View Full Version : Hero dice: The Triantakohedron

2008-01-11, 12:45 PM
Soo.. I was sitting behind my dm screen the other night wanting a little more heroics from my Players. I've played in campaigns run by my peers, even those in my group... and death is far too infrequent. The PC's become -lazy- and rather placated. I've been while these people a year or two now, and only witnessed one character death. My character was 'supposed' to die once, but it was glossed over and damage was reassigned.


I was perfectly ready to die, but both the Dm and group came up with some decent reasons why I shouldn't (One player was missing from the group at the time, we were facing opponents too difficult for the party, no dramatic tension to dying in a random encounter..)

So, I -love- running and playing in vicious campaigns. Every combat should be -life threatening-. You're not toiling in the fields. You're freaking adventurers. I'm worried how my players will react. so I came up with something seemingly simple to.. encourage players and establish the social contract: if you take these actions, or intentionally try to do stupid stuff, I won't be sympathetic to their little sheets of paper.

So, I thought about hero dice. When your character is in a dire spot: (less than 25% hp, only active pc in the party, attempting a 'heroic action' [catch all for dm's ruling], they may choose to put up a death flag, indicating their character/player is willing to die for the current situation.

When the death flag is up, for all D20 rolls, the character uses a d30 instead. Only one deathflag may be active in the party at a time, monsters and henchmen cannot use d30's. Since we'll be rolling for Spell dc's, this will help wizards who's spells rely on saves. Fighter-ish classes may obviously benefit, and rogues in my game -do- need to make skill checks in battle (typical fleeing from monsters- oh no! Locked door! or similar situations. Traps are meant to severely injure, not annoy..)

Thematically, this involves the table as well. A big hunking, heavy die attracts attention, only one person can have it, ect.

So what I would like from you forumites is opinions, critique, suggestions (for instance.. how may I possibly involve a arcane caster who doesn't rely on spell dc's.. like a conjurer?), or just potential problems I may have over looked.

2008-01-11, 01:44 PM
If a caster is the only character still standing it should pretty much go without saying that they will be making a ton of concentration checks .... that means d20s (or d30s as per your idea).

I don't think you'll really need to worry about casters, it has always been my experience that they don't have problems dropping mobs when they are the only one up, but rather their squishiness means they drop too fast to get spells off.

Now personally I don't give a dire rat's large fuzzy butt if the player is willing to die, if in all likelihood they are going to die (which is pretty likely with <25% health and no allies) I would just give them the die and say "good luck, this might help!". Cynicisms aside I would not use it as an excuse to kill the PCs or as a payment for a hero's death. It's all your call, as DM your responsible for the drama in the campaign, do whatever it takes and whatever you want to ensure a kick butt story.

All that aside, this is a pretty common problem I see in dnd; when everyone is heroic no one is. This is a way to have something heroic, that couldn't happen under normal circumstances, occur in just the nick of time to save the party from a TPK.

Good idea!

2008-01-11, 01:51 PM
Ah. Perhaps I was unclear in what's required to activate heroic dice. I meant for those to be more as.. "You must fit one of the following requirements" Rather than You must fit -all- of the requirements. OR turned out to be a very important word that I forgot!

2008-01-11, 04:37 PM
LOL, that would make a difference. Ignore the first 2 paragraphs and that one with the dire rat's large fizzy butt in it and we should be ok. However, that does leave my post with basically no actual meaningful content. :smallbiggrin:

I was never really happy with d20 casting, as a lot aren't, and unless you work in a skill check to the magic system there isn't a whole lot of options (that I can see) other then spell pen./DC rolls.

This is from left field, off the cuff, from the hip, et cetera ... What about giving them the triantakohedron of heroics and tell them to roll it verse a spell table, somehting like this maybe:
1-5|-1 to all die rolls pertaining to the spell
6-10|no effect
11-15|spell is treated as quickened
16-20|spell is treated as empowered
21-25|spell is treated as empowered and maximized
26-30|spell is treated as empowered, maximized, and quickened[/table]
Like I said just some quick ideas, I'll see if I can think of something more useful over the weekend.


2008-01-11, 05:07 PM
I was never really happy with d20 casting, as a lot aren't, and unless you work in a skill check to the magic system there isn't a whole lot of options (that I can see) other then spell pen./DC rolls.

Well... I was planning on including True namers >.> (and other tome of magic stuffs)

Obviously, a d30 would help hit the ridiculous Dc's for that, but true namers need alot more help than just a d30.

As far as that chart, it seems.. okay. I think quickened is more powerful than empowered or maxed, especially playing at lower levels (planned, 2-9 or so) as you get that extra action, while empowered and maxed don't add that much. It's something to just kinda stare at on the drawing table.