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View Full Version : D&D 3.x Class Genius or Stupid--Rogues Cheat, roll bonus d6's



johnbragg
2015-02-04, 09:44 PM
We can think of a magic-based universe as somewhat like the Matrix. Characters with the right knowledge, training and perspective can manipulate the world with their minds.

Spellcasters do this with set formulas, a rough analogy to scripts, viruses, malware and program hacks.

Martial characters use training packs to break physics in limited, guy-at-the-gym ways.

Rogues use this knowledge to cheat at reality--not to break reality wholesale, just to fiddle at the margins.

Remember the guy who sold out the heroes, took the blue pill and was eating steak and smoking big cigars? Like that, except without taking the pill.

Rogues, in a magical universe, find that they can push the odds in their favor, that they can make their own luck.

In mechanical terms, a Rogue player can choose to roll 3d6 instead of d20 for any d20 roll. In addition, Rogues have a pool of points they can spend to roll extra d6s, declared before the roll. (This means that the rogue can't make a critical hit or a critical fumble. If you're going to cheat, don't get greedy.)

I'm thinking that the power points could also be spent to use SLAs, or to enable Sneak Attacks on things that can't be Sneak Attacked.

Does this sound like a fun way to play the Sneak, or needless complication of the mechanics?

Occidental
2015-02-05, 01:19 AM
I think you could tool around with that a little. The biggest glaring issue I see is that 3d6 is, on average, .5 better than 1d20, with a lower maximum. So it might never be used at all. It depends on how it's implemented, of course. In some settings the Matrix-idea doesn't really get you anywhere because of how things work, but that wouldn't stop most of the DMs I know.

qazzquimby
2015-02-05, 01:39 AM
Are the extra d6s damage or in addition to the 3d6 roll replacing d20s? Putting everything into rolling 10d6 (average 35, max 60) would be very cinematic. I like idea, though I don't know how to integrate it into a character without writing a class.

Seppo87
2015-02-05, 03:23 AM
3d6 is, on average, .5 better than 1d20
No, it's not.
(3+18):2 = 10.5
(1+20):2 = 10.5

johnbragg
2015-02-05, 05:03 AM
Are the extra d6s damage or in addition to the 3d6 roll replacing d20s? Putting everything into rolling 10d6 (average 35, max 60) would be very cinematic. I like idea, though I don't know how to integrate it into a character without writing a class.

The extra d6s replace d20 rolls for skill checks, attacks, saving throws, whatever else you'd roll a d20 for. Initiative (if the player really wants to get in the first shot).

I'd have to basically rewrite the rogue class, adding things to spend the power points on besides boosting d20 rolls. And of course deciding which psionics class to copy the power points progression from, or write a new one.

I *think* that it should cost more to add more dice. Going from 3d6 to 4d6 costs 1 point, going from 4d6 to 5d6 costs 2 points, 5d6 to 6d6 costs 3 or 4 points, etc.

***
I got the idea futzing around with E6 ideas, and realized that the Rogue doesn't really get much benefit from staying in Rogue for levels 4-6, compared to going Arcane Trickster or just dipping into caster classes. Casters get 3rd level spells, full BAB classes get their second attacks, Bards get Suggestion, Rogues get--another Sneak Attack die, Uncanny Dodge and Trap Sense +2. :frown:

Baphomet
2015-02-05, 05:53 PM
It seems like a lot of extra work for not much benefit. The rogue would, on average, be performing the same...except wouldn't be making critical hits. Not that rogues care much about critical hits, I guess. They'd have more rolls around the middle and less around the edges.

Increased randomness favors the underdog. If anything, I'd expect the rogue to WANT more randomness, rather than more regularity, since they're more like gamblers relying on luck, or weak characters relying on wits to survive. How about 1d6 +7 instead, where 6 on the d6 is a crit and 1 is a failure for anything that usually crits on a 20 and fails on a 1? d6 is the dice type that most people associate with gamblers, 7 is a number associated with luck, and the average is still 10.5, same as a d20, so the numbers are both mechanically and aesthetically interesting. I don't really know if that would actually be a good idea, but to me that seems more like what you were going for.

EDIT: or how about this: any time he would roll a d20, he can instead roll 1d6. if the roll is higher than 3, he adds 14 to it. In either case, he uses the result as his natural roll as if he had rolled that result on a d20. That [/i]might[/i] break with improved crit range weapons, though.

qazzquimby
2015-02-05, 06:01 PM
In order to make dice stacking compatible with his suggestion (which I second), rather than adding d6s, you could multiply the d6 roll. What would previously have been 5d6 would be 3*1d6+7. It means they only need one die, also.

johnbragg
2015-02-05, 06:02 PM
It seems like a lot of extra work for not much benefit. The rogue would, on average, be performing the same...except wouldn't be making critical hits. Not that rogues care much about critical hits, I guess. They'd have more rolls around the middle and less around the edges.

Increased randomness favors the underdog. If anything, I'd expect the rogue to WANT more randomness, rather than more regularity, since they're more like gamblers relying on luck, or weak characters relying on wits to survive. How about 1d6 +7 instead, where 6 on the d6 is a crit and 1 is a failure for anything that usually crits on a 20 and fails on a 1? d6 is the dice type that most people associate with gamblers, 7 is a number associated with luck, and the average is still 10.5, same as a d20, so the numbers are both mechanically and aesthetically interesting. I don't really know if that would actually be a good idea, but to me that seems more like what you were going for.

Swapping out d20 for 3d6 isn't the big benefit--you'd only do that in situations where you just want to avoid botching, but can't Take 10.

The point is the ability to roll 4d6 or 5d6 or 6d6 instead of a d20, by spending some sort of Power Points. (You could just add d6s to a d20 roll, but that's kind of clunky)

Rogues cheat at solitaire. So why are they rolling the same non-rigged dice as the rubes?

EDIT: And "Real Gamers"(TM) like rollling lots of dice. Die-rolling apps are Badwrongfun if you're gaming in person. :smallamused:

Baphomet
2015-02-05, 06:47 PM
Swapping out d20 for 3d6 isn't the big benefit--you'd only do that in situations where you just want to avoid botching, but can't Take 10.

The point is the ability to roll 4d6 or 5d6 or 6d6 instead of a d20, by spending some sort of Power Points. (You could just add d6s to a d20 roll, but that's kind of clunky)

Rogues cheat at solitaire. So why are they rolling the same non-rigged dice as the rubes?

EDIT: And "Real Gamers"(TM) like rollling lots of dice. Die-rolling apps are Badwrongfun if you're gaming in person. :smallamused:

Hm. What you're essentially doing there is giving a bonus of 1d6 to rolls that require d20s, in exchange for power points. Which actually does sound like a kinda cool idea. They're taking a risk, they don't know if it's going to pay off, but they do know in either case they're going to end up better off than when they started. It still bugs me that the default is actually decreasing the random factor, though. The ones who want less randomness are the ones that know they have the sheer numerical advantage. That doesn't seem like the rogue to me.

How about this. When he would roll a d20, he may instead roll a d6. If the roll is greater than 1, add 7. if the roll is exactly 6, add another 7. treat that result as if it were the natural roll on the d20. he can expend power points (make sure it's some significant amount of them, because this can get a little out of hand if it's able to be used consistently) to get a bonus of 1d6 to that roll (not the natural result, just a bonus like any other).

So basically, his d20 has 6 sides. They read 1, 9, 10, 11, 12, 20.

I will admit, a small part of this is my own personal vendetta against things that roll a lot of dice. I'm tired of having to sit there and wait for the rogue to add up a bunch of d6s. I know some people who make that seem like rocket science.

Edit: another idea if you don't want to mess with autohit/autofail rates is add a penalty of -3 and a bonus of 1d6. more random than usual, but they're still coming out ahead on average.

ExLibrisMortis
2015-02-05, 07:06 PM
If you want a lot of randomness, how about rolling a d(10*(2+x)) - 4x? That's a d10 and a d(2+x), where the d(2+x) counts the tens, like a d%. Your default is d10*2, with x = 0, basically a d20. With four increases, you're rolling a d6 and d10, or a d60 - an equal chance of 1-60 - minus 4x, so minus 16, to curb the really crazy high rolls. Rolling anywhere between -15 and 44, that's what a gambler likes! You have to do something with crits though, because if everything below 2 is failure and everything above 19 auto-success, you're in a crazy place. You could simply count the crits off the d10 roll, for example.

Admiral Squish
2015-02-05, 07:22 PM
Lot of fancy alternatives proposed here... but why not just roll a d20 and add d6s? Say you only count the original d20 for determining crits, and you're done.

johnbragg
2015-02-05, 08:35 PM
I will admit, a small part of this is my own personal vendetta against things that roll a lot of dice. I'm tired of having to sit there and wait for the rogue to add up a bunch of d6s. I know some people who make that seem like rocket science.

Ahh. It's still fewer dice than the blaster wizard is rolling with 10d6 fireballs and lightning bolts, but that's probably not a comfort.


Lot of fancy alternatives proposed here...

Yes, and most of them go against the idea of the rogue shaving probabilities in his or her favor. The rogue doesn't trust to luck as random chance, the rogue makes his own luck. And when it counts, maybe cheats.


but why not just roll a d20 and add d6s? Say you only count the original d20 for determining crits, and you're done.

I think part of the concept is the rogue has the option of rolling 3d6 instead of d20--no crits no fumbles. A lot of times, the fumbles hurt the rogue more than the crits help. Double damage is great for the two-handed power attacking barbarian, not so much for the halfling wielding a rapier.

Amechra
2015-02-06, 02:27 AM
You know, I already wrote a class based around futzing dice, with a 3d6 bell curve.

It's called the Nord's Blade (http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=4779.0).

No need to reinvent the wheel; just steal from the (now three-and-a-half-years-old) class someone else wrote.

qazzquimby
2015-02-06, 01:14 PM
To make everyone happy, take everyone's methods, roll all their dice, then take the mean.

Baphomet
2015-02-06, 04:14 PM
Ahh. It's still fewer dice than the blaster wizard is rolling with 10d6 fireballs and lightning bolts, but that's probably not a comfort.
There are people who play blaster wizards?!?

johnbragg
2015-02-06, 11:28 PM
Well, it seems everyone who responded was favorable to a rogue-type being able to use an alternate dice-rolling method, and being able to spend power points to add extra dice.

I'm sticking with
1. the rogue having the option of rolling 3d6 instead of d20 (there are situations where all you really want to do is not botch.)
2. adding d6s by spending power points.

So now we start looking at the math of power points and bonus dice.

Bonus dice are added to things that would normally have d20 rolls--skill checks, attacks, saves (caster level checks, grapple checks, etc). NOT to damage dice. So you could crank up a skill check to epic numbers if you wanted to. (Back in 3.0, you could do that with Wieldskill (1st level, +10 to a skill check) or Guidance of the Avatar (2nd, +20), but those were nuked in 3.5). Or you could boost an attack roll or a save into the 30s, basically guaranteeing success if you want to buy a bunch of bonus dice at once.

I'm okay for now with doing that, but it should wipe out a mid-level character for the day. So buying five bonus dice on one roll should cost more than adding one bonus die each to 5 rolls.
So maybe boosting to 4d6 costs 1 PP, boosting to 5d6 costs 2, 6d6 costs 4, 7d6 costs 8, 8d6 costs 16, 9d6 costs 32, 10d6 costs 64, etc.

If we use the psychic warrior PP/day table (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/classes/psychicWarrior.htm), a 6th-level rogue with 16 Int has 11PP from class levels and 9PP bonus-for-Int. That's 20 points, so our rogue could shoot the works for 8d6 once a day (average 28), or make 10 rolls at 5d6 (average 17.5) or 5 rolls at 6d6 (average 21).

A 10th level rogue with 18 Int has 27 PP from class levels plus 20, total of 47. So she can roll 6d6 (~21) instead of d20 11 times a day, or roll 9d6 (~31.5) once and still have 4 6d6's in reserve.

Is this balanced against Tier 3 classes? I keep mentally comparing it to what a same-level wizard is doing, but that's not a very good measuring stick.

johnbragg
2015-02-10, 10:40 PM
I wanted to link and quote Haley's speech from #428

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0428.html


The con isn't getting you to pick the wrong shell. The con is in getting you to accept that the basic premise of the game is still being followed. The con is in getting you to pick a shell at all.
The ball isn't under the first shell, or the second shell, or even the third shell.
The ball is in the con man's palm the whole time.

--Haley Starshine


Oh, and I've named the rogue-fix-class WIP based on this mechanic--the Chancer.

Hanuman
2015-02-11, 01:11 AM
Rogues don't cheat reality, they deal precision damage on their weapons.

Action points in 3.5 or hero points for pathfinder would be cheating reality.

If you wanted kind of a matrix cheater there's brew to do that with, and considering the fluff theres a lot that can still be done with it.

Arcane magic is like hacking, because there's kind of a literal fabric to magic they manipulate, especially when playing under mystra's weave rules. This is neo, he is like a sorcerer, able to see the nature of magic and manipulate it freely.

Divine magic is more like actually having more permissions to reality, at least more permissions than the standard user. Agent Smith is actually more like a divine caster in this way.

OTHER works with similar physics of the universe in different ways to create effects, rather they use their existing permissions in creative ways, I feel that psionic is actually more coloring inside the lines, but that's all relative to fluff and magic/psionic transparency.

Mark Hall
2015-02-11, 12:13 PM
Take a look at Hackmaster: Basic (it's free). Thieves (and rogues, and fighter/thieves, and mage/thieves, and priests of the god of luck) get Luck Points, which they can spend to defend themselves, improve skills, and so on. But Luck Points only recharge with levels.