Jump to content
D6 Online 3.0
AslanC

Star Trek D6 Design Thread

Recommended Posts

So after kicking the can around and looking at every possible variation of roleplaying system (official and unofficial) for Star Trek, I still feel that nothing scratches that itch like D6/Mini-Six.

 

So rolling up my sleeves, I figured the best way to go was to design it here. Normally I would do it on my blog, but I need more input from those who know the rules well and have experience hacking D6 to do what they wish.

 

So let's get going.

 

Mission Statement: My goal is to create a fun, fast and exciting set of Star Trek rules using D6 that take the best aspects of D6 (all versions), maintains simplicity and captures the spirit of Star Trek from the first Pilot all the way up to the latest movie.

 

My first consideration is which way to go, Legend or Normal D6? I choose normal, even though I prefer Legend, for something like Star Trek I feel I need the +1 and +2 aspects. I have even seen some people break it down further to +3, +4 and +5, though I would need to know more about the math on this before saying yes.

 

Second consideration, and this is a BIG one, is what attributes to use, thereby determining the skills. Star Trek is a perfect storm of the body, the mind and spirit of its characters. So much so that in the original series Spock is the Mind, McCoy is the Spirit who both advise Kirk, who as the Body, acts. Side note is that some of the best episodes are when one of them plays against their role and becomes one of the others.

 

So we need to qualify these three aspects of the character.

 

Big Eyes Small Mouth (BESM) was a game that only used those three attributes, Body, Mind and Spirit (Soul), to great success. Could that work here? Would it allow for enough variety of characters, or would they become all "samey" after a point? Also, how would someone who is strong, but slow be represented? Or an Intelligent but uneducated person? And what about the Charismatic vs. those with a strong Willpower?

 

Let me throw that out as the first question;

 

If you were to do this, what Attributres would you use?

 

Secondary question;

 

If you were to use just Body, Mind and Spirit (Soul), how would you handle things like strength, speed, reactions, knowledge, intuition, charisma, willpower, etc... ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're finding one of the challenges of Star Trek: creating something that encompasses both the active aspect of the genre, and the mental aspects of the genre. Yet you (generic you) want the variety of things so you don't have a bunch of characters being the same.

 

Tough to do well.

 

What attributes would I use?

 

Well, I could work with the Body, Mind, Soul, but that would require a metric ton of skills to provide the appropriate differences between the various positions aboard a starship. Otherwise you get a character with a good "Mind" being able to do all the stuff of the Chief Engineer as well as all the stuff of the Chief Science Officer.

 

If you go with more attributes, something like: Might, Wits, Mind, Charm, Smarts .... you get more granularity and can use less skills by representing the various positions with greater or lesser influence with particular attributes.

 

So a Captain of a ship might have a focus in Wits and Charm. The Science Officer would have Mind and Smarts, the Chief Engineer has a focus of Smarts and Might. The Chief Medical Officer has Mind and Charm.

You throw in a few skills under each, you probably don't need much, and you can have that diversity you're shooting for.

 

Of course, this diversity might require some tweaking of how a character is created. You might need to start with "Pick your Specialty" before the attributes are taken. Then the character gets 4D to allocate to their focus attributes, 3D to allocate to TWO other attributes, and 2D to allocate to the final attribute. So that way each character has a strength and weakness (something very appropriate to Star Trek). Then, just for a final variance, let a person allocate an additional 4 pips to any of the attributes (including the 4D attributes). That way there's difference between everyone.

 

Then you can figure out what skills you want to include to account for the VAST array of things that can go on in a Star Trek game...all while keeping the skill list short (like 3-5 skills per attribute at most).

 

Figure out what sorts of Perks would be good to include to account of specialty of training. Say Chief Engineer automatically gains a Perk of "Gimme 105% on the engines!" which allows the Chief to do special augmentations (and/or repairs) to warp engines, above what a normal skill roll would do). And a Chief Medical Officer might get the perk of "I'm a doctor not a miracle worker" which lets them perform surgeries to either heal someone very quickly, or even bring someone back from the dead if the surgery is just in the nick of time.

 

Basically, you could give Perks for free to the positions that are most important to the ship operations. The normal peons aboard the ship wouldn't get these special perks, they'd just have skills or have to purchase Perks as normal. Only those that became the department heads would get the special perks.

 

That way you can get even more differences for the various positions AND keep the amount of skills needed for the game to a low amount.

 

Hope this helps with some ideas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been kicking around an idea to do away with Skills and instead replace them with phrases and categories. The phrases could be anything that describes the character in some way. Each phrase must fit in one of the categories. When building a dice pool, you add the dice from whichever attribute best fits the roll, and then one die for each category that has a phrase that applies (only one die per category regardless of how many phrases are applicable). The categories would be something like "Core Concept", "Background", "Aptitudes", etc. This would do away with having to have a laundry list of skills for the various starship roles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think doing away with skills and replacing them with descriptives is the way I want to go. Certainly that is a trend in rpgs these days, falling out from FATE mostly, and I see the value, but I choose D6 for just a bit more crunch than that.

 

Grimace, I think you may have something, but I am not sure I want multiple Intelligence related stats, I think it always breaks down best as one for problem solving, one for noticing things and one for information... same thing for physical, something about physical strength, reflexes/speed and overall constitution and then for the third one something like charisma, general willpower and maybe an empathy stat, for relating to others.

 

I dunno, any thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know in the game I am working on which will be released as a D6 OGL product (more like d6 legend than regular d6), I chose to go with three stats and allowed for cross referencing of skills. The three stats were Body, Mind, and Spirit. The subdivisions of these actually come from skills. Also I eliminated a bunch of narrow skills and allowed for them to be cross referenced stat wise. For instance lockpicking was eliminated. How do you get to pick a lock? Well to know how to pick a lock you need to know a little something about locks, so Craft: Locksmithing covers that. Instead of using Mind+Craft: Locksmithing, you would use Body+Craft: Locksmithing to pick a lock. Likewise you could have a high Body with no Lifting. Well guess what you might have some natural muscle but clearly you are no bodybuilder. The skills chosen help define the specifics of the character, and his areas of excellence. I don't see the need to have six, nine, 12, or 15 attributes (Champions, Rolemaster, I'm looking at you).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Grimace, I think you may have something, but I am not sure I want multiple Intelligence related stats, I think it always breaks down best as one for problem solving, one for noticing things and one for information... same thing for physical, something about physical strength, reflexes/speed and overall constitution and then for the third one something like charisma, general willpower and maybe an empathy stat, for relating to others.

 

I dunno, any thoughts?

 

Well, I was only throwing the ideas of attributes out as an example. Pick whatever set of attributes best suits what you have in mind for the game. Less granularity or more granularity. The less you have, the greater chance you have of there being characters that are all pretty much the same character with just a different name and one or two different skills.

 

So if you don't want multiple Intelligence stats, don't use it.

Like you said, one for problem solving, one for noticing, and one for info. One for power, one for speed, and one for durability. You could also throw in the extras like the one for social interaction, one for mental capabilities.

 

Do what works for the game YOU are designing.

 

And if you find, after choosing a set, that maybe it's too much crunch, never be afraid to trim some. Pick what works BEST for what you're attempting to convey in the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Grimace, I am detecting a hint of negativity in your post. I hope I am wrong and you don't think I was dismissing your ideas. I was merely continuing the conversation, and hopefully evolving it.

 

If I misread your post, let's chalk it up to the limits of text to convey inflection.

 

Let me know and let's continue the chat.

 

Also, no one has said anything about expanding the + beyond +2, has this topic not been examined here before? I am le curious :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent, now let's get back to it :)

 

What are you feelings, concerns and insights on expanding the Pips to include +3 or +4 or +5?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For some things I can see added pips. I've done such for damage and resistance (such as for hull) but I've never done it for actual skill growth.

 

So I've created and used weapons with 2D+3 damage and other things that resist as 4D+4. But I've never attempted to have more than +2 when it comes to skill. It basically alters the growth of characters and usefulness of Character Points awarded during the game if you add more pips to skills. So you need to take that into consideration if you decide to use more than a +1 and +2 for skills and attributes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
> +2 pips is pretty similar to the Die Code simplification chart listed in the backs of the Adventure/Space/Fantasy books

 

I looked it over, not quite groking how it relates to this question, can you elaborate please? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it only relates in that you get a static bonus greater than +2 on a roll. One way to adapt it would be to give an extra +1 every 6 pips to keep it even with the mean d6 result.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The mean roll of a d6 is 3.5. A die should really split into 3.5 pips. The reason it does not is because you can't really use half a pip. However, that is the reason that the die code chart alternates between adding 4 and adding 3.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I see the math, how does that relate to my question of using +3, +4, etc... to expand the skill range for diversity amongst characters?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at the numbers, you could basically have the following situations apply.

 

Currently:

2D increases to 2D+1

Then 2D+2

Then 3D.

 

Not counting Wild Die results, an "average" roll currently at those levels goes:

7

8

9

10/11 (the true value is 10.5, but since you can't roll a half on a die, it's a 10 or 11)

 

Using greater ranges of pips you have (using 3 pip increases first):

2D

Then 2D+1

Then 2D+2

Then 2D+3

Then up to 3D

 

So using the averages, you have:

7

8

9

10

10/11

 

See what it does there?

 

Now going with 4 pip before increase, we have:

2D

2D+1

2D+2

2D+3

2D+4

then 3D

 

Or, using averages:

7

8

9

10

11

10/11

 

So you see that you could actually go DOWN in your average roll.

So while the top end (again, not counting Wild Die rolls) still works, it's the "average" rolls where it begins to get a little messy with the numbers.

 

Current

12

13

14

18

 

With 3 pips in between:

12

13

14

15

18

 

And with 4 pips in between:

12

13

14

15

16

18

 

 

Now, all that being said, this is only a more serious issue at lower dice levels.

 

At 1D, those +3 or +4 pips can EASILY make a single die with bonuses be more beneficial than 2D without pips.

At 2D, the effect of those additional pips is still there, but become slightly less pronounced.

At 3D, it's nearly on parity between the 3D with bonus pips and the 4D average.

At 4D you begin to get a slight edge by increasing to the next die code instead of sticking with the extra pips.

At 5D the game pretty much works as normal for the numbers.

 

 

So while the number could work, if you don't mind the slight dips that occur at lower dice levels, you also need to consider other things.

 

Difficulty charts.

Currently the difficulty charts are geared on a 2D average scale. If you begin to throw in more pips between, you're raising the overall average amount that a character can roll. This means that they could achieve higher difficulties, on average, easier with the added pips. So consider that.

 

Character Points awarded.

Depending on how long you've been playing D6, you may have already found a "comfort zone" for handing out character points during the game. So let's say you found that 9 CPs was a good amount. It gave the players enough to use during the game to augment rolls, and still have some left for character advancement....but not too much so the characters didn't rocket up in skill dice.

Well, by increasing the number of pips, it now increases the amount of CPs needed to reach that higher die code. Instead of 6 CPs to go from 2D to 3D, it could cost upwards of 10 CPs. So that "comfort zone" of CPs you've been handing out now isn't enough to decently provide character advancement. You may have to increase the amount of CPs you give out in a game, and will likely have to do a fair bit of trial and error on the amounts.

 

New stats for things.

Now that you're opening up additional pips, are you going to open that same option for all of the NPCs? What about equipment? This may require a lot of stat reworking to get everything in line.

 

 

So while it can be done, it could be a lot of work to do it. I'm not suggesting you DON'T do it, I just wanted to make is obvious what might be in store for you if you do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[snip]

 

Oh, I misread the OP. I thought he was talking about pips being independent of the die code. i.e. you can go to +3 or you can go up an extra die. If you are planning on having 1D, 1D+1, 1D+2, 1D+3, ..., 2D. Then it makes your stat progression go wonky. You could switch it from D6 to D(something else) and add more pips, but then you aren't really playing D6.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How does adding +3 make it go wonky? Seems, based on the math, that it wouldn't really upset the apple cart. And yeah, that's what I was talking about :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am very happy that I found this thread. I have been thinking of doing an ST adaption with the Mini Six rules set from Antipaladin games. Right now I am looking over how to design the main attributes, I am thinking instead of Agility, Might, etc. Have things like Command, Sciences, Medical, etc. THen players can specialize within those boundaries. I can add a Combat Ops category to account for all the combaty stuff. I will be basing the skills and races off of the FASA material since I am designing this to be used for the Abramsverse. I will be watching this thread and I will be happy to help develop. I will be posting my workings to my blog www.hexgeneration.com while I am working on this.

 

THank OP for getting this discussion going

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Command, Sciences, Medical, etc. THen players can specialize within those boundaries. I can add a Combat Ops category to account for all the combaty stuff.

 

How about splitting it along the Starfleet division lines (Command, Sciences, Operations) and then skills to specialize within those. If you don't like that, then may I suggest "Tactical" or "Security" as the name for the combat category instead of Combat Ops.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How about splitting it along the Starfleet division lines (Command, Sciences, Operations) and then skills to specialize within those. If you don't like that, then may I suggest "Tactical" or "Security" as the name for the combat category instead of Combat Ops.

 

That is what I am indeed doing. I will post the first of my ideas to my blog tonight and then try to update every few days.

I am doing it along the lines of Star Fleet. The hardest part will to be able to balance points when designing an officer. Points have to be spent on Perks (which will include Race) and I will have to incorporate a rank system. Please check out my post on www.hexgeneration.com I would love some feed back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...