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Thread: System

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    System

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    The question is, system. What are the advantages and flaws of different systems.

    I don't mean game systems, I'm not interested in what the system is attached to, but rather the mechanics itself. Random events systems. How to roll the dice to get a result. Which are best for what and where do they fall down.

    Linear systems: Roll one die, compare the result against a target. d20, d100 systems are the mainstay of this. I would include those system that use a fixed number of dice even it they product a ratio cure.

    Die Test: Roll a number of dice generating a total against a target number. Better skills mean more dice. Reverse die test. A fixed target number you need to roll under, difficulty increases the number of Dice.

    Die Pool. Roll a number of dice against a low target number counting each die separately. Number of successes determines result.

    Any I missed, let the discussion begin:

    -- What do you like about the method? Strengths
    -- What don't you like about the method? Weaknesses, flaws
    -- Can the method be improved?

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    One I've seen that I think you missed:

    High/Low/Middle Die Pool: You roll multiple dice and compare only a single die (highest/lowest/middle) against a target number.
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    Rolling a single die is too swingy for my tastes. I prefer some sort of bell curve.

    There are also some twists on the types you mentioned like ORE where your looking for matches and high numbers. Or unknown armies where pairs are special.
    Playing: Pathfinder
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    Quote Originally Posted by MortonStromgal View Post
    Rolling a single die is too swingy for my tastes. I prefer some sort of curve.

    There are also some twists on the types you mentioned like ORE where your looking for matches and high numbers. Or unknown armies where pairs are special.
    Swingy? Explain please?

    Special rules are exactly modifications on the basic system The always miss on 1 and always hit on 20 are likewise special rules in d20. How do those rules affect game play?

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    Add "Exploding Dice" to the Die Test category as a variant: from 7th Sea et al, each "0" on a d10 means roll another die.

    Pros of Linear: Faster. Less dice rolling. Probabilities are mostly straightforward, so it's easy to determine what your character can and can't do (this last bit is good and bad).

    Cons of Linear: Probabilities are easy to determine, so more "gamist" thinking and less uncertainty or RP-based thinking.

    For the other types, reverse the above- rolling a mess of dice makes it harder to run the numbers in your head, but it's slower.

    So, what's better? Knowing that you can *probably* hit a certain foe, or knowing that you have a 65 percent chance of hitting a certain foe?

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    John Kim has done an analysis of dice probabilities and methods, starting here:

    http://www.darkshire.net/jhkim/rpg/s...ce-motive.html

    There was also one on RPGNet a while ago.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    Swingy? Explain please?
    1d20 you have a 5% chance of getting any number = swingy
    as opposed to 2d10 where you have 10% chance of rolling a 10 (100 combinations 10 of which add to 10)

    the more dice the less swing you get from extreams. if you need a 5 or better lets say you will get a more consistent result from 3d6 than 1d20, you will hit more often on 3d6, likewise if you need 15 or better you'll hit more with 1d20. You can guess your results better with more dice.
    Playing: Pathfinder
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    hmmm. i might be being a bit too simplistic here, but i don't find any particular advantages or disadvantages in any of those mechanics systems. they are simply different ways of acheiving the same thing-injecting an element of illusionary chance into an otherwise deterministic game. different slopes of the mountain, if you will.

    chance with dice is simply an inability to understand and comprehend and thus calculate the result of the physics of the polyhedrals interacting with the surfaces of the hand, air, and rolling surfaces.

    roleplaying games are deterministic in the sense that somebody has to decide what happens; regardless of logic, continutity, flow, or laws of the universe.

    i guess this amounts to not having much of an opinion either way. ^^
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    Quote Originally Posted by MortonStromgal View Post
    1d20 you have a 5% chance of getting any number = swingy
    as opposed to 2d10 where you have 10% chance of rolling a 10 (100 combinations 10 of which add to 10)

    the more dice the less swing you get from extreams. if you need a 5 or better lets say you will get a more consistent result from 3d6 than 1d20, you will hit more often on 3d6, likewise if you need 15 or better you'll hit more with 1d20. You can guess your results better with more dice.
    The word you're looking for is "variance." The more dice, the smaller the "variance" from the "expectation" of the die roll.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oedipussy Rex View Post
    The word you're looking for is "variance." The more dice, the smaller the "variance" from the "expectation" of the die roll.
    Ratio vs Liner progression. Ratios give you a small chance of seeing the extremes. 1d20 chance of a 20 5%. 3d18, chance of an 18 0.04%

    Code:
    3d6 probability of results
    Score     % chance of
       3          0.46
       4          1.39
       5          2.78
       6          4.63
       7          6.94
       8          9.72
       9         11.57
       10        12.50
       11        12.50
       12        11.57
       13         9.72
       14         6.94
       15         4.63
       16         2.78
       17         1.39
       18         0.46
    I have not played much in bell curve games so I can't comment too much on how they play. One reason I started the thread, to get the experiences of those that have. d20 is my animal and pretty much has been forever.

    The linear scale problem has come up. The fact that the cruder the units, the worse these systems scale. However they are easy to explain. I had guy today that has never played D&D or any d20 game,. it took under five minutes to define and explain the basic mechanic. He sat in, rolled up a character and got the feel, quickly in spite of the complexity of the system itself. Variable on variable.

    Die tests and die pools I have limited experiece with peroind. Users please speak up.

    I use to use a reverse die test in my D&D (2e base) for various skill tests. The character's stat being a fixed number that had to be rolled under and the number of d6 indicating the difficulty. I like the system, it worked well and had no problems scaling that I found. But I ditched it for the consistent d20 and DC.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    What about the diceless systems? Asset management or whatever, like much of 4e.
    "Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth." - JFK

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    i was always fond of amber's method of handling diceless.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
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    Resource management system: the marvel universe use this type of system. This is where character has a pool of energy that gets used to preform actions. The amount of energy that you put towards an action equals the amount of effort that the character puts forth. (the GM does not tell you how much effort is needed) On top of this you regain only some much energy back per round; which is equal to the amount of health that the character has.

    This is the most realistic resolution system, i have seen/ come across.
    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 Engar View Post
    What about the diceless systems? Asset management or whatever, like much of 4e.
    I would say the diceless aspect is another discussion myself.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    I guess it is technically a linnear system but there are those that run off the draw of a playing card. I think a deadlands game did that. Then of cource there is the MET system of trait bidding and paper rock scissors.

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