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Jabberwookiee

Rules for Simulating Dejarik

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I've looked around but found no rules that cover an actual simulation of Dejarik play in EotE.

On this forum I have found the following post: http://community.fantasyflightgames.com/index.php?/topic/99123-dejarik-rules/?hl=dejarik, which has good ideas, but does not provide the level of detail I am looking for in a simuluation of the game.

I am looking for rules that give players the fealing that their characters are actually playing the game.

Ideally FFG would publish rules for playing Dejarik in EotE, but in the meantime, I am putting out this proposal. I have play tested the rules myself, and the initial impression is good. However, more play testing is required to tell how well the rules really work.

The rules for the simulation are based on the actual rules of Dejarik found here: http://dhost.info/rissa/Holochess/. I have tried to capture the feal of the game by including various aspects of the real game, for example:

  • The attack/defence style of the game
  • The game is played with 4 pieces on each side
  • The game is won by "killing" all the opponents pieces

And, of course, the simulation has to actually use the skills of the characters themselves. This is well covered by the rules, I believe.

What I am looking for is feedback on the rules. Play-testing, actual usage would be ideal.

In order to encourage the usage of these rules, in any form, I declare then as "Public Domain", and ask that any changes or improvements that are suggested on this forum are likewise placed in the Public Domain.

Dejarik Skills

This simulation of the Dejarik assumes that there are 2 new skills:

  • Dejarik Attack based on INTELLIGENCE
  • Dejarik Defence based on CUNNING

These skills can be acquired like any other skills by spending XP. If you have any knowledge skill then Dejarik is considered a career skill and you don't have to pay the extra 5 XP per rank.

Characters can determine their initial ranks in Dejarik by making a Core Worlds knowledge (*) check. The player may pick the difficultly of the check: easy (1), average (2), difficult (3), daunting (4), formidable (5). If the character makes the check, then the character has the associated number of ranks in Dejarik. These ranks must be divided, as the player wishes, amongst the Dejarik Attack and Dejarik Defence skills.

For example, if a player succeeds in a Difficult Core Worlds knowledge check he has 3 ranks in Dejarik and may allocate, for example, 2 ranks to Dejarik Attack and 1 to Dejarik Defence.

 

The GM may grant a re-roll on failure of the "initial ranks check", as long as the roll generated a triumph or at least 3 advantages. However, the difficulty must be upgraded by one for each re-roll.

If the character fails the knowledge check, then he has no ranks in Dejarik at all.

After initial allocation, characters can only gain further ranks in Dejarik by spending XP.

 

Characters with 4 or 5 ranks in both attack and defence, are considered Dejarik masters! Well done, but don't you have something better to spend XP on! ;-)

 

(*) The GM may allow other types of checks, for example Streetwise, or Education, if the player can explain under which circumstance he (or she, of course, please assume this through this text) learnt the game, and can explain why this type of skill check is therefore appropriate.

Primary and Secondary Characteristics

 

It is possible to play Dejarik using either primary or secondary Characteristics. The primary Characteristics (already mentioned above) are INTELLIGENCE for attack and CUNNING for defence.

The secondary Characteristics are WILL for attack, and PRESENCE for defence. When using these Characteristics Dejarik ranks do not apply.

An attack using INTELLIGENCE is called a Primary Attack, and a defence using CUNNING is called a Primary Defence. Attack and defence using WILL and PRESENCE are called a Secondary Attack and a Secondary Defence respectively.

A player making a Primary Attack uses his Dejarik Attack Skill to attack, and a player using a Primary Defence uses his Dejarik Defence Skill to defend. Players making a Secondary Attack or Defence use only the associated Characteristic (WILL or PRESENCE) to perform the attack or defence (see below for more details).

 

Players can decide from one round to the next whether to use primary or secondary Characteristics, but obviously a player will normally stick to whichever is more favourable.

 

Game Simulation

SETUP:

Each player starts with 4 pieces. Use destiny points to represent the pieces. The players place the pieces in a pile in front of them. This is called the "active" pile. Each player also has an "inactive" pile to his right. The inactive pile is initially empty.

GOAL OF PLAY:

The game is over when one of the players has lost all his pieces. We say that a piece is killed when it is lost. The winner is the player with at least one piece remaining. A draw is not possible.

ROUNDS:

The game is played in rounds. During a round, one player is the attacker, the other is the defender. The attacker rolls the dice. The players switch roles after each round.

Randomly decide who will be the starting player. The starting player attacks in the first round. Starting is an advantage in Dejarik, also in the simulation.

NOTE: Rounds in the simulation of dejarik do not correspond exactly one-to-one to the actual game of dejarik. A simulation is naturally a compressed version of the real thing so, for example, in the simulation it is possible to lose more than one piece per round while in the actual game it is only possible to lose one piece per round.

SETTING PIECES:

At the beginning of each round the players decide how many pieces they are going to play in the round. Both players select any number of pieces (selecting none is allowed) from the active pile in front of them, beginning with the defender. This is called "setting" a piece. For example, to start, both players have 4 pieces, so they can choice to set from 0 to 4 pieces.

The set pieces are removed from the player's active pile, and placed before the other player's set pieces (if he has any).

The defending player then announces whether he is using a Primary or Secondary Defence. After this, the attacking player announces whether we will be making a Primary or Secondary Attack.

THE DICE POOL:

The attacker uses an opposed check to resolve the round. The dice pool for this roll is built depending on the type of Attack and Defence the players are using, and the number of pieces set:

Primary Attack: The attacker is using his Dejarik Attack Skill, add his skill dice to the pool, then upgrade the pool by the number of pieces set by the attacker.

For example, if a character with INTELLIGENCE 4 and 2 ranks in Dejarik Attack sets one piece, then the dice pool will contain 2 Ability dice plus 2 Proficiency dice (Dejarik Attack Skill), upgraded by 1 (number of pieces set). i.e. 1 Ability dice and 3 Proficiency dice.

Secondary Attack: The attacker is using his WILL to attack, choose the higher of the character's WILL and number of pieces set by the attacker. This is the number of Ability dice in the pool. Upgrade the pool by the lower number.

 

For example, if an attacking character with WILL 2 sets 3 pieces then the pool will consist of 3 Ability dice, upgraded twice, i.e. 1 Ability dice, and 2 Proficiency dice.

The difficulty of the check is determined as follows:

Primary Defence: The defender is using his Dejarik Defense Skill, set the difficulty according to this skill and upgrade by the number of pieces set by the defender.

For example, if a character with CUNNING 1 and 3 ranks in Dejarik Defence sets 2 pieces, then the dice pool should contain 2 Difficulty dice plus 1 Challenge dice (Dejarik Defense Skill) upgraded by 2 (number of pieces set), i.e. 3 Challenge dice.
 
Secondary Defence: The defender is using his PRESENCE, choose the higher of the character's PRESENCE and number of pieces set by the defender. This is the number of Difficulty dice in the pool. Upgrade the difficulty by the lower number.

RESOLVING A ROUND:

The attacker now rolls the dice. The number of successes determines the number of pieces lost by the defender. Only set pieces can be lost with the exception that if no pieces were set, one "unset" piece (a piece that was not set) is lost.

 

If an unset piece is lost, a piece is removed from the player's inactive pile. If this is empty, then remove it from the player's active pile.

Alternatively, the number of fails determines the number of pieces lost by the attacker. The same rule applies: only set pieces can be lost, but if no pieces were set, then 1 "unset" piece will be lost.

If no successes or failure are achieved, then no pieces are lost.

Lost pieces are killed and removed from play completely.

SPENDING ADVANTAGES AND THREATS:

Advantages and threats rolled may be spent as follows:

1 Advantage: The current defender gets a Setback dice for his attack in the next round or the Attacker recovers one Strain (when used multiple times the Limit Rule applies - see below).
2 Advantages: The current attacker gets a Boost dice for his next attack (in 2 rounds time).
3 Advantages: In the next round, the attacker must set his pieces before the defender (normally the defender sets first).
Triumph: The current attacker may upgrade his next defence or attack. A Triumph can also be spent to apply any of the above Advantage effects.

1 Threat: The current defender gets a Boost dice for his attack in the next round, or the attacker takes one Strain (when used multiple times the Limit Rule applies - see below).
2 Threats: The current attacker gets a Setback dice for his next attack (in 2 rounds time).
3 Threats: The current defender may add or remove one of the opposing player's set pieces in the next round. If used twice (which requires 6 Threats), then two pieces may be added or removed, and so on.
Despair: The current defender may upgrade his next defence or attack. A Despair can also be spent to apply any of the above Threat effects.

The attacker decides how the Advantages and Triumps are applied and the defender decides how the Threats and Despairs are applied.

 

Advantages and Threats can be grouped and spent in any combination.

 

For example, 3 Threats can be grouped as 1 and 2 in order to apply a "1 Threat" and a "2 Threats" effect, instead of the standard "3 Threats" effect. 3 Threats can also be appled as 3 "1 Threat" effects, but in this case the Limit Rule applies.

 

Limit Rule: This rule applies when spending Advantages or Threats on "1 Advantage" or "1 Threat" effects. It sets the limit of number of times a particular effect can be applied to: Advantages or Threats divided by 2 rounded up.

 

For example, if you have 2 Advantages then the maximum number of times a particular "1 Threat" effect can be appled is once (2/2 rounded up = 1). So you can use 2 Advantages to give the current defender a Setback dice and recover 1 Strain. But you cannot recover 2 Strain or give the current defender 2 Setback dice, because that would be applying the same "1 Threat" effect twice.

 

If you have 3 Advantages then the maximum number of times a particular "1 Threat" effect can be appled is twice (3/2 rounded up = 2). So you can use 3 Advantages to give the current defender 2 Setback dice and recover 1 Strain. But you could recover 3 strain or give the current defender 3 Setback dice.

END OF THE ROUND:

At the end of the round, each player moves his remaining set pieces (those not killed) to his inactive pile.

If a player has lost all pieces the game is over, and the winner is the player with pieces remaining.

If both player's active piles are empty at the end of the round, then each player moves their inactive pile to the position of the active pile. These piles now become active.

The next round can now begin with players reversing attacker and defender roles.
 

 

Edits

 

#1 Clarified the question "How are the ranks used?" by expanding the paragraphs "If the attacker uses the Primary Attack Characteristic..." and "If the defender uses the Primary Defence Characteristic...".

 

#2 Removed the "XP" section (which was just a joke), but could be misread.

 

#3 Corrected some typos int the Dejarik Skill section.

 

#4 Added the concept of Primary/Secondary Attack and Defence and changed the sections "Primary and Secondary Characteristics", "SETTING PIECES" and "THE DICE POOL" to use these terms. I am hoping that this will make the idea of using difference Characteristics (and how to use them) simpler to understand.

 

#5 "Disadvantage" change to "threat", which is the correct term.

 

#6 Added the possibility to recover and cause Strain.

 

#7 Changed the wording for "3 Advantages" in the section "Spending Advantages and Threats".

 

#8 Added the "Limit Rule" to control the number of times a single Advantage or Threat can be used.

 

#9 Fixed typo: changed "number of dice set" to "number of pieces set".

 

#10 Changed "then two dice may be added or removed" to "then two pieces may be added or removed".

Edited by Jabberwookiee
bradknowles likes this

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How are the ranks used. you go into detail on how to assign ranks but do not state how to use them.

Traditionally ability and skill ranks are used to create the dice pool, but you do not use this combination. In your example you use the ability plus the number of peices set to create the dice pool. So what exactly are the ranks used for?

 

THE DICE POOL:

The attacker uses an oppesed check to resolve the round. The dice pool for this roll is built as follows:

If the attacker uses the Primary Attack Characteristic (INTELLIGENCE), then the character is using his Dejarik Attack Skill to do the check. In this case he simply upgrades the pool by the number of pieces set for this round. For example, if a character with INTELLIGENCE 4 and 2 ranks in Dejarik Attack, sets one piece, then the dice pool will contain 1 Ability dice and 3 Proficiency dice.

If the attacker uses the Secondary Attack Characteristic (WILL), then choose the higher of the character's WILL and number of pieces set. This is the number of Ability dice in the pool. Upgrade the pool by the lower number. For example, if an attacking character with WILL 2 sets 3 pieces then the pool will consist of 1 Ability dice, and 2 Proficiency dice.

 

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OK, I have to make that more clear. When you use the Primary Skill, for example INTELLIGENCE to attack, then you actually use your Dejarik Attack Skill ranks. So the base pool is your Dejarik Attack Skill (ability plus ranks).

 

You then upgrade this by the number of pieces set.

 

Only in the case of use "Secondary Skill" you do not use your Dejarik ranks.

 

Edit:

 

I have edited my text to make this point clear, please let me know if this is now correctly explained.

Edited by Jabberwookiee

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The only part of this that annoys me, and it is just the GM part of me that dislikes this, is the XP. 5 XP for playing a game that (in the movies) took up all of 30 seconds on screen?

I find that is saying that the real world equivalent is if I play a game of chess suddenly I can magically get more athletic. This is bad form in my opinion.

 

Remove the XP and just put a credit payout and my "annoyance" dissolves. If you look at the Sabaac rules it has credit payouts. I feel other "games" should be the same.

 

/end of rant.

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The only part of this that annoys me, and it is just the GM part of me that dislikes this, is the XP. 5 XP for playing a game that (in the movies) took up all of 30 seconds on screen?

I find that is saying that the real world equivalent is if I play a game of chess suddenly I can magically get more athletic. This is bad form in my opinion.

 

Remove the XP and just put a credit payout and my "annoyance" dissolves. If you look at the Sabaac rules it has credit payouts. I feel other "games" should be the same.

 

/end of rant.

 

Actually the XP was just a joke. But I can see how that can be missed. I will remove that. It was not seriously part of the rules.

fatedtodie likes this

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I have made a number improvements, as you can see from the Edits list (currently at #6). In particular, I added the concept of Primary/Secondary Attack and Defence, which better explains how the game works.

 

It is also fun when playing the game can cause Strain, which I added. Theoretically, playing a long game against a grand master, could knock you out cold! :P

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I added the "LImit Rule" which determines the maximum number of Setback or Boost dice that can be gained in the next round due to Advantages and Threats. Previously the limit was set to 2.

 

The limit rule allows the number to go beyond 2, without getting out of hand. For example, in play testing with high attack vs low defense I found it possible to roll a large number of Advantages (e.g. 7 Advantages). The Limit Rule helps the attacker in this case to defend better in the next round if his attack failed due to rolling too many Advantages (and not enough Successes).

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I haven't tried playing the game yet but one thing puzzles me a bit. Why do you use Will and Presence? It does not seem to make sense.

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I haven't tried playing the game yet but one thing puzzles me a bit. Why do you use Will and Presence? It does not seem to make sense.

 

Well, the meta-game answer to this question is that I wanted to diversify the abilities needed to play the game. Being able to use Will and Presence increases the the number of characters that will be able to play the game well.

 

(Sorry to those with Brawn and Agility, but that just would not make sense)

 

The in-game answer is that using these abilities is seen as using powers like instinct, intuition and "gut-feelings" to play the game rather than intellect, which is represented by the use of Intelligence and Cunning.

 

This is also why the use of these abilities are not "trainable", i.e. you cannot gain ranks in skills based on Will and Presence.

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