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Number Crunching Equivalences - Why My Dice Suck Compared To D6 Legend

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For those who don't know me, I'm the kind of game designer who plays with mechanics and numbers rather than settings. My published body of work ranges from a 4 page RPG (Minimus) to not just one, but three, playable board games of space ship combat (AV:T, SITS, Squadron Strike) with varying levels of 'the physics must be RIGHT!'.

 

I'm going to discuss a design decision for D6 Dramatics. I'm going to present this in the context of why I did it, what I considered, and so on. It's likely to sound, at times, like I'm delivering the Sermon On The Dice Tower or some such. It's an occupational hazard.

 

In The Beginning, There Was D6 Classic.

 

D6 Classic is a deceptively simple and subtle set of mechanics; the average roll of a D6 is about 3.5, the scaling for task difficulty numbers is in multiples of 5, rather than multiples of 7. This disparity between average rolls and the task difficulty numbers maps to an uneven curve - and is really built around 3D+1 being 'normative', because it succeeds on a difficulty 10 task about 75% of the time. It also means that adding 1d+2 is JUST ABOUT the increment needed to reliably hit the next harder task level at the same percentage chance of success.

 

It also has some benefits - within a given die range, of about 8D or less, variability in outcome remains reasonable. Provided your die rolls are less than 9D, you can reasonably expect that there's enough variability in the outcome to make the 'do I succeed or not' decision interesting.

 

It's only when you break the 8D ceiling that the problems with the system start to manifest. First, at 8D+1, your average roll is right around 29-30. You will routinely hit difficulty 30 target numbers with about half of your rolls; get it to 9D or 9D+1, and you're hitting those 30s with about 75% of your rolls.

 

This means the viable dice range in D6 Classic is about 3D+1 to 8D. At under 3D+1, you're going to have difficulty hitting routine tasks and above 8D, there's no real reason to roll the dice other than force of habit.

 

That leaves a range of 17 'steps' between 'minimally competent' and 'deities who brush their teeth'. This isn't a bad spread. It's wider than the usable range of GURPS skills which runs from about 12 to about 18 before you're just packing on extra numbers to counter "Well, in case I need to do this particular skill while dangling upside down in the dark with two broken hands and someone choking me..." circumstantial penalties.

 

However, it IS a threshold where "OK, the game stops being fun when primary skills break the 8D wall."

 

Enter D6 Legend

 

One of the possible benefits of roll-and-count is that the actual variability of outcomes remains harder to predict to larger numbers of dice. While the 'average roll' is predictable, the 'likelihood of distribution' outcome is somewhat different than roll-and-add. For one, it's possible for someone who's got 8D in a skill to come up with 0 successes and fail at something in the 'trivially easy' category. Some see this as a bug, I see it as a feature. Failure is more interesting than success, and we all roll the dice hoping not to botch it.

 

However, in order for Legend to give the same number of 'character differentiation steps', between competence and 'no, really, don't bother to roll', you pretty much have to go from 4D (average) to about 22D. And that many dice gets cumbersome to handle.

 

One of the reasons for this is that Legend decided that the die would succeed on a range of 3 through 6. This is functionally the same as assuming that a D6 rolls an average of 4, not 3.5, and nobody could figure out what to do with pips. They also ported their difficulty scale over from Classic, and did a bad job of it. A difficulty of Very Easy is the equivalent of a Classic difficulty of 4, not 5. A difficulty of Easy is equal to a Classic difficulty of 8, not 10. In theory, this would balance out if die codes remained roughly the same and there were no Pips. I

 

In practice, die codes went up by about 2-3 dice, and the difficulty scale got easier to beat. Many of the problems in D6 Legend can be fixed by making the success range on the die 4-6.

 

Design Goals - D6 Dramatics

 

Roll-and-count systems have another advantage/flaw. It's possible to tell what the maximum number of success you can get on a single roll is (modulo the Wild Die). This means that if a difficulty 7 task is being met by someone with 5D in skill, they just aren't going to make it, short of doing something heroic. This can be seen as a flaw - it's kind of deterministic - it can also be seen as a platform; it makes it very clear to the players that they need to Hero Up as it were to do something that tough.

 

Another tool that's available with roll-and-count systems that isn't available to roll-and-add systems is that you can circumstantially change the success range of the dice. This will change the AVERAGE number of successes (and allow someone to 'hedge their bets' by doing the behavior that widens the range), but won't increase the MAXIMUM number of successes.

 

That insight is what started me on D6 Dramatics. You see, I was trying to choose between a 'heroic' success range of 4-6, and a 'gritty' success range of 5-6. Once I realized I could put that in the hands of the players, by saying "Describe something cool before you roll the dice, and the success range improves to 4-6", I was able to incentivize a kind of play I want to see at the table - without making the wanna be radio announcers trample the people who are a bit more shy.

 

By describing a cool shtick, you reduced your chances of failure, but couldn't get more successes than your die code. Note that this is the exact opposite of most games, where trying to do 'something fancy' means that you're likelier to fail, not succeed. It seemed more appropriate for cinematic role-playing.

 

Then there was the problem of getting the steps of skill differentiation without needing a dumpster full of dice. This is one of the hidden strengths of D6 Classic. One of the common mistakes made when assessing D6 Classic is assuming that a +1 or +2 is actually a third of a die and its effects are linear as you go along. Aside from hot spots (the aforementioned 1d+2 is roughly equal to another step in the difficulty chart), the +1 or +2 becomes less likely to impact your overall chances of success as the number of dice goes up. A lot of attempts at making "Legend Plus Pips" work kept trying to make the +1 or +2 a linear, proportionate increase.

 

I hit upon the solution of adding the pips to the lowest Skill die you rolled. This makes them more powerful with lower numbers of dice (where it's likelier that you're going to nudge one up to a success) than with larger numbers of dice (where there's a greater likelihood that you're going to get a 1 as your lowest die roll.)

 

Technically, it would be more accurate to add the +1 or +2 to the second lowest die roll; however that adds another sorting step, and penalizes low die codes somewhat. (If you roll a 4 and a 5 on 2D+2, you still only get one success).

 

This leads to a known hot spot. 2D+2 is likelier to get 2 successes than 3D is. 3D can get 3 successes, and with an 'cool description bonus', the difference between the likelhood for 2D+2 versus 3D is in the realm of 'you'd need to make a few hundred rolls to make the difference come out'.)

 

As a happy benefit of this outcome, I can make die codes that match the 2D-4D stat range. Even better, skill die code thresholds don't hit the 'don't bother to roll' mark until about 12-14D. However, competency starts at about 4D+1 rather than 3D+1. This is easy enough to fix - I just add a few more dice in skills.

 

So - in summary:

 

Normal success range: 5-6

Upshifted success range: 3-6

Maximum success range: 4-6

 

No Upshift: "I uh, shoot the mob goon on the left."

With Upshift: "OK, I throw a rock forward to make it sound like I'm coming from a different direction, then pop out to take a snap shot at the mob goon on the left."

 

D6 Classic: Competency (3D+1), Expert (5D), Amazing (6D+2), Stop Rolling (8D+1)

D6 Legend: Competency (5D), Expert (7D), Amazing (8D), Stop Rolling (12D)

D6 Dramatics: Competency (4D+1), Expert (6D+2), Amazing (8D+1), Stop Rolling (12D to 14D)

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I definitely like the idea of tying descriptions and role-playing into the actual mechanics. Where what you say actually carries some weight with the dice rolls.

 

One of my friends introduced me to a couple of games that might be of interest to you. Houses of the Blooded and Burning Wheel. They're both dice pool/count successes using a d6. For example, if you have a trait or aspect to your character and you roleplay it properly, the GM awards you bonus dice to your action.

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Enter D6 Legend

 

One of the possible benefits of roll-and-count is that the actual variability of outcomes remains harder to predict to larger numbers of dice. While the 'average roll' is predictable, the 'likelihood of distribution' outcome is somewhat different than roll-and-add. For one, it's possible for someone who's got 8D in a skill to come up with 0 successes and fail at something in the 'trivially easy' category. Some see this as a bug, I see it as a feature. Failure is more interesting than success, and we all roll the dice hoping not to botch it.

 

However, in order for Legend to give the same number of 'character differentiation steps', between competence and 'no, really, don't bother to roll', you pretty much have to go from 4D (average) to about 22D. And that many dice gets cumbersome to handle.

 

One of the reasons for this is that Legend decided that the die would succeed on a range of 3 through 6. This is functionally the same as assuming that a D6 rolls an average of 4, not 3.5, and nobody could figure out what to do with pips. They also ported their difficulty scale over from Classic, and did a bad job of it. A difficulty of Very Easy is the equivalent of a Classic difficulty of 4, not 5. A difficulty of Easy is equal to a Classic difficulty of 8, not 10. In theory, this would balance out if die codes remained roughly the same and there were no Pips. I

 

In practice, die codes went up by about 2-3 dice, and the difficulty scale got easier to beat. Many of the problems in D6 Legend can be fixed by making the success range on the die 4-6.

 

Could you please explain the "in order for Legend to give the same number of 'character differentiation steps', between competence and 'no, really, don't bother to roll', you pretty much have to go from 4D (average) to about 22D" in more detail? I think I see what you're getting at, but really I think the distinction between "is it possible to roll no successes with 8D" and "is it at all likely to roll no successes with 8D" needs to be taken into account. The probability of a Wild Die modifying the roll should be taken into account as well.

 

This chart came from an old D6 Legend fan site - probabilities based on dice pool (without Wild Die influence).

 

D6LegendProbabilities.jpg

 

 

Perhaps not relevant, but one other option that worked quite nicely for a D6L/Traveller hybrid I ran was using the Skill level as automatic successes - reduced the dice pool down to just attributes. A different variant (which is untried, since I only just thought of it) would be to make the attribute pool automatic successes, and roll the Skill dice as a pool.

Edited by Lee Torres

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One thing I'd like some insight on is why you chose to go with a 33% chance per die (gritty), and with an upshift 50% (heroic), instead of a 50% chance per die, with an upshift to 67%. I know that you've been playtesting for a while - how does it work as it is, and did you try the 50% base / 67% upshift or just begin more or less where it is right now? It just seems to me that a 50/50 shot per die doesn't seem particularly heroic, unless you add in another factor, like a Wild Die, Goal Die, exploding sixes (like in "Nugget") or some other element.

Edited by Lee Torres

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Having run Hollow Earth Expedition, that uses a 50% pass/fail, I am firmly in the camp of "I don't like counting successes". Way more than once I've had players with 5-7 dice get no successess, and that's with a 50/50 chance. Knocking it one way or the other can add "grittiness" or "cinematics" but the whole aspect of pass/fail on each die just doesn't appeal to me in the slightest. In fact, the group I played HEX with has basically said they'd rather use the D6 system than the default HEX system.

 

What I would be more interested in seeing is alternatives to the 8D-9D being the top end of challengable skill dice amounts. Basically, a skill graduation or scaling method that could keep the game both challenging and worthwhile even when characters got into the 9D or 10D range.

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For the record, that sounds very similar to our experience with Ubiquity/HEX as well. After one eight-hour session, I replaced it with my Legend hybrid in order to get the players to return the following week. Great setting, great support, but even with the special dice it's easy to get hosed.

 

Swinging that back to the OP, that's a lot of the reservations I have about D6 Dramatics. I can provide thrilling descriptions for upshifts until the cows come home, but all that gets me is 50/50?

 

With the decrease to the task difficulties, doesn't that compensate somewhat for the issues you mentioned above regarding the 3-6 success per die in Legend?

Edited by Lee Torres

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One of the reasons for this is that Legend decided that the die would succeed on a range of 3 through 6. This is functionally the same as assuming that a D6 rolls an average of 4, not 3.5, and nobody could figure out what to do with pips. They also ported their difficulty scale over from Classic, and did a bad job of it. A difficulty of Very Easy is the equivalent of a Classic difficulty of 4, not 5. A difficulty of Easy is equal to a Classic difficulty of 8, not 10. In theory, this would balance out if die codes remained roughly the same and there were no Pips.

 

Feeling dumb at the moment...what am I missing here? I realize that, as you point out, the distribution changes quite a bit, but in terms of raw conversion, can't we just say (0.667/3.5) * (Classic difficulty) = (Legend difficulty)? This would make the x/5 conversion about right. (Sorry, just trying to make sure I'm getting all your points as I work through your post...)

 

That insight is what started me on D6 Dramatics. You see, I was trying to choose between a 'heroic' success range of 4-6, and a 'gritty' success range of 5-6. Once I realized I could put that in the hands of the players, by saying "Describe something cool before you roll the dice, and the success range improves to 4-6", I was able to incentivize a kind of play I want to see at the table - without making the wanna be radio announcers trample the people who are a bit more shy.

 

This is genius.

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I definitely like the idea of tying descriptions and role-playing into the actual mechanics. Where what you say actually carries some weight with the dice rolls.

 

I do too. There's another aspect that I'll touch on in the main D6 Dramatics thread - Goal Dice, Mission Dice and "You describe how you fail".

 

One of my friends introduced me to a couple of games that might be of interest to you. Houses of the Blooded and Burning Wheel. They're both dice pool/count successes using a d6. For example, if you have a trait or aspect to your character and you roleplay it properly, the GM awards you bonus dice to your action.

 

I own the very last copies printed of Burning Wheel 1st Edition, and I was a peripheral playtester of Houses of the Blooded (my local group played, I played in the group). I like both designs for a number of elements; I prefer Houses of the Blooded to Burning Wheel, which suffers from Designer In The Box syndrome for me.

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Could you please explain the "in order for Legend to give the same number of 'character differentiation steps', between competence and 'no, really, don't bother to roll', you pretty much have to go from 4D (average) to about 22D" in more detail?

 

There are 17 steps between 3d+1 and 8D in D6 Classic. Competence starts in D6Legends at about 4D. To get 17 points of differentiation in whole die increments means you need 4+17=21D. Unfortunately, somewhere around 8-9D means that you're about pure certain to end up with 2 successes, and about 80+% likely to get 4 or higher.

 

Basically, the combination of the wide success range per die means that the 'ceiling' on improbable results hits at 8-10D in D6Legend....which is only 5-6D (5-6 steps) beyond competent. This is a net reduction in granularity from D6 Classic - which is the classic critique of D6 Legend.

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One thing I'd like some insight on is why you chose to go with a 33% chance per die (gritty), and with an upshift 50% (heroic), instead of a 50% chance per die, with an upshift to 67%. I know that you've been playtesting for a while - how does it work as it is, and did you try the 50% base / 67% upshift or just begin more or less where it is right now? It just seems to me that a 50/50 shot per die doesn't seem particularly heroic, unless you add in another factor, like a Wild Die, Goal Die, exploding sixes (like in "Nugget") or some other element.

 

My answer is largely folded in my prior reply, but to make it explicit:

 

1) By reducing the range per die by half, and doubling the number of dice, you get the same average number of successes. However, your MAXIMUM possible number of successes goes up - you get some long tail distributions. We do not play the games for the average die rolls - we play them for the variability in outcomes.

 

2) By keeping the range per die at 5-6 or 4-6 with Upshift (or 3-6 with Upshift and a Talent), there becomes an incentive to Get More Dice. One of the other fundamental changes I made to the game was Goal Dice. When you have 6D+2 in skill, and have two Goal Dice Pools contributing another 7D, AND you narrate for the Upshift, well, it gets mighty spectacular pretty quickly.

 

It's a design philosophy more than a 'this is right' or 'this is wrong' decision: I see RPG rules as incentives for player behavior at the game table. If the player can get the reward (more dice to roll) without doing the behavior I want to see (defining goals for their characters), then I can absolutely rely on them doing so, because it's 'easy'.

 

This is why Upshifts go for descriptions - and affect about 70-80% of most of the die rolls in the game.

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Looking forward to seeing more about D6 Dramatics - once the initial mental speedbump was passed. it all clicked into place. Good design, definitely. Is Worlds of Honor still slated to be the first D6D game, or will the post-apocalyptic fantasy be out before that?

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What I would be more interested in seeing is alternatives to the 8D-9D being the top end of challengable skill dice amounts. Basically, a skill graduation or scaling method that could keep the game both challenging and worthwhile even when characters got into the 9D or 10D range.

 

For D6 Classic, this requires adjusting the difficulty numbers a bit.

 

Difficulty:

 

Trivial.............5

Easy...............10

Challenging.....16

Difficult...........22

Amazing.........28

Heroic............ 35

Mythic............ 42

Epic............... 49

 

The basic progression is 5+5+6+6+6+7+7+7

 

This will still get into problems where the people who have 5D or more in skills are unlikely to ever fail a Challenging skill check, but from your first paragraph, that's a feature for your play group.

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Swinging that back to the OP, that's a lot of the reservations I have about D6 Dramatics. I can provide thrilling descriptions for upshifts until the cows come home, but all that gets me is 50/50?

 

This is where Goal Dice factor in - also, I reward people for failing rolls - and codify that reward mechanism into the mechanics. If you don't fail sometimes, you don't get more Goal Dice, which is how your character grows in capabilities.

 

EG, yes, it only gets you a 50/50 per die. (Slightly better with a +1 or +2). On the other hand, what does failing do, but give you a chance to grab the spotlight a bit and shine it on your character?

 

This even works for Star Wars.

 

"It's not my fault!" - Han Solo. TESB.

 

Boy, was he getting extra Goal Dice for that. And then he got more Goal Dice for having his old gambling buddy betray him to Vader and Boba Fett. But that's a different discussion and I'll start a separate thread for that.

 

With the decrease to the task difficulties, doesn't that compensate somewhat for the issues you mentioned above regarding the 3-6 success per die in Legend?

 

Hmm. I think that's an older table. I'll need to check it against the current draft of the full rules. Thanks for pointing that out! (I would have SWORN that the table topped out at 10+.)

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In terms of raw conversion, can't we just say (0.667/3.5) * (Classic difficulty) = (Legend difficulty)? This would make the x/5 conversion about right.

 

And that's almost precisely the logic that the folks at WEG used in making the conversion in the mid-90s, according to people I know who worked there.

 

However, the fallacy is that you can't actually ROLL a 3.5 on a single six sided die for the comparison. You can roll a 3 or a 4, but not a 3.5; this effectively shortened the difficulty ladder for D6L a bit.

 

(Sorry, just trying to make sure I'm getting all your points as I work through your post...)

 

First, thanks for reading. Any place where I'm not being clear DO ask questions. Any place where there's a mental speed bump, let me know about it. I can't make my game better without being told where the sharp corners needing sanding down are.

 

 

Thank you - it's not entirely unique to me.

 

This idea (that roleplaying should have a mechanical reward that incentivizes the kind of play you want to see) is one of the most subtle and far reaching insights out of the "Indie" RPG movement that started in 2000 or so. (To find it, there's a huge forum called The Forge, a lot of the posts on it boil down to Competitive Navel Gazing, in my opinion - but it's a great place to see unconventional ideas tested.)

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Is Worlds of Honor still slated to be the first D6D game, or will the post-apocalyptic fantasy be out before that?

 

Very likely, it will be WAR WORLD or Valdemar out first. Our writer for Worlds of Honor bailed on the project, and I've got too many irons in the fire to pick up the pieces. (If you're an Honorverse fan and are willing to work for the pittances we can pay you, email or PM me.)

 

Looking forward to seeing more about D6 Dramatics - once the initial mental speedbump was passed. it all clicked into place. Good design, definitely.

 

Right now, I'm trying to hammer down all the inconsistencies (like the wrong table in that handout) in D6D and create the master reference rulebook. Which brings me to:

 

"What were the mental speedbumps you encountered? I may be able to mark them more clearly or grade them down a bit."

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Thanks for the response. I'm going to pick at this just a little more, if it's cool, to make sure I'm sufficiently getting the idea of the shortened D6L difficulty ladder.

 

I'm a biologist, so please forgive my meager math skills;)...

 

I think I get what you mean by the Legend die being worth 4, in that 4 is 2/3 of the max Classic roll of 6. But I'm not sure how that translates to the probabilities, since 2/4/6 aren't the only possible rolls in Classic. I look at it like this:

 

Legend:

1D = 2/3

Very Easy = 1

(1) / (2/3) = 1.5

 

Classic

1D = 3.5

Very Easy = 5

(5) / (3.5) = 1.43

 

Now, I get that for the specific example of using 1D to attempt a very easy task, the Legend player is twice as likely to succeed as the Classic player. But over many rolls, over a range of difficulties, if the 1 vs. 5 increments of difficulty are kept consistent, how does this not make Legend tougher?

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Now, I get that for the specific example of using 1D to attempt a very easy task, the Legend player is twice as likely to succeed as the Classic player. But over many rolls, over a range of difficulties, if the 1 vs. 5 increments of difficulty are kept consistent, how does this not make Legend tougher?

 

Let's look at the 2D case.

 

Rolling 2D, there's 1 way to make a 12 (6,6), there's two ways to make an 11 (5,6 - 6,5), there are three ways to make a 10 (4,6,-5,5 - 6,4). This translates into 6 out of 36 (or a 1/6 chance) of beating a difficulty of 10.

 

For 2D succeeding on a 3-6 needing 2 successes, there is a 2/3 chance of a 2/3 chance that you'll succeed. This is 0.444, or ~45%. You're about 33% likelier to hit a difficulty target of 2 with D6L on 2D than you are to hit a difficulty target of 10 on 2D with D6C.

 

However, the problem is that D6L tended to add an extra die to each die code to hedge against the "Crap, nothing worked" problem...and their difficulty ladder didn't really change to go with it - someone did a quick and dirty conversion, said "Good enough..." and they ran with it.

 

Couple in 'die inflation' on D6L and the difficulty ladder kind of collapses.

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I think one of the things that has glossed over in these discussions is the Multi-Action Penalty (MAP). Classic D6 is intended for PCs to be doing multiple things at once. "Leap over the fence, take two shots and dodge while I do it!"

 

Yes, a single die roll of 8D makes beating a Difficult task a trivial affair. However, doing that same task while being chased, shot at, and wounded is the stuff of heroes! The reason for a PC to have a boatload of skill dice is to overcome the MAP. Heck, just look at the power of the Force Point in a Star Wars game.

 

A Wookiee PC in my Star Wars game is getting all cocky with his 7D in Brawling skill. He can basically paste any single target, but he's not going to be up against single targets anymore. I'm going to start dogpiling on him... fight 5 thugs at once! That's the stuff of heroes!

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Yes, a single die roll of 8D makes beating a Difficult task a trivial affair. However, doing that same task while being chased, shot at, and wounded is the stuff of heroes! The reason for a PC to have a boatload of skill dice is to overcome the MAP. Heck, just look at the power of the Force Point in a Star Wars game.

 

The problem with this for some game styles is that it's not always appropriate to gang-mob PCs with lots of mooks to pin them down. (It's also not even really appropriate for Star Wars - look at how many times Our Heroes got hit or hurt when fighing on Jabba's pleasure barge over the Sarlacc pit - when they're outnumbered about 7:1). It does work for others.

 

A Wookiee PC in my Star Wars game is getting all cocky with his 7D in Brawling skill. He can basically paste any single target, but he's not going to be up against single targets anymore. I'm going to start dogpiling on him... fight 5 thugs at once! That's the stuff of heroes!

 

As mentioned earlier in thread, the game doesn't really start to break down until the 8D barrier is broken for single uses of skills. So 7D is probably in the dangerous range...but may not be the end of the world.

 

(See also the mention of GURPS, where I've seen too many games where players had Guns skills in the realm of 28-30 on a '3d6, roll under" system. Largely for the "I still want to be able to shoot someone in the eye at 100 yards in the dark without taking a snap-shot penalty" use.)

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Thanks AdAstra. As a D6 fan and math nerd, I enjoyed reading your essay. But I do have to agree with Rerun that the abiltiy to challenge PCs in D6 does not necessarily break down when they reach 8D. It depends on the caliber of GM and players playing the game.

 

There are a vast multitude of multiple actions my Star Wars PCs do in one round without being gang-mobbed by mooks. Even in fire fights with few or one antagonist, there is often running, shooting and dodging. Good players of skilled characters often come up with exciting multiple actions to attempt, and high skills can still be challenged when they are lowered by 2D or more. And the odds of successfully navigating an asteroid field are approximately 3720 to 1. :cool:

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To the "mental speedbump" question, it's not so much the explanation, I think, as my notions of D6 Classic, D6 Legend, and the intersection of the two. On other threads on these boards, I've put forward questions and ideas about the "next big thing" in D6, and suggested things like the Aspects FATE uses, Secrets and Keys from "The Shadow of Yesterday" and so on. To be honest, I'd imagine it's sort of how Thomas Edison might have felt if someone had showed up at his offices while he was working on the light bulb with state of the art energy efficient light bulbs from the 21st century. My first reaction was "preposterous!" Once you had explained your case in more detail, especially after elaborating on some of the questions others asked, I must consider the possibility that I've been "left in the dust" so to speak, and that my "D6 Amalgam" project has been made largely irrelevant.

 

I am looking forward to seeing more of Dramatics, and the other threads are very informative. I'd imagine had I been approaching it from the perspective of someone not attempting to develop much the same thing independent of you, there wouldn't have necessarily been any "speedbump" at all.

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To be honest, I'd imagine it's sort of how Thomas Edison might have felt if someone had showed up at his offices while he was working on the light bulb with state of the art energy efficient light bulbs from the 21st century. My first reaction was "preposterous!" Once you had explained your case in more detail, especially after elaborating on some of the questions others asked, I must consider the possibility that I've been "left in the dust" so to speak, and that my "D6 Amalgam" project has been made largely irrelevant.

 

Question for you - are you willing to share what you may have on D6 Amalgam? I am always looking for more ideas, because there's something my intuition is saying 'is missing' from D6 Dramatics?

 

I don't borrow ideas from other D6 variants without specific permission; the OGL is 'general permission', but I'd rather it be specific and case by case. (I'll cover this on another thread.)

 

While I'm trying to 'fill the void' left by the Eric and WEG 4, I'm aware that to GET traction as 'the leading build of D6', it's not only got to be a good design - it's got to be one that is accepted by the remnants of the D6 community.

 

Reading the threads on combat rules here pointed out one of the "There's a hole that needs to be filled" ideas, and I'll be hitting that in a bit. Skimming other RPG rule sets is also helping - on the other hand, you guys are MUCH more the 'traditionalist' school of D6 than I am, and I am paying particular attention to what you folks say 'works', 'doesn't work' and 'rubs like sand in the shorts'..

 

I am looking forward to seeing more of Dramatics, and the other threads are very informative. I'd imagine had I been approaching it from the perspective of someone not attempting to develop much the same thing independent of you, there wouldn't have necessarily been any "speedbump" at all.

 

This isn't directed specifically at you - but it is directed at everyone.

 

Anything I post here that's rules related - if you don't understand it, if it causes a mental speed bump, please tell me what made you go 'buh'. I've been working these rules for going on five years now. I know what I mean - that doesn't mean that I'm explaining it in the best way possible, and the biggest favor you guys can do is to tell me where I've been unnecessarily terse.

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Let's look at the 2D case.

 

Rolling 2D, there's 1 way to make a 12 (6,6), there's two ways to make an 11 (5,6 - 6,5), there are three ways to make a 10 (4,6,-5,5 - 6,4). This translates into 6 out of 36 (or a 1/6 chance) of beating a difficulty of 10.

 

For 2D succeeding on a 3-6 needing 2 successes, there is a 2/3 chance of a 2/3 chance that you'll succeed. This is 0.444, or ~45%. You're about 33% likelier to hit a difficulty target of 2 with D6L on 2D than you are to hit a difficulty target of 10 on 2D with D6C.

 

However, the problem is that D6L tended to add an extra die to each die code to hedge against the "Crap, nothing worked" problem...and their difficulty ladder didn't really change to go with it - someone did a quick and dirty conversion, said "Good enough..." and they ran with it.

 

Couple in 'die inflation' on D6L and the difficulty ladder kind of collapses.

 

Thanks for bearing with me on the math...I replied without taking the time to actually look at a few simple cases, which was my bad. I do think that the probabilities flip at some point...e.g. Easy tasks become easier in Classic than Legend once you hit three dice...but there's hardly any point in even considering cases like that. And, your point regarding the the D6L "dice creep" is well taken.

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First, this is all very interesting work…I like a lot of what is here.

 

I have been working on something very similar myself. I had decided to go with a “grittier” feel and make the success range 5 or 6 and keep the wild die.

 

In addition, altered the way the skills sat. I have made them more free floating like some other RPGS…meaning they don’t always adhere to the same attribute.

 

In addition I changed the way speciation worked for Legend to be a bit more like World of Darkness and provide just an extra 1d6 to the roll. Also…if you have 2 specializations in your skill set that could be “sold” to the GM as applying to the situation…you would get an “affinity” bonus that would lower the target number of the die to 4, 5 or 6.

 

Add into that the option for the wild die to explode on a 5 or 6 under certain conditions and it seems to make for some interesting sessions.

 

I also have been toying with the idea of making all “unskilled” rolls succeed on only rolls of 6. The wild die still factors in of course.

 

I am still working out the math…but the early play tests seem to work ok with a difficulty scale of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4-5, 6-7 and 8 as long as character points are available (as well as “hero points”).

 

In this model I have also been play-testing the idea that 1 cp adds a single wild die (but it cannot critically fail). 2 cp’s has had the option of the wild die exploding on 5 or 6 (not tested yet and math is pending).

 

Hero points would still work like “Force Points” used to…doubling the die pool.

 

This is a system I have been dabbling with for a couple of years now, but I have not been overly active until the last few months (been writing the setting for the last 2 years). Now I am just starting to get to the number crunching…saw this thread and thought I would get someone else’s 2 cents on these ideas.

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