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Archive for the ‘Mechanics’ Category

The first aspect I wanted to address is the core mechanic of the game. There are so many core mechanics out there and all of them are excellent. So what did I decide on? Let me give you a bit of history (leave now if you have a short attention span). For the longest time I believed that perctentiles were the best mechanic to use. I mean c’mon anything can be explained in percentages. If I throw a rock, I have a skill chance of, let’s say 10% to hit something. If it’s close, I get a +10%; the ground, +99%. It’s so simple.

When I approched from a game design aspect I thought, wow that’s really hard. You have a base chance to hit of 23%, + 18% for proximity, -7% for windspeed, -15% for thrower’s velocity, + 16% for target’s stationary. Holy acidic dragon breath Batman, that’s a lot of math. So if you really think about it a +1% isn’t really all that exciting; likewise -1% is really that big of a handicap. So what is the natural thing to do? Make your increments by 5%. If you look at percentile base games, they do their adjustments in increments of 5%.

But is this not just a simple +1 or -1 on a d20 sliding scale?  YES! This made a d20 system gold in my mind… for a while. Then I got disillusioned with the static bonuses. For example, lets say there is a lock with a target number 11 to open. This gives my non-skilled character a 50/50 chance to open, it is a simple lock. After my character trains a while, to a skill of 5, he goes back and looks at the lock. He’s now got a 75% chance to open it. He goes and trains up to level 10 and now this look presents no problem cause he has 100% to open it. And that whole fail 5% at everything is also ludicrous in my mind.

So I started looking at mechanics that use multiples of the same dice. I little while ago, I calculated the average success rate with multiples of specific dice and varying degrees of Target Numbers. You can see the calculation at my Chance of Success page. I was naturally drawn to the d10 chance cause they are easily rationalized. This system is used in White Wolf’s World of Darkness games and AEG’s 7th Sea and Legend of the 5 Rings games. I then thought about using the not as familiar, honestly I do not know any, multi-d8 and multi-d12 system, which gives just about the same ratio of advancement (see the center TNs).

After much pondering and recanting, I decided on the d6. Why? First, d6′s are readily available. If a new gamer finds himself without dice to play, he can raid some board games and have some dice. Many other role-playing games use multiple d6′s and people will not have to buy new dice.  Second, the percentages are not all that much different. If I wanted to use multi-d12 with a TN of 11 or 12, it has the same percentages of a multi-d6 with a TN of 6. And Third, it feels right in my gut. Sure it may be indigestion, but when your gut speaks, it is always good to listen.

Comments are always welcome.