FreakyCheeseMan

2013-04-29, 11:37 AM

Working on building a game from the ground up, and, in addition to everything else, I've come up with a very strange chance mechanic that I wanted to see what people thought of.

The System

Players will use a d8 to determine the number of successes or failures they get with any action they take; the number of successes is not equal to the result of the die. Rather, it follows the following chart:

{table] Number | Result

1 | 3 Failures, and roll again.

2 | 2 Failures

3 | 1 Failure

4 | 1 Failure

5 | 1 Success

6 | 1 Success

7 | 2 Successes

8 | 3 Successes, and roll again. [/table]

EDIT FOR CLARITY: When you roll the first time, you take the result you get on that chart; if and only if that result is a 1 or an 8, you roll again and do one of three things:

If the result of your re-roll is the same as your initial result, you add another 3 successes or failures, and roll again. (So, if you roll an 8 the first time, and another 8 the second time, you roll again, until you get something that is not an 8.)

If the result of your re-roll is the same type (successes or failures) as your initial result (but not the exact same number), you add that many successes or failures and stop rolling. (So if you roll an 8 the first time, and an 8 the second time, but a 5 the third time, you get a total result of 3 + 3 + 1 = 7 Successes.)

If the result of your re-roll is the opposite type (successes or failures), then you just stop rolling - you do *not* subtract anything from the results you've got so far. (So, if you roll an 8, and then a 1, that's still just 3 successes.)

After rolling, bonuses or penalties are applied directly - you add or subtract that many successes or failures. 1 Success +1 = 2 Successes; 1 Success - 1 = 1 Failure (there is no "neutral" result.) In the case of attacks, your opponent's defences - the equivalents of AC, SR and Saves - are just treated as a penalty on your attack.

Specific actions will either have a threshold they have to hit (in the case of, say, a Trip attempt or a Blindness spell), or a varying range of results by number of successes (in the case of... well, anything that would normally have a damage roll.) So, some weapons (say a quarterstaff) might hit more reliably (do damage with a lower number of successes) but never inflict much damage (not scale well as you get more.) Other weapons - let's say a scythe - might do no damage at all until you get three or four successes, but then quickly pile on damage with additional successes - representing a weapon that's hard to hit with, but inflicts a lot of pain when you do.

Justification - Gameplay

First off - yes, I know the idea looks horribly complicated and unplayable. Here's why I think it isn't:

First, this is the only chance system in the game - players will never use anything else, so they should be able to get comfortable with this system quickly, just through repetition. Additionally, there is almost no math to be done - that vast majority of the time, even after bonuses, values will fall between +5/-5, so there's no arithmetic to slow things down.

My main goal with this is to minimize the amount of dice work required; keeping everything under the same broad hood; essentially, the chance mechanism is isolated to this single, consistent model (which hopefully does everything needed), so the rest of the focus can be on more interesting aspects of play.

The mechanism itself is intended to give a smooth, consistent probability curve to actions - if you look, every result is exactly half as likely as the result one below it. (You're half as likely to get 4 successes as 3, etc.) This results in a very consistent and easy-to-work with model; a +1 bonus always means the same thing, and concepts like damage reduction, miss chance, critical hits and the like all fold neatly together.

This system should also let things be kept small and significant - even a +1 bonus is a very real advantage, and a +3 bonus is huge (I don't imagine anyone, soley as a result of their character design, ever getting a single bonus above +5, and even that would be rare; most of the time, higher bonuses will come situationally in combat through things like flanking, stealth attacks, etc.)

Additionally, the "Successes" model makes it easier to include interesting effects with enough successes or failures - for example, hitting someone with a war hammer with enough successes might knock them down; another character might have a feat that lets them make a free counterattack, if someone misses them on a melee attack with some number of failures. Spells may have "Bonus Effects" with enough successes - limited AoE damage, stun effects, or even expending fewer resources.

Finally, this sort of graduated system - where things like attack rolls aren't just a yes-or-no proposition - means it's worthwhile investing in things like AC, even if you can't pump them all the way. In D&D, after a certain level, another point of AC or SR is either crucial or useless - by that point either it's one of the core focuses of your character, or so low that it's never going to make a difference anyway. In this system, AC and saves are useful even if they're low.

So. How stupid is this one, on a scale from 1 to 10?

The System

Players will use a d8 to determine the number of successes or failures they get with any action they take; the number of successes is not equal to the result of the die. Rather, it follows the following chart:

{table] Number | Result

1 | 3 Failures, and roll again.

2 | 2 Failures

3 | 1 Failure

4 | 1 Failure

5 | 1 Success

6 | 1 Success

7 | 2 Successes

8 | 3 Successes, and roll again. [/table]

EDIT FOR CLARITY: When you roll the first time, you take the result you get on that chart; if and only if that result is a 1 or an 8, you roll again and do one of three things:

If the result of your re-roll is the same as your initial result, you add another 3 successes or failures, and roll again. (So, if you roll an 8 the first time, and another 8 the second time, you roll again, until you get something that is not an 8.)

If the result of your re-roll is the same type (successes or failures) as your initial result (but not the exact same number), you add that many successes or failures and stop rolling. (So if you roll an 8 the first time, and an 8 the second time, but a 5 the third time, you get a total result of 3 + 3 + 1 = 7 Successes.)

If the result of your re-roll is the opposite type (successes or failures), then you just stop rolling - you do *not* subtract anything from the results you've got so far. (So, if you roll an 8, and then a 1, that's still just 3 successes.)

After rolling, bonuses or penalties are applied directly - you add or subtract that many successes or failures. 1 Success +1 = 2 Successes; 1 Success - 1 = 1 Failure (there is no "neutral" result.) In the case of attacks, your opponent's defences - the equivalents of AC, SR and Saves - are just treated as a penalty on your attack.

Specific actions will either have a threshold they have to hit (in the case of, say, a Trip attempt or a Blindness spell), or a varying range of results by number of successes (in the case of... well, anything that would normally have a damage roll.) So, some weapons (say a quarterstaff) might hit more reliably (do damage with a lower number of successes) but never inflict much damage (not scale well as you get more.) Other weapons - let's say a scythe - might do no damage at all until you get three or four successes, but then quickly pile on damage with additional successes - representing a weapon that's hard to hit with, but inflicts a lot of pain when you do.

Justification - Gameplay

First off - yes, I know the idea looks horribly complicated and unplayable. Here's why I think it isn't:

First, this is the only chance system in the game - players will never use anything else, so they should be able to get comfortable with this system quickly, just through repetition. Additionally, there is almost no math to be done - that vast majority of the time, even after bonuses, values will fall between +5/-5, so there's no arithmetic to slow things down.

My main goal with this is to minimize the amount of dice work required; keeping everything under the same broad hood; essentially, the chance mechanism is isolated to this single, consistent model (which hopefully does everything needed), so the rest of the focus can be on more interesting aspects of play.

The mechanism itself is intended to give a smooth, consistent probability curve to actions - if you look, every result is exactly half as likely as the result one below it. (You're half as likely to get 4 successes as 3, etc.) This results in a very consistent and easy-to-work with model; a +1 bonus always means the same thing, and concepts like damage reduction, miss chance, critical hits and the like all fold neatly together.

This system should also let things be kept small and significant - even a +1 bonus is a very real advantage, and a +3 bonus is huge (I don't imagine anyone, soley as a result of their character design, ever getting a single bonus above +5, and even that would be rare; most of the time, higher bonuses will come situationally in combat through things like flanking, stealth attacks, etc.)

Additionally, the "Successes" model makes it easier to include interesting effects with enough successes or failures - for example, hitting someone with a war hammer with enough successes might knock them down; another character might have a feat that lets them make a free counterattack, if someone misses them on a melee attack with some number of failures. Spells may have "Bonus Effects" with enough successes - limited AoE damage, stun effects, or even expending fewer resources.

Finally, this sort of graduated system - where things like attack rolls aren't just a yes-or-no proposition - means it's worthwhile investing in things like AC, even if you can't pump them all the way. In D&D, after a certain level, another point of AC or SR is either crucial or useless - by that point either it's one of the core focuses of your character, or so low that it's never going to make a difference anyway. In this system, AC and saves are useful even if they're low.

So. How stupid is this one, on a scale from 1 to 10?