Dice Pool System

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Phantomdoodler
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Dice Pool System

Post by Phantomdoodler » Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:36 pm

I am a huge fan of d6 dice pool systems, so here is my take on using multiple dice for AFF.

To succeed at a task, the player rolls a number of dice equal to either their SKILL (or occasionally MAGIC) plus ranks in a relevant Special Skill. Count every dice that rolls evens (2,4 or 6) as a success. You must also designate one of your dice as the Critical die. If this die (use a different colour) is a 1 and the task fails, you suffer a Critical Failure- something dire happens worse than a failed attempt. If this die is a 6 and you succeed, along with the usual success, you also gain a Critical Success- something special happens in addition to your success.

The Narrator then makes an opposed roll, taking into various factors. This is either the opponents SKILL rating, or 6. For each -1 modifier on the skill tables, roll an additional die

Simple (1)
Easy (2)
Average (3)
Hard (4)
Daunting (5)
Formidable (6)

Modifiers
The Narrator can also apply minor bonuses or penalties to this roll, either applying bonus dice or penalty dice.

If the player generate enough successes to meet the Difficulty, the task succeeds. Each additional success indicates a better effect. In combat, each success greater than the target increase the weapon's Damage dice by 1 per success.

Combat
Combat is the same as AFF and is a series of opposed combat rolls. If you beat your target you roll a number of dice equal to your weapon's Damage dice, plus 1 die for every generated greater than your opponent. The target then rolls a number of dice equal to the armour's Armour dice, comparing both results. If the attack has generated more successes than the target, the target loses 1 point of STAMINA per success. With a Critical Success, the target suffers 2 STAMINA for ever success that exceeds a targets Armour, and also loses 1 point of SKILL.

Weapons - Damage rating
Arrow - Longbow 4
Arrow - Shortbow 3
Battle Axe 4
Crossbow Bolt 4
Dagger 2
Club 3
Greatsword 5
Handaxe 3
Javelin 4
Lance 4
Mace 3
Morning Star 4
Polearm 4
Quarterstaff 3
Short Sword 3
Sling 3
Spear 4
Sword 4
Throwing dagger 2
Warhammer 3

Improvised weapon 2
Unarmed (Human size) 2
Unarmed (Large sized) 4

Bite/Claw - Small 3
Bite/Claw - Medium 4
Bite/Claw - Large 6

Armour - Armour rating
Leather Cuirass 1
Leather Hauberk 2
Chainmail Cuirass 3
Chainmail Hauberk 4
Breastplate 3
Plate Armour 5
Small Shield +1
Large Shield +2

Monster Light Armour 2
Monster Medium Armour 3
Monster Heavy Armour 5

Dodging
A Hero with the Swashbuckler talent and the Dodge special skill may roll their Dodge Special Skill ranks as their Armour roll, if the Hero is not wearing armour or using a shield.

All out attack
This option involves an undisciplined ferocious attack. Lacking in finesse and style, this attack will nevertheless do more damage if it does hit.
For every -2 dice the Hero take to the combat total, the damage inflicted is increased by +1 STAMINA.

Defensive
This option involves the Hero focusing purely on keeping out attacks, with no thought to hitting an opponent. The Hero gains a +2 dice to his combat total against all opponents, even missiles, but will not inflict any damage, even if he wins that round.

Feint
This option attempts to fool an oponent into lowering his guard, to thus inflict more damage. It is a somewhat risky strategy, because if the opponent doesn’t fall for the ploy, the Hero himself will leave a gap in his defence. If chosen, the Hero will gain +1 Damage die on his damage roll if he wins the
round, but his opponent will also gain the same benefit if he wins.

Rapid Shot
Applicable only to attacks with bows or thrown daggers, this attack gets two missiles off in very quick succession, albeit with less power. The Hero
may make two separate attack rolls against the same or different opponents in the same round, with a -3 dice penalty to both. If either of these hit, roll half the normal number of Damage dice, rounding down. Any modifiers to the damage roll are applied as normal.

Push Back
If this option is used against an opponent who is less than double the weight of the Hero, and the attack wins, the weapon inflicts zero damage, but the opponent will also be pushed back 2 metres. This can be particularly effective on bridges, the edge of cliffs etc.
Last edited by Phantomdoodler on Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:49 pm, edited 5 times in total.

Ruffnut
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Re: Dice Pool System

Post by Ruffnut » Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:42 pm

Great Idea!

However I think that people should always have a chance to succeed so maybe you have 2 critical dices and if both are 6 you auto succeed, but the fumble dices cause -1 success.

Great idea it is epic!
He just sits there tapping away all day on a tiny screen. But he tells everyone that he is slaying Orcs.

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Phantomdoodler
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Location: Gravesend

Re: Dice Pool System

Post by Phantomdoodler » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:41 pm

Well remember that SKILL starts at 3, so even without any special skills, and not improving SKILL above 3 during character creation, the odds of getting 3 successes are reasonable. Assuming an average SKILL plus special skill ranks of 6, a typical hero will succeed on average tasks 50% of the time. Maybe even more as 6,s count as two successes.

Anyway, I am glad you like it. I will look at AFF and think about how it integrates with magic etc. Ideally I would like to reduce every thing down to the same mechanic, so if a sorcery spell costs 4 STAMINA to cast, the Narrator would roll 4 dice and deduct 1 STAMINA per success.

Ruffnut
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Re: Dice Pool System

Post by Ruffnut » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:29 am

Phantomdoodler wrote:Well remember that SKILL starts at 3, so even without any special skills, and not improving SKILL above 3 during character creation, the odds of getting 3 successes are reasonable. Assuming an average SKILL plus special skill ranks of 6, a typical hero will succeed on average tasks 50% of the time. Maybe even more as 6,s count as two successes.

Anyway, I am glad you like it. I will look at AFF and think about how it integrates with magic etc. Ideally I would like to reduce every thing down to the same mechanic, so if a sorcery spell costs 4 STAMINA to cast, the Narrator would roll 4 dice and deduct 1 STAMINA per success.
Great idea! That would mean the closer you get to casting the spell, the more it costs!
He just sits there tapping away all day on a tiny screen. But he tells everyone that he is slaying Orcs.

HedgeWizard
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Re: Dice Pool System

Post by HedgeWizard » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:13 am

I've had fun in the past with dice pool systems in the past but I've always come back to the 2d6. The probability distribution is just so elegent.

Have you done a comparison of how the probabily distribution of this system works compared to the traditional 2d6?

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Phantomdoodler
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Location: Gravesend

Re: Dice Pool System

Post by Phantomdoodler » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:45 am

Well I cant give you figures, but a dice pool system is more evenly distributed. With a 2d6 system, a difference of 4 or 5 points is pretty significant. With opposed rolls, if your SKILL is 4 points higher than your opponents, you have a very high degree of success. With a dice pool system, dice advantage is good, but not quite so slanted. Definitely not as swingy as say a d20 of course, but it still produces plenty of possible results.

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Phantomdoodler
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Re: Dice Pool System

Post by Phantomdoodler » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:48 pm

You can also use this system for a more traditional approach to rpgs.

Character Creation

Each character is defined by 7 attributes:

AGILITY represents a characters speed, reflexes and manual dexterity
FIGHTING represents a characters skill with melee weapons
STAMINA represents a characters brute strength and stamina
KNOWLEDGE represents a characters scholarly prowess
INFLUENCE represents a characters social skills
LUCK represents a characters resistance to magic, intuition and awareness
MAGIC represents a characters ability with spells and magic

Each attribute is rated from 1 to 5. Each attribute starts at 1, except for MAGIC, which begins at 0, with a bonus based on the player's race:

Humans: +1 LUCK and INFLUENCE
Elves: +1 MAGIC and AGILITY
Dwarfs: +1 to STAMINA and FIGHTING

Then each player has 15 points to spend on their attributes, with a maximum rating of 5 in any one attribute.

The each Hero gains a number of special skill levels based on their race:

Humans: World Lore 1, City Lore 1 (or Forest Lore or Desert Lore etc), Religion Lore 1, 1 point in any special skill, Common Speech 4
Elves: Forest Lore 1, Magic-Minor 1, Elvish 4, Common Speech 2
Dwarfs: Underground Lore 1, Crafting 1, Dwarfish 4, Common Speech 2

Then assign 15 points to you special skills, assigning up to 3 to each. Special Skills are rated from 1 to 5:

AGILITY Special Skills

Acrobatics
Bows
Dodge
Firepowder Weapons
Locks
Sleight of Hand
Sneaking

FIGHTING Special Skills

Axes
Battle Tactics
Brawling
Clubs
Mounted Combat
Polearms
Staves
Swords

STAMINA Special Skills

Armour
Climb
Jump
Ride
Strength
Swim
Thrown

KNOWLEDGE Special Skills

Animal Lore
City Lore
Crafting
Engineering
Evaluate
Fishing
Forest lore
Healing
Hunting
Languages
Law
Navigation
Religion Lore
Sea Lore
Secret Signs
Siege Weapons
Stewardship
Trap Knowledge
Underground Lore
World lore

INFLUENCE Special Skills

Bargain
Con
Disguise
Etiquette
Leadership

LUCK Special Skills

Awareness
Empathy
Gambling
Willpower

MAGIC Special Skills

Battle Magic
Chaos Magic
Conjuration
Enchanting
Magic Lore
Magical Tattooing
Mask Magic
Minor Magic
Necromancy
Priestly Magic
Second Sight
Sorcery
Wizardry

New Skills

Empathy
This skill can be used to tell if someone is lying to you, as well as to gauge something about their personality or mannerism. It is often opposed by the target's INFLUENCE if they are trying to lie to you.

Gambling
This skill can be used to win in games of pure chance, such as dice games, although it also covers the skill of card games, dice games and trying to both cheat and observe cheaters.

Willpower
This skill represents your ability to resist the effects of magic or influence skills and represents your character's mental shrewdness and resilience.


Combat

Combat is handled over a series of rounds. Make a FIGHTING (Melee weapons), AGILITY (ranged weapons) or STAMINA (thrown weapons) test, adding any appropriate special skills. If you beat your targets FIGHTING (Melee weapons) or AGILITY and (vs ranged or thrown weapons), plus a suitable special skill or Dodge, the target is hit. Roll your weapon's Damage dice opposed by the target's Armour dice. If successful, the target must subtract 1 point from one of the target's attributes (adding 1 for each Critical Success rolled), determined randomly with a d6:

1 AGILITY
2 FIGHTING
3 STAMINA
4 INFLUENCE
5 KNOWLEDGE
6 Choose one of the above

If any attribute is reduce to zero, the target immediately collapses and will die in a number of rounds equal to their STAMINA rating. If this has been reduced to zero through combat damage, the target dies in a painful and immediate death.

Using your LUCK
You can always choose to use LUCK to help with any other test. Simply reduce your LUCK rating by 1 for each additional Critical Die you want to roll with any test you make. LUCK is restored by taking magical potions of LUCK, awarded for good roleplaying by the Director, or restored at the start of each new session.

TheoOfSilverton
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Re: Dice Pool System

Post by TheoOfSilverton » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:15 pm

Phantomdoodler wrote: With a 2d6 system, a difference of 4 or 5 points is pretty significant.
I prefer the 2D6 system for this very reason... In AFF a character with a rudimentary working knowledge of something has a skill of 1 or 2, whereas an expert has a skill of 5 or 6. That's a difference of 4 or 5 points. An expert should be able to trounce a beginner every day of the week, unless the beginner pulls some sneaky trick to even things up.

In martial arts, I have noticed that two people can be almost evenly matched, and yet one will almost always beat the other. The difference in skill level is negligible, and yet the consistency with which one wins is amazing. I'm sure it's a similar story in other competitive pursuits, such as running, chess, etc...

I've nothing against dice pools, but I do prefer the more consistent results you get with 2D6.
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The sunlight is gone, darkness lives on, in the heart of the dragon's lair

HedgeWizard
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Re: Dice Pool System

Post by HedgeWizard » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:10 pm

TheoOfSilverton wrote:I prefer the 2D6 system for this very reason...
You articulate well one of the reasons why I like it. The non-linier probability distribution also allows you to more accurately show a learning curve in my mind. A normal human starts at Skill 5, let's assume we are all normally skilled (yes I know you are amazing but humer me here), when you start learning something you make major advances in what you can do in the first period of learning it (represented by going to 6, 7, 8 when you add the special skill). But as you get to higher levels of mastery your progress in ability slows down, input effort creates in absolute terms relatively small improvements as you focus on the detail. Yet you will be at a major advantage still against someone less skilled than you as Theo explains.

This goes for combat, music, languages... basically anything I can think of.

It's not to say that dice pool systems should not be used and are bad but they are strongly linier. The simple 2d6 system may seem simplistic but strangely enough it allows a lot of finesse. Probably why you'll find 2d6 being used surprisingly often in professional Matrix games

Ruffnut
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Re: Dice Pool System

Post by Ruffnut » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:00 pm

Phantomdoodler wrote:You can also use this system for a more traditional approach to rpgs.

Character Creation

Each character is defined by 7 attributes:

AGILITY represents a characters speed, reflexes and manual dexterity
FIGHTING represents a characters skill with melee weapons
STAMINA represents a characters brute strength and stamina
KNOWLEDGE represents a characters scholarly prowess
INFLUENCE represents a characters social skills
LUCK represents a characters resistance to magic, intuition and awareness
MAGIC represents a characters ability with spells and magic

Each attribute is rated from 1 to 5. Each attribute starts at 1, except for MAGIC, which begins at 0, with a bonus based on the player's race:

Humans: +1 LUCK and INFLUENCE
Elves: +1 MAGIC and AGILITY
Dwarfs: +1 to STAMINA and FIGHTING

Then each player has 15 points to spend on their attributes, with a maximum rating of 5 in any one attribute.

The each Hero gains a number of special skill levels based on their race:

Humans: World Lore 1, City Lore 1 (or Forest Lore or Desert Lore etc), Religion Lore 1, 1 point in any special skill, Common Speech 4
Elves: Forest Lore 1, Magic-Minor 1, Elvish 4, Common Speech 2
Dwarfs: Underground Lore 1, Crafting 1, Dwarfish 4, Common Speech 2

Then assign 15 points to you special skills, assigning up to 3 to each. Special Skills are rated from 1 to 5:

AGILITY Special Skills

Acrobatics
Bows
Dodge
Firepowder Weapons
Locks
Sleight of Hand
Sneaking

FIGHTING Special Skills

Axes
Battle Tactics
Brawling
Clubs
Mounted Combat
Polearms
Staves
Swords

STAMINA Special Skills

Armour
Climb
Jump
Ride
Strength
Swim
Thrown

KNOWLEDGE Special Skills

Animal Lore
City Lore
Crafting
Engineering
Evaluate
Fishing
Forest lore
Healing
Hunting
Languages
Law
Navigation
Religion Lore
Sea Lore
Secret Signs
Siege Weapons
Stewardship
Trap Knowledge
Underground Lore
World lore

INFLUENCE Special Skills

Bargain
Con
Disguise
Etiquette
Leadership

LUCK Special Skills

Awareness
Empathy
Gambling
Willpower

MAGIC Special Skills

Battle Magic
Chaos Magic
Conjuration
Enchanting
Magic Lore
Magical Tattooing
Mask Magic
Minor Magic
Necromancy
Priestly Magic
Second Sight
Sorcery
Wizardry

New Skills

Empathy
This skill can be used to tell if someone is lying to you, as well as to gauge something about their personality or mannerism. It is often opposed by the target's INFLUENCE if they are trying to lie to you.

Gambling
This skill can be used to win in games of pure chance, such as dice games, although it also covers the skill of card games, dice games and trying to both cheat and observe cheaters.

Willpower
This skill represents your ability to resist the effects of magic or influence skills and represents your character's mental shrewdness and resilience.


Combat

Combat is handled over a series of rounds. Make a FIGHTING (Melee weapons), AGILITY (ranged weapons) or STAMINA (thrown weapons) test, adding any appropriate special skills. If you beat your targets FIGHTING (Melee weapons) or AGILITY and (vs ranged or thrown weapons), plus a suitable special skill or Dodge, the target is hit. Roll your weapon's Damage dice opposed by the target's Armour dice. If successful, the target must subtract 1 point from one of the target's attributes (adding 1 for each Critical Success rolled), determined randomly with a d6:

1 AGILITY
2 FIGHTING
3 STAMINA
4 INFLUENCE
5 KNOWLEDGE
6 Choose one of the above

If any attribute is reduce to zero, the target immediately collapses and will die in a number of rounds equal to their STAMINA rating. If this has been reduced to zero through combat damage, the target dies in a painful and immediate death.

Using your LUCK
You can always choose to use LUCK to help with any other test. Simply reduce your LUCK rating by 1 for each additional Critical Die you want to roll with any test you make. LUCK is restored by taking magical potions of LUCK, awarded for good roleplaying by the Director, or restored at the start of each new session.
:O
He just sits there tapping away all day on a tiny screen. But he tells everyone that he is slaying Orcs.

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