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Dice Mechanics to Consider when Making Your Game
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Thread: Dice Mechanics to Consider when Making Your Game

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    Dice Mechanics to Consider when Making Your Game

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    As is no surprise I am an inventor of games. I've created my own horror, fantasy, zombie, modern, sci-fi, futuristic, games with varying degrees of success. (Admitingly most of them bad. ) But my point is one of the hardest parts was coming up with what dice I wanted to use and why.

    Well if anybody else out there is having that particular problem allow me to introduce

    (behold) THIS SITE I FOUND ON GOOGLE AT 1:30 IN THE MORNING! (/behold)

    http://www.darkshire.net/jhkim/rpg/s...e-methods.html

    It lays out all the common dice types, linear vs bell, Roll-Under, Roll & Add, Blackjack Success, Dice-Pools, and Step Dice, and basically gives the goods and bads of each. Something to gander at while making the next RPG of the Future.

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    Good site. I've seen a few mechanics he doesn't mention. Usually variations on a couple of the systems that are mentioned.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

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    Well then maybe not ALL the common ones...

    But I'm still reading it trying to decide what dice to use.

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    Good paper. Combine it with the AnyDice Calculator and you can make some solid stuff.

    http://catlikecoding.com/anydice/

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    Resolution mechanic can be important but generally only affects a general "feel" of your game. For example, I find percentile systems - roll under (CoC, BRP, Eclipse Phase, Warhammer FRP ...) to feel "less heroic" to me. But some systems like HARP use a d100 plus mods with no high end limit, so that doesn't feel quite the same to me, but I still don't quite like it. This is highly subjective of course.

    I like dice pools. Mouse Guard/Burning Wheel and/or PDQ is excellent, and nWOD and Shadowrun types are nifty as well (all mods are in dice, set target numbers on the dice). I frankly think this method makes for a quick, less math intensive resolution.

    I also really like the feel of 3d6 bell curve. For some reason dice + adds seems to be easier to grok than roll under, but the good 'ol bell curve is wonderful. Frankly, I am devising a way to update FATE with a dice pool mechanic that ties back into the fate point economy and facilitates player assists more in the spirit of the Burning games.

    What kind of "feel" are you looking for?
    Trentin C Bergeron (TreChriron)
    Bard, Dreamer & RPG Enthusiast
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    Another thing to think about when designing a good system is to consider to what function you want the dice to assist.
    Do you want the dice system to be used for Conflict Resolution or Task Resolution?
    I do not play them here or there, I do not play them anywhere, I do not play them with a fox. I do not mash that button box. I do not like MMO games. In the end ther're all the same.
    -Tesral

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    Quote Originally Posted by kkriegg View Post
    Good paper. Combine it with the AnyDice Calculator and you can make some solid stuff.

    http://catlikecoding.com/anydice/
    Day late and a dollar short. I had a friend tell me about catlikecoding a day or so before I got your post or else I would have included that in the thread start.

    Quote Originally Posted by trechriron View Post
    Resolution mechanic can be important but generally only affects a general "feel" of your game. For example, I find percentile systems - roll under (CoC, BRP, Eclipse Phase, Warhammer FRP ...) to feel "less heroic" to me. But some systems like HARP use a d100 plus mods with no high end limit, so that doesn't feel quite the same to me, but I still don't quite like it. This is highly subjective of course.

    I like dice pools. Mouse Guard/Burning Wheel and/or PDQ is excellent, and nWOD and Shadowrun types are nifty as well (all mods are in dice, set target numbers on the dice). I frankly think this method makes for a quick, less math intensive resolution.

    I also really like the feel of 3d6 bell curve. For some reason dice + adds seems to be easier to grok than roll under, but the good 'ol bell curve is wonderful. Frankly, I am devising a way to update FATE with a dice pool mechanic that ties back into the fate point economy and facilitates player assists more in the spirit of the Burning games.

    What kind of "feel" are you looking for?
    I'm not sure. Was thinking of using d10...

    Quote Originally Posted by jade von delioch View Post
    Another thing to think about when designing a good system is to consider to what function you want the dice to assist.
    Do you want the dice system to be used for Conflict Resolution or Task Resolution?
    What's the difference?

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    In you this all has to do with scale and how much control you want the players to have in telling the overall story that they are playing in.


    http://www.lumpley.com/hardcore.html#4

    http://gamingphilosopher.blogspot.co...esolution.html
    Last edited by jade von delioch; 04-12-2010 at 10:55 PM.
    I do not play them here or there, I do not play them anywhere, I do not play them with a fox. I do not mash that button box. I do not like MMO games. In the end ther're all the same.
    -Tesral

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    Good technical evaluation. I agree with some posts here, but the primary one is what function will they serve. If the mechanics support +/- for every situation and dice MUST be used then thats different from more story driven, role-playing systems. As an axiom, i say dice rolling is no substitute for telling me what you are going to do. Role-playing people... this is why i don't favor MMOs. Anyway.. is rolling just there to determine success? How many checks will it take to resolve something? How much do you want checks to spice or slow down the game... my own system has a single roll that determines whether or not you succeed AND the quality of the success. Small chart, get used to it like any other mechanic, fast, easy, reflects skill and situation over randomness.

    Incarna; Role-Playing Game System
    www.incarna.net
    Running: 3+ campaigns set in single custom milieu world.

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    I went with Card Draw in my system. Don't know yet how that'll pan out....

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    I'm a fan of John Kim's site -- see also his essays on magic systems -- and it's a shame he's not updating it much any more.

    Is this a straight card draw, or do players collect a hand? vs. Monsters is an example of the first, and Castle Falkenstein an example of the second. I don't see the point of a straight draw vs. a die roll, unless you want to make the "Gambler's Fallacy" (e.g. "a ten has to show up soon") a reality. A hand sounds interesting, although I've heard people who actually played CF complain about the minigame of when to use your good cards and how to shed bad cards.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    Hand kind of. The size of the hand increasing with character level and probably other factors I haven't organized enough to talk about yet.

    I don't know how those games work but the way I'm doing things is a face card is equal to 5, except you get to draw again. If it's another face you add another 5 but don't draw again. Also aces are 1's. So a minimum of 1 and a max of 15 (face+10) before modifiers and all that.
    Last edited by Soft Serve; 05-07-2010 at 11:51 AM. Reason: The first line was an improper sentence.

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    I would think the holding card hands thing would make success a zero sum problem. In an RPG that is a bad thing.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    I would think the holding card hands thing would make success a zero sum problem. In an RPG that is a bad thing.

    I see what you mean...I'll either have to find a way around that or be very, very lazy...

    (The latter is more probable...)

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    From what I can tell, this is just a discussion thread on dice mechanics, so I'm just going to say my two cents:
    After reading this thread I was looking at this: http://rpg-design.wikidot.com/evaluation to see how close I could get to that ideal distribution seen on the first graph. I was messing around with the website that kkriegg posted, and I think I managed to get something somewhat close. It's probably only feasible online using a dice roller unless you want to bust out a calculator and you have tons of dice. Basically the formula is (Xd20/X)+Y, where X goes up as the PC's skill at doing the increases, or when the task becomes simpler, and Y is just a modifier (nothing to big, probably +-4 at the most) that might change for a number of reasons. Basically what the formula does is make the rolls more predictable and closer to an average as X increases, while Y changes the 'base' chance of success. For example, rolling a (3d20/3)+2 gives results ranging from 3 to 22, with 12 being the most likely and the percentage dropping off on either end. You can see it here: http://anydice.com/program/72d3
    Not really how useful this is to the thread, but I just wanted to show someone this thing I figured out, and I did find the means to test and easily modify the formula, so I guess you all are stuck with it

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