View Full Version : Dice as TN's

04-06-2012, 01:30 PM
Been toying with my own stuff lately, and I was wondering:

Many games use Target Numbers. Any reason you couldn't use Target Dice?



and so on

Using dice as TN's gives you some variability in the outcome, meaning someone with a 2d power could conceivably make a high level challenge if the dice break right. Since Supers uses d6's you have a standard range for the dice (9-12 for 3d, for example). However, you couldn't take any check for granted.

Of course this adds an extra dice roll, but I would think anyone who plays dice pool games doesn't mind dice rolls (I could be wrong though -- each time I posit something I appear to be changing the rules of physics...for some folks [I'm looking at you, Rus]). :-)

04-06-2012, 04:29 PM
Hi honestiago,

This is an interesting option! To some degree, I do this already. Ice Girl, for instance, has Ice Control and sometimes makes ice walls to hold back an enemy. I've always had her roll her dice in the power, and then used the result as the TN for her opponent to beat. Simon recently suggested that I could also use her dice in the power as a Rating for the ice wall. One of the cool thing about SUPERS! is that both options work well within the system as written.

Anyway, I think your suggestion here is neat and would make a nice optional rule at least.



04-06-2012, 05:37 PM
There's an awful lot of questions I have for Target Dice.

1) If you are talking about using T-Dice to set a T-Number that everyone will use, then that's fine if you want increased variability.

Ex) The heroes are trying to pick a simple lock. The Narrator figures it is a Normal challenge so he rolls 2D and gets an 11. So anyone can attempt to pick the lock, but everyone's T-Number is 11.

2) If T-Dice are rolled every time someone attempts the action, I'd generally say this is a terrible way to handle a static challenge. It puts less emphasis on the skill of the character because you are increasing the random factor. Sure these things can be narrated away and are less of an issue as the dice gap expands, but to me, that just sucks.

Ex) The characters are trying to climb a brick wall with no obvious hand holds. The Narrator decides it's a Difficult challenge so will roll 3D against each character who tries to climb the wall. The first character is a computer nerd with no descernable physical talents, so he rolls her Athleticism 1D and scores a 6. The Narrator rolls terribly and scores a 6 too and gives the tie to the player. She's up and over the wall!

The next character is a gifted athlete and rolls his Athleticism 3D, scoring a 9. Not bad. The Narrator rolls the 3D and rolls a 10. Oops, the athletic guy slips and falls back to the street below. Well, hope the Narrator rolls lower next time.

Sure you could say the computer nerd just got lucky (she did) and found better hand holds than the star jock, but as a player, I'd be annoyed. It also takes away some ability to judge when to cooperate or focus on a particular challenge when the number changes every time someone attempts to overcome it.

3) If T-Dice were used in lieu of Hazard numbers (ie multiple round challenge that requires the characters to weaken it over multiple actions, not something that is defeated in a single round), I could see their place as long as the Hazard/Challenge was something dynamic. Looking back at the previous example, if the brick wall was particularly tall and required multiple rounds to climb, it makes rolling against each character each round particularly annoying and really sets the odds against even the gifted characters.

However if the Hazard is something fluid, changing, and dynamic, I think this could be a fun way to handle them. I'll use an example from honestiago's game many moons ago.

Ex) The characters are down at the docks for a ceremony. Hundreds of people are milling about as the mayor gives a speech. Suddenly the boats begin to rock violently, then lift above their moorings. Tsunami! The waves begin to crash over the seawall and move through the dockyards, threatening the gathered and now panicking civilians!

The narrator gives the Tsunami 5D. The characters have three rounds to try to rescue the civilians or mitigate the effects of the Tsunami. Any dice left at the end of the three rounds will be used to judge just how poorly the characters (and the civilians, and the dockyards in general) faired.

For something like the Tsunami, I wouldn't be entirely oppossed to using T-Dice because you are dealing with a situation that is changing second by second. It has a lot of the same benefits and problems that the suggested change to how to deal damage to Minions and Henchmen has, in that it shortens encounters, makes them more challenging initially but they quickly fizzle out as their dice are reduced (something I'm not oppossed to).

That's as close as I've come to endorsing your suggestions Mr E, so you'd better take it and run :)

04-07-2012, 03:42 PM
I wouldn't think you'd roll the dice each time a character attempts an action, unless, as already described, the challenge is dynamic. I do like the idea that the player doesn't fully know what he's up against. A TN of 3d allows you an estimate, but unforeseen circumstances could turn a normal trap (9) into something suddenly lethal (18). I suppose some players would hate it, because players always want some level of control (despite the random nature of the dice). But players take on adversaries with fluctuating TN's anyway (their powers). So it might be interesting to try. My main concern is the additional dice roll, and lack of GM control on the challenge scale (some things might end up way too easy).

04-08-2012, 07:53 PM
My main concern is the additional dice roll, and lack of GM control on the
challenge scale (some things might end up way too easy).

I like that you're worried that things might be too easy but not too hard :) Damn GMs!

04-09-2012, 03:18 PM
I like that you're worried that things might be too easy but not too hard :) Damn GMs!

Ha! Yeah, well, I'm just imagining a "6d" challenge where I roll 6 aces. :-)