# Thread: Core and Crit Dice Mechanics [PEACH]

1. ## Core and Crit Dice Mechanics [PEACH]

I've been talking about dice mechanics with my group and I've got some general ideas to work with for a homebrew. I'm looking for any thoughts people have - especially any potential problems you see so I can try to address them and any cool idea that's poorly executed so I can save it. I haven't seen anything much like the mechanics I'm working on to get a critical - so I'd really love some input there. The system will focus on high or heroic fantasy but might be used in a few different scenarios at least for one-shots.

Spoiler: 1. 'Flexible' Core Mechanic
So the core mechanic is a dice roll with an added (or subtracted) modifier - whichever modifier is appropriate for the roll. The thing is which dice roll to use. We all agree on multiple dice but couldn't agree on using 2, 3 or 4 since some favored more dice and thus more reliability while others favored fewer dice for more highs and lows. Someone suggested having all of them in the game - which sounded nuts to me at first but they made an interesting case. When the party is essentially taking downtime - the shopping episode, if you will - it makes more sense to have more reliable dice rolls than when they're adventuring. When the party is in a high intensity situation it makes sense to have more highs and lows. This also makes more sense if we wanted to use basically the same system in a less heroic environment - just up the number of dice for a more rounded curve. This might be nice if we wanted to make the system a little more "universal".

So I was thinking of having these three core dice rolls:
• 2d12
• 3d8
• 4d6

Stats are designed using the 3d8 roll as a basis and I'm hoping this means that re-stating shouldn't be a huge problem. The mean value only moves by 0.5. I might want to move modifiers up or down a point for things like attack rolls but I don't see it being a huge deal since that difference is partly the point. I'd think that most sessions will use just the one dice roll - and I'd use 3d8 for the majority of the time. Being able to be like "it's 2d12 time folks" could be an interesting way of communicating higher stakes mechanically - but I'm honestly worried about this core flexibility.

Someone suggested different styles of characters using different core rolls - characters that are more risky using 2d12 and characters that are more reliable using 4d6 but I was hoping to use something less restrictive than a typical class system so I shot this one down for this iteration.

Spoiler: 2. A Roll and Keep Mechanic - Leverage and Hindrance
Rather than having a bunch of floating, situational modifiers, I was going to use a roll and keep system not unlike dnd 5e's advantage/disadvantage mechanic. You can benefit from up to three points of "leverage" or "hindrance". Points of leverage cancel out points of hindrance and vice versa. For every point of leverage, you roll one additional die, keeping the best dice. Hindrance is the opposite, rolling extra dice but keeping the worst. We've been referring to one point of leverage as just "leverage", two points as "double leverage" and three as "triple leverage". It's not possible to stack leverage or hindrance from different sources - just to use one point of leverage or hindrance to cancel out the other - unless there is a specific exception. So having triple leverage is pretty rare. Using XdYkhZ to mean roll X dYs and keep the highest Z dice and XdYklZ to mean roll X dYs and keep the lowest Z dice, you've got:

 Base Roll Leverage Double Leverage Triple Leverage Hindrance Double Hindrance Triple Hindrance 2d12 3d12kh2 4d12kh2 5d12kh2 3d12kl2 4d12kl2 5d12kl2 3d8 4d8kh3 5d8kh3 6d8kh3 4d8kl3 5d8kl3 6d8kl3 4d6 5d6kh4 6d6kh4 7d6kh4 5d6kl4 6d6kl4 7d6kl4

I think rolling seven dice as part of a basic roll is a LOT outside of dice pool systems, but that should be a pretty rare occurrence due to the frequency of triple leverage. If it's too cumbersome, what do people think of switching to a dice rolling app?

Spoiler: 3. How to get Criticals
There are critical successes and critical failures in this system, called triumphs and catastrophes - because I have a soft spot for the overly-dramatic. You can get a triumph by rolling a 24 and a catastrophe by rolling all ones - so 2, 3 or 4 depending on the core roll in use at the time. However, I wanted criticals to be a bit more frequent than that, which is where I get a little weird and make another way to get a critical. I'd really appreciate some input on this mechanic.

I'll talk about getting triumphs first. If you make a roll that's not a 24, but succeed in your action and beat a natural 20 - that is your dice roll before modifiers is a 21, 22, or 23 - then you have a chance at getting a triumph. You roll a d6. If you initially rolled a 23, you have to roll a 3 or less on the d6 to get a critical. If you initially rolled a 22, you need to roll a 2 or less on the d6. If you initially rolled a 21, you have to roll a 1. This way, there is a reward for getting a really high roll, and critical successes are a little more common. Using the 3d8 roll, the chance of a triumph is only around 1.2%, with leverage 3.7%, with double leverage 7.1% and with triple leverage 11.2%. For comparison, in dnd 5e, advantage gives you a 9.75% chance of rolling a natural twenty.

If it's a contested roll or an action against you (like an attack roll), and your opponent fails with a natural roll that's just 1, 2, or 3 points over the minimum, then you can roll a d6 to try and make their roll a catastrophe. In a reflection of the above, if they have cleared the minimum by just 1, you need to roll a 3 or less, if they cleared it by 2, then you have to roll a 2 or less and if they cleared it by 3 you have to roll a 1. Of course, it's not just PCs that can make these d6 rolls to get triumphs and force catastrophes. I might rule that mooks can't do this to keep things moving, but the BBEG can certainly turn your low roll into a critical failure.

I was considering making these d6 rolls come with a downside - but making them voluntary in that case (you could roll a 21 and choose not to push for the triumph). If you make the d6 roll to force a critical and fail - or roll a natural catastrophe, you take on a point of "stress". You get an "awesome point" for succeeding - or getting a natural triumph (these are working titles - I don't plan on including a stat called awesome... although...). Both points can build up and stress points are much easier to accumulate than awesome points. If stress points get too high can be used by the GM to inflict a character flaw on a PC (like a fixation or temporary insanity) or maybe to turn an action messy (when trying to intimidate that shady character you lost your head and injured them really badly). Awesome points can be saved up by the player for use when they want to do something really, well, awesome or turn an action in their favor. Alternatively, they can save up their awesome points and - if they have enough - can clear their stress points. This will hopefully encourage players with a lot of stress built up to make more d6 rolls in an effort to get enough awesome points. I think there's some really cool role-playing potential there.

I don't think this will be the only way to remove stress. I was thinking that it could be removed by taking a vacation or at the GMs discretion for a cool role-playing moment of character growth. The main thing is that it's not something the player can easily do mid-dungeon/mid-adventure.

The d6 roll also creates an opportunity for interesting mechanics. A buff or character feature that focuses on criticals might let a character roll a d4 instead, while a debuff or opponent's defensive feature might make you roll a d8 instead.

Spoiler: 4. How to Resolve Criticals
So I haven't explained what triumphs and catastrophes do mechanically. Obviously, as criticals, they give better successes and worse failures. However, I was thinking that when a critical happens, the severity of the effect is determined by a "resolution roll". When you get a triumph or an oponenet gets a catastrophe, roll two d12s and take the difference, scoring between 0 and 11. You can choose to use the roll you have or a lower score - down to 0. The bigger the score, the more severe the effect of the critical. Maybe one of the uses for stress points is for the GM to make the effect more severe when the PC was hoping to hold back - turning it into a messy success. I think this creates a really interesting distribution, where there's a chance for a really huge impact but it's not likely enough to create too much swingyness.

If you roll a triumph versus an opponent's catastrophe - or because of a buff or feature - the resolution roll is "intensified". Instead of rolling two d12 and taking the difference, you roll three and subtract lowest from the highest. This means you're more likely to get a middle of the road severity, and while the most severe results become more likely, they remain improbable. I'd like to include mechanics like this because including characters built around elements of chance rather than reliability is appealing to me.

The exact effect for things like combat would be made clear, but for most actions would be down to the GM to fill in the details. Where appropriate, the effect of triumphant rolls will mirror the effect of other catastrophic roll. So a triumphant attack roll would have the same effect on your attack as an opponent catastrophically failing to dodge an AoE spell. Rolling high enough on a resolution might let you deal triple damage instead of double damage as is more typical. Maybe a certain resolution roll could deal the normal double damage but also push the opponent back a certain distance.

Spoiler: Appendix. Probability Distributions
For all my fellow number crunching nerds, I've included some tables showing the probability distributions. I don't really know how to put up graphs or images here - yet - so I hope the tables of data are acceptable.

Spoiler: Rolls without leverage or hindrance

 Roll 2d12 Mode 3d8 Mode 4d6 Mode 2 0.694% N/A N/A 3 1.389% 0.195% N/A 4 2.083% 0.586% 0.077% 5 2.778% 1.172% 0.309% 6 3.472% 1.953% 0.772% 7 4.167% 2.930% 1.543% 8 4.861% 4.102% 2.701% 9 5.556% 5.469% 4.321% 10 6.25% 7.301% 6.173% 11 6.944% 8.203% 8.025% 12 7.638% 8.984% 9.645% 13 8.333% 9.375% 10.802% 14 7.638% 9.375% 11.265% 15 6.944% 8.984% 10.802% 16 6.25% 8.203% 9.645% 17 5.556% 7.301% 8.025% 18 4.861% 5.469% 6.173% 19 4.167% 4.102% 4.321% 20 3.472% 2.930% 2.701% 21 2.778% 1.953% 1.543% 22 2.083% 1.172% 0.772% 23 1.389% 0.586% 0.309% 24 0.694% 0.195% 0.077% % for Triumphs - assuming you make a d6 roll 2.546% 1.204% 0.746% % for Catastrophes - assuming a d6 roll against you 2.546% 1.204% 0.746% % for Stress - assuming a d6 roll to make a Triumph 5.093% 2.897% 2.032%

Spoiler: Rolls with Leverage

 Roll 2d12 Mode 3d8 Mode 4d6 Mode 2 0.058% N/A N/A 3 0.174% 0.024% N/A 4 0.405% 0.098% 0.013% 5 0.694% 0.244% 0.064% 6 1.100% 0.513% 0.193% 7 1.563% 0.928% 0.450% 8 2.141% 1.514% 0.913% 9 2.778% 2.319% 1.672% 10 3.530% 3.369% 2.765% 11 4.340% 4.590% 4.180% 12 5.266% 5.933% 5.864% 13 6.250% 7.227% 7.652% 14 7.176% 8.398% 9.324% 15 7.813% 9.302% 10.610% 16 8.218% 9.863% 11.265% 17 8.333% 9.912% 11.124% 18 8.218% 9.399% 10.224% 19 7.813% 8.301% 8.616% 20 7.176% 6.836% 6.572% 21 6.250% 5.151% 4.437% 22 5.093% 3.467% 2.572% 23 3.646% 1.904% 1.157% 24 1.968% 0.708% 0.334% % for Triumphs - assuming you make a d6 roll 6.530% 3.674% 2.510% % for Catastrophes - assuming a d6 roll against you 0.395% 0.240% 0.184% % for Stress - assuming a d6 roll to make a Triumph 10.484% 7.581% 6.004%

Spoiler: Rolls with Double Leverage

 Roll 2d12 Mode 3d8 Mode 4d6 Mode 2 0.005% N/A N/A 3 0.019% 0.003% N/A 4 0.072% 0.015% 0.002% 5 0.154% 0.046% 0.013% 6 0.313% 0.125% 0.045% 7 0.521% 0.275% 0.120% 8 0.844% 0.519% 0.285% 9 1.235% 0.919% 0.604% 10 1.780% 1.511% 1.149% 11 2.411% 2.319% 1.985% 12 3.236% 3.406% 3.191% 13 4.167% 4.700% 4.750% 14 5.310% 6.165% 6.582% 15 6.462% 7.678% 8.543% 16 7.653% 9.155% 10.340% 17 8.642% 10.300% 11.630% 18 9.476% 11.050% 12.209% 19 9.896% 11.032% 11.724% 20 9.968% 10.239% 10.224% 21 9.414% 8.609% 7.900% 22 8.319% 6.454% 5.219% 23 6.385% 3.876% 2.615% 24 3.718% 1.605% 0.870% % for Triumphs - assuming you make a d6 roll 11.253% 7.129% 5.234% % for Catastrophes - assuming a d6 roll against you 0.064% 0.047% 0.044% % for Stress - assuming a d6 roll to make a Triumph 16.588% 13.418% 11.377%

Spoiler: Rolls with Triple Leverage

 Roll 2d12 Mode 3d8 Mode 4d6 Mode 2 <0.001% N/A N/A 3 0.002% <0.001% N/A 4 0.012% 0.002% <0.001% 5 0.032% 0.008% 0.003% 6 0.085% 0.030% 0.010% 7 0.163% 0.079% 0.030% 8 0.314% 0.171% 0.085% 9 0.514% 0.351% 0.213% 10 0.844% 0.653% 0.463% 11 1.256% 1.115% 0.900% 12 1.869% 1.831% 1.636% 13 2.604% 2.820% 2.741% 14 3.627% 4.102% 4.258% 15 4.792% 5.673% 6.189% 16 6.252% 7.500% 8.370% 17 7.716% 9.289% 10.527% 18 9.306% 11.044% 12.390% 19 10.579% 12.202% 13.281% 20 11.633% 12.556% 12.941% 21 11.863% 11.658% 11.240% 22 11.351% 9.678% 8.347% 23 9.326% 6.323% 4.614% 24 5.858% 2.914% 1.763% % for Triumphs - assuming you make a d6 roll 16.282% 11.244% 8.726% % for Catastrophes - assuming a d6 roll against you 0.011% 0.009% 0.010% % for Stress - assuming a d6 roll to make a Triumph 22.117% 19.329% 17.239%

Spoiler: Rolls with Hindrance, Double Hindrance and Triple Hindrance
The distributions for rolls made with hindrance mirror those for rolls made with leverage. The only statistics that I'll include are the chances of getting a stress point when failing a d6 roll to make a triumph, though these are all fairly unlikely scenarios.

 2d12 Mode 3d8 Mode 4d6 Mode Hindrance 0.936% 0.693% 0.536% Double Hindrance 0.186% 0.142% 0.136% Triple Hindrance 0.036% 0.031% 0.033%

Spoiler: Resolution Rolls

 Score 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 % for base d12-d12 8.333% 15.278% 13.889% 12.5% 11.111% 9.722% 8.333% 6.944% 5.556% 4.167% 2.778% 1.389% % for "Intensified" 0.694% 3.819% 6.944% 9.375% 11.111% 12.153% 12.5% 12.153% 11.111% 9.375% 6.944% 3.819%

2. ## Re: Core and Crit Dice Mechanics [PEACH]

I've added a change to the way the critical resolution works and here's an example of how the resolution for a critical attack might work - still a WIP though:
Spoiler: Resolution of Critical Attack
When your attack (of any kind) is a critical hit, either because an attack roll is a triumph or a defensive/dodge roll was a catastrophe, then you make a resolution roll. You can then choose the effect corresponding to that score or any lower score. This way, if you roll a 3, but your opponent is next to a ledge, you can choose to take a score of 2 instead.

 Score Effect (%, % if intensified) 0 Allows one to roll a single additional damage die (8.333%, 0.694%) 1 Deals double the damage (15.278%, 3.819%) 2 Deals double the damage and pushes the target(s) five feet away from the source of the damage (13.889%, 6.944%) 3 Allows one of the damage dice to be rerolled - taking the higher - and deals double the damage (12.5%, 9.375%) 4 Deals double the damage and knocks the target(s) down (11.111%, 11.111%) 5 Allows one to roll a single additional damage die and deals double the damage (9.722%, 12.153%) 6 Deals triple the damage (8.333%, 12.5%) 7 Deals triple the damage and pushes the target(s) five feet away from the source of the damage (6.944%, 12.153%) 8 Allows one of the damage dice to be rerolled - taking the higher - and deals triple the damage (5.556%, 11.111%) 9 Deals triple the damage and knocks the target(s) down (4.167%, 9.375%) 10 Allows one to roll a single additional damage die and deals double the damage (2.778%, 6.944%) 11 Deals quadruple the damage (1.389%,3.819%)

And don't worry, I'm not going to bump this thread ad nauseam or anything.

#### Posting Permissions

• You may not post new threads
• You may not post replies
• You may not post attachments
• You may not edit your posts
•