Original game mechanics: I look for opinions.

Giovanni

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#1
I am developing a game based on the mechanics of the dices pool with successes with the result of 4+.
The mechanics will have a unique twist that renders it different from what has been seen up until now.
But I'm not here to talk about the twist rather I would like to talk about two possibilities that I would like to give to those who roll the dice.

1) Sacrificing the dices. (I talked about it here)
Do not cast some of the dice in the dices pool. You decide the number of dice you do not throw. If you exceed the difficulty threshold or your opponent's score when calculating the success margin, you can add 1 for each die that is not cast.

2) Condense the dices.
Do not throw the dice in the pool but only throw a single die. If you get 4+ it's like you've got a number of hits equal to the size of the dices pool.

Comments, opinions?
The first mechanism should allow you to crush lower opponents, the second to try everything against superior opponents so the two mechanics interact in a pretty way.

Perhaps an example will be able to clarify:

1) Suppose you have 8 dice in swords and are facing an opponent with only 4 dice in dodge. Instead of rolling all 8 dice you roll only 6. This decreases the probability of beating the 4 dice in dodge of your antagonist. However if, despite the sacrifice, you still manage to beat him, you have +2 at the margin of success that in my system is very important. In short, sacrifice the probability of success in order to increase the margin of success in case of victory.

2) This point is a bit counterintuitive. There are desperate cases in which the probability of success is too low with normal roll. Imagine that you have 6 dice in acrobatics and are trying to make a very difficult acrobatics (6 successes needed). In this case it is advisable to condense the dices. Of course if you fail you will get zero successes and this implies a critical failure but at least you have a 50% chance of success.
 
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kenco

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#2
These are interesting! I like the idea of risk-reward choices, and have used similar concepts before, but not hit these particular options.

I am not sure precisely how it affects the probability distributions in all cases, although I'm sure your analysis is correct, within a range. Provided you have sufficient superiority (1) gives you a good chance to crush a feeble opponent; and provided you are not too inferior (2) gives you a better chance (but never better than 50% chance) to overcome a superior foe.

Perhaps (2) is NOT always a better option, though?

I'm curious that the two options are not symmetrical. (2) is not the opposite of (1). The opposite of (1) might be something like 'You can count as many of your dice as you like as successes without rolling them; but if you win the dice roll, you only count the successes you actually rolled as successes; if you win the roll but rolled zero dice then you suffer no harm, but achieve no benefit; if you lose the dice roll, you count all your successes whether rolled or selected'.
 
#3
I'm concerned over that concept of success. What happen if x successes are required, and my pool is less than x? Automatic fail?
An open roll will deplete condensing need, and make dice burning less relevant. So I'm quite curious how this system will benefit if being pool based and not bonus based. That also seems to make players always aware of tbe reach. I don't want for them to know how hard is to find that trap.
 

Giovanni

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#4
What happen if x successes are required, and my pool is less than x? Automatic fail?
Yes. It should happen not often but it can definitely happen.
An open roll will deplete condensing need, and make dice burning less relevant.
Do you mean re-roll at 6 until you obtain 5-? You can use the open roll but you should adjust 1) and 2) because they work only if the mean of a single dice is 1/2. If the new mean with the open roll is X you should write.

1) Sacrificing the dices.
Do not cast some of the dice in the dices pool. You decide the number of dice you do not throw. If you exceed the difficulty threshold or your opponent's score when calculating the success margin, you can add 2X for each die that is not cast.

2) Condense the dices.
Do not throw the dice in the pool but only throw a single die. If you get 4+ it's like you've got a number of hits equal to the (size of the dices pool) * 2X.

For example if X = 0.7 you should add 1.4 for each dice not rolled ecc.

That also seems to make players always aware of the reach.
Player should not know the exact difficulty but the character can try to understand if the task is within is reach or not. (the Master should describe the result of the guess)
 
#5
Oh man, am I ever into this.
I've been playing around with a similar concept, and I even made a post (sort of) about it here:
https://forum.rpg.net/index.php?threads/equipment-and-risk-aggregation.839395/
I reallllly like the idea of sacrificing dice. I'm running a game this afternoon, and I think I'll try it out.
The only thing I'd add is that with condensing dice pool, you can do it on a gradient. Ie; cut your dice pool in half (or in thirds, or quarters) and then multiply each die by 2/3/4 etc.
 
#6
Yes. It should happen not often but it can definitely happen.
Do you mean re-roll at 6 until you obtain 5-? You can use the open roll but you should adjust 1) and 2) because they work only if the mean of a single dice is 1/2. If the new mean with the open roll is X you should write.

1) Sacrificing the dices.
Do not cast some of the dice in the dices pool. You decide the number of dice you do not throw. If you exceed the difficulty threshold or your opponent's score when calculating the success margin, you can add 2X for each die that is not cast.

2) Condense the dices.
Do not throw the dice in the pool but only throw a single die. If you get 4+ it's like you've got a number of hits equal to the (size of the dices pool) * 2X.

For example if X = 0.7 you should add 1.4 for each dice not rolled ecc.


Player should not know the exact difficulty but the character can try to understand if the task is within is reach or not. (the Master should describe the result of the guess)
Thanks for your indepths. I'm trying to devise a 4+ d6 pool system with a different philosophy, so I'm stressing others to check my own ideas. Italian you too? Waiting for news and releases. Ciao!
 

torbenm

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#7
If you know how many successes are required to get a positive result, you can calculate which of the options gives the best likelihood, so it is not really a choice. If you don't know the required number of successes, then the choice is basically arbitrary. So why give a choice? It will only slow down the game and not really make much difference.

Also, I can't really see the difference between the two options: If you choose option 1 and sacrifice all but one die, you get N successes if you roll 4+ on the remaining die. If you choose option 2, you get N successes if you roll 4+ on the single die. So option 2 is really just a special case of option 1. Unless the target number in option 1 can be different from 4, which is unclear.

If you want to give players a pre-roll choice that affects the probability, you should make this choice always increase the success probability, but at a cost. This cost can be bennies, fate points, or something similar, or it can be that the consequences of failure are worse, or that you will have lower success chance in the following round(s) regardless of whether or not you succeed in this round.
 

Giovanni

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#8
Also, I can't really see the difference between the two options: If you choose option 1 and sacrifice all but one die, you get N successes if you roll 4+ on the remaining die. If you choose option 2, you get N successes if you roll 4+ on the single die. So option 2 is really just a special case of option 1. Unless the target number in option 1 can be different from 4, which is unclear.
I think there is a misunderstanding.
With the first choice you sum all but one success only if you won the conflict with a single dice.
With the second choice you get N success at 4+ without any other condition.

If you don't know the required number of successes, then the choice is basically arbitrary.
It's a way to di things common to others games. In D&D 3.5 with power attack you do not known the AC that you must overcome but you decrease the probability of success in exchange of a better damage. The choice I offer is only a generalized version of power attack : nothing really new.
 
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