RE: [icons-rpg] Alternate dice mechanic
- I think the first alternatie dice idea might be good for people who have not been exposed to Fate or FUDGE before.
However as Fate is gaining popularity (relatively speaking), overally you are more likely to find people already used to the d6-d6 concept.
And that is one key element of game design, the sooner people get used to a mechanic, the sooner it fades into the background.
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 2010 16:27:53 -0700
Subject: [icons-rpg] Alternate dice mechanic
I like ICONS' "differential dice" rolling convention. However, I'd
like to suggest an alternative. This version may well end up being
easier to use for some, though explaining it is a bit more involved:
deisgnate one die as good and the other as bad, and roll them; then
toss out the bigger number. If you're left with the good die, apply
it to whatever trait you're checking as a bonus; but if you're left
with the bad die, apply it as a penalty. If you get a tie, toss out
The probability distribution for this "opposed dice" method is exactly
the same as for the "differential dice" method that ICONS normally
uses. For the most part, deciding whether you want to use
differential dice or opposed dice depends on which you feel more
comfortable doing: subtracting one number from another (differential),
or picking between two numbers (opposed).
There is, however, a more radical optional rule that complements the
"opposed dice" method quite nicely: namely, another way to handle
Determined Effort: instead of the current method of spending
Determination for "automatic" successes, you replace the normal die
roll with "aligned dice". This works exactly like opposed dice,
except that both dice are good and you still only toss one out if you
get a tie. The result is always a bonus to your trait, ranging from +1
to +6 and averaging between +2 and +3. If that isn't enough to get
the desired outcome, spend another Determination to reroll the dice
and try for a better bonus. You can do this as often as you like, as
long as you have Determination to spare.
This method is radically different from the normal Determined Effort
rules: in the normal rules, you might get a really bad roll and have
to spend as many as three points of Determination to upgrade a -5 roll
to a +1 roll; using the aligned dice option, a single point of
Determination will guarantee that the worst you will do will be a +1
to your trait. OTOH, the normal method can also give you an
arbitrarily high bonus; no matter how difficult the task before you,
nor how unsuited you are to the task, y6ou can always achieve whatever
level of success you want if you have enough Determination. With the
"aligned dice" alternative, the best you can manage is a +6 bonus.
A slightly more complex variation on the "aligned dice" concept is to
allow them to explode on doubles: if both dice are the same, set
asidew one of the dice as a bonus; and then roll two more dice for
another bonus, cumulative with the first. Keep doing this as long as
you keep getting doubles. As before, you can spend a point of
Determination to try again if you don't like the result.
Jonathan "Dataweaver" Lang