View Full Version : Is this a silly roll mechanic?

2010-01-03, 05:10 AM
One takes their stat (which ranges from 1 to 6, maybe as low as 0 or as high as 7 instead), takes the highest equipment/magic 'bonus' to that stat (from 1 to 6), and then rolls a d6. The outcome of the check is the middle value (the one that isn't the highest or lowest).

So 4 Brawling with Brass Knuckles (providing a equipment 'bonus' of 2). This will give a 3 on a roll of 3, a 2 on a roll of 1 or 2, and a 4 on a roll of 4, 5, or 6.

- Getting a 1 or 6 is only possible if they have a 1 or 6 for the stat or equipment bonus.
- If your stat and bonus are equal, your outcome is always equal to them.

The equipment or skill of the character directly affects the maximum and minimum degrees of success for something where having the goods and the skills is equally important. This may or may not seem less/more silly with larger dice (which means larger ranges of stats, bonuses, etc.).

2010-01-03, 05:17 AM
That could work quite well - you can still make tasks harder by a linear increase of the DC, and the result is more usually average for the character, with skill and equipment making a significant difference.

I'd keep the dice small, and stick to one die - if you increase the range of numbers, you expand the randomness and have to have larger numbers involved for your equpiment and skills; if you add more dice, you change the linear chance to a curved chance, which is harder to rule for on the fly.

2010-01-03, 05:27 AM
I am looking to remove some randomness compared to other mechanics so your suggestion would be good. Overall, it will be running rules-lite and that would make it easier to make judgments on the fly. I do prefer combining a multitude of levels (experience, proficiency, etc.) into larger 'levels' as far as stats, etc. do so d6 and keeping a theme of 6's as I'd like to would probably work best. A rank of 7 is for 'divine' sorts of stats.

2010-01-03, 05:32 AM
well i had to reread over it, but it seems to me it would work well

2010-01-03, 05:39 AM
Alternatively, or in conjunction with the original plan, the equipment bonus can come from a second stat. Or for a more static sort of check (such as a requirement for something), all three numbers are from three different stats.

2010-01-03, 05:59 AM
Usually, checks, are one of:

A + 1d20
A + B + 1d20
A or B (pick the best) + 1d20
A or B (pick the worst) + 1d20

This is essentially:

A or B or 1d20 (pick the middle value)

I don't see anything fundamentally broken, just as long as the chosen die size is appropriate to the scales for A and B.

For example, something like "Strength or BAB or 1d20" for attack rolls would dramatically flatten the power curve. This may work or may not (probably not), but it would be a very different game.

2010-01-03, 09:54 AM
Having a stat or equipment bonus of 0 or 7 wouldn't do anything, since you can't roll either on a die, at best you'll get a 6 (the same as you would have gotten with a 6 stat or bonus) and at worst you'll get a 1 (the same as you would have gotten with a 1 stat or bonus). Only having both the stat and the bonus be a 0 or 7 would it actually make any difference, and then they will always "roll" a 0 or 7, which doesn't seem to be the intention.

Other than that, it seems fine. Would you have some kind flat "base" from which you can demonstrate improvement without flattening the random chances? So maybe at higher level you're rolling 1d6+10, and your stat and equipment are at 10+3 and 10+5 or something, respectively? Just so you have higher DCs that you can hit, to show that you're better at things.

2010-01-03, 10:14 AM
It seems a reasonable base mechanic in many cases, but one of the problem is that if you need a 4 to hit a certain creature, then having either equipment or ability of 3 is a VERY different kettle of fish from having one of those at 4 since your chances of success go from Nil to 50%.

A 7 score actually doesn't do anything compared to a 6 as you have described it by the by...

What is the device for the equivalent of a knowledge check? A Book on the subject, so doing it without a cheat sheet means you have a 0 for the device, while an 8.5x11 summary sheet of the entire subject gives you a 1, and the Library of Congress is a 6?

One of the side effects of it is that a 7 is actually a 6 for all intents and purposes unless there is some sort of circumstance saying "Use ability at -1".

2010-01-03, 02:20 PM
The mechanism itself looks sound. It might confuse new players, but it's relatively easy to understand and deals with smaller numbers, so shouldn't be a problem.

My first question is what happens if a person isn't using any equipment in their task? DracoDei points out remembering something without a book, and unarmed martial arts combat falls in here too. I would find it odd that someone who has studied a subject all their lives only has around a 50% chance to remember anything relevant.

Secondly, it seems to reduce all equipment into a 0-7 scale. While it does seem odd to generalize everything into such a range (what is a two star plane?) there's also the problem that one object isn't going to be the same "grade" in all checks. A Formula 1 racecar may be rather average compared to other racecars (3 stars?) but it will greatly outperform any car on the street (6 stars?). A set of lockpicks may be expertly crafted, but they won't be that good of a weapon in melee.

2010-01-03, 04:15 PM
Well the roll system wouldn't hold up own its own in spots where there isn't any equipment/vehicle (unless having equipment is fundamental to the task).

In many cases, the limited range of numerical outcomes makes me look at this as Karmic with some respect.

I was thinking that there would be built in Masteries that one can take to use something without equipment or with inferior equipment, but this also seems to overlap with the stat itself.

CQC Mastery 1* - Your Brawling equipment bonus is treated as 1 when you'd be unarmed.
CQC Mastery 2* - Your Brawling equipment bonus is treated as 2 instead.
CQC Mastery 3* - Your Brawling equipment bonus is treated as 3 instead.
* = requires Brawling score of 2 + mastery level in order to take this Mastery.

So success is governed by the:
Equipment Value - "The clothes make the (wo)man." (uses a value from 0 to 6)
Skill Value - "Measure twice cut once." (uses a value from 1 to 6)
Luck Roll - "If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all." (uses a d6)

Strange Stats:
Additionally, there would be an Essence stat. It's only purpose is to sacrifice toward checks. If you temporarily reduce that stat by up to 2, you increase the outcome of your check by that much.

Another 'strange' stat would be Luck, which can be used in place of another lower stat but the Luck stat is reduced by 1 (or by 2 if the check fails).

And a third 'strange' stat would be Equipment which you could use in place of your equipment value for certain checks.

2010-01-03, 04:43 PM
This works fine. Look at Fudge, they have the Mid-Min-Max damage system, and a 3 roll take the median system as a sort of take 10/roll hybrid(along with a bell curve). It works fine there, this is similar enough it should also work fine. Although I would consider a polyhedral die type for all 3, instead of 1d6, skill, equipment.

2010-01-03, 09:06 PM
As far as unarmed martial arts are concerned it's not that weird to have your 'fists' with an equipment bonus based on level surely?

2010-01-03, 10:12 PM
Well this would be for point-buy and not a level-based character system.

2010-01-03, 10:33 PM
Plus, you can always use secondary skills at that point, stuff like acrobatics for some martial arts, or lifting for others.

2010-01-03, 10:59 PM
Yeah, for Martial Arts that'd be cool. You'd have access to different styles who are better at different maneuvers (grabs, locks, throws, etc.). So if you're performing a lock while grappling, your equipment bonus comes from Aikido's Lock Bonus (for example) instead.

EDIT: But by using the names of martial arts, I invoke the inevitable debate over which is best, etc. So I'll be using mythical ones which may or may not have influenced modern styles. :smallbiggrin: Essentially ToB-like.

Gun kata would be nice.