Jump to content



Photo

Of Dice and Men >> A look at the custom dice and core mechanics of WFRP


  • Please log in to reply
29 replies to this topic

#1 ynnen

ynnen

    Member

  • Members
  • 197 posts

Posted 04 September 2009 - 10:36 AM

In this diary, I provide an in-depth look at of the different types of dice, briefly discuss the core mechanic, and provide a downloadable PDF symbol reference. Check out the diary here.

I really enjoyed writing this diary, and am glad to be able to "pop the hood" on the game design a bit more and showcase one of the signature elements of the new edition -- the dice system.

UPDATE: I've added some additional sneak peek content to the end of the diary, providing a look at how dice pools are created, and have inclued an example of assembling a dice pool in the game.



#2 HedgeWizard

HedgeWizard

    Member

  • Members
  • 532 posts

Posted 04 September 2009 - 10:40 AM

 I think I can safely say that we all appreciate the info being shared. 



#3 dvang

dvang

    Member

  • Members
  • 2,240 posts

Posted 04 September 2009 - 11:15 AM

I was very skeptical of the new edition.  After watching the videos of the GenCon seminar I had a much better outlook on the game.  The biggest concern that I had was the dice.  It seemed a bit fiddly and it seemed like a few of the dice, if used solely for storytelling (Blessings, Banes, etc) would be unneccessary for most purposes.  After all, Jay went to some length explaining how they 'help tell the story', etc.  Thanks to this, it seems like all the symbols *do* have an in-game rules effect.  That is a relief, and this diary helps explain quite a bit how the various dice symbols will apply through a purely rules perspective.  I think it might actually work out ok.  Thanks a bunch!



#4 ynnen

ynnen

    Member

  • Members
  • 197 posts

Posted 04 September 2009 - 11:28 AM

And for a bit of fun, now that folks are armed with the dice descriptions and symbol references, how would you as a GM interpret the results of Mellerion's Athletics check from the example I provide at the end of the Designer Diary, based on this dice pool:

Sample Dice Pool



#5 N0-1_H3r3

N0-1_H3r3

    Former Contributing Freelance Writer

  • Members
  • 3,341 posts

Posted 04 September 2009 - 11:43 AM

ynnen said:

And for a bit of fun, now that folks are armed with the dice descriptions and symbol references, how would you as a GM interpret the results of Mellerion's Athletics check from the example I provide at the end of the Designer Diary, based on this dice pool:

Sample Dice Pool

I assume that no additional dice has yet been rolled for the Righteous Success on his skill dice, so I'll just count that as rolling a blank for the sake of simplicity.

So...

It takes Mellerion a little while to begin, as he tests the cliff for solid handholds. As he scales the sheer wall of rock, a cascade of dirt and rubble showers down upon him, hindering his progress further and causing him to twist his ankle even as he stops himself slipping entirely. Eventually, in spite of the difficulties, he reaches the top, a little the worse for wear but otherwise triumphant.


Writing Credits for Fantasy Flight Games: Into the Storm, Edge of the Abyss, Battlefleet Koronus, Hostile Acquisitions, Black Crusade Core Rulebook, First Founding, The Jericho Reach, The Soul Reaver, Only War, The Navis Primer,Ark of Lost Souls, and Hammer of the Emperor

I no longer write for, or am employed by, Fantasy Flight Games in any fashion. All of my comments are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of any employer, past, present, or future.

#6 Redcrow

Redcrow

    Member

  • Members
  • 48 posts

Posted 04 September 2009 - 11:47 AM

Definitely appreciated.  Especially the inclusion of the Example of Assembling a Dice Pool at the end.  I was a bit on the fence regarding the new dice pool mechanic, but after reading this new Designer Diary I can really see its potential value as a story-telling aid now that I have a better understanding of what all the symbols represent.  I really like the idea that a Task can succeed but have a negative aspect tied to it, or fail yet have a positive side.  That opens up numerous possibilities that a simple pass/fail system using standard dice can't really provide.



#7 ynnen

ynnen

    Member

  • Members
  • 197 posts

Posted 04 September 2009 - 11:57 AM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

 

 

I assume that no additional dice has yet been rolled for the Righteous Success on his skill dice, so I'll just count that as rolling a blank for the sake of simplicity.

 

 

+1 Fortune Point for noting that Mellerion's Player gets to roll an additional yellow expertise die for generating a Righteous Success on the original roll of the dice pool.

I figured someone would catch that, but wanted to see how quickly someone would notice!



#8 donbaloo

donbaloo

    Member

  • Members
  • 201 posts

Posted 04 September 2009 - 11:58 AM

 Mellerion powers over the less steep cliff base on strength alone, making good time.  At the point where the cliff turns more vertical he pauses to assess his route.  The extra moment delays him a bit but it does reveal a nice vertical crevice over to his left which he clambers over to and begins his ascent again.  Half way up the crevice, a rain drenched section of shale breaks free above him, casting debris in his eyes (one of the banes, resulting in a possible holdover to be transferred into misfortune dice on his next roll) and forcing him to reevaluate the situation.  He notices a section of sturdier roots above the washout, and figures he can possibly make the jump and grab hold to continue.  His Athletics serves him well as he propells himself upwards and makes the grab.  He successfully mounts the cliff but that last maneuver really taxed his hands, providing an additional bane (again, possibly rolled over into a misfortune die for a future roll where he's utilizing his hands).

That's of course utilizing the chaos star as a bane and not adding a righteous success reroll.

 

 

Not sure if the rules will address this or not but I'd probably lean towards letting the player narrate on success while I'd narrate on failure.  I would also tend to be open to suggestions from the player as to what he thinks cool banes or boons would be for the situation.

 



#9 eihort

eihort

    Member

  • Members
  • 16 posts

Posted 04 September 2009 - 01:32 PM

 Well, he takes a while and makes it to the top, but that Chaos symbol plus a bane means that he dislodges a large boulder that falls on one of his friends still at the bottom of the cliff.   I think it's time for an article on how damage works.  : )    

 

I love being the GM.



#10 donbaloo

donbaloo

    Member

  • Members
  • 201 posts

Posted 04 September 2009 - 01:51 PM

 I continue to like what's been done with this particular dicepool mechanic.  Even moreso maybe with the further clarification.  As expected, they're not "stealing" the story or diminishing the roleplaying but rather adding to and supporting.  However, I will say that I have my reservations about the length of time it may take to compute and put into action.

I think, or hope, that with even a little practice we'll begin to read these very fast. I believe, like anything else, it will become second nature with practice.  I think the colors and symbols are absolutely necessary to maximize the speed of reading the rolls and doing what the system is trying to do with them.  Like it or hate it, there's just no way you could efficiently achieve what the system is trying to achieve with numbered dice and without the colors.  Opinions will vary on whether its worth having the dice do what they're doing (I for one do like it very much), but I think its hard to deny that the symbols are necessary for efficiency.

Still, the amount of time needed for each roll could make or break it.  I know that I took at least a couple minutes to formulate my reading above, as I clicked back and forth between the pdf and the diary to make sure I was getting the colors and symbols straight.  Two minutes is a long time for a dice reading.

 



#11 Redcrow

Redcrow

    Member

  • Members
  • 48 posts

Posted 04 September 2009 - 07:12 PM

donbaloo said:

Still, the amount of time needed for each roll could make or break it.  I know that I took at least a couple minutes to formulate my reading above, as I clicked back and forth between the pdf and the diary to make sure I was getting the colors and symbols straight.  Two minutes is a long time for a dice reading.

 

I would imagine that interpreting the dice may be a bit slow at first, but after a few games it will likely become fairly routine.  What I would do is just focus on the more important dice rolls until you become more comfortable reading the dice instead of trying to narrate every single roll.  Then once you become accustomed to the dice and the system you can narrate more and more rolls without it slowing the games pacing as much. 

 

I also really like the idea of letting players do the interpreting for some rolls (like character success) and leaving the GM to interpret the rest.  This will help make the game feel more like an interactive story where the players are actual participants in the narration rather than just along for the ride.  I would even grant bonus xp for exceptional narrations.



#12 cogollo

cogollo

    Member

  • Members
  • 282 posts

Posted 04 September 2009 - 07:26 PM

ynnen said:

 

And for a bit of fun, now that folks are armed with the dice descriptions and symbol references, how would you as a GM interpret the results of Mellerion's Athletics check from the example I provide at the end of the Designer Diary, based on this dice pool:

Sample Dice Pool

 

 

Mellerion starts scaling confidently but, halfway through the climb, a section of wet dirt crambles, loosening the rock he was holding onto. He soon realises he is tumbling down the slope, damaging his clothes and hands before his training allows him to get a hold on another rock. He decides the wet section that gives a quick access to the top is too dangerous and descends a bit to search for a better spot for continuing the climb; after some minutes of more or less horizontal movement, he finds a drier area of the cliff he uses to finish his climb.

As mentioned by other posters, Mellerion still gets to add another Expertise Die, so the results could still change.

As for the Banes, I would make him roll one less Characteristic Die next time he needs to use his hands (Bane result). Also, his actual set of clothing is now ruined so, until he buys a new set of clothing, he'll roll one extra Challenge Dice in social interactions with people that are suspicious of beggar looking types (Chaos Star).


Hur-Nir ran to the aid of the beaten man, recovering in the process a handful of pennies the thugs had let fall in the man's boots during their hasty retreat. - from Nulner Blues campaign

 


#13 cogollo

cogollo

    Member

  • Members
  • 282 posts

Posted 04 September 2009 - 07:44 PM

ynnen said:

In this diary, I provide an in-depth look at of the different types of dice, briefly discuss the core mechanic, and provide a downloadable PDF symbol reference. Check out the diary here.

I really enjoyed writing this diary, and am glad to be able to "pop the hood" on the game design a bit more and showcase one of the signature elements of the new edition -- the dice system.

UPDATE: I've added some additional sneak peek content to the end of the diary, providing a look at how dice pools are created, and have inclued an example of assembling a dice pool in the game.

Thanks a lot for the information. The dice pool mechanic looks great so far and I think it was a corageous and innovative move to apply it to an RPG . I hope the game will be a success: I would like to see more designers seeing here a success and start using dice pools in their RPGs, as I think they make a more interactive story and help interpreting the results.

One question, though, I see you have included the copy of a spell in the article but have not commented anything about the card. The art, as usual in FFG games, is amazing, but I got a bit anxious with the words "Rank 1" and "3 Power". What do they mean? Please don't tell me the magic system is moving in the direction of D&D (meaning "spell levels" and artificial limitation of the number of spells you can do per day), as that would, in my opinion, be a step back in the design of magic systems when compared with the 2nd edition.

In my opinion, the dice mechanics you have designed for 3rd edition would be a perfect match for the sort of Magic mechanics created for the 2nd edition of WFRP. The new magic system does not need to be a copy of the 2nd edition one, of course, but the idea of being able to cast as many spells as you want to but always with a risk was innovative and fell in the mood of the Warhammer universe. WIth pools of dice plus cards for the spells, such a system would rock!

So, thanks again for the info (the game is looking better every day) and I look forward to your next diary entry (hopefully about the Magic systems ).

 


Hur-Nir ran to the aid of the beaten man, recovering in the process a handful of pennies the thugs had let fall in the man's boots during their hasty retreat. - from Nulner Blues campaign

 


#14 Ravenheart87

Ravenheart87

    Member

  • Members
  • 130 posts

Posted 04 September 2009 - 09:18 PM

 Nice one. Now I understand how it works. Before this article, I thought you'll add the stance dices to the pool, now I know that you only need to swap ability dices - this means fewer dice rolls, which is always good. By the way, the whole system reminds me a bit of reading runes for divnation... Dou you have runecasters at FFG? :)



#15 Ravenheart87

Ravenheart87

    Member

  • Members
  • 130 posts

Posted 04 September 2009 - 09:30 PM

cogollo said:

 

One question, though, I see you have included the copy of a spell in the article but have not commented anything about the card. The art, as usual in FFG games, is amazing, but I got a bit anxious with the words "Rank 1" and "3 Power". What do they mean? Please don't tell me the magic system is moving in the direction of D&D (meaning "spell levels" and artificial limitation of the number of spells you can do per day), as that would, in my opinion, be a step back in the design of magic systems when compared with the 2nd edition.

 

 

I think the spells you can cast will be limited by your wizard careers rank (just like in WFRP, or almost like by your magic atrribute in WFRP2), and recharging is also mentioned.

Oh, and Omen is a spell of the Celestial Order. I don't know who asked it, but here's the answer: there will be other orders, not just bright wizards. :)



#16 ejacobs

ejacobs

    Member

  • Members
  • 213 posts

Posted 05 September 2009 - 12:13 AM

I may be wrong, it happens, but I interpreted the Rank # on the spell cards to mean how skilled you are in that particular spell, kind of like the different levels of training with regular skills, allowing for more "skill" dice to be rolled while casting to effect a better outcome.

E



#17 cogollo

cogollo

    Member

  • Members
  • 282 posts

Posted 05 September 2009 - 01:34 AM

ejacobs said:

I may be wrong, it happens, but I interpreted the Rank # on the spell cards to mean how skilled you are in that particular spell, kind of like the different levels of training with regular skills, allowing for more "skill" dice to be rolled while casting to effect a better outcome.

E

I like this interpretation. I prefer it to limiting the caster artificially by having "spell levels". I liked the 2nd edition Magic system because even a newbie wizard could try to cast a powerful spell, though with a lot of risk.

When I saw the first diary entries, I thought that in the new Magic system, to cast a spell, you would need to obtain a certain number of successes and that Banes obtained in the dice would bring with them Tzeentch's curses.

Maybe the "3 power" means the number of successes you need to cast a spell, I would prefer it to your Wizard having x power points per day and "spending" them to cast spells. I always thought of such systems as being extremely artificial and not fun at all (that's also the reason why D&D never was my favourite game).

Anyway, one other thing I would like is if they can provide variant rules. The game could come with 2-3 mechanics to interpret the results for combat and magic specially.


Hur-Nir ran to the aid of the beaten man, recovering in the process a handful of pennies the thugs had let fall in the man's boots during their hasty retreat. - from Nulner Blues campaign

 


#18 N0-1_H3r3

N0-1_H3r3

    Former Contributing Freelance Writer

  • Members
  • 3,341 posts

Posted 05 September 2009 - 01:47 AM

cogollo said:

When I saw the first diary entries, I thought that in the new Magic system, to cast a spell, you would need to obtain a certain number of successes and that Banes obtained in the dice would bring with them Tzeentch's curses.

Surely Tzeentch's Curse would be universally triggered by rolling a Chaos Star when attempting to cast a spell...

 


Writing Credits for Fantasy Flight Games: Into the Storm, Edge of the Abyss, Battlefleet Koronus, Hostile Acquisitions, Black Crusade Core Rulebook, First Founding, The Jericho Reach, The Soul Reaver, Only War, The Navis Primer,Ark of Lost Souls, and Hammer of the Emperor

I no longer write for, or am employed by, Fantasy Flight Games in any fashion. All of my comments are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of any employer, past, present, or future.

#19 lordsneek

lordsneek

    Member

  • Members
  • 70 posts

Posted 05 September 2009 - 05:17 AM

cogollo said:

ejacobs said:

 

I may be wrong, it happens, but I interpreted the Rank # on the spell cards to mean how skilled you are in that particular spell, kind of like the different levels of training with regular skills, allowing for more "skill" dice to be rolled while casting to effect a better outcome.

E

 

 

I like this interpretation. I prefer it to limiting the caster artificially by having "spell levels". I liked the 2nd edition Magic system because even a newbie wizard could try to cast a powerful spell, though with a lot of risk.

When I saw the first diary entries, I thought that in the new Magic system, to cast a spell, you would need to obtain a certain number of successes and that Banes obtained in the dice would bring with them Tzeentch's curses.

Maybe the "3 power" means the number of successes you need to cast a spell, I would prefer it to your Wizard having x power points per day and "spending" them to cast spells. I always thought of such systems as being extremely artificial and not fun at all (that's also the reason why D&D never was my favourite game).

Anyway, one other thing I would like is if they can provide variant rules. The game could come with 2-3 mechanics to interpret the results for combat and magic specially.

I thought that the 3 power had something to do with the ingredient because it was right next to it. I have a feeling that the "recharge tokens" mean that when you use them all you have to cast the spell again to benifit from it's effect. So I guess they are just for the spell duration.



#20 cogollo

cogollo

    Member

  • Members
  • 282 posts

Posted 05 September 2009 - 05:37 AM

lordsneek said:

 

I thought that the 3 power had something to do with the ingredient because it was right next to it. I have a feeling that the "recharge tokens" mean that when you use them all you have to cast the spell again to benifit from it's effect. So I guess they are just for the spell duration.

This is also a very interesting interpretation... So the number of successes you rolled could determine the duration of the spell or how powerful its effects... That would make a lot of sense! You could still cast the spell as many times as you want, each time risking the dreaded Bane or Chaos Star appearing!

Now I'm really itching for the next developer's diary entry! The more I read about the game, the more I like it (I have already agreed with some friends to start a campaign after Christmas).


Hur-Nir ran to the aid of the beaten man, recovering in the process a handful of pennies the thugs had let fall in the man's boots during their hasty retreat. - from Nulner Blues campaign

 





© 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Fantasy Flight Games and the FFG logo are ® of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact | User Support | Rules Questions | Help | RSS