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Author Topic: Swaying Fate with Action Dice  (Read 1188 times)
Krensky
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« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2012, 05:55:09 PM »

Get some poker chips or whatever. I'm using cheap glass beads shaped like irregular/uncut gemstones.

Players love tchotchkes for this sort of thing. It also lets you make two piles. Your GM dice, and a pile of dice to give out. Start off with a pot that's equal to the number of non-GM players. Look at it a lot. Any night you find there's gems/chips/whatever left in the pile to give out say in your head "Bad GM. Bad stingy GM. No pizza." and look for things, even poor things, to give out and make sure to praise the players for it.

I also make notes after the fact for when I realize I should have rewarded for something to give those dice out at the beginning of the next session. For instance, in hand sight I should have given dice to two players in one of my game for not going and exploring a 'dungeon' after one was bitten by a poisonous snake and the other treated the wound. I will be rectifying that when we meet again.
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The_Grand_User
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« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2012, 05:57:37 PM »

Poker chips are a bit hard to hand out over the internet, and since we're spread out over the country that's what we have to use Wink

However, it is good advice, particularly about noting when I should have given dice out.
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LordKruelos
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« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2012, 06:02:07 PM »

When I'd just started running crafty games, I had a 10-minute sand timer behind my GM screen as a reminder to try and hand at least one out every couple turns of the timer.
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Morgenstern
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« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2012, 07:52:03 PM »

One thought is you could build (mostly by recording cases as they happen) a scale of numbers for various narative twists the players ask for/would benefit from. Then you can either have the players pool and throw as many dice as they like to try and reach that number (good for a lower scale) or have them just spend dice and have every die count as its max value plus modifers that player has for action dice (higher scale). Either way, using a target number allows "lucky" character builds to utilze their full oomph beyond the simple pile of dice.

So you could have "minor NPC flips to players' side" as, lets say, a "20". The players could all throw dice in, rolling with their bonuses and if the total reaches or exceeds 20, bamm, turns out Joe Guard has always had a grudge agains the evil overlord and this looks like the time to settle the score. If the players just add full value (less variability, less chance of going, "aw crap, we spent 5 dice and got nuthin'...") I might set that to more like 35. Blow six 6-sides and you know the worm will turn.

Only other rule that comes to mind is each kind of narative event can only be invoked once per adventure. Minions R Us does have some standards... Angry, infiltrating Joe Guards are screened out for the most part Smiley. The point is for the players to increase the fun (at a reasonable cost) not to let them get in a rut.
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LordKruelos
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« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2012, 07:58:45 PM »

That's a very nice compromise solution there, Scott.
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Morgenstern
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« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2012, 08:00:46 PM »

One of the few occasions I got to play a Spycraft 2.0 game, I did all kinds of crazy stuff - slamed a van door on a pack of minions before they could pour out and attack... by fishtail whacking it with the back tire of my motorcycle (yeah, that roll was high). I pinned a few goons in decrotative and hilarious possitions with the thown knife pin feat. I even took out a guy with his own grenade by having filtched his keys out of the ignition as I dove through the cab and rolling up the remote power windows behind me as he tried to toss the grenade ("klink-plop-uh oh-boom"). Not a single action die awarded and I was spending mine like water to make those rolls come off. After it was over I asked the GM what I had to do to earn a die. He looked striken. He'd forgotten about handing them out being part of the game.

It happens. Training yourself to give them is as important as training your players to chase after them Cheesy.
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The_Grand_User
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« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2012, 08:03:05 PM »

To elaborate further on the situation we had found ourselves in:

The adventure had a strong, violent grudge between two NPCs, one of which could be redeemed, but it didn't provide for both to survive. But after a battle, and already enough impress checks along the way (such that just one more would be boring) it came time for the other NPC to decide if he would repent. THe plot would've said "no", so I had my players roll their AD to get high enough to "break the plot". And it worked out.

It wasn't exactly a situation that would've fallen under narrative control, the closest being the "turn coat NPC". I don't intend for this to be a replacement for the Perks (we had fun with that in an earlier adventure, finding a convenient ballista in a crypt ^_^)
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I'm a programmer by trade, of course I like to tinker! Cheesy

"I don't want to fight dragons." - Hiccup

Drakes, the very best part about FC ^_^

I'm designing my own RPG, The Dual20 system! Cheesy
Morgenstern
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« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2012, 08:14:46 PM »

Oh, and one bit of experince I like to pass along from the table - I prefer to give out action dice for the attempt, not the success. I am a total sucker for summer action flicks. When a player tells me their big-budget blockbuster movie shenaigans they'd like to pull off, I give them the action die BEFORE any check the plan might prompt - that way they can spend it on making the whole table more lively (win or lose, go big!) or if the character has already got the chutzpah and the native roll to make it work, they walk out with an extra die and big grin at the end of the action's resolution.
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Sletchman
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« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2012, 02:21:17 AM »

Sorry, Sletch, I was agreeing with you 100% and taking it further, I just was less clear than I probably should have been.

Ah, no problem.

I prefer to give out action dice for the attempt, not the success.

Amen.  I love Exalted's stunt dice mechanism - which basically says if you describe the attempt as awesome you get bonus dice (effectively action dice).  Porting that attitude to this game fits like a glove.  7th Sea had something similar (to no surprise).

Honestly (and the guys who I game with that visit her occasional can attest to this) - I don't give them out anywhere near as often as I should, and neither do they when they GM.  In a fun and exciting game it's too easy to get swept up in the excitement and keeping the game pace up and just forget to do so (like Morg mentioned).

When I used chips in GURPS it worked a whole lot better (players had an easy count of how many remained and I gave out way more), so I really cannot recommend doing that enough - I even gave the guy with Wierdness Magnet his own colour so I'd know to twist them a little (you could colour code for size - fortunate's d4's can be white, and regular size can be blue).
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