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Jay - THE DICE


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#1 DagobahDave

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 06:28 AM

I think this is where a lot of us are stalling. Everything looks pretty cool me up to that point. I just don't know the symbols on the dice mean.

Anybody else think this should be the subject of a preview or designer diary? Bump it if you do.



#2 jadrax

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 06:32 AM

Knowing waht all the symbols meant would certainly be helpful.



#3 DagobahDave

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 07:14 AM

I suppose I should've woken up before I wrote that. I missed at least two words in there! I'm gonna pretend like it was intentional.



#4 Bluegrass

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 07:54 AM

Howdy,

For some reason, it feels like this has been discussed already in one or two threads on this forum.  Anyway, I'll go ahead and give a shot at explaining what the dice mean.  Just keep in mind one thing, okay?  A whole week and a day has passed since I attended the WFRP 3e seminar that Mr. Little presented on Saturday at GenCon, so my mind is going to be a li'l fuzzy.

On a blank die face, nothing beneficial or detrimental is added to the over all results of the dice pool. When a hammer - actually Gal-Maraz - shows up on a dice to  indicates a success.  As far as I can remember, most of the other symbols are conditional. The hour glass represents a delay in an action or more time that is taken.  Now, the Imperial Eagle and the skull are also two symbols that are tied in game mechanics that haven't been explained yet.  The Imperial Eagel represents a Boon or something beneficial happening, while the Skull represents a Bane or something detrimental happening. 

Oh, and just a quick note. Being conditional, you can roll a Success (Ghal-Maraz) that is accompanied by an hourglass, the Imperial Eagle, or a Skull.  In the last part of Mr. Little's recorded GenCon seminar demonstrates this.  The dice pool on the bottom has two green dice - showing a cautious stance - that as Sucesses (they both have Ghal-Maraz on them).  One of the Successes is a accompanied by a delay (there's an hourglass above Ghal-Maraz), while the other Success is accompanied by a Boon (an Imperial Eagle is above above Ghal-Maraz) .   Also, just noticed that the dice pool on the top appears to have a single red die (representing a reckless stance) with two Sucesses on it.  It looks like has two images of Ghal-Maraz, one stacked above the other.

I don't think that the cross swords were touched on, although one of the slides shows a die with a pair of crossed swords - one on top of the other - on one of the facings. I remember that the Twin-Tailed Comet and the Chaos star were touched on, but I don't remember what was said.  Being two sides of the same coin, so to speak, the Twin-Tailed Comet is extremely beneficial while the Chaos star is extremely detrimental. 

Sadly, that's all I can remember.

Thanks,

Bluegrass



#5 DagobahDave

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 08:16 AM

The hour glass represents a delay in an action or more time that is taken.

Right, but what does that mean? I'm sure there's an in-game effect for it, but what? Does it change our stance, since the stance meter graphic showed hourglass tokens on it? I doubt that it's purely a storytelling element.

 

The Imperial Eagel represents a Boon or something beneficial happening, while the Skull represents a Bane or something detrimental happening.

From what I can tell, we match up the number of rolled Eagles or Skulls (or whatever) to the effects listed on our action card. It looks like if we don't get a match for certain symbols, we can ignore them. That's that sort of thing I want to know more about. What do the symbols actually do in the game?

 

One thing I've just picked up from the video is that you convert a certain number of your "other dice" into red or green stance dice. If you're 3 steps into red, you'll swap 3 of your blue ability dice for red Reckless dice. I think.

That eases my mind a little bit about rolling lots of dice at one time, since you're not just adding stance dice to the rest of your pool. It also makes your stance more important. I like the stances, in theory.



#6 RebelDave

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 08:28 AM

I think... im not sure... but I think the effect varies depending ont he Action Card you are attempting to use... so tehre is no definitive answer, becuase its different for each card.

Picking a Lock might need 2 successes, and a a fail might mean you simply need to start again, or youve jammed the lock.. or broken a pick. And an hourglass may mean it takes you too long.

While Firing an arrow at a small target at extreem range may need 3 successes... and a fail means you miss, or the wind blows your arrow awry, or similar... in that case, an Hourglass might be irrelevent...

So this might not be an answer to easily answer on the forums, unless we have some examples of cards and the basic mechanics....

 

But im not sure, so dont quote me :)



#7 macd21

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 09:09 AM

If you look at the Ranged Attack card (reckless stance), you can see some examples of what results mean.

 

If you get 1 hammer, you cause normal damage.

If you get three hammers you cause damage +2.

If you get two eagles you get a free maneuvre.

Two skulls allows a nearby enemy to 'engage' you (attack, I assume).

So concievably you could fire a crossbow at someone and get a critical hit, but leave youself open to a strike from a nearby enemy.

This means two things. The first is that you can get multiple 'results' with a single die roll. With the percentile system you either succeed or fail. There may be degrees of success or failure, but it's always one or the other. With this system, you can succeed at what you're trying, yet screw up in some other way. Or you could fail at what you are trying, but get a boon, Or any other combination...

The second thing is that because the different dice have different symbols on them it means that the players and the GM can tip the odds towards certain results through modifiers. Obviously this isn't anything new from the GMs side - he could always add +/- to the roll. But the reckless and conservative stances allow the PCs to do so as well. For example, the standard ability dice have no skulls on them (I think), so assuming there were no misfortune dice a PC archer couldn't get the "enemy gets a free attack" result on his dice. However, the PC decides that he needs to kill the target this turn - he needs to hit and he really needs to get that +2 damage, he needs to get three hammers. So he swaps in two reckless dice. I'm guessing the reckless dice have more hammers, but also some skulls - so there is a chance that he'll screw up.

To some extent something like this was always featured in combat - you could choose to make a full attack while surrounded by enemies, or put yourself in danger etc. But this system does so on a new level of detail and across all skill tests. A PC can decide whether he wants to rush or go slowly and carefully, how great a risk he is willing to take - and his decisions will be reflected in the dice rolls. It's a simple, effective and very smart little mechanic.



#8 Bluegrass

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 09:19 AM

Howdy,

I'm tying this:

DagobahDave said:

The hour glass represents a delay in an action or more time that is taken.

Right, but what does that mean? I'm sure there's an in-game effect for it, but what? Does it change our stance, since the stance meter graphic showed hourglass tokens on it? I doubt that it's purely a storytelling element.

 

 And this:

DagobahDave said:

One thing I've just picked up from the video is that you convert a certain number of your "other dice" into red or green stance dice. If you're 3 steps into red, you'll swap 3 of your blue ability dice for red Reckless dice. I think.

Together because they both deal with the stance system.

I'm going to say that you're trying to make this more complicated than it needs to be.  Granted, what I'm about to say is largely based around inferences that I've made from being at the WFRP 3e Seminar at GenCon and watching the videos again, kinda as a refresher. 

While there is an hourglass token on the stance track, it doesn't do much.  The hourglass token only keeps track of how far long the stance track you are, giving you a quick glance at how cautious or reckless your being.  Why?  Because how deep you are in to the cautious or reckless stance dictates how many green (cautious) or red (reckless) dice that you're going to add in to your dice pool.  If you look at the stance track and see you're one step in to cautiousness, you'll get one green die to add to your dice pool.  If you've got a good head of steam on you and you're three steps in to recklessness, you'll get three red dice.  It also bears saying that it's the player that choose how cautious or reckless his PC is -- and that the player can decide to change it from one round of combat to the next.

Now at this point, I will say one thing.  The hourglass symbol does seem to be tied into the stance system.  Only because, at present, we can only see it one of the green dice that you'd get for being cautious.  Likewise, the dice that has a single facing with two Successes (one Ghal-Maraz on top of another) is only on a red dice that you'd get for being reckless.

Go back and watch part four of Mr. Little's GenCon seminar again. Pay close attention to the example that Mr. Little gives of how a character can benefit or suffer from being cautious or reckless.  If you're cautiously trying to sneak across the hall to over hear, you're going to be cautious. Yeah, you might succeed in sneaking across the hall -- but it took you a bit longer than you thought it would and you didn't catch that important bit of information.  How would you know that you were successful, but that it took too long? Looking at your dice, it's like you would've spotted the green dice that came up and see that there's an hourglass - which shows a delay or the action taking longer - above Ghal-Maraz.  It's a success, but also takes longer.    Likewise, when you're being reckless and trying to figure out if you hit with your swing to the fences?  Look at your dice.  If one of your red dice came up with two successes on a single facing - on Ghal-Maraz on top of another - you know that you hit, and knocked the ball out of the park. 

 

DagobahDave said:

The Imperial Eagel represents a Boon or something beneficial happening, while the Skull represents a Bane or something detrimental happening.

From what I can tell, we match up the number of rolled Eagles or Skulls (or whatever) to the effects listed on our action card. It looks like if we don't get a match for certain symbols, we can ignore them. That's that sort of thing I want to know more about. What do the symbols actually do in the game?

Hate to disappoint, but I only know that an Imperial Eagle represents a Boon and that a Skull represents a Bane. Mr. Little didn't explain the mechanics behind Boons and Banes, which means it's likely going to show up in a designer diary.   

 And, oh yeah -- before I forget? Damn.  Ninja'd.

Thanks,

Bluegrass



#9 DagobahDave

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 09:26 AM

I think I understand all of that already.

My question is more about what it means if an action "takes longer" because you've rolled an hourglass. Does that mean your action gets resolved before or after another character's action? Does it relate to initiative, or something like that? It almost certainly has an in-game effect like that, as well as a storytelling effect of "it took longer". I'm curious about how "it took longer" is reflected by the rules.



#10 Bluegrass

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 09:46 AM

Howdy,

DagobahDave said:

My question is more about what it means if an action "takes longer" because you've rolled an hourglass. Does that mean your action gets resolved before or after another character's action? Does it relate to initiative, or something like that? It almost certainly has an in-game effect like that, as well as a storytelling effect of "it took longer". I'm curious about how "it took longer" is reflected by the rules.

 

Sadly, I think we're going to need a designer diary for that  Out of the three cards - Melee Attack, Accurate Shot, and Troll-Feller Strike - that have been turned over to represent a cautious stance, I can't tell if any of the Success symbols has an hourglass above it or not.  If I'd been able to see that, I'd would've tried to guess at what it means.  For now, it looks like the only thing e can say is "An hourglass makes your action take longer or delays it". 

Thanks,

Bluegrass



#11 RebelDave

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 10:21 AM

DagobahDave said:

I think I understand all of that already.

My question is more about what it means if an action "takes longer" because you've rolled an hourglass. Does that mean your action gets resolved before or after another character's action? Does it relate to initiative, or something like that? It almost certainly has an in-game effect like that, as well as a storytelling effect of "it took longer". I'm curious about how "it took longer" is reflected by the rules.

Jay was quite lear in the videos that an Hourglass meant it, that while you were Cautious in your actions, it took longer, and as a result, changed things... for example... you reached the window using your sneak skill, but were too long doing so.. and so missed over hearing anything useful...

I would imagine that effect is on the 'Sneak' Action card.... "You suceed, but as a result, you are too late for it to be useful"

Obviously, as an RPG, 'Sneak' might be used in a number of situations, and a generic answer may not be applicable to all situations, and that may be where the GM comes in (as we are familiar) to decide exactly how that time delay affects the game....

I think in order to answer some of these questions, we need to see some example cards, and some basic mechanics. Given that is is a random rol on a die, I would imagine it is NOT like the Delay Action from 2nd Ed... and more a semi detrimental one.... simply saying "it takes longer" is no use when applying to Sneak... Melee Attack... Ranged Attack, etc etc.. as the effects of a dely in any of those, PLUS the context and situation in which the action is being peformed, will vary hugely.

As Bluegrass says, we need a designer diary, and some examples of action cards to really get a look at it, speculation at this point is probably worthless. :(



#12 Blue Wizard

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 12:59 PM

 I think the hour glass is just an aid in the narrative.  I think it is left open to the GM's imagination to decide how it affected the successful action.  That was my impression. 



#13 donbaloo

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 01:50 PM

 Since all we can do is just toss speculation around right now, I'll just do the bump thing.  The dice aren't really stall point for me as I'm pretty excited about seeing how they influence the narrative.  But yes, I am in the camp of wanting to hear more on them.



#14 ejacobs

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 02:49 PM

And..... I agree.  Let's please see more about the dice as the first designer diary.  Plus some.  Yes I'm greedy, but you guys are getting my money.  Consider it quid-pro-quo.

E



#15 Hellebore

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 03:20 PM

A friend of mine brought in Descent on my behest for games night last night. It uses special symbol dice as well (D6s).

 

We played through one game which I found quite fun, even if the GM did mind control my wizard guy and blast 2 of us to death and half kill the other two.

 

The symbols weren't hard to read, but they did take a while to calculate. Especially as by the end of the game my dude was rolling 5 black dice, 2 green dice, 1 white dice, and 1 yellow dice for every attack he made. The symbols had range, damage, and surges. The latter giving specific bonuses depending on the weapon or ability used. Generally in groups of 1 or 2.

So you count up the hearts for damage, count up the range for distance with black dice having a slash between damage and range so you have to choose to use one or the other and count up surges to add more damage, range or blast area depending on the type of attack used.

 

I didn't mind the dice, they weren't hard to read but they definitely took a long time to add up especially when we were trying to keep track of several different symbol types at once.

 

So I don't doubt the dice will be easy to read, but I also don't doubt they'll take far longer to calculate. Whether this is a problem or not is up to each group.

 

Hellebore

 



#16 Chernobyl

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 07:51 PM

yeah well with Descent, if you roll an X then your attack misses.  So you always have a 83% chance of hitting.  I don't recall seeing a X or equivalent on the new WFRP dice so it must be some other mechanic that tells you if you miss or hit.  I'm also not sold on how adding dice in this manner improves or hinders your attack.  A design diary would be great.

But I still hate the dice.

Edit

You know, the dice part of the video got me thinking...how is rolling 8+ dice and interpreting the result by looking at all the vaired symbols easier and simpler than rolling D% and comparing it to my weapon skill?

Cards and special dice don't make me focus on the story...they make me focus on the cards and special dice!

Chern



#17 macd21

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 10:39 PM

Chernobyl said:

You know, the dice part of the video got me thinking...how is rolling 8+ dice and interpreting the result by looking at all the vaired symbols easier and simpler than rolling D% and comparing it to my weapon skill?

It's not. However it is not substantially more complicated. Also, by rolling 8+ dice with varies symbols you can go beyond a simple hit/miss dynamic. The dice/card system allows you to get more complex results. The roll might result in hit-maneuvre-counterattack, miss-maneuvre, critical hit-counterattack, miss-counterattack etc. The custom dice are required as it would be too time-consuming to use this mechanic with normal dice.

The dice/card system also works well with the stance mechanic to give the player greater control over the outcome. By choosing how much the character is willing to risk on a given task (how reckless or conservative) he can modify the dice roll to favour one result over another.



#18 phobiandarkmoon

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 11:29 PM

*bumps*

 

Apparently I need a longer post than that - yes, I think the mechanics and us knowing about them will make or break the new edition.



#19 Psektos

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 12:08 AM

Anyone play Shadowrun or d6 Star Wars? The dice pools in those games could get enormous. Contested rolls were used as well. BUT I really enjoyed running and playing those rpgs.

Cheers,

Psektos.



#20 Ye Ancient One

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 12:21 AM

Chernobyl said:

 

You know, the dice part of the video got me thinking...how is rolling 8+ dice and interpreting the result by looking at all the vaired symbols easier and simpler than rolling D% and comparing it to my weapon skill?

Cards and special dice don't make me focus on the story...they make me focus on the cards and special dice!

 

 

I suspect that people often ignore the old 'Degrees of Success', but the new system looks like it forces you to tell a story every time you roll - if there's a skull, you need to explain the negative side-effect, if there's an hourglass, you need to figure out what the heck took you so long.  If you roll the comet, what made the action so successful, how did fortune intervene?  I think this is more evocative than X degrees of success / failure.  But what worries me is that, as a play-by-forum player, how the heck am I going to get this online?!

 

EDIT: Remember also that many dice will come up blank - you won't need to interpret them.  I'm really in favour of dispensing with numbers - rolling 31 to hit is a little clinical.

EDIT 2: Buy Rattlesnake - I guarantee you will not be disappointed and you may just lure some friends and relatives into the realms of 'alternative' gaming.






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