Die system thoughts

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Salsacookies, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. I've had an idea of a dice rolling system.

    It would be D20, and 11 and 12 would be the best numbers to roll.

    There would be 9 levels for stats, like this


    Bonus and Malus would be +5 to -5.

  2. It sounds complicated for no discernible benefit. Then again, probability statistics isn't my strong suit. So feel free to explain it to me.
  3. I dunno. I subscribe to a system called KISS, which is "keep it simple, stupid!" On a forum especially, since it's more about the story than the mechanics which are used to tell it.

    Ergo, when I do use systems, I usually base it off a D20 system and add modifiers of 2/3/5/10, (minor-moderate-major-game changing each respectively) depending on how hard I want something to affect either the players or the NPC's.

    ex: Player X takes a sniper scope. +2 to hit. Player X gets sniper training. +5 to hit. So on and so forth.

    The simpler the system is to execute, the less likely there is to cause problems by misinterpreting something within the system.
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  4. Yeah, I have to agree that this seems overly complicated. I wouldn't use this, personally.
  5. Kk, thanks. Never tried it, and I enjoy making confusing rule systems. This was an attempt at my own rule system, I liked the idea of the middle numbers being best, and increasing die numbers representing better skills and ability.
  6. The thing with dice systems is that you can use whichever system you want as long as you understand it yourself and you adhere rigidly to it.

    For instance, I personally use a 2-dice system - the Luck and Do. First I throw 1D100 that gives me the % of chance that it succeeds (plus or minus things that help in the character). This is the threshold. Then I thrown 1D20, and if the equivalent is lower than the chance, it happens. So for 5% chance and under, there HAS to be a 1 rolled. At 50%, anywhere from 1 to 10.

    Example: 1d100 - gives 15%. Plus five because he's lucky, so 20%. Then 1d20, rolls 6. Fails because at 20%, it's 4 and under that wins.
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  7. I have found dice to be of dubious benefit.

    First, foremost, without some form of security involved, any person can just make up their rolls. True, it starts to become suspicious when they're always rolling crits, but the point remains. Beyond that, incorporating dice into an online format is always tricky business. What if the description of the action was really really good, but you fail the roll? Moreover, what if the target is bound and gagged, unconscious, totally restrained and your character is an expert marksman? Should the dice even allow for failure in such a situation?

    On the other hand, dice can mean the difference between unpredictability and monotony. Dice can mix things up; make things interesting. They can give you results which were totally unexpected.

    I think that any successful dice system would have to take into account both sides of this dilemma. I have used dice before, though mostly only in tabletop settings. The way I overcame my objections was through modifiers. If there were adverse conditions, I would consider them and apply appropriate penalties, and vice versa. It is possible to have enough negative conditions to make a roll impossible.

    Without knowing more about your application, that's about as helpful as I can be.
  8. I would say yes, it should allow failure for something interesting might happen. Freak accidents in RP are often the best events. Also, if I remember, Iwaku's forums have an integrated dice roll thing for that security.

    Exactly my point.
  9. To easily fix this, get everyone to sign up to a site like this and start an E-tabletop session. The GM doesn't have to be present for people to roll dice in a session, and since it's publicly viewable and the text messages are not editable, whatever you roll is permanent. So are any rerolls you might do. Resolves the trust issue by removing trust from the equation.
    Then you've just learned a valuable lesson: The Dice Gods are a fickle people, and you should never presume to know what they're thinking. Always roll before you make the description. (ex: "She charges valiantly and swings her blade!... *Rolls a 1*... Only to trip over a rock, hitting the ground with a horrendously deflated ego.")
    Depends on the GM/player group, but generally there is such a thing in most systems as the free pass. Ever since the first D&D DM manual made the first rule "have fun and break any rules in order to do so", if rolling dice would make little sense in the given situation, don't bother. If a target is bound and gagged and unconscious, feel free to just let the player get the executioner's blow. If you want to represent a fight between a hardened veteran and a nooblord peasant, just add a custom modifier of your choice on all their rolls. (ex: In a D20 system, I'd probably add +10 to all the vet's rolls, or -10 to all the peasant's rolls.)

    It's always about having fun, first and foremost. I find dice systems are most effective with a GM who understands that dice are a guiding compass more than a hard rule. If the Dice Gods sayeth "rocks falleth and everyone dies" you can always look up at the Dice Gods as the GM and say "nope. OVERRULED!" Combine with healthy communication with the players and you have a solid system.

    I'd say the worst part of a dice system is probably the people that it can attract: Rules lawyers, min-maxers, twinks, et cetera. It's the same bizarre phenomena I often encounter with science fiction: Hard liners who are willing to sacrifice fun or even common sense in order to enforce their version of a fantasy. "You can't deflect that, that's not allowed according to paragraph 3, page 153!" It also doesn't work well with people who need absolute, complete control over the fate of their character and cannot tolerate them being injured without them desiring it. In an RP I recently put out, had a player honestly quit from the Interest Check section when they realized dice were involved and they could die, but hey, that player was honest about what they wanted, so kudos to that chick.

    In Essence: Dice are the mechanics to make a story a little more unpredictable. While it seems like it's impossible to predict the results, it's not with a little bit of statistics and custom modifiers. So I guess the real barrier to entry is "can do you basic mathematics?"
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  10. D20 rolls with middle numbers being ideal is fine in its basics. 11 and 12 being the best numbers is statistically no different than 19 and 20 being the best numbers when you're rolling a D20.

    However, your system is actually superior to systems where you're aiming for 20 when it comes to rolling multiple dice. When it comes to systems where you're rolling for 20, rolling multiple dice is a risk/reward thing where you're lowering your chance to hit that 20 for the bonus of reducing or completely removing your chance of rolling a total failure number. For instance, rolling 20 with a D20 is a 5% chance, rolling 20 with D12+D8 or 2D10 is a roughly 1% chance, rolling 20 with 2D4+D12 (and other 3 dice setups) is a 0.5% chance, rolling 20 with 3D4+D8 or 2D4+2D6 is a roughly 0.2% chance, and rolling 20 with 5D4 is a roughly 0.1% chance. When you're aiming for the top number, adding more dice of the same total value lowers your chance to hit the target. That's not the case so far as I can see for your system (though I only did the math on a couple of the roll types to see if the chance actually increased, which it did), so that's the good news.

    The bad news is that the complexity and lack of intuitive logic would make it hard for players to understand and enjoy. If you were to use this system as a background thing, say you tell players they get skills and abilities that all have 9 ranks and each higher rank gives a higher success chance, then you just do the rolls behind the scenes, it could be fine. Trying to get players to deal with the multitude of dice is just asking for confusion and trouble.

    Your Bonus and Malus things, which I assume are roll modifiers, are something you should be careful about. I would suggest that if you ever use a system like this, be wary about how you do roll modifiers if you use them at all. It might be best to not use skill modifiers at all, none of the "+1 to diplomacy rolls" sort of thing. Alternatively, if you want to use them, make them forgiving and relative; instead of that +1 meaning "take rolled number, add 1" it should be "take roll, adjust 1 toward 11/12." Doing it any other way would make your system kind of silly because traditional roll modifiers would not actually change the the probability of getting certain numbers: it would just slide it so they're aiming for 10 or 11 instead, and rolling a 10 is just as likely as rolling a 12 when you're using a D20 based system. Negative roll modifiers actually don't appear to work at all with this system, as they're either just as likely to help as harm (if it's just "roll number minus X") or total unfair bullshit (if it's "roll number then move it X away from 11/12"). You can't exactly use the same mechanics in this system as the ones used with a standard high roll = good roll system. I would suggest that the negative roll modifying things actually be something more like "minus X levels on your skill roll," which should actually always reduce the player's chance of success just as negative modifiers do in standard roll systems.

    The major thing I would suggest you do before actually using this system is go through all the tedium of mapping out all possible rolls for the various dice sets, find out the actual percentage chance of rolling an 11 or 12 with each of them, and make sure there's no redundancy or inconsistency. It's possible that you don't have them in a logical probability order, and it's possible there's some redundancy there were two sets of rolls have the exact same chance to roll 11 or 12, so making sure you get it so the chances to hit the sweet spot absolutely do go up with each higher level of roll is very much necessary if you haven't already done so.
    #10 Jorick, Dec 7, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
  11. I should probably draw attention to the fact that Iwaku does have an in-built dice-roller program.

    EDIT: All you need to do is make the post, then go down to the 'More Options' tab at the bottom-right, and hit the button.
    Childish Grumpino threw 10-faced die for: SCIENCE. Total: 6 $dice $dice
  12. Thanks. There is a bit of redundancy between a few (skills 2-3, for example). However, by using a die calculator, it shows there is an increase in the percentage to hit 11-12, so I think I'll keep that in there. (except for skill 9, which is 12-13). Any suggestions? Also, i probably use your skill modifiers, i like it. I borrowed the principle from Sinvara from Roll to Dodge on Bay12, if you want to see the source. I am trying to make an independent rolling system for game design purposes, but thanks for telling me about the die roller, if possible, I'll use it for my die system.

    Edit: skill 9 is 11-12. Never mind
  13. Looked like a proto-Savage Worlds. I'd recommend a quick look.
  14. I know of Savage Worlds, i thought the system was different though (different sets of 20 vs rising max number). I don't have the rule set, but it looks like fun to run.
  15. I don't like it very much because of the Wounds system, and the Shaken condition that "locks" your character and make them lose a turn for nothing.

    Another idea is Altars & Archetypes, a 8 page-ish game kinda like you said, but with less dice.