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Balancing the Dice


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#1 neilgfoster

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 02:38 PM

Hi all,

 

I know there has been discussions about how the balance of the WFRP dice do not lend themselves very well to opposed checks, and that people have suggested alternative rules or even been looking at using the SW:EotE dice as as alternative.

 

So, I thought that I would have a go at seeing if it is possible to 're-balance' the WFRP dice by adjusting their probabilities while minimizing the impact on the rest of the game.

 

I have set-up a copy of my dice roller in which I have slightly modified the probabilities. The dice roller is located here:

 

http://www.theforbid...E/balanced.html

 

and here's the quick link to the probability calculator:

 

http://www.theforbid...ntecarlo=100000

 

So far, all I have modified is the probability of the challenge die, bringing it closer in-line with the characteristic die. This means the rules for checks change slightly:

 

  • Opposed checks: Add a number of dice equal to the opposing characteristic.
  • Melee/Ranged Attacks: Now become opposed checks instead the default of 1 challenge.
  • Unopposed checks: Difficulty increases by 1

 

Now, I'm sure this probably causes loads of other issues, so I am interesting in getting feedback from people who know the game better than I, including whether people think other aspects of the game are not very well balanced.

 

So have a look and all feedback welcome!


Edited by neilgfoster, 18 July 2013 - 02:50 PM.

WFRP3E Ruleset for Fantasy Grounds 2: http://www.theforbid...oleplay-v3.html

WFRP3E Google Hangout Dice Roller: http://www.theforbid...oleplay-v3.html

WFRP3E Character Sheet: http://www.theforbid...oleplay-v3.html

 


#2 Emirikol

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 03:12 PM

I think the reason people worry about the opposed checks is they think it's too easy.  "Too easy" is just up for debate.

 

You didn't change the probabilities on your original dice roller did you?  I mean, the original is still statistically equivalent to using dice right?

 

jh


Edited by Emirikol, 19 July 2013 - 03:13 PM.


#3 neilgfoster

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 12:33 AM

The original hasn't changed. The links above are to a different version which I am tinkering with

WFRP3E Ruleset for Fantasy Grounds 2: http://www.theforbid...oleplay-v3.html

WFRP3E Google Hangout Dice Roller: http://www.theforbid...oleplay-v3.html

WFRP3E Character Sheet: http://www.theforbid...oleplay-v3.html

 


#4 r_b_bergstrom

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 05:54 PM

I think the reason people worry about the opposed checks is they think it's too easy. 

 

Which is just plain weird, given that most opposed checks end up with 1 to 2 purple difficulty.  Default difficulty for most other actions is actually lower than that. Attacks are 1 purple, and there's plenty of printed action cards with zero difficulty. I'm not disagreeing with you, I've heard the same complaints and I just don't understand them. If you raise the difficulty on opposed checks you're basically making those actions just that much worse than all the other action cards. Seems weird to me.

 

A better reason to be unhappy with opposed checks is because they're asymmetrical, especially if one or both participants have lots of yellow dice (since the defender's yellows turn black). If I roll Stealth vs your Observation, it favors me. If you roll Observation vs my Stealth it favors you. Same contest, but very different rolls and results. Unless this is directed by an action card, there's no clear-cut rule for who should get to roll and who merely provides difficulty in any given situation. There's also technically nothing that stops you from asking for an Observation check after I pass my advantageous Stealth roll. It can get a little ugly.



#5 Emirikol

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 09:49 PM

Supposedly in the original playtest there was an orange die which was the antithesis of the yellow die.  It probably go hacked when they said "enough dice!"  :)

 

Any suggested fixes?

 

jh



#6 neilgfoster

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 03:43 AM

It was the asymmetrical opposed checks that I was trying to balance, rather than the difficulty of opposed checks themselves. The modified dice roller reduces the difficulty of the challenge dice, but the probabilities are still slightly harder than a characteristic die in order to try and account for stance, plus the fact that an expertise die is far better than misfortune.

 

Of course, I could balance them by bringing back the infamous Orange die which would be the negative counterpart of the Expertise die. Might be interesting to see how the game might have played if they had left it in.


WFRP3E Ruleset for Fantasy Grounds 2: http://www.theforbid...oleplay-v3.html

WFRP3E Google Hangout Dice Roller: http://www.theforbid...oleplay-v3.html

WFRP3E Character Sheet: http://www.theforbid...oleplay-v3.html

 


#7 Emirikol

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 10:16 AM

So, here's what we're thinking right?

 

A thief with Stealth:  characteristic1.pngcharacteristic1.pngcharacteristic1.pngexpertise2.png

should have exactly a 50/50 chance of sneaking by 

 

A Watchman with Observation:characteristic1.pngcharacteristic1.pngcharacteristic1.pngexpertise2.png

 

Why not just skip the convolution and just have both sides roll and see who wins?

 

jh


Edited by Emirikol, 25 July 2013 - 10:24 AM.

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#8 valvorik

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 07:28 AM

Then problem with competitive check is losing the tasty challenge die result, unless perhaps you say that either side, winning or losing, can use a comet they did not use for success or boon to give the other a chaos star. That does mean only risking it against a trained opponent, or NPCS using expertise die.

I would not change combat as I think it works fine.

Edited by valvorik, 27 July 2013 - 07:29 AM.


#9 willmanx

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 05:48 AM

Here's our houserule for balanced opposed check :

  • Add a number of challenge dice equal to half the opposing characteristic (use misfortune dice when there's a comma).
  • Add 1 misfortune dice per rank of the passive character's expertise

Try it on the only proba app.



#10 Gallows

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 07:31 AM

My house rules for opposed checks and the challenge die.

 

Reading the challenge die: Chaos star = [Chaos star + 1 Challenge] The chaos star can also have a variety of effects decided by the GM. Each chaos star adds/removes an extra recharge token to the card you used.

 

Opposed checks rebalancing
To find the difficulty of an opposed check you add the opponent’s relevant characteristic and skill, divide by two and round up.(Char + skill)/2 – round up. Add misfortune for skill as normal.


#11 Pedro Lunaris

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 01:46 PM

If opposite checks were turned in two checks without difficulty (or against a set difficulty, say, of 1, so chaos stars can be generated) I would miss the focus on the character that called the action. That's one thing I think WHFP 3ed and Saga System have in common, some focus in the players rolling as NPC's actions are added to that roll as difficulty (in the case of Saga System, only players roll). I like this feature a lot.

What do you think about adding a challenge die for each rank the opposed character have in the relevant skill? Or two misfortune dice instead of one (preserving the chaos star)?

 

Going beyond opposite checks... I do miss second edition's flavor about characters missing more than they hit. I know heroes are supposed to make incredible scenes, but I do think it's more fun and also has more to do with a grim scenario that everyone misses a lot.

I'm thinking about testing increasing every difficulty in 1. That would mean tests against defence would have a set difficulty of 2, and spells would have a set difficulty of 1. The fluff of it would be getting closer to second edition's approach to combat: that one attack roll isn't one swing of your weapon, but one attempt to inflict damage that compromises some exchange of blows. That approach understands that in one roll the target of the attack is trying to defend himself, thus increasing difficulty. The use of the active defences would be an extra and more expert attempt of defence. And, if the target of the attack is unaware that he is going to be attacking, difficulty would be only 1 purple dice - and easy task.

What do you think? Is someone using something like this?



#12 r_b_bergstrom

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 02:08 PM

I accidentally played with higher difficulty early on. Misinterpreted what they meant when they said "Average" difficulty is 2 dice. It was not an improvement. So many PCs falling off the end of piers or out of trees. Certain location cards became really dangerous, and spellcasting was suicidal. The total difficulty wasn't a problem, just the increased frequency of Chaos Stars.

 

That said, simply buffing up the potency of active defenses would probably work out okay.

 

The math of the Red dice works out such that they only keep up with the green dice if the pool is small or the difficulty high. For low-difficulty high-characteristic rolls using action cards, green dice are much better. The bonus successes the red dice add are usually wasted (only the first 3 successes matter). Increasing defenses could help even that out. That is a "balancing the dice" issue, but I suppose it's a little off-topic for this thread. My bad.


Edited by r_b_bergstrom, 05 August 2013 - 02:09 PM.


#13 willmanx

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 03:06 PM

Every useless success might be an extra damage like the star wars rpg

#14 khaali

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 05:01 PM

This discussion is very interesting. I also think the opposed check difficulty should be more balanced.
 I do like the proposition of Willmanx using half the opposing charac +1 misfortune per expertise and I'll give it a try in my next session.  

 

About the question of the high number of successes, what about offering the option to turn 4 successes into a sigmar's comet?
Those successes would be consumed this way, so you need at least 5 successes to do it, and then it turns 5 successes into 1 success and 1 Sigmar's comet.
It's interesting because it has a impact on every action that have a use for a sigmar's comet, and it increases the value of red dices.


Edited by khaali, 05 August 2013 - 05:01 PM.


#15 Pedro Lunaris

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 08:24 AM

I accidentally played with higher difficulty early on. Misinterpreted what they meant when they said "Average" difficulty is 2 dice. It was not an improvement. So many PCs falling off the end of piers or out of trees. Certain location cards became really dangerous, and spellcasting was suicidal. The total difficulty wasn't a problem, just the increased frequency of Chaos Stars.

 

That said, simply buffing up the potency of active defenses would probably work out okay.

 

The math of the Red dice works out such that they only keep up with the green dice if the pool is small or the difficulty high. For low-difficulty high-characteristic rolls using action cards, green dice are much better. The bonus successes the red dice add are usually wasted (only the first 3 successes matter). Increasing defenses could help even that out. That is a "balancing the dice" issue, but I suppose it's a little off-topic for this thread. My bad.

 

Thanks once again for your views. I'll discuss this with my players, we'll be probably playing this next weekend, coming back to our campaing. I'm inclined to give it a test and see the results. I'll come back with my impressions.

About the reckless dice, your description seems fair. I was imagining someone being reckless with simple things. It seems interesting to me that a reckless stance would make a real difference in troublesome situations, but that it would be advisable not to be reckless with easy tasks.



#16 r_b_bergstrom

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 04:18 PM

Every useless success might be an extra damage like the star wars rpg

 

The GM's Toolkit has an optional rule that's similar. Each extra success is +1 damage, up to a maximum damage bonus equal to your Ranks in the relevant skill.  I proposed using that rule to one of my players, and he balked at the idea, since PCs are so fragile already. He kinda has a point. A PC typically goes down with the second hit, unless they're wearing a lot of armor.

 

It also wouldn't solve the parallel issue of using reckless dice on non-attack actions. Extending that would be intuitive, but a bit clunky and dubiously balanced. Each extra success increases a numerical value associated with the action (duration for conditions, steps on a progress tracker, additional healing or fatigue mitigation, etc) by 1, up to a maximum set by your skill level. It could work, but there'd certainly be ripple effects.

 

But again, I'm a little off-topic for the thread, and don't mean to hijack it.


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#17 Gallows

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 08:51 AM

Every useless success might be an extra damage like the star wars rpg

 

We had that for a while, but damage in WFRP is already over the top.


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#18 Gallows

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 10:06 AM

I use a simple method that works well to create opposed checks that are fairly balanced.

(Characteristic+skill)/2 = difficulty - add a misfortune for 0.5

For example. You're trying to sneak past a guard with 3 inteligence and 2 observation. The difficulty would be (3+2)/2 = 2 challenge and one misfortune.

Max difficulty is then one misfortune and four challenge dice.

Alternatively you can also use the above and still add one misfortune per skill level.

It's fairly balanced for both low and high stats.

#19 Boehm

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:57 PM

I use a simple method that works well to create opposed checks that are fairly balanced.

(Characteristic+skill)/2 = difficulty - add a misfortune for 0.5

For example. You're trying to sneak past a guard with 3 inteligence and 2 observation. The difficulty would be (3+2)/2 = 2 challenge and one misfortune.

Max difficulty is then one misfortune and four challenge dice.

Alternatively you can also use the above and still add one misfortune per skill level.

It's fairly balanced for both low and high stats.

I like it - only issue is see is that this means there that there really isnt THAT much point in having high 4+ mental stats unless you plan on using them for base damage somehow ... in the old rules having a high stat BOTH increased success AND decreased difficulty ... 



#20 Gallows

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 03:39 PM


Decreasing dufficulty and increasing chance of success is the same :-p

Not quite, but still.

The system of (characteristic+skill)/2 + 1 misfortune/skill level gives a propability of between 52 and 56 percent chance of success for the active party when they are equal from 1/0 to 6/3 char/skill. Alternatively you could use competitive checks, but that means twice the dice rolling. I'd still say max opposed difficulty should be the heroic difficulty (5d), so you still have a chance against that monster with 10+ in a stat and skills (possible with the epic npc templates).

But from our last session I'd say that the general hit rate in combat is just fine with the base rules plus our small additions of a chaos star counting as a challenge and the comet counting as a comet and a boon (but can't be used as a success). The NPC's have access to more defence now and the players have some good defence if they pick the cards for it. Still against an epic troll, defending is insanely hard when he has 10 dice as a base for the attack from his strenght alone.

Next session I'll also try to revert back to RAW movement rules, because it fits the game better with more abstract and narrative movement and positioning. We'll just use the grid as a guideline for range bands and for my beautiful drawing skills :-)

I have thought about combat too. When you attack a npc, you assemble your base dice pool: str+skill+d1+card for instance. While you do that I assemble the npc's defence dice and hand them to you. That means most of the time you assemble the same pool and I find the rest at the same time. It works the other way around too. When an npc attacks you, I assemble it's base pool and you find all your defensive dice and hand them to me. That will streamline dice pool assembly a bit. On top of that people need to have some numbers either memorized or on a card in front of them: total damage, total soak, base defence. Perhaps a combat reference sheet would work. A small action card sized sheet with all the numbers. But honestly memorizing three numbers should be easy. Perhaps start each session with 10 minutes of quiz your combat numbers :-D

I'm also considering the return of an old house rule. Critical hits inflict their severity in wounds. It works that way for henchmen per RAW, but I think it would work well. I have also considered removing the characteristic from damage total and instead calculating damage as: weapon damage + total successes + wounds from crit severity. Characteristics still influence damage because of the dice pool, but it would just be more dynamic. Any damage on the action card would be added as well of course.

For instance: our troll slayer hits with his great weapon and gets 5 successes and a sigmars comet he uses to crit. With a base melee attack his damage with a severity 3 crit would be 17. With only one success and no sigmars comet, damage would be 8. These two numbers could be compared to his normal damage of 14 with two sucesses. It creates a much bigger spread in damage output, makes criticals more useful against one-encounter npcs and those odd checks with a huge amount of successes, that happens once in a while, become truly epic. Average damage would be slightly lower, when not triggering criticals, but I don't see that as a bad thing.

Edited by Gallows, 01 October 2013 - 04:22 PM.





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