Monday, November 15, 2010

Let’s Talk About the Dice

Resolute is a 2D6 game. That’s its identity, and it’s something I feel like is not up for discussion.

In thinking about this, I’ve gone back and looked at much of my old Mythweaver stuff, and I really like the idea of the progressive dice system from Mythweaver. It works very well for that particular game. At level 1, you roll D6 for everything, while by level 20 you roll D20 for everything. This way, a level 4 and a level 12 character with the same ability score are not going to end up with the same average result; the level 12 hero is inherently cooler.

Two things about this for Resolute: A) Resolute is also a supers system and B) There are other ways to solve this.

In a supers system, you end up with a HUGE problem if you start scaling dice this way. As a for instance… let’s say that a level 1 hero with might +1 should be able to lift a good amount- we’ll put 500 lbs. out there as our benchmark. This is now difficulty rank 7. Your level 1 hero needs to roll his best result to get to 500 lbs. A level 1 hero with great might may have a rating of +5. Fair enough. So, you set your difficulty for 10 tons or so at DR 11. All well and good. However, you now have a level 10 hero, who rolls D12 for everything… even with might +0, just by virtue of being level 10, this hero can lift 10 tons nearly 20% of the time! Batman, who may only have might +1 or +2, is able to routinely lift hundreds of tons, because he rolls D20 for everything. The scaling is all wrong for a supers game.

An alternate way to solve this is to give upper-level heroes discretionary points to add to rolls as needed. Your level 10 hero still only rolls 2D6 + his ability; even if that ability is only +1 or +2, he still has the opportunity to beat a lower-level hero because of his access to hero points (or whatever these become in the game going forward). These become the equalizer. They are something that has to be in the game going forward in some way, and I have several ideas about how to make that work.

Right now, my instinct is to take this out of the reward system (where it is now) and also take this out of its connections to level (you get discretionary bonus points based on your level). Instead, your hero points (or what I’m calling Resolve right now, since this fits with the game’s title best- your resolve is how well you do extraordinary things- well duh! Perfectly appropriate for a game called “Resolute”) are an ability you buy. Now, Batman has as much Resolve as the Hulk has strength… how the heck is he able to fight his way out of the Hulk’s bear hug, when the Hulk has might +12 and Batman has +2? Because he spent one of his many Resolve points (because his Resolve is up in the +10 range) and was able to counter the Hulk for this one action.

1 comment:

  1. In general I like the idea of a pool of some sort that less super-stats, but still very competent (e.g. Batman) people use to balance them.

    So long as the mechanics were balanced so that things you see in comics (Batman standing toe to toe in a fight with Superman) play out smoothly I think it'd be great.

    As for the actual dice, I would agree with your initial statement that the current system is fundamental to Resolute. In fact the dice system with it's dynamic target number system and multiples thereof is actually why I bought your pdfs. It seemed very interesting to me and a great way to handle high action/exploding results.