Back to Crafty Games Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
October 25, 2014, 02:21:19 AM
Home Help Search Login Register
News: Welcome to the Crafty Games Forums!

Note to New Members: To combat spam, we have instituted new rules: you must post 5 replies to existing threads before you can create new threads.

+  Crafty Games Forum
|-+  Community
| |-+  License to Improvise
| | |-+  [Notebook] Reworking Action Dice
« previous next »
Pages: 1 ... 4 5 [6] 7 Go Down Print
Author Topic: [Notebook] Reworking Action Dice  (Read 3406 times)
Morgenstern
Control
******
Posts: 5267



View Profile
« Reply #75 on: November 08, 2012, 11:44:35 PM »

My basic starting points for any sort of mechanics revision:
  • Adding extra tables and extra rolls is inherently bad. They're fiddly, time consuming things that a process as notoriously time-sinky as d20 combat should avoid whenever possible.
  • As a corollary, autosuccess character options that speed up a process are good.
  • The GM is NOT the antagonist, they're the facilitator. It's their job to challenge, not to win against, the PCs.
So that means I'm delightfully happy with a baseline asymmetry that favours the success and general survivability of PCs.

We'd split the break points on that last bullet point very differently, but I agree wholeheartledly with the others. My crucial difference on the third amounts to little more than "without the genuine & occasionally manifest prospect of failure, there is no success." Players need to lose sometimes. That said, losing needs to NOT constitue rolling up a new character because that's a pain in the patutti.

Quote
Yes, that would be fine. However, it does little to actually address the problem of those who want GMs to crit as freely as PCs because it's not a case of how often you do it but what happens when you do.

I actually don't neccessarily feel GCs need to do so as freely - In the version I proposed where you could spend dice to increase the likelyhood of a crit I know that GMs often would skip that just as they do now. I just want players to suffer from crits periodically by purely random determinants... In no small part because that would FORCE the results of crits to be something less extreme than they are now. Which in turn would lower the power of player action dice. Which would in turn make giving them out work at a finer level of granularity.

Quote
Which comes back to my previously enunciated idea that crits should then ideally be inflicting mounting condition grades instead of damage. Penalties are a pain to be lumbered with yes -- not having to feal with them as you do in a number of other systems is one of the basic charms of d20 -- but they're a lot more dramatic and fun than being benched in the first couple of rounds. So I'm happy to toss them under the "when necessary" exclusion clause.

This also touches on my fundamental objection to the clunky manner in which subdual (and stress) damage is currently addressed in the game. Vitality (or Morale) is by definition you ablative non-lethal injury buffer zone. So screw the tedious bookkeeping of tracking subdual damage and the related fort saves: subdual, lethal, and stress should all universally eat that buffer away.

Once it hits zero, you pick up fatigued or shaken according to what did the last lot of damage, much like standard NPCs and their damage save. Once Wounds (or Health) are exposed, you should be automatically acruing additional levels of fatigued or shaken in some manner -- damage + 10 exceeding your applicable save bonus seems entirely reasonable -- when suffering subdual or stress damage, while lethal damage just straight otu eats up your wounds as it does your vitality.

Wow. I think the Big Damn Heores discussion is going to go quite differently, since putting lethal/subdual/stress all on the same buffer track is a cornerstone of my thoughts on how Health/Morale works differently from Wounds/Vitality. I hate to just throw up my hands and leave some refinement of the core system at "it's ichy, but not solvable with the effort I'm willing to put in" but maybe I should move my focus over to creating a postable summation of my thoughts for that.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 12:00:07 AM by Morgenstern » Logged

At your own pace: Do. It. Now.
How about some pie? - Heroes of the Expanse
Krensky
Control
******
Posts: 7051


WWTWD?


View Profile
« Reply #76 on: November 08, 2012, 11:45:27 PM »

When they activate them on specials, I make a quick determination on what best serves the narrative. Sometimes that's Cleric Preston cutting Cleric Brandt down like he's a cardboard cutout. Sometimes it's describing a great attack, the NPC staggering, bloodied, and then coming right back at them while I note to boost its bounty by 5 for the grade of tough I just added on.

Since we're talking about video game influences, some sort of scripted immunity quality in addition to the current "yeah, they'e coming back when the players least expect it" would probably work a treat.

I'm thinking a lot of Kai Leng from ME3 here, though Harbinger's "assuming direct control" schtick also applies -- taking the boss down beyond a certain point triggers a cool down/recharge cycle where a bunch of mooks or cannon fire come in the harry you while the boss recovers then reneters the frey. Rinse and repeat according to the menace level of the adventure

Movie influence, not video game. Although I maybe colored on the Harbinger front by my solution of Adrenalin Surge + Widow + Warp Ammo + Headshot making him more annoyance than threat.
Logged

We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming. - Werner von Braun
Right now you have no idea how lucky you are that I am not a sociopath. - A sign seen above my desk.
There's no upside in screwing with things you can't explain. - Captain Roy Montgomery
Blankbeard
Handler
*****
Posts: 781



View Profile
« Reply #77 on: November 08, 2012, 11:45:53 PM »

Good luck, sir knight!  If anyone can find the giant hiding among all those windmills, it would be you.   Grin

This is neat.  It's pretty close to the existing narrative control rules- It's pretty much a limited version of the Flash-Foward effect.  In fact, why not take the numbers out of it.  The players can pay (1 or 2) action dice to jump-cut past a challenge with no special effects for success.

I wouldn't take numbers out of it for the reason I mentioned. If the DC is 50 and you've got 3 ranks and an atrribute bonus of +1... No. No deal. Action dice shold not utterly superceed character focus. With something like that I'd actuall say the any version of the Fortunate feat is impossible to hit a balance point with because it makes action points more valuable than ANY number anywhere on the character sheet Smiley.

Take a look at the Flash-Forward effect.  It's a 4 die perk that lets you skip an entire encounter.  That's why I would suggest that skipping a single skill check is at most a couple action dice.  No rewards for doing so of course.
Logged
Morgenstern
Control
******
Posts: 5267



View Profile
« Reply #78 on: November 08, 2012, 11:47:35 PM »

Frankly, I figured the Equilibrium reference would have ranked higher.  Wink

I will publicly destroy 1 point of my geek credibility that it took me three read thoughs (before your post, thankfully) before I remembered who Cleric Brandt was. But I did remember and found it a fairly evocative example, so maybe I should just pass that point to you instead Smiley.

Quote
I've found for that FC works best for me as a narrative style game where I expect the Pcs to won, its just a question of how and at what cost.

I'll count that as another vote to get on with scripting Big Damn Heroes Grin.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 12:04:48 AM by Morgenstern » Logged

At your own pace: Do. It. Now.
How about some pie? - Heroes of the Expanse
Mister Andersen
Control
******
Posts: 10777


I'm leaving for a destination I still don't know


View Profile
« Reply #79 on: November 08, 2012, 11:49:09 PM »

Frankly, I figured the Equilibrium reference would have ranked higher.  Wink

It's Sean Bean. His character lasting long enough to actually count as a Special isn't exactly a given.

Quote
I've found for that FC works best for me as a narrative style game where I expect the Pcs to won, its just a question of how and at what cost.

Exactly.
Logged

Morgenstern
Control
******
Posts: 5267



View Profile
« Reply #80 on: November 08, 2012, 11:59:02 PM »

Good luck, sir knight!  If anyone can find the giant hiding among all those windmills, it would be you. Grin

Oh, I have zero doubt I can do it. I was just trying to make it happen in a much smaller packet of rules than BDH. Still, you may be right - I may not be able to adequately adjust a social problem without first clearly and unambiguously laying out a social contract for all parties to be signatory to Smiley.
Logged

At your own pace: Do. It. Now.
How about some pie? - Heroes of the Expanse
Morgenstern
Control
******
Posts: 5267



View Profile
« Reply #81 on: November 09, 2012, 12:03:48 AM »

Frankly, I figured the Equilibrium reference would have ranked higher.  Wink

It's Sean Bean. His character lasting long enough to actually count as a Special isn't exactly a given.

Hey now, its SEAN BEAN. By definition Brandt became a special character the moment he told his agent, "Yeah, I'd be interested in playing that."

Sorry. Big Sean Bean fan. Couldn't resist.
Logged

At your own pace: Do. It. Now.
How about some pie? - Heroes of the Expanse
Mister Andersen
Control
******
Posts: 10777


I'm leaving for a destination I still don't know


View Profile
« Reply #82 on: November 09, 2012, 12:05:43 AM »

He still has the mook quality.  Tongue
Logged

Krensky
Control
******
Posts: 7051


WWTWD?


View Profile
« Reply #83 on: November 09, 2012, 12:08:22 AM »

Frankly, I figured the Equilibrium reference would have ranked higher.  Wink

It's Sean Bean. His character lasting long enough to actually count as a Special isn't exactly a given.

Yeah… we're done here until you watch the movie again.  Smiley

Bean played Cleric Partridge.
Logged

We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming. - Werner von Braun
Right now you have no idea how lucky you are that I am not a sociopath. - A sign seen above my desk.
There's no upside in screwing with things you can't explain. - Captain Roy Montgomery
Morgenstern
Control
******
Posts: 5267



View Profile
« Reply #84 on: November 09, 2012, 12:12:44 AM »

Yeah… we're done here until you watch the movie again.  Smiley

Bean played Cleric Partridge.

Ouch.

*hands over point of Geek credibilty*

*goes off to find Equilibreum for imminant review*
Logged

At your own pace: Do. It. Now.
How about some pie? - Heroes of the Expanse
Morgenstern
Control
******
Posts: 5267



View Profile
« Reply #85 on: November 09, 2012, 12:30:34 AM »

K, one more thing I definfitely want to hit here, because it'll come up again in BDH and I want some whys and wherefores out of the way.

On the refresh action, while I do see the merit of factoring in more than just Con score to determining tankiness, doing it by class level is just not going to work to my satisfaction - NPCs don't have them. Doing it by fraction of total HP not only gives me 4th edition D&D hives, its also gonna use a division calaculation (preffer to avoid thouse) and its still not going to parse well with NPCs. It also has issues that many formulas result in a number too low to be pertinent at low levels and scales (too) rapidly as level goes up.

So... What I can see being a useful curve to add to the mix is Fortitude save bonus. Comparing vitality and fort save among base classes we find~

High Vitality, High Fort: Soldier
Medium Vitality, High Fort: Explorer, Scout

High Vitality, Medium Fort: Lancer
Medium Vitality, Medium Fort: Assassin, Captain, Courtier, Priest, Sage

Low Vitality low Fort: Burglar, Keeper, Mage

I'm totally comfortable with Explorers, Scouts, and Soldier all falling into the top tier of Refresh (moreso than only Lancers and Soldiers quaifying). Lancers have a class ability that makes their Refresh better, and Explorers get extra Con as a classs ability. All the skill monkeys had low Fort save bonuses anyway, so that lined up neatly. Overall in think it works pretty cleanly as a way of respecting class choice.

And hey, its another great reason to take Great Fortitude... one that makes surprisingly good sense just going by the name Cool.
Logged

At your own pace: Do. It. Now.
How about some pie? - Heroes of the Expanse
Sletchman
Control
******
Posts: 4108


Gentleman Scholar.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #86 on: November 09, 2012, 06:22:23 AM »

Removing the "Dice" bit was a near epiphany though - as a player, I know how much it sucks out loud to roll your (only allowed) action die on a desperate check and then roll a 2, and fail anyway.  It's anticlimactic and not very "action".  It's fun to be able to go "this needs to happen...well I'll throw down a chip and make it happen".

Just puzzling over diceless action... points I guess? I did find some mechanics that would appeal to my particular brand of numerical wizardry. 1 point to set the d20 die result to 10, 2 points to set the die result to 20. Cannot result in a crit, natural 20s beat set 20s in opposed rolls. Basically it could give you as much as a +19 boost, but it never moves the potential maximum up - you are as good as your skills + perfect roll, and no more.

My official name is: Super Mega Magic Action Chips! TM

I find it just rolls off the tongue.

Your math suggestion is very interesting, because I had been pondering applying them back to this system (after my current campaign, so sometime next year).  Since I'm running GURPS right now, my first approach was to add action dice wholesale (you can throw 1d6 to modify a roll).  The problem become that since your final roll is based entirely on margins of success of failure, the total range at the table is like 10-12 points.  So a 1d6 was just too huge (any explosion guaranteed a critical success, and even removing explosions, many 6's put people in critical success territory).

Which is when I decided to go to 1 converts Fail to Success.  2 Converts Success to Critical Success.  So 3 to go from Fail to Crit Success.  Part of me is saying "Who cares that it's a difference of 10 on the roll - failure to success is failure to success, regardless of game system.  It's narrative control at a pretty basic level."
Logged
SilvercatMoonpaw
Control
******
Posts: 1212



View Profile
« Reply #87 on: November 09, 2012, 07:35:58 AM »


Heehee. Then hopefully a long, open thread like this gives good context on what may be an issue, why some changes are unlikey to result in a net benefit of playability, and explination beyond the change itself about what the change will actually cause to happen so that you can make an informed decision about implementing it or a head start on creating your own personalized tweak.

Except they're so long and involved that they end up giving squat.


Okay, I've got another one, this one specifically thought-up for a non-kill-type game: Crits do equal amounts vitality and stress damage (or possibly the stress damage should be rolled on its own).  I don't know, just seems cool that if you roll really well you weaken your enemy's resolve.  Remember that this isn't for all games.
Logged
Sletchman
Control
******
Posts: 4108


Gentleman Scholar.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #88 on: November 09, 2012, 09:05:48 AM »

Okay, I've got another one, this one specifically thought-up for a non-kill-type game: Crits do equal amounts vitality and stress damage (or possibly the stress damage should be rolled on its own).  I don't know, just seems cool that if you roll really well you weaken your enemy's resolve.  Remember that this isn't for all games.

I kinda like that.  For a non-kill game, I'd just straight up say that 0 wounds isn't dead, it's Defeated.  Then you can leave the rules as they are.  If everyone is "defeated"?  They're captured, and then an interrogation type conflict might begin (followed by an escape type conflict).  So your homies drag your ass back to base and call a medic contact of theirs (incidently, that's right out of like 30 tv shows).

Still, crits inflicting Stress is quite nice.  I'm also rolling the idea of Threats inflicting Stress (specifically unactivated crits).  It's so damn close to lethal that it wears you down.
Logged
SilvercatMoonpaw
Control
******
Posts: 1212



View Profile
« Reply #89 on: November 09, 2012, 09:19:08 AM »

Still, crits inflicting Stress is quite nice.
It also fulfills a "cool" factor someone was complaining about earlier: crits go from "chop the guy's head off" to "placing a hit so well the enemy pees his pants".
Logged
Pages: 1 ... 4 5 [6] 7 Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.13 | SMF © 2006-2011, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!