This was an initial goal for the blog. I didn’t really know if I would hit 100 posts, but here I am. I’m traveling, but I thought I’d fit a quick post in today anyway, and maybe not one that’s just self-congratulatory for an accomplishment many have surpassed long ago.
So, I was thinking about FATE and how you roll 4d6 and count success as +1 and failure as -1, defined generally by a 1-2 = failure and 5-6 = success. I was thinking about how that compares to other systems, and how it might compare to 2d10.
This seems an awful lot like simply rolling a positive and a negative d4 (d4-d4), which would be less dice to roll, but more math to do (ok, slightly more math). I realize the math here comes out very different, and I also realize the highest a d4-d4 can net is 3 successes or 3 failures, but the analogy got me thinking. Specifically, it got me thinking about the d10-d10 mechanic. d4-d4 doesn’t leave a lot of room for modifiers, and maybe that’s the right approach for Lost Worlds. But maybe, instead of having a light and dark d10 you add together to get a range similar to d20, I use a d10-d10 system, where the average hovers nicely around 0. You can do this without having a dice pool of 10 dice (still only 2) and the curve isn’t quite so extreme (1% of max success vs something like .005% max success using a die pool). I’m actually considering having the 0 count as 0 not 10 on the d10 rolls.
Ok, so not much changed there math-wise, but I think maybe there’s a few nice benefits. First, it gives more contrast between the two dice. Second, if you still pull damage of the black die, the lower it is the more likely you hit, so it has an interesting inverse relationship with the attack roll.
On another track, maybe it would be a nice and simple mechanic to simply say the result of your roll is how much damage you do. If you end up with a positive number, you’re successful to a degree, and the number you finish with is also your damage. One issue I can think of with this is that you might end up having to take a d10-10+skill+modifier-enemy defense. That might be a few too many modifiers to the roll to keep nice and fast, especially since the last one isn’t known to the player – so I either have to simply tell them what it is (which may not be such a bad thing) or I have to do the last bit of mental math for them. Then, they can easily back into the number anyway unless I keep their damage secret from them as well.
Maybe, if the total score is X or higher, they do actual wound damage. So as a combat goes on, this reflects various attacks and dodges. Each attack, depending on the level of success, still might wear the opponent out, but only if they beat the defense score to they hit and start wounding (at least until they’ve exhausted their opponent).
Just a few core mechanic thoughts.
I’m also considering a three-dice system where the highest die is the damage for a large weapon, the middle die is the damage for a medium weapon, and the lowest die is the damage for a small weapon.