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Valdar
02-25-2009, 03:51 PM
Anyone played with this system? I'm in a game now, and wondering why it seems like you've got a very low chance at succeeding at anything.

For example: We're using d8, and stats are defined as:

4: Average human
5: Above-average human
8: Really exceptional
10: Maximum human potential

My stats are 5, 5, 8- so when the GM asks for a roll against a stat (2d8), my chances are:

Body: 15.625%
Mind: 15.625%
Soul: 43.75%

So, I'm really exceptional at Soul, and yet my Soul roll isn't even 50 percent. I'm above average at Body, but when it's time to roll it, I get about a 1 in 6 chance to succeed...

Even with skills, the prospect is bleak. I have 1 level of Riding, which means I've spent lots of time on a horse, and could fight from horseback competently. Now my Riding roll is a 6 (body+skill), which means my chance goes up to 23.4375% to succeed- that's still less than 1 in 4.

Did this game really get this little of a playtest, or is there something else I'm missing here?

Webhead
02-25-2009, 04:03 PM
...Did this game really get this little of a playtest, or is there something else I'm missing here?

I think the problem has to do with the d8 scale. BESM was originally designed as a 2d6 system and thus, its scale was developed accordingly. Tri-Stat was simply an attempt to tweak that system for use with other types of dice. It seems to me that the system begins to strain the further away you get from the d6. Check your numbers as if you were using 2d6 and you'll see your probabilities go up a good bit.

Valdar
02-25-2009, 05:58 PM
d6 helps a bit, but your above average human (5) doing something he's good at (1) still means succeeding at average tasks 42 percent of the time. Though max stat (8) means 72 percent, which is a bit better than the 67 percent a max (10) stat has under d8...

I guess the bigger the die, the more the fail, since the talent thresholds are arithmetic and the probabilities are geometric- I suppose you could see this as requiring the player to think more tactically and get more bonuses, but it's not clear that this is the goal of the system.

TAROT
02-26-2009, 12:22 AM
I wanted to love it, but I had trouble with the whiff factor in every incarnation from BESM to SAS.

As you're playing at d8 level, which I'll call "superspy." What you want to keep in mind is that at the d8 level, an "Average" task equates to the biggest stunt that you've ever seen in any James Bond or wuxia film. Anything less than that and you should be getting +2 to +6 to your stats.

What we usually ended up doing was build d8 characters and then roll 2d6 in play (or 2d8 for SAS or 2d4 for BESM) and for combat, we required the defender to succeed by more than the attacker.

Skunkape
02-26-2009, 08:06 AM
I have a love/hate relationship with Tri-Stat, in that I love some of the concepts in the system, but I hate the implimentation when you move away from 2d6. I think the main thoughts behind the system were that as long as it was a mundane type task, you really didn't have to roll to succeed, you could just do it.

Plus, I think the concept behind the other dice in the system was that you were moving beyond human and though you had to roll 2d8 for instance to succeed at the task, you were no longer a normal human and therefore, your stats/skills reflected that.

The way I would deal with any situations where you have a beyond human character interacting with human characters, have them determine success using the human level die roll. So for instance, say you were playing the superspy level that TAROT mentions and your character the superspy, is driving against average Joe the cop, you could have your superspy roll 2d6 vs his 8 Body against Joe vs his 5 Body.

Since your superspy has an 8, he'll succeed more often than Joe will, but using James Bond as an example, James would succeed more often than your average cop anyway. Granted, since you're playing a superspy level game, most rolls will be against 2d8, but hopefully, you see my point in the comparison.

Valdar
02-28-2009, 09:02 PM
I guess it comes down to the GM then- we've been asked for straight-up Body rolls for "You're drunk- see if you can stay in your saddle..."

The worst part is, this is the game world that the GM is writing his book around (complete with Mary Sue NPC). Have you ever wondered in a game if you're the protagonist or the audience?

So far, the party hasn't contented themselves with "audience", and has instead aspired to "comic relief"...

Skunkape
03-02-2009, 08:37 AM
I guess it comes down to the GM then- we've been asked for straight-up Body rolls for "You're drunk- see if you can stay in your saddle..."

The worst part is, this is the game world that the GM is writing his book around (complete with Mary Sue NPC). Have you ever wondered in a game if you're the protagonist or the audience?

So far, the party hasn't contented themselves with "audience", and has instead aspired to "comic relief"...

It can be a problem when the players are the audience, instead of the main stars. I used to put my players through the same kind of ordeals when I first started GMing, but have grown beyond that. Course, sometimes my players want me to guide them, which I try to do without just taking the lead by having them receive clues from NPCs or find documents that will give them a direction.

Only problem is, if they don't want to follow the direction I've given them, I have to come up with something else. Guess what I'm trying to say is that being a good GM is a balancing act between allowing the players the freedom to do what they want, but also giving them enough information to continue the story-line, whether it is the one you want to tell or the one they want to tell.

Valdar
03-02-2009, 01:20 PM
I think you can have the players be the heroes even if your game is linear- the best advice I've heard for game writing contradicts a fundamental principle of screenwriting- For screenwriting, it's "Show, don't tell". For game writing, it's "do, don't show".

Basically, you can still have a linear game and still have the party be the heroes- just make sure that the PCs are the ones doing the heroics and adventuring when such things need to be done.

The best GM gives the players the illusion of freedom, but anticipates what they'll want to do so he doesn't have to write too many unused adventure paths.