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Using Fate dice with d20

vivsavage

Independent Procrastinor
Validated User
I need your collective wisdom. I am tossing around an idea of using Fate dice (actually, some custom dice of my own design that have + and - symbols) to add an "and/but" element to d20 games such as D&D & Pathfinder. The idea is to roll 2 or 3 Fate dice along with your d20. If you get double + or double -, they add a side effect. For example, if your d20 roll fails but the Fate dice read ++, your result is "failure, but something good happens". If your d20 roll is a success but your Fate dice come up --, the end result would be "success, but something bad happens". You could also get "success, and something else good happens" or "failure, and something else bad happens". For example, let's say your rogue is picking a lock. The roll succeeds, but the Fate dice read --. Perhaps the rogue's lockpicks break or get stuck in the lock. Or maybe the act alerts a sleeping guard. You get the drift. The problem I'm running up against is that the chance of a side effect - beneficial or detrimental - is the same regardless of your skill. An unskilled PC is just as likely to enjoy a beneficial side effect as a skilled PC. Any solutions OTHER than "use another system" or "I don't like it" are appreciated.
 

Heavy Arms

Registered User
Validated User
I'm not sure there's a good solution.

As written, there isn't really a room for skill as a variable, and adding it's going to make it complicated.

The best idea I have, is to use Attribute modifiers and do this as math instead of matching symbols.

So, basically XdF + Attribute mod >= 2 is a positive, and XdF + Attribute mod <= -2 is a negative.

It might take some fine tuning on how many dice to roll, or how to determine it. But it's the closest way to have things vary by character ability without getting crazy with the numbers.
 

Knaight

Registered User
Validated User
Roll and keep. Maybe you start with worst 2 of 3, move to just 2 at +5, best 2 of 3 at +10, best 2 of 4 at +20. This plays to the strengths of Fudge dice more than straight +attribute, and way better than +skill.

Or you add another leveling boost which adds more dice in certain circumstances. All odd levels, max of 3 dice, 4 at HD 11.
 

The Benj

Registered User
Validated User
At only two Fudge dice, your odds of getting a pair -s or +s are only 11% each.
At three dice, that jumps to 25%, so half the time something good or bad will happen.
At four dice, it jumps to a whopping 40%, so more than three quarters of the time you'll get an extra something.

You could let the players choose whether they roll 2, 3 or 4 Fudge dice with their roll, for scaling amounts of "something might happen!"-ness.

And then a high relevant bonus could allow dropping a die.
Dropping a - from a pool of 2 dice will, naturally, entirely wipe the chance of a bad result.
From 3 dice, it lowers it to 3.7%.
From 4 dice, it brings it back to 11%.
 

Alban

Registered User
Validated User
If the player's roll is significantly higher than the DC (DC+10, for instance), you can let him chose between going faster, or taking precautions.
If he choses first option, the task only takes a % of normal time.
If he choses second option, he will discard one or more "-" from the dFs.

If the roll is a crit, he can either chose both option, or double the benefits from one option.
 

CWalck93

Doom Priest of Peace and Happiness
Validated User
I also am not sure if there's a good solution to this. What you could do (but unfortunately it would mean adding another layer to the rules) is that +/- could generate 'metacurrency' that could be used for greater effects etc. Unfortunately, this adds something that you might not want in this type of framework.

The other idea I think has been mentioned and that you make a decision on rolling X dice when you take your action and depending on how the dice come up, you might get your action earlier in the round or later in the round. You also would need to know how that would affect NPCs and monsters and their actions which might nullify the entire thing you are trying to do.
 

vivsavage

Independent Procrastinor
Validated User
At only two Fudge dice, your odds of getting a pair -s or +s are only 11% each.
At three dice, that jumps to 25%, so half the time something good or bad will happen.
At four dice, it jumps to a whopping 40%, so more than three quarters of the time you'll get an extra something.

You could let the players choose whether they roll 2, 3 or 4 Fudge dice with their roll, for scaling amounts of "something might happen!"-ness.

And then a high relevant bonus could allow dropping a die.
Dropping a - from a pool of 2 dice will, naturally, entirely wipe the chance of a bad result.
From 3 dice, it lowers it to 3.7%.
From 4 dice, it brings it back to 11%.
These are really good ideas. I had thought of the roll & keep idea and think it generally works. My only problem comes from the players at my table, many of whom are so used to the traditional way of playing D&D that I'll have to keep reminding them of how it works. But I assume that should disappear once they play a session or two.
 

SecretsAndSaucers

Registered User
Validated User
I like this idea for B/X or old school in general because it doesn't have skills as an additional rules feature.

If you're going to do this, consider dropping skills altogether and just stick with ability checks. I'd also get rid of crits, as that is the "succeed/fail and..." system baked in to d20 rolls.
 

vivsavage

Independent Procrastinor
Validated User
I like this idea for B/X or old school in general because it doesn't have skills as an additional rules feature.

If you're going to do this, consider dropping skills altogether and just stick with ability checks. I'd also get rid of crits, as that is the "succeed/fail and..." system baked in to d20 rolls.
You know, I hadn't even considered its value in a skill-less game until you brought it up!
 

Kuildeous

Registered User
Validated User
Sounds like a fun addition. Check out Over the Edge for ideas on good and bad things happening independently of your success and failure. In OtE, you roll 2d6. If either die is 3, then something negative happens. If either die is 4, then something good happens. Doubles intensifies the effect. It’s possible to get mixed results.

I don’t know that you would gain anything by rolling additional dice if there is an even chance of something good or bad happening. It just means that rolling 5 dice means that something interesting is more likely to happen.

If you roll 2 Fate dice, there’s a 1/9 chance of getting ++ and 1/9 chance of getting --. You mentioned custom dice, which could mean 50/50. If it is 50/50, then that gives you 1/4 chance of getting ++ and 1/4 chance of getting --. If you don’t want to roll extra dice, you could bake it into the d20 roll. To mirror the Fate dice, you have 4 and 14 be good stuff and 7 and 17 be bad stuff. That changes it from 1/9 to 1/10. Unfortunately, this is not independent of the d20 roll and may not be what you’re looking for.

If you’re okay with the idea of baking it into the d20 roll, then you could have the players always roll damage dice with the d20. Many players prefer this as it speeds up combat; I suck at it. But if the d20 comes up a certain way (such as a prime number or a multiple of 4 or some other criteria), then the damage dice—regardless of if it hits or not—determines if the triggered event is good or bad. If the damage roll is even, then a good twist happens. Odd damage is a bad twist. If you’re going to roll extra dice anyway, might as well make them useful.
 
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