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View Full Version : DM Help Dice Mechanics Advice [Original System]

cloudjsh7
2014-10-19, 01:03 PM
I'm writing my own tabletop system and I'm trying to nail down some specifics for the core mechanic of the game. I've tried variants of dice pools as well as target number systems, and I believe what I'm trying to shoot for is some kind of hybrid. I'm also trying to avoid the sub-rules of the sub-sections of sub-rules of sub-marines that D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder are plauged with.

After a week of reading, studying, calculating, researching, and eating bacon, I've come up with this:

Roll Attribute#of d12, keep 2 and total, add Skill bonus VS. Target Number

Example Character A has 4 Strength and a let's say a 'Swords' skill of +2=4d12 (keep two and total) +2
Example Character B has 3 Dexterity and a Archery skill of +6=3d12 (keep two and total) +6
Example Character C has 5 Dexterity and a Stealth skill of +2=5d12 (keep two and total) +2

Q: Increasing the dice in the die pool only changes the probability of rolling a higher number! It doesn't give actually make you better.
A: You are right. My explanation is that having a higher Attribute score gives you a better chance to roll a higher number. See http://anydice.com/program/4949 no names in this chart are final

Q: Well how do I get stronger then?
A: Simple: increase your relative skills. You wanna be better at swinging swords? You won't necessarily increase your Strength, but your Swords skill instead. Increasing the Attribute score itself *can* also happen but is much more uncommon.

Q: Why not keep 3 dice?
A: Adding in a third dice will push the bell curve more toward the mean (or average). My goal in a two-dice bell curve was to rid the d20 model of randomness and dying to stupid things while staying at some sort "relative" place of expected performance.

Q: Why a d12?
A: Because yours are dusty. :tongue: Don't lie to me.

Anyone have opinions on this?

I had an earlier idea before that was something like:

Roll Attribute#dSkill Rating (d4, d6, d6, etc.), keep two then total but there was a problem with finding an average target number for average difficulty.

The game is a high-fantasy/steampunk hybrid set in a barren wasteland akin to the Old West.

Think Wild Wild West (a la Will Smith) + Final Fantasy XII + Wild Arms 3 + Bioshock: Infinite.

It is a magically prominent world where the planet's core releases a force called Ęther (also game title) which is also the substance of magic. The world is dotted with Iron cities, skyship yards, mage colleges, and post-apocalyptic style junkyards.
Add top hats, monocles, and some frilly dresses with leggings and you've nailed it.

Stubbazubba
2014-10-19, 02:10 PM
Finally, a unique RNG that's not completely screwed from the conceptual stage!

This RNG covers a lot of the fundamentals; you can easily find averages, the range is kept under control by skill values, all the differing # of dice does is affect distribution.

Because you're always summing the highest two, it does mean you're really only looking at about half of the distribution for most rolls. The lower end of your RNG is all functionally 100% odds. "Average" has 6 values (out of 22) that are at 99% or above. Actually, as you add more dice the dynamic part of the range shrinks, such that at Bacon-Powered there are only 5 values under 90% odds. TNs would have to start around 10 and go up to [20 + what you expect skills to give]. Which means skills have to be pretty big, since if 20 is awesome, even someone who is Terrible at a given thing still has a 10% chance to do pretty awesome at it (if 20+ is awesome). Having a +10 modifier with this RNG would not really be a huge deal.

Any reason you want to sum 2 dice together? If you just kept the single highest d12, you could 1) drop 1d12 from each of the ranks, which lets you use more of the RNG, and 2) prevents too much overlap where low-skilled people will achieve amazing things once or twice a game session.

Either way, I'd seriously consider eliminating the top few rungs. Rolling that many dice and picking a small number of the highest rolls seems a little unnecessary.

Anonymouswizard
2014-10-19, 05:24 PM
What advantages does this have over a "roll and keep" system,where you roll stat+skill (or just stat) and keep a number equal to your skill+1 (normally the highest, but not always)? This does the same "natural ability increases the average, training increases the average and maximum" without being quite as complicated (although multi-dice rolls are always a bit complicated).

cloudjsh7
2014-10-19, 06:33 PM
Finally, a unique RNG that's not completely screwed from the conceptual stage!

This RNG covers a lot of the fundamentals; you can easily find averages, the range is kept under control by skill values, all the differing # of dice does is affect distribution.

-snip-

Thanks Stub! =)

I do like the idea of 1d12 actually. However, I find that there's a lot less deviation (or difference) between Attribute value with a single d12 being kept. http://anydice.com/program/4979

Though distribution and use of the RNG would be better, I chose keeping two dice mostly because it allows a wider range of numbers to deal with. With only one d12 kept, It would make having static skill bonuses that much more important-- almost to the point to where not having a high enough skill bonus would cause someone to not want to roll as they would know that they potentially couldn't even hit the TN.

As far as actual Skill bonuses go, I was planning for them to get pretty big. It is a level-less system (can't spoil too much :smallsmile: ).

My true vision for the system to be less of a combat simulation board game and more of a story and roleplaying game where the dice are rolled only when the potential of interesting failures and/or outcomes will create more story or drama. Basically, if its not interesting if the PC's fail, you don't roll the dice. I'm aiming for a semi rules-light systems that's easy to pick up and players can focus more on their characters, their motives, and their individual backstories and personalities being injected into the larger story/adventure over all.

All of d20's little combat modifiers (flanking, rough terrain, flat-footed, etc) are out the window.
I'm shooting for an easy to pickup, easy to grasp, but truly customizable experience.

Also, I was thinking the average TN for moderately normal activity to be around 15.

cloudjsh7
2014-10-19, 06:34 PM
What advantages does this have over a "roll and keep" system,where you roll stat+skill (or just stat) and keep a number equal to your skill+1 (normally the highest, but not always)? This does the same "natural ability increases the average, training increases the average and maximum" without being quite as complicated (although multi-dice rolls are always a bit complicated).

Not much, actually. It's very similar to that system aka L5R.

However, I didn't want to straight out copy L5R and just change the die type. Where's the fun in that? =)