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Let It Ride In Other Games, Especially In Combat

sagaston

Guy Who Makes Things
Validated User
For the upcoming Season Two of my Vampire: the Masquerade game, I think I'm going to import the Let It Ride rule from Burning Wheel. From the Burning Wheel wiki:

Let it Ride
One of the more important rules is the Let it Ride rule. It means that the result of any roll counts. There are no retries, unless the intent or goal of the task changes. This is both for the sake of the player (the GM can not make you repeat a task until it fails) and for a good speed of play.

Consider if you want to spend resources/work carefully (see below) on a task before you roll. You only get one attempt.
In general I don't think this will change much, but I think I also want to implement it in combat. The basic idea is you only reroll if you do something different, or switch to a different strategy. So if you're attacking an enemy, and roll 3 successes on Dex+Melee, next round if you're doing the same thing you just use the same combat roll. If you roll poorly, and want to do better, next round you'll have to try something different, like retreat or sweep their legs or something. If you roll really well, the enemy will probably change tactics so not to get beaten horribly again.

I have a lot of players, typically 5-8 on any given night, and I think this would help speed things along when fights break out. Any comments or suggestions?
 
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Ka_ge2020

Registered User
Validated User
I haven't used it, but I stumbled upon a similar idea after reading something TheMouse commented on a while back. Darned if I can remember what, but ultimately it was about fixing the result of a roll unless you did something to leverage a change--bucked the odds, as it were.
 

sagaston

Guy Who Makes Things
Validated User
I haven't used it, but I stumbled upon a similar idea after reading something TheMouse commented on a while back. Darned if I can remember what, but ultimately it was about fixing the result of a roll unless you did something to leverage a change--bucked the odds, as it were.
Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. If you're in a sword fight with someone, and you roll say only 1 success on your Dex+Melee, instead of automatically rolling a new attack next round you'd have to make up some way of changing your tactics. Maybe you run away, or kick sand in their eyes, or something. If you're happy with your roll, keep it. If your enemy is unhappy with how well you rolled, they can switch tactics as well. I think it would work.
 

Dikotana

BITs and NERPS
Validated User
This works in BW because BW is built around the assumption of one roll for everything. In other games you have to be careful.

In this case, in particular, this sounds fine if your first roll is crummy. But what if you open with a lucky critical success? You have strong disincentive to do anything but keep repeating your first action. So the onus is one the enemy to change the circumstances, which is fine, but if that's easy then the players are going to just go ahead and change the circumstances if the first roll whiffs and all the teeth have been taken out of this entire idea.

It's worth noting that even Burning Wheel doesn't have Let It Ride so much in Fight. You can Strike over and over if you want, fishing for a lucky success, limited only by the speed of your weapon and your opponent's eventually doing something to make you stop.
 

Victim

Registered User
Validated User
Yeah, repeating good rolls seems like a problem.

Note that combat is generally already advancing round to round anyway. The downside of missing is a wasted round that your enemies don't necessarily waste. There are generally some statistically based number of hits coming back at you each round.

Moreover, I don't see this as speeding up combat. Anyone who rolls low - or many people whose opponents roll high - will be looking for off the wall stuff to change things up and not using the stuff they're more familiar with. Many of those actions may require more adjudication to resolve than normal too.
 

Adam Reynolds

Registered User
Validated User
Personally I think this will create more problems than it solves.

What I see this general idea as being about is that it is a way of dictating facts about the world. So when you roll to climb a wall, this is about dictating whether the wall is one that you are capable of climbing. You could similarly have something like a roll deciding whether a potential NPC ally is generally hostile or friendly. While these would still be skill rolls, your skill in that case dictates how likely you are to encounter a situation you can handle.

However in combat, this doesn't quite apply for a couple reasons. The first is that combat is almost always more dynamic than situations I describe above, in which the situation is almost always changing round by round. There is also the fact that combat or conflicts in general are about skill vs skill, in which the fact of each skill level is already established.
 

Bankuei

Master of Folding Chair
Validated User
That's a misapplication of how Burning Wheel's Let It Ride mechanic works.

If you make a single roll to encompass the whole conflict, THEN that one roll stands for everything. So you wouldn't make a roll then say "I scored 5 successes, every round I'm attacking with 5 successes, over and over.", you would make that single roll, compare it to whomever you're fighting, and the winner wins that whole fight.

This also works fine in Burning Wheel because even on a single roll, you have a quite a few options to make interesting choices to bump up your dice pool - helping dice from other characters, using related skills for bonus dice, spending Artha (BW's hero points), setting up the situation to get Advancement dice, and so on.

A key problem that you are facing is that WW systems are typically set up to require several rounds of iterative combat - roll to hit vs. defend, roll for damage vs. soak, add in special abilities to resist/heal, and then multiply that by the number of players involved. That's the part you'd want to remove/change if you need combat to go faster with that many players. You should probably dig around online - I'm sure people have crafted various house rules to try to fix that issue, since the system is decades old and hasn't changed in that regard.

- Chris
 

Maxen M

Somewhere off to the side
Validated User
Moreover, I don't see this as speeding up combat. Anyone who rolls low - or many people whose opponents roll high - will be looking for off the wall stuff to change things up and not using the stuff they're more familiar with. Many of those actions may require more adjudication to resolve than normal too.
To some extent I see that as an advantage, and it's how I run a lot of my games at home too; first move, firearms vs firearms, whoever wins has their opponent on the defensive. Then you get a number of turns based on your dodge roll or cover to come up with an alternative, or you get shot.

If you're thinking "but what if they keep changing what they are doing, and their opponents do too won't combat go on forever?" the answer is, yes probably, but if it does, it will be because they've kept coming up with ways to escalate things and turn the tables, so you'll have had something that feels like a proper duel. And if they are doing implausible things, then just adjust the difficulty.

I don't actually use a white wolf system to do this, but in fact, this is surprisingly compatible with masquerade's "how many successes required/how big a difficulty" dynamic.

Spoiler: Show
For example you can do something weird like saying;

"the base difficulty for defence is 5, but you increase the difficulty by 1 for each success your opponent had more than you on the attack, to a maximum of 9". (9 because the dice system does daft things at difficulty 10)

So for the worst case scenario, two people have a sword fight, roll the same number, meaning that both of them's attacks will eventually get through, then both roll dodge at difficulty 5, getting 4 and 5 successes respectively, meaning that one of them's defence is going to break first, and let's say the player can't think of a way to turn the tables. Then while they fight, they can talk, with one trying to convince the other before they kill them. For those 4 turns, it's just roleplaying, no dice, but with everyone knowing what's going to happen when they loose.

In order to make this satisfying you'd probably have to up the damage from a single attack, say making it flat damage not damage dice but keeping soaking, to compensate for the fact that extra successes are just making people get shot sooner rather than adding to damage, and making it so that a hit is worth waiting for.

You can also generalise it to multi-person fights by saying that everyone who is getting shot at rolls to dodge, unless they rolled higher than everyone else, and takes the highest number of successes over their roll for the difficulty:

So, four people are shooting at you, and you're shooting back, you get 2 successes, two of them get 1 each, one gets 4 successes, and another gets 3. This means that you have been beaten by two people, and the highest margin of success is 2, +1 for the extra person helping him. So you roll defence at difficulty 8. Simultaneously, you beat two other people, and those two who rolled lower than you also have to roll to avoid your attacks, and roll at difficulty 6. You'd limit the number of attacks that someone can do with a gun by how automatic it is. Chances are you'll get shot before you're able to shoot the other two, but if you happen to roll well, they might get shot first.

This also encourages looser turns, more like the simultaneous turns of ORE. Of course, there's a lot more than a single roll going on here, you're still rolling once to see who is going to get shot first, once to see how long it takes, and then once for soak. The difference is that you've collapsed a few turns worth of shooting rolls into that single set, and it creates a more emotionally dramatic combat framework, where people are constantly facing the potential of their death and trying to avoid it, rather than trying to chip away at their opponent.
 
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