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Grimace

A new "modular" D6

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So I've been batting around the idea of coming up with a new "modular" type of D6. It would be similar to what the D6 System book did, but more organized and would include a completed system for people to use, along with some sample settings.

 

I had a bit of time to kill this afternoon, so I jotted down some notes. I figured I'd share and see what people thought; see if it makes sense to people.

 

“It’s Not Rocket Science”

This game is easy to learn, simple to teach, and gives people the ability to play games in a variety of settings.

 

The mechanics are simple:

Roll a number of dice equal to a character’s skill total. If the number rolled equals or exceeds the difficulty number of the task, you succeed! If it’s lower than the difficulty, you fail the task.

 

That’s it!

 

That little bit is the barest bones basic of the D6 system. Upon that simple, yet stable, base framework, you can add more layers of detail on to the rules.

 

 

A Difficulty Chart gives people an idea of how challenging a task is.

 

Performing more than 1 action in a round (a period of 5 seconds in-game), dice are lost from that which you would normally roll.

 

Scales allow for bigger things to become more durable, but easier to hit. Smaller things become easier to damage, but more difficult to hit.

 

An injury to a character reduces the amount of dice that would normally be rolled.

 

All of the above, and more, are options that you can add to the basic framework of D6. This allows you to make the game as basic or as detailed as you want.

 

Let me know if you think it's worded plainly and captures the simplicity of what D6 is.

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Pretty sweet!

 

I always thought the d6 cookbook included too much of some things and not enough of others... it would have been fairly easy to have a generic finished game (sort of a Maxi-Six) rather than leaving so much to do-it-yourself.

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Looks good to me!

 

So I've been batting around the idea of coming up with a new "modular" type of D6. It would be similar to what the D6 System book did, but more organized and would include a completed system for people to use, along with some sample settings.

 

I think that is a great idea. While more experienced GMs may find much use for Toolkit type products, most GMs are more interested in having the work done for them.

 

Sample settings is a vital part. This was really the achilles heel of WEG ever since the days of Star Wars and TORG.

 

-Havard

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I appreciate the comments, guys.

 

I was thinking of working the book into three parts.

 

Part 1 - The Basics

Part 2 - Improvements

Part 3 - Advanced Options

 

"Basics" would include things like:

Running a game: normal pace and “game rounds” of 5 seconds

Making a Character: allocate 18D to attributes and 7D to skills, with racial min/max

Attributes: what they do and how they can be altered

Skills: what they do, how they work, and which to use for settings

Difficulty Chart: 5 = Very Easy, 10 = Easy, 15 = Moderate, 20 = Difficult, 25 = Very Difficult, 30 = Heroic

Multiple Actions: penalty for extra actions in a round

Luck: 1D different color from the others, for Good Luck and Bad Luck

Movement: in meters per round and sometimes kilometers per hour

Damage: roll damage, roll to resist damage, and injury

 

 

"Improvements" would include things like:

Damage Types: for technology and flavor

Wounds: consequences of injury, healing

Fatigue: for a hint of realism

Encumbrance: for games where it matters

Scales: for differences in sizes and durability of things

Focus Skills: increasing skills and character specialization

Health: for tracking character life

Fear: for scary things

Racing: going faster than “Move” rating

Vehicles: for transportation and combat

Combat Options: cover, concealment, moving targets, auto-fire, recoil, two weapons, increased damage

Quick Success: double skill dice = auto roll for success to help reduce rolls

Special Abilities: adding flavor to characters

Improving Characters: character points

Extranormal: magic, psionics, etc.

 

 

And "Advanced Options" would include things like:

Hit Locations: for added damage or more detailed injuries

Expertise & Mastery: for even further differences in characters

Veteran Points: track character growth and allow new characters to better integrate in group

Performance Level: differences not compensated for by scale, based more on technology

Penetration: negates armor

 

 

Basics are picked for as simple a game as you want, up to and including all of the basics

Improvements can be picked in assorted varieties in order to add particular things to games as you need/want them.

Advanced Options would be picked for those wanting much more detail and crunch.

 

A person could pick one or two, none, some, or all. But all options would simply build upon the simplest, most stable framework and keep learning the game simple.

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I don't even think that a sample setting is the way to go. A fully fleshed out setting with rules designed specifically for the setting is in my opinion the way to do it. The rules should support a style of play, in fact they should encourage it, and the switch over from game mechanics to telling a story should be fluid and consistent. Ultimately the setting is what sells, but the rules have to be tailored to it. The generic here are four sample settings in eight pages, just lack the meat necessary to draw a fan base.

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The generic here are four sample settings in eight pages, just lack the meat necessary to draw a fan base.

 

I appreciate the comment on the caution. I will say that I wasn't planning on the "sample settings" to be two, four, or even 8 pages, but to be a much more detailed setting that would demonstrate what could be done using the D6 system. So each setting would be as many pages as would be necessary to quite thoroughly explain the setting, provide ideas for games, and demonstrate various options that would be ideal for the setting. I guess they would be more in line with a "pocket setting" sort of thing, where the background, mechanics, equipment, character generation, NPCs and adventure hooks would all be included. They just wouldn't be so thorough and detailed to include EVERYTHING that could possibly be in the setting, like a setting book would have.

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Well, I'm guessing right now, as I haven't put much more thought into it, that mostly the mechanics would be open, but I'd probably also have one or two as open, just as Mini Six did. That way there could be other people expanding upon it if they wanted to.

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So this concept of developing a new "modular" d6 feels as though we are beating a dead horse, (as a community). Instead of making settings and worlds, there is a strong focus on game mechanics; where we can all agree that not all community members will agree on any kind of standard, and thus not find community support. It seems best to get a bunch of people that agree on some game mechanics (mutually), and write a game setting and world together, hashing out the mechanics as the setting(s) and world(s) develop.

 

Keeping OpenD6 moving is going to market with OpenD6 products that inspire people to use d6 gaming instead of the other games. Getting finished stuff into the hands of gamers is integral to d6 gaming. I am happy to rally behind new settings and new worlds, but it is difficult to rally behind new game mechanics alone, without giving them a purposeful intent. As noted above, this was the largest deficit WEG had in trying to move D6 forward.

 

An example of what I mean "giving them a purposeful intent": I had to develop new game mechanics with Westward to specifically address the way Steamechs work, both in Scale, and in functionality as Vehicles. They do not follow all the same logical paths of functionality that a "car" might, and thus they required new game mechanics. I had a purpose for the rules and developing and honing them made sense to do. Developing "Mech Rules" without Westward in context, would become trivial however, since the limitations in technology that center around a Steampunk-Western with limited resources would not matter in other game world or setting contexts.

 

I am not saying to not make another d6 variant to suit your needs, nor am I condemning it. I am say that it, like any game mechanic should have those needs publicly shared with others as defined stories, worlds, and settings. Without that, they are not much more than good articles, ideas, or forum posts for others to consume and adopt.

 

- J.

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You hit on an interesting point...one which I generally agree with.

 

Mechanics for the sake of mechanics, mean little. People can easily disregard mechanics that just float around waiting to be plugged, possibly haphazardly, into a setting.

 

Mechanics that WORK in a setting, and a setting to allow those mechanics to used to great benefit, make a lot more sense and give purpose to those mechanics. Without settings to demonstrate the mechanics, there's not much reason for the mechanics.

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I know I may sound hypocritical in some of my discussion above (given my past promotion of our d6 variants), but I do want to emphasize that d6 variations were actually developed around IPs, and it works amazingly with them. We never acquired rights to publish under these IPs, and therefore never publicly released it. We took the game mechanics, realizing that we could make changes and apply it to other worlds and settings, so thats what we've done.

 

We continue to adapt and make changes to game mechanics as we develop more games.

 

I am eager to see original new game worlds and settings from other people, so that way, I can just down and enjoy game instead of having to invent it.

 

- J.

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