Feedback on die roll mechanic

SibKhatru

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#1
A little game dedign work this year aimed at our focus and a whole ton of mechanical experiments. My current system is a die roll (d6). One method we toy with is compare this roll to gm d6 roll. Higher than gm succeeds. Lower fails. Equal to gm die is a mixed result, possibly succeed “but” sort of thing. Another method is 4+ success. 6’s explode as 5 and reroll and add. The total score generates success levels. Still toying but leaning on compare die rolls.

The twist is that the ‘contest’ is based on relative capabilities. If PC is better than the ‘contest level’ (superior > average) then PC can choose to reroll. If CL is better than PC the gm could request reroll.

Another option is roll 2d6 when better choose higher result. When worse choose the lower result.

The general system of compare d6 rolls built onto compare levels seems to be something my players like.

What I am seeking is feedback if you ponder or experience something like this. What’s the general feel? Which way gives tension? Vs. a die roll or vs. a target number?

For context the pc’s are competent. It’s a middling fantasy setting. So not high nor gritty.
 

kenco

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#2
Personal opinion: competitive roll-offs and re-rolls slow down play without increasing tension.

The odds for 1d6 vs 1d6, highest wins are the same as saying 2d6, 8+ wins, 6- loses, 7 = tie.

So I'd have the player roll 2d6. PC> contest level gives +1, PC < contest level gives -1.

Note that this doesn't give you a very wide range of probabilities. So you're in story game territory rather than sim-game territory. But it works out about the same as your d6 vs d6 with re-roll option, and it's faster.

But that's just a grumpy old man's opinion. ;)
 

SibKhatru

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#3
Ok I too am grumpy and old. We will try d6 with an extra die keep low/high for a while. My other option is adds spent from a pool like general abilities in Gumshoe. This fits better with d6 vs. target number. In GS though the TN can be higher.

Our game has a virtue element. A Zpc is balanced or imbalanced to excess or deficiency. A sort of interior shock meter. Working on fitting those in too.
 

Max

A dapper chap without a doubt
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#4
An alternative, riffing on the narrative results:

1 = fail, and...
2 = fail
3 = fail, but...
4 = win, but...
5 = win
6 = win, and...

If circumstances (your own abilities, those of the opposition, and any meaningful external factors) are overall in your favor, roll twice and keep the best; if circumstances are against you, roll twice and keep the worst. In extreme cases, with overwhelming (dis)advantage, roll three dice.

PS. I agree with kenco that it's probably enough to compare either situational favor or dice rolls, and comparing both would be redundant unless you do something else interesting that ties into it.
 
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kenco

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#5
Ok I too am grumpy and old. We will try d6 with an extra die keep low/high for a while. My other option is adds spent from a pool like general abilities in Gumshoe. This fits better with d6 vs. target number. In GS though the TN can be higher.

Our game has a virtue element. A Zpc is balanced or imbalanced to excess or deficiency. A sort of interior shock meter. Working on fitting those in too.
Fair enough!

Curious: what's a "Zpc"? Is this terminology I should know?
 

Mithras

5859B7 Age 48 7 Terms
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#7
Kenco is dead on, rerolls are a 'flabby' way of resolving an action, just prolonging the mechnic but without adding extra depth or detail. D6 is a very finite resource, and I would urge you to move to 2d6 where the possibilities are greatly expanded. D6 games are possible, but the results are limited. I am intrigued by your comment about 'relative capabilities', are they compared before the roll? And affect the dice result?
 
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