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Is there a difference that matters in PBTA dice?

Poe's Law

I'm an Imp of the Perverse
Validated User
Blades in the dark uses 1d6 and adds/subtracts d6's looks for 6's and 4-5 and 1-3

city of mist uses 2d6 and adds/subtracts values to the total

Kult divinity lost uses 2d10 and adds/subtracts values to the total

Undying spends blood and makes no rolls...


Is there any benefit or great difference between these?

What is your preference?
 

kvltjam

Async
Validated User
I prefer the curve of Blades in the Dark and its ilk. While I’m fine with the probability curve of 2dx+y you see in most PbtA games, I like the diminishing return of a dice pool.
 

effkat

Registered User
Validated User
I prefer 2d6+stat. I think it’s really elegant with its symmetrical probabilities centered around +1. Plus I think rolling 2d6 feels best for some reason.

In the diceless department Dream Askew is pretty neat with separate weak, neutral and strong moves instead of each move having 3 outcomes.
 

Poe's Law

I'm an Imp of the Perverse
Validated User
I will check out Dream Askew.

I think Blades in the Dark has three scenarios for each move (risky, commanding, and ... wreckless or some such) Which kinda confused things being Also alongside the rolls results :p
 

Knaight

Registered User
Validated User
The big differences are in allowable granularity and amount of math. I wouldn't call BitD a PbtA system, but if you go that far afield you start seeing more direct die comparison and less addition.

My personal favorite in this far flung space is Save The Universe. You roll 2 d6, and check if each succeeds individually. 1 always fails, 6 always succeeds, everything else has a condition attached. 1 succeeding die gives you your partial success.
 

kvltjam

Async
Validated User
Have any of you played with the dice system the Trophy uses? It’s like Blades in the Dark but introduces a Ruin die mechanic to simulate the forest warping your mind and body. It looks pretty neat.
 

LuckyNumberFour

Registered User
Validated User
BitD owes a lot to PBTA, in feel and style.

A bell curve system (PbtA classic) gives you results weighted towards the middle (7) and makes edge results (2 or 12) rare. This creates consistency, at the expense of homerun/strikeout results. This also makes it easier to game the chance of success (a +3 or +4 basically gets you a clean hit most of the time). Bigger dice make for a wider range of results and more granularity between probabilities, which makes every +1 matter less. It allows for more little bonuses before the results become a formality.

BitD is essentially a dice pool system, which allows for adding more dice as bonuses while keeping a chance of failure. It's harder to calculate chance of success on the fly with dicepool systems, but it's easier to scale without making things a formality.

No-dice systems like Undying are resource management minigames, where the point is balancing how much dosh you have to spend in order to achieve your goals. If you want the pass/fail themselves to create tactical situations, as opposed to adjucating them, use these. Resource management systems can also be bolted on to a dice mechanic pretty easy (PBTA Hold/MotW's Luck track)

FATE/Feng Shui style (subtract one die from another, add mods) is a bell curve system with some obscuration. I don't remember if Kult does it that way or standard add numbers bell curve style.
 

manwhat

Thoroughly mediocre GM.
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Original AW and games based on it use 2d6+stat because it means it's eventually possible to 'bonus out' of lower results, and that's intentional.
The idea is that the mechanics essentially create their own campaign. Eventually PC stats will be higher and they'll take the 'advanced moves' that only trigger when you roll above a 12, which you can't do if you have no bonus. The difference between the advanced moves and the basic ones is that the advanced moves actually permanent solve problems - they permanently make a friend, or make someone feel good about themselves without feeling backhanded, and so on. The campaign draws to a natural close.

It's something that's not obvious to people playing a one-shot, where they feel they're creating as many problems as they solve - yes, they are, because the game is doing the hard work of running the campaign! But you're always gaining XP, and gaining XP means you're always getting better until eventually you start reliably hitting those advanced moves.
 
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