Possible ‘bug’ I’ve noticed in the die mechanic:
Last night we played again for a second time at home. Situations occurred in the fiction where I called for a vs. test. These versus tests called into question a few of the rules in the booklet.
[x] – The first rule for vs. tests is that defenders always win ties.
In combat this is easy to determine, but outside of combat it gets a little blurry. If two characters attempt to grab the same object at once, who then is the defender? Another murky situation: a thief attempts a prowling test, while another character attempts to spot her. Is the prowler or the spotter the defender? The prowler is not trying to steal from the spotter, only remain hidden.
[x] – The second rule for vs. tests states that if there is no defender than a roll off occurs using a differing attribute or skill.
This led to an interesting circumstance too. If the spotter fails the perception test, does the prowler automatically succeed? Well, no. Because the prowler has to make a roll too, right, RIGHT? But we know by the dice, before the prowler rolls that the spotter has not spotted her…hmmm
Now if the prowler succeeds, and the spotter has failed we know obviously that the thief has not been spotted. But what if both fail? Technically that would mean the spotter did not spot the prowler, and that the prowler did not remain hidden from the spotter. Uhm??
At the end of the night we just decided that two failed rolls were the same as a tie. And re-rolled. It worked mechanically but in the end it didnt seem to be a proper resolution. It’s not satisfying to me. It feels sloppy. I’ll have to think about it.
I think the first point of business was to determine what is a tie. Is it just two successes rolled vs. each other, or two failures as well. Per our ruling the other night, two failures also constitute a tie. This is ONLY because there is no clear winner. This still feels sloppy to me as two failures indicate -to me at least, that neither character got what they were after. Maybe thats a tie. So let’s look at this action matrix:
Success vs. Success = Tie
Success vs. Failure = Success to the victor
Failure vs. Success = Success to the victor
Failure vs. Failure = Tie
This then leads me to an observation: The statistical chance of the conflict coming up a tie is more likely than not, when its looked at with only one contestant succeeding.
Now the rule in the book states that if two contestants tie a ‘roll off’ is made. If the tied test was a skill test, the roll off is an attribute test. This is when the two swords man are equally trained, and neither can best each other. So they must choose to try and overcome each other (power) or outlast each other (fortitude).
Might write a rule that says if the roll off is tied, whoever spends the most xp (pc vs pc) wins. Or if npc vs pc if the pc spends xp they win, npc wins if no xp to spend.
I dont know.
Yeah, maybe whoever rolls highest on the roll – off while still ‘passing’ the test.
Further Thoughts and Musings
So the above mentioned problems with versus tests really got me thinking about the core mechanic in the game; percentile dice. The above mentioned rules pretty easily take care of that however. Late last week after sitting down to write the bit on sorcery i wanted to continue and actually finish the sorcery section. The ideas that I’ve had are flowing over, and friends are sending encouraging thoughts my way. But as i began to think about the corruption/destruction system combined with the linear randomness of the percentile dice, I felt that they didnt jive well together. There is no player, and no character interaction that would determine if corruption/destruction is earned by the mage, its purely up to the dice. Pure chance. I dont know how much I like that.
So I started looking for ways that the character and the player could work in tandem with one another, so that casting the spells and hitting as close to the TN (Target Number) was possible in a way that had some decisions involved. Something that wasnt just purely linear and random.
So i started thinking about a roll and keep (or roll and drop) system, and the way it could be used when trying to meet a TN. A player could roll d6 equal to attribute + skill and then keep an amount of dice equal to skill (or drop dice equal to attribute, its all the same.) These dice could then be totaled to meet or exceed a TN. Most of the time with a die system you want to choose the highest totaling of dice for the maximum effect. The roll and keep however, when combined with corruption/destruction for rolling over/under would allow the player then to affect the dice, by choosing not only the biggest numbers, but by being able to choose the dice to get as close as possible to the target number. This is neat, and I like the way it sounds.
But there’s a big problem.
This would require a strip down of the whole system, to be rebuilt with this new rule. Blah! Thats not at all what I want!
But let’s look at a few things:
Skills would work nicely in this system allowing me to add factors to the skills that weren’t so ‘mathy’. Currently we’re looking at things like ‘In the rain -5%’, in the dark and rain -10%. It could just factor as TN’s: In the rain TN:10, in the dark and rain: TN15. Thats nice.
Faith as I wanted it could be cool too. I wasnt planning on doing faith as one skill like sorcery, but I wanted each prayer to be a seperate skill. Priests/Paladins could then roll Faith attribute + prayer skill – keep prayer skill in dice.
I cant figure an armor system that works as well, and that I like as much as the percentile one I had though…Booo.
But is armor really a reason to keep a whole system, thats not your favorite?
Anyone have pointers for character creation with point buy systems?