View Full Version : Quick Idea for RPG Core Mechanic

Chainsaw Hobbit
2013-01-31, 04:03 PM
This is just an idea for the very core of an RPG. I'm not sure if I plan on doing anything with it, but I like it. Feel free to steal it if you want.

* * *

When a character attempts something that challenges their abilities, the player rolls three six-sided dice and adds together the results. The number is then modified by a small single-digit number based on the character's competence, and another small number based on the difficulty of the task.

On a total result of 9 or lower, the character fails in their endevour. They may also suffer a new disadvantage, depending on the stakes.

On a result of 10-12, the character gains what is called a "quirky success". They can choose to either partially succeed, or fully succeed, but gain a new disadvantage. Once they have chosen, the Game Master decides the details of the result.

On a result of 13 or higher, the character fully succeeds.

* * *

The 3d6 is in place in order to create a bell curve. The closer the natural result is to 10, the more likely it is to come up. This means that the "quirky success" comes up more often then one would expect.

Inspirations include Apocalypse World, Unisystem, and GURPS.

2013-01-31, 04:13 PM
It sounds like the 3d6 will consistently overshadow player skill...

2013-01-31, 04:20 PM
It sounds like the 3d6 will consistently overshadow player skill...

Perhaps not so much as you might expect, depending on how small it is. Failure on a 9 or worse is about a 38% chance. A skill of 1 brings that to 26%, and a skill of 2 to 16%. A skill of five would leave you with a mere 1.85% chance of outright failure. Considered from the other end, full success on a twelve or better is likewise 38%. A skill of 1 makes that 50%, and a skill of 2 62.5%. A skill of five leaves you with a whopping 90.72% chance of outright success. It's no more overshadowing than the d20 system is.

Chainsaw Hobbit
2013-01-31, 04:31 PM
Bare in mind that difficulty also affects the modifier. The goal would be for the modifier to usually fall between -2 and +2.