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D6JasonJPatterson

Wound/Penalty Dice

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My other thread about the Wild Die alternatives notwithstanding, I had an idea on this and wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts.

 

I use the Wounds system exclusively for my Open D6 gaming stuff. Ordinarily, each Wound removes 1D off all rolls. I had a seed of an alternate idea.

 

Each Wound turns one of your dice for any task into a "negative Wild Die" or Penalty Die or some other name (I thought of Vex Die but its abbreviation is VD so maybe not...). A PD works the opposite of the WD, and must be a different color. You count up the face just like the WD unless you roll its minimum (1), which I guess is an Implode, at which point you remove it and your highest die (including the Wild Die...?). Open D6 seems to allow for 3-5 Wounds before death, depending on flavor of game, so your 4D Blaster might be all Wild Dice of a sort; 1 WD and 3 PD. This works if your PD (Wounds) are 1 less than your skill roll, so the PD fill in for each normal die and the WD is left alone.

 

The problems with this are if your PD is equal to or more than you have skill. One possibility is adding the "bad 1 Tough Break" implode mechanic to the WD (I don't normally like to include it but this would make sense), so a 1 Implodes and a 6 Explodes. The problem with this is, it won't account for more than 1 Wound, proportionally. What if you have 3 Wounds?

 

The two options I see are:

1. Characters are larger than life heroes that only suffer the effects of 1 Wound, even with 4.

 

2. Increase Implode range on die or WD. Have 2 Wounds? 1-2 Implodes. 3 Wounds? 1-3. An added possibility is removing the number of high dice equal to your PD roll, so if you had 3 Wounds and rolled 1 on your PD, you'd only remove the single highest die, but if you rolled a 2, you'd remove your two highest. The downside here is that the 1 is the best result, Penalty wise, rather than the worst, as is symmetrical with the opposite of the 6.

 

Another possibility altogether is to just add Wound/Penalty die to a roll, that don't add to the roll, but are used as "significators", meaning they only have an effect if one rolls a 1. The downside here, obviously, is adding yet more dice to a dice pool game that many people already say can get out of hand.

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That's a different idea, for sure. You'd obviously need to test it quite a bit. My initial thought would be that it will make things slower. Instead of rolling dice and adding them up, you now have to roll dice, add some, subtract others, adjust some based on the number rolled, add some based on the number rolled.

 

All in all, if you're looking for a way to speed things up, I don't know if this will be it. But CERTAINLY give it a try out, in person, first to see how it actually works.

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Those are good observations, thanks much again for your thoughts, Grimace. Do most people just remove a die or add difficulty for each Wound in most d6 games, or do people even apply Wound penalties much? Just looking at some alternatives for various mechanics.

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When I used wound penalties in "Standard" D6 games I always used a fixed value. -1D was a flat -3 to the skill roll, quick and dirty. It was a real penalty, but it was one for which the GM and the Player could account for. Subracting full dice removes the luck factor, and the imploding Wild Die you suggested can result in an even bigger swing in results. For me at least the thing that moved me from regular D6 to D6 Legends being my preferred option was partly the wild swing in results as you added die. A static penalty helps ameliorate that. Of course YMMV.

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I always use the standard -1D per Wound level. Easier on the players, as they don't need to worry about subtracting a certain amount or anything. They roll 1 less die, or 2 less dice, and just add up things normally.

 

I can see the reasoning behind using a static reduction per wound, as that way the players never have to worry about rolling any more or less dice than what is listed on their character sheet. I wouldn't be adverse to using a static reduction, since I'm also the type of person that prefers the "die cap" method of scaling (thus keeping the number of dice rolled the same as what's listed on the character sheet). I just think I'd increase the penalty to a -4 instead of a -3. Obviously the choice is up to the particular GM.

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Thanks for the replies, guys, they lay out a pretty good case of keeping things standard. While the "simple" side of me prefers the idea of simply remove a die per penalty, as it is symmetrically easy, practically, I can see that upping Difficulty is more fair and would help represent high cinematic type play, which I prefer. I think unless a compelling reasons comes up to do otherwise, I'll go with a static TN increase, probably of 3 in keeping with giving the PCs credit for being "big deals".

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These days, I favour simply not using Wound penalties, for the following reasons:

1) Players feel more free to spend CPs on dice rolls, instead of hoarding them for soaking damage.

2) Players aren't as afraid of getting into fights (which is important for the genre my games are set in).

3) Battles aren't as liable to be decided by lucky rolls, and a weaker fighter isn't further penalized by the difference in skill with his opponent.

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