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  #1  
Old Dec 25th, 2023, 08:43 AM
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Preferred Dice Mechanics and...

First of all, Blessed Holidays!!

Second, this morning, I had a thought, and a lot of questions I need answers to from a collection of Gamers:
  • What's your preferred dice mechanics? Why?
  • Also, in terms of Character Creation, what's your favorite method?
  • Do you prefer rolling up your character?
  • Which method of rolling up do you like?
  • Or do you prefer a Build Point System?
  • Is there any other system you've seen for generating the Stat Block of your characters during creation?

Finally, what are your thoughts on using a deck of cards as a process to aid the Game Master? I'm thinking of Encounters, Quick NPC creation, [the beloved] Deck of Many Things, Loot Rewards, etc

I'm in the process of creating my own system I've got ideas for, and I'm stuck on the "best" mechanics to use, so I figured I'd reach out and take some notes. Help a gal out?

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  #2  
Old Dec 26th, 2023, 08:41 PM
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All comes down to flavour, honestly. I might like point buy for some systems and would be totally fine with random rolls for other systems. What kind of system are you designing? What's the elevator pitch?
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Old Dec 28th, 2023, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kokoro View Post
What's your preferred dice mechanics? Why?
I've really come to hate the d20 as a means to check for success. This is a subjective opinion, not a statement on the quality of using a d20 to determine failure/success.

I enjoy novelty and variety in my dice mechanics. When assessing a new game, how the dice (or non-dice randomizer, or non-randomized outcome decider) work and how that fits with the marketed gameplay goals. I like a good bell curve when it's a appropriate, I'm always down for a count-successes dice pool, and I get all excited inside when a game depends more of d4s, d8s, and d12s than d6s, d10s, and d20s. I like the Genesys dice, but more in theory than in practice.

Lately, I've been more and more into the auto-hit style of 24XX and Cairn, where you don't roll for success/failure, you instead roll to avoid risk. Success is assumed when the action is reasonably within the scale of your character's fictional capacity, what changes is the risk, which is discussed, agreed upon, and then rolled to see whether or not the character suffers some consequence of their risky action.

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Also, in terms of Character Creation, what's your favorite method? Which method of rolling up do you like? Or do you prefer a Build Point System?
This depends entirely on the kind of game. Is it a 1-shot today or am I supposed to play this character regularly for the next 10 years of my life? Does my character's build determine what I can and cannot do in play?

For a trad, competitive, number-crunchy optimization game like D&D 3.5-5, point-buy is the only acceptable method. For a zany high turnover game like Mork Borg or Kobolds Ate My Baby, rolling on a small number of random tables and 3d6ing down the line is the way to go.

But that's not even half the story. You've got games like Masks or Lasers and Feelings, where you don't roll anything, you pick a suite of powers or just a few general descriptors and then jump right into the action. There's also lifepath character creation systems, like Traveller, where your character might even die during character creation and you have to start over.

The point is: there is no superior character creation method. It's really a matter of customizing the character creation experience to support the player experience goals of your game. There are so many fun and unique character creation procedures out there!

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Originally Posted by Kokoro View Post
Do you prefer rolling up your character?
As opposed to picking a pre-generated character? Usually, yes.

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Originally Posted by Kokoro View Post
Is there any other system you've seen for generating the Stat Block of your characters during creation?
I mean... basically every system has the capacity to render a character down to a minimalist stat block. There's obviously been more thought put into how to do this for D&D than other types of RPGs, but it can still be done with a little creative problem-solving in almost any system.

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Originally Posted by Kokoro View Post
Finally, what are your thoughts on using a deck of cards as a process to aid the Game Master? I'm thinking of Encounters, Quick NPC creation, [the beloved] Deck of Many Things, Loot Rewards, etc
I don't like having to buy special cards for an RPG. I'm OK with using regular playing cards or an existing deck of tarot cards. That said, having to leave a card out that references something on a certain page in the book is less convenient than just making a note of the result. This just all depends on execution.

I'm stoked you're on the path to designing your own ttRPG and I can't wait to see what next steps you take with it!
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Old Jan 13th, 2024, 08:37 PM
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I've always been a strong advocate of point buy systems. Look, I get that any game with outcome randomization is, eventually, at the mercy of the dice (and otherwise, it's not a game, it's just co-op improv storytelling), but it feels a lot different to be shanked by the dice rolls right off the mark. Point buy systems, in whatever form, make sure that everyone has equivalent opportunities out of the starting gate, and liberates players by giving them the ability to make whatever the want within the rules and setting constraints rather than merely what a bunch of d6s decided they'd qualify for that time around.

I've played a lot of d20 games, especially the Pathfinder family (1E, 2E, Starfinder), but there is a lot to be said for other dice-rolling systems. I've particularly enjoyed d10-based games, although I don't know how much credit is owed to the dice rolling versus the character design and game in general. But both the World of Darkness games (roll a bunch of d10s, count successes versus a target number) and AEG's era of Legend of the Five rings (roll a bunch of d10s, keep a smaller number based on stats, add those together versus a target number) are pretty great.
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Old Feb 29th, 2024, 01:34 PM
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I like the character creation (CC) and D10 dice system of the World of Darkness and the Chronicles of Darkness, they feel intuitive to me.

I also like Apocalypse Engine games and playbooks (CC) are okay. This 2D6 system is quick and effective, and there's just enough possibility to make it interesting.

Moreover, I rolled up a Mongoose 2e Traveler character (CC) and the random character generation was fun because it led to an interesting character, I haven't tried to play it yet, but the reason I got interested in the first place was that the game uses D6's, so, I suppose I like D6 and D10 games for the most part.

A Call of Cthulhu character can either be randomly generated or not, which isn't something I worry about too much anyway, and the percentage based system in 7e is also on the intuitive side , it's easier for me to think in percentages, but I haven't played it a lot, so there is that.

As for crunch, I prefer light to medium crunch. Playing a spreadsheet, for me, is not fun. Nevertheless, if the atmosphere is right, I'll breakout Excel.

I really don't like card games, but a ton of people do. Poker is okay, but I'm more of a roulette fan.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2024, 09:56 PM
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I love the crunch of games where there's a reason to bust out a spreadsheet for your long-term goals and planning. But less so games where you need Wolfram Alpha to resolve combats.

I do have some disdain for random character creation though. It always goes really badly for me, and neatly skewers whatever my preconceived concept was. I'm glad that the social default has largely shifted over to point buy or its ilk.

Last edited by Sara Scales; Mar 3rd, 2024 at 09:57 PM.
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Old Mar 8th, 2024, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
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... But less so games where you need Wolfram Alpha to resolve combats.
"Wolfram Alpha", ha, yeah, I'm all good.
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