions. More dice means a slower and more methodical action but a better chance of success. Fewer dice is relying more on instincts.

The only thing I'm not sure about here is whether added skill means a character is able to throw more dice into the situation at hand, or if it means that the dice they use will have a bonus modifier applied to them.

For the purposes of what has been discussed so far, I'd say that extra dice means extra time is spent, and since the highest die is kept, this means by default that a slower acting person is more likely to get a better degree of success. Actual skill has little to do with how much time is spent on an action, and the skill level would probably increase a die result by a flat figure.

Back to our combat...

Jack the Quick likes using single dice, or pairs at most. Sgt Mort likes to be more cold, calculating and methodical (he tends to roll four or five dice with each swing).

With two dice, Jack strikes first and declares he'll be aiming for the arm, he hopes that both dice score successes because one die of success will allow him to do a bit of damage, while a second success will allow him to disarm his opponent. He hits with one die, but since the second die didn't do anything spectacular, the opponent remains armed and is only damaged with a light wound.

Sgt Mort follows up, rolling five dice. He doesn't muck around and goes for the head. He'll need to roll higher because it's a smaller target area, but he's got more dice to play with, so there's still a good chance of a hit. Two dice hit. It starts as a standard light wound, but because the designated wound area was the head it goes up to a moderate wound, and because there's an extra die of success, this pushes it up to a critical wound.

We haven't said anything about extra damage due to specific weapon types.

I'd work off the idea that different weapon types produce extra damage depending on the natural die rolls before modifications. A dagger might increase the damage for every die that naturally rolls a "9" or better, a chainsaw might increase damage for every die that naturally rolls a "5" or better. Depending on where you hit the body, you could modify these numbers accordingly (+1 target number for arms, natural for legs, -1 for abdomen, -2 for torso, -3 for head), and the more dice that meet this modified value the more damage is done to the victim.

This is counterbalanced by the fact that the higher damage locations are harder to hit on the actual attack roll. It might be harder to hit the head; but if you do so, it'll really deal a bucket-load of damage. It's easy to hit the arms, but you'll probably need to hit them a couple of times before you start doing significant damage to your opponent.

I'm probably pushing this concept into areas completely different to what you'd thought, so I'll stop now.

V
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A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.
John Blaz
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Posts: 77


« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2008, 08:43:36 PM »

I see what you're saying V, and it sounds like it could require a chart lookup to use effectively. But I'll outline the basic concepts as I have them written:

Action Dice are d10s.
Stats are rated from 1 to 10.
Skills are rated from 1 to 10.
Task resolution: roll x d10s equal to/less than the Skill, this counts as 1 success. If no Skill applies, use a Stat instead.
Your Stats limit the amount of successes you can get. So with a Strength of 3, melee attacks wouldn't benefit from having more than 3 successes achieved on one attempt.
Perks (feats) can raise the amount of successes allowed on an individual skill by 1 at a time. (So with 3 Strength, and the Melee Success Perk +1*, that character can achieve 4 successes at a time, and they all count)

*not working title, lol
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John Blaz
Member

Posts: 77


« Reply #28 on: December 01, 2008, 08:47:05 PM »


The only thing I'm not sure about here is whether added skill means a character is able to throw more dice into the situation at hand, or if it means that the dice they use will have a bonus modifier applied to them.


Added skill equals a higher skill rank, characters may use as many dice as they wish per action.

Oh, and right now, I'm going with the thought on initiative where at the start of combat, all participants roll d10 plus their Speed score, this is the number of Action Dice you get. When you run out of Action Dice, roll d10 plus Speed again. Combat goes in order of highest to lowest amount of unspent AD.
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Vulpinoid
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« Reply #29 on: December 01, 2008, 09:27:47 PM »

I see what you're saying V, and it sounds like it could require a chart lookup to use effectively.

...and normally I think charts slow things down, but since you've already indicated different hit points for different parts of the body, it would be just as easy to illustrate the body with these target numbers indicated on the various parts. So I didn't think this was too much of a stretch.

V

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A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.
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