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DagobahDave

Jay - THE DICE

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I don't see the dice taking anything from anyone at the table when comes to the narrative.  I understand that some folks feel like the dice will be limiting their roleplaying in some way and that they will be telling the story for them.  But really, dice are always telling the story in an RPG that uses dice.  That's what they are there for, to be that random element that determines above all other elements in which direction the story is about to flow.  I LIKE that about dice.  Sure the narrative or color is still in the hands of the players, but the dice are always deciding what is about to happen.  Once you turn to the dice you put the direction of the "story" in the hands of fate, its always been that way.

This dice system it seems will be offering a few more pieces of information to the narrative, but they're not going to be taking your roleplaying from you.  They will be helping determine which aspects of the currently unfolding narrative are thrust to front and center, and you get to respond accordingly as a player.  

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I think the fear stems from the idea that the more a game is governed by rules, the less people do themselves.

As an example, Dark heresy currently has an absurd number of critical tables, one for each location for each type of damage. Do you think many people would invent their own critical descriptions when they've got them right there?

In the same vein, if the dice dictate the trials and tribulations characters encounter during their rolls, it is unlikely people will invent their own when the rules already cover them.

 

And because the rules cover this, it means the variety is curtailed down to those given.

Other examples include height, eye colour, weight etc. These are all provided for. If they weren't people would be forced to do it themselves which allows them to produce numbers not given in the tables. But because the rules already cover this, the players instead go on automatic and accept whatever was rolled as the 'official' result.

Rolling 'took too long' on your conservative dice is mechanically like rolling 'green eyes' or 'broken rib'. The rules have the situation covered so no need to think about it yourself.

But BECAUSE the situation is already covered, the players end up retreading the same small list of possibilities over and over again. Play enough campaigns and you'll have a character with every eye colour on the list and some duplicates. But you'll keep using the table because it's official and there.

Ironically the more help you provide, the less people actually DO.

Hellebore

 

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 Well stated Hellebore, I guess I'm overlooking information that is leading us to believe that certain outcomes are delineated specifically by the rules.  Like perhaps, a certain combination of symbols means a certain specific interpretation?  I've missed that if that is the fear that is going around, and yeah, that would be pretty heavy handed of the system.

What I do like though, for example, is the idea of say time complications being included right there in the dice.  Stuff like that is gold to me.  Perhaps its because I really like the Burning Wheel system, which is also dice pool based, and it specifically allows you to take more time on a task so as to get an extra die towards success.  But if you still fail with the extra Careful die, then your failure isn't just failure but the narrative must include some sort of time centered complication.  I just really like that, and it appears that WFRPs new dice mechanic is providing a bit of that random narrative occurrence.  To me its no more different that simply saying, "This die rolls controls whether the story heads in a successful direction or a failed direction for your character."  Now, WFRPs dice will also be dictating a number of other random elements beyond success and failure, such as time and fortune.  I think that's really cool.  But I can see now why others may not like it so much.

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Hellebore said:

I think the fear stems from the idea that the more a game is governed by rules, the less people do themselves.

As an example, Dark heresy currently has an absurd number of critical tables, one for each location for each type of damage. Do you think many people would invent their own critical descriptions when they've got them right there?

In the same vein, if the dice dictate the trials and tribulations characters encounter during their rolls, it is unlikely people will invent their own when the rules already cover them.

 

And because the rules cover this, it means the variety is curtailed down to those given.

Other examples include height, eye colour, weight etc. These are all provided for. If they weren't people would be forced to do it themselves which allows them to produce numbers not given in the tables. But because the rules already cover this, the players instead go on automatic and accept whatever was rolled as the 'official' result.

Rolling 'took too long' on your conservative dice is mechanically like rolling 'green eyes' or 'broken rib'. The rules have the situation covered so no need to think about it yourself.

But BECAUSE the situation is already covered, the players end up retreading the same small list of possibilities over and over again. Play enough campaigns and you'll have a character with every eye colour on the list and some duplicates. But you'll keep using the table because it's official and there.

Ironically the more help you provide, the less people actually DO.

Hellebore

 

Interesting. I have played and ran the granddaddy of all charty flippy nasty twitchy dice rolling monsters: Rolemaster. The charts and open ended dice rolls along with insanely customizable characters made for some interesting developments and offered the gamemaster a lot of fodder to work with.

The statement that the gamemaster tells the story is a half truth the other half of the story is told by the players.  The more invested the players are in the story the better the game. If the players start engaging in scenes and battles the better the story and therefore the game.

BUT again it will be up to the players and gamemaster to make the system work. The relatively recent system that uses a deck of cards to determine interactions and combats was fun to play as well. Personally I hate 4th ed because it makes you use miniatures and maps. I love a more free flowing system that gives the GM and the players more options that fiddling around with minis HOWEVER there are a TON of people who absolutely love 4ed.

*shrug*

Cheers,

Psektos.

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Sorry Hellebore but I must step in and disagree with your analysis. BUT first I would like to thank you guys for being kind and thought ful. A great man once told me to keep my mind open to new ideas. You guys have given me a good read for these two pages.

The players of RPGs that meet every friday night at my store brought up a great point that hasn't been brought up before. Rolling the dice in this game reminds them of Rafiki or a witch doctor rollling bones.

You bring up the fact that players turn to tables for crits in dark heresy, but let's be honest, if they did not have that table to enforce wounds on the character would players actually destroy a limb or suffer a permanent wound when given the option.

The players I talked to love this new dice system. The dice are color coded so you know what to look for on each one. A quick scan over them for an hour glass, skull, comet etc. And then just add up the sucesses and consult the card. Many of them brought up how this encourages the DM to tell a story out of the rolls.

I never thought about this until they brought it up, but most GMs are afraid to do nasty things to the players. I mean the characters are apart of their story and world. They get attached to the characters just as much as the players do. Sometimes the GM becomes more attached to a character than a player, because they start to pull for them like a super star or underdog on a team. By rolling these "bones" they can no longer favor one character over another. This also means that a player can't accuse the GM of picking on them. Just like in the real world our fate rest in our hands just as the dice do in this game. And just like in the real world nothing is certain "stuff happens".

As I have been playing DnD 4th I realised that the roleplay aspect is no longer really a part of it. Its more like Descent now. The players get to heal up after every encounter and are not limited with abilities. One thing I loved about grimm was the team work aspect, and I knew FFG would try to get a similar mechanic in Warhammer FRP. I love the new team mechanic. It not only helps create that tension between characters but it seems from the vids that its also a way to tell players they are getting our of hand and need to get back to the game.  One thing I always felt was missing in roleplaying games, that I immediately noticed as soon as I finished Lord of the Rings, was that no RPG encourage players to roleplay out the out of combat and out of game, if you will, intereaction. In many games I have played with many different groups, I have to always be the one that works to try and get a Legolas vs Gimli rivalry going. Or the Boromir vs the party type of personality. This game adds that awesome mechanic that has been missing from all adventure games up until now.

Having everything turned into cards is also helpful...in a way. Depends how organized you are. But I really like how FFG worked on making sure the cards had a use by creating the stance system.

I personally think this game is the Nintendo Wii or the DS of RPGs. This system of roleplaying is what White Wolf has been trying to figure out for many years and Wizards gave up on. I had no idea how revolutionized this product was until I watched the vids. FFG congrats at thinking outside the box. You didn't just look at roleplaying games and figure out how to make yours better. You looked for what was missing in all of them and made it happen. Who knew a non major RPG company would change the way players play RPGs forever. Gygax and Arneston would be proud of this bold yet origonal move I am sure. 

Of course as always this is all my oppinion based on talks with Deadlands, DnD (both 3.5 and 4th), Warhammer FRP, Vampire and Exalted players.

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I was talking about the fluff descriptions of those criticals. How it describes your receiving a crit 3 to the arm. We are talking about qualitative descriptions produced by the dice. The dice say you spent too long, or the dice say you fumbled. So I was talking about things in current games that have a qualitative description that comes with a rule effect (or for eyes and height, purely decorative).

I wasn't saying people would be left to describe the kinds of rules a critical applies to you.

 

The dice say 'you lose a turn for being too slow'. The crit says 'the bullet tears through your elbow joint sending shards of bone spinning in all directions and you lose your arm.' As an official rule they will always be used and most people won't be bothered coming up with anything else. So if the dice say you are too slow, you will always be too slow. There will never be another option on the dice for 'tripped over on your face' or anything else. The dice only have so many sides, just as a crit table only has so many lines.

I was saying that the idea that the dice 'tell a story' is only true in as much as the crit chart tells a story - a story with 10 possible out comes. The dice will tell a story, but will quickly tell the same story multiple times.

 

 

Hellebore

 

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Psektos said:

The statement that the gamemaster tells the story is a half truth the other half of the story is told by the players. The more invested the players are in the story the better the game. If the players start engaging in scenes and battles the better the story and therefore the game.

Quoted for truth! As a GM, this you can only achieve with an experienced buch of roleplayers. This hourglass/comet/skull dice can tell a story better than a degree-of-success/failure number, assuming both sides (GM & players) are willing.

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It will take longer to resolve these results no matter how profficient you get with them.

Since:
Blue does v
Yellow does w
Purple does x
Red/Green does y
White/Black does z

So your action is:  v + w + x + y + z.....    gah...

The worst question to be asked:  What are my odds of  v + x + z ?sorpresa.gif

 

As for time:
I would think it will be something like if it would normally take one round, prehaps the time result means it takes 1 aditional round for eah hourglass or the result wont happen till the end of that round. 

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Loswaith said:

It will take longer to resolve these results no matter how profficient you get with them.

Since:
Blue does v
Yellow does w
Purple does x
Red/Green does y
White/Black does z

That isn't how really how it works. It isn't the case that Blue does one thing and White does another. They all do the same things, but with different percentage chances of different results. When it comes to determining the results you don't need to look at the colour of the dice, just the symbols.

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Also, the hourglass may not always mean that the action takes LONGER in the temporal sense.

Notice how the tracking tile piece for the Stance meter is an hourglass. Perhaps, in certain circumstances, rolling an hourglass forces the player to shift his stance either way?

Example: the elf decides to take his time to aim carefully on his next shot. However, whether he misses or not, he gets impatient and anxious as the battle around him gets more tense and closer (he rolls two or three hourglasses)! That means that he has to move his stance meter two or three steps towards Reckless to represent this. His next action may not be quite as calm and collected unless he first takes a quick action to gather his wits together.

 

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I'm pretty sure not all the dice have all the symbols on them. The hour glass doesn't appear on the yellow D6s for example. So although it will be true SOME of the symbols appear on MOST of the dice, there will be some that only appear on one or two.

It won't be the number of variables that will be hard, it will simply be the time take to add them up and figure out what each set of symbols rolled means.

Hellebore

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Necrozius said:

Example: the elf decides to take his time to aim carefully on his next shot. However, whether he misses or not, he gets impatient and anxious as the battle around him gets more tense and closer (he rolls two or three hourglasses)! That means that he has to move his stance meter two or three steps towards Reckless to represent this. His next action may not be quite as calm and collected unless he first takes a quick action to gather his wits together.

 

 

This is the sort of thing I don't like, though.  I'll let my player decide if his character is impatient, not the dice.

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Steerpike said:

This is the sort of thing I don't like, though.  I'll let my player decide if his character is impatient, not the dice.

True, but the dice certainly decide the behavior of his character when he fails a Fear test, right?

Regardless, maybe these game effects won't be automatic or immediate. They may require some kind of reaction test.

Like the example of a character being quick and reckless in his sneak attempt. Perhaps, due to the "bad" symbols that appear due to the Reckless dice,  he has to make a Toughness test or he will get tired out from physical duress.

In my example, the PC may have to make a Psychology test to stay cool under pressure.

In other systems, when a PC is surrounded by intense conflict, he has to take a Concentration test to gather his wits together in order to successfully prepare a spell or re-load a gun. Perhaps this will be similar.

 

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I can get behind the idea that the new dice mechanics give players more of a story telling aspect alongside the GM.  I can even dig on the new dice pools to a certain degree.  I have a couple of long time friends/players that love roleplaying and are quite fun to game with; they make good decisions and advance the story on their own merit most times.  However, they are just awful at math and we constantly have to remind them what dice to use in any dice system (it is now just a long standing joke that they throw the dice and cover their eyes and hyperventilate). 

What am I to do then when the one thing they do well is reduced to a table/card cross reference chart and a whole pile of dice that they will stare blankly at?  The thought of translating every single skill or attack for both the NPC side of the game and theirs while they stand by bored out of their gourd seems off-putting to me. 

Additionally this whole system will blow up and grind to a halt if anyone has players that are the 'anti-railroad-zomg-sandbox' crowd.  Sure it is part of the game mechanic and so a rules lawyer just has to suck it, but try telling one of those freedom first guys that his character just felt aprehensive and missed his carefully aimed shot...yeah that'll go over swell.

Not trying to sound all Debbie Downer about this but it looks like no matter how slick and wicked this new system could be that I just won't be able to adopt the new tricks for my crowd of old dogs.  Of course I hope I'm wrong and can laugh at my skepticism in a few months (maybe removing numbers from the die will cause my math challenged friends to be able to do Rain Man calculations in their heads).

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Callidon said:

Additionally this whole system will blow up and grind to a halt if anyone has players that are the 'anti-railroad-zomg-sandbox' crowd.  Sure it is part of the game mechanic and so a rules lawyer just has to suck it, but try telling one of those freedom first guys that his character just felt aprehensive and missed his carefully aimed shot...yeah that'll go over swell.

To be fair, He should not have chosen to roll the green dice then. You make your choice and you take you chances, It looks like no-one ever HAS to use a stance die.

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It appears that these "bad" symbols can appear whether the PC succeeds in his action or not.

But really, don't most of us impose these fluff events ANYWAY?

Like, in a lot of games, rolling a "1" means automatic and sometimes devastating failure, with consequences.

Some actions in several games also provoke attacks of "opportunity" or free attacks from the enemy. Like recklessly running PAST a foe, or loading a gun while in melee combat.

Some weapons are unpredictable (ball and chain, gunpowder etc...), and have all kinds of special rules associated with them.

In SOME games, shooting into melee might, if you miss, hit a friend instead of a foe.

Wouldn't these dice effects just replicate the kinds of things we already include anyway?

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Necrozius said:

It appears that these "bad" symbols can appear whether the PC succeeds in his action or not.

But really, don't most of us impose these fluff events ANYWAY?

Like, in a lot of games, rolling a "1" means automatic and sometimes devastating failure, with consequences.

Some actions in several games also provoke attacks of "opportunity" or free attacks from the enemy. Like recklessly running PAST a foe, or loading a gun while in melee combat.

Some weapons are unpredictable (ball and chain, gunpowder etc...), and have all kinds of special rules associated with them.

In SOME games, shooting into melee might, if you miss, hit a friend instead of a foe.

Wouldn't these dice effects just replicate the kinds of things we already include anyway?

In most examples, rolling is binary: you succeed or you don't. Even with degrees of success, you can barely succeed, or nearly succeed, and so on.  This new mechanic seems to extend the degrees of success idea such that you can now roll a devastating success.  

For instance, perhaps your pistol shot killed the bad guy, but perhaps it also gravely wounded a comrade? If the issue was one of skill, perhaps you shot the comrade in a non-trivial locale, and the shot continued out the other side and buried itself in the enemy's face. If the issue was one of fortune, perhaps the shot exited the enemy you killed, ricocheted off of something and wounded your comrade.  In the old system, you aren't prompted for results like these and so most players and GMs don't include them. Here, the dice explicitly suggest that while you can win, you might do so at a cost, which the players and GMs can narrate. 

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It would make sense then that a player could choose NOT to take a stance at all, and just go for regular actions?

Interesting.

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Necrozius said:

Example: the elf decides to take his time to aim carefully on his next shot. However, whether he misses or not, he gets impatient and anxious as the battle around him gets more tense and closer (he rolls two or three hourglasses)! That means that he has to move his stance meter two or three steps towards Reckless to represent this. His next action may not be quite as calm and collected unless he first takes a quick action to gather his wits together.

I like this idea, and I think it's the kind of inspiration you can get from using pools of dice... it does not need to be exactly like that, but it's something that, as a GM, you can decide when seeing the results of the dice.

Still, from what I've seen in the videos, it seems that every card has a list of possible results, so I guess after you see the results in the dice you'll have to "use" the dice to "pay" for the results you want from your action card.

Also, it would be great if an explanation of part of the dice mechanics appears in the designer diaries.

All in all, I am very excited with the ideas I saw in Jay Little's videos and am very glad a new edition of WH is being designed by FFG. I hope it will bring lots of improvements to the game and, sorry for repeating it in half of my messages, I hope they'll publish a lot of scenarios and/or campaigns, as that's what really attracts players to an RPG.

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Perhaps a better way to look at it (modifying my previous ramblings) would be that the stance dice could queue the GM off on how to describe the action and to the warp with the cards.  The cards would be great for newer GM's.  Us old farts could juts continue laying on interpretations and descriptions like we always have.  Further, in some situations you could just gloss over the stance dice completely as a flat success or failure and move on so that every tussle with a hobo doesn't turn into a two hour event complete with anime slash lines and bad techno music.  It's hard for me to step back and see the interchangable parts of a new system until I've sat down and spread the books around my house for a couple weeks.  I am less worried though...so on with the show.

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Necrozius said:

 

True, but the dice certainly decide the behavior of his character when he fails a Fear test, right?

 

Yes, but that's a subconscious reaction.  The character fails the fear check and he is overcome by the effect.  When it comes to conscious decisions that should be the province of the GM or player, I don't care for game mechanics that dictate or override the player. To me, that is the single worst aspect of 4e D&D. 

Without knowing more, I can't say whether the mechanics of 3e WFRPG will do this sort of thing.  I was just responding to an example posted, and for all I know the mechanics may not bear the example out.  I'm interested in seeing more about the new edition, but I hope the designers didn't put in mechanics that essentially 'take over' roleplaying by imposing decisions on players or the GM that are best left to the player or GM in the first place.  What I've seen so far doesn't suggest they've done this, but some of the interpretations I've seen on the boards do come across that way.

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Steerpike said:

Necrozius said:

 

 

True, but the dice certainly decide the behavior of his character when he fails a Fear test, right?

 

 

 

Yes, but that's a subconscious reaction.  The character fails the fear check and he is overcome by the effect.  When it comes to conscious decisions that should be the province of the GM or player, I don't care for game mechanics that dictate or override the player. To me, that is the single worst aspect of 4e D&D. 

Without knowing more, I can't say whether the mechanics of 3e WFRPG will do this sort of thing.  I was just responding to an example posted, and for all I know the mechanics may not bear the example out.  I'm interested in seeing more about the new edition, but I hope the designers didn't put in mechanics that essentially 'take over' roleplaying by imposing decisions on players or the GM that are best left to the player or GM in the first place.  What I've seen so far doesn't suggest they've done this, but some of the interpretations I've seen on the boards do come across that way.

I can't think of anything in 4e like that at all.  Game mechanics that override player decisions exist way more in the nWoD than anywhere else.  But they are pretty thematic and are called out as such in the rules.

I seriously doubt something like the fearmongers are describing would have made it through playtesting.   FFG is a very successful game company and you don't get there by releasing flagship products that haven't been vetted to such a degree that success is virtually assured.  I'm pretty confident that WHFRP 3e will be a worthwhile experience even if it is so different from previous editions that a segment of the community can't bring themselves to try it. 

The only inevitable thing is change.

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Steerpike said:

 

Yes, but that's a subconscious reaction.  The character fails the fear check and he is overcome by the effect.  When it comes to conscious decisions that should be the province of the GM or player, I don't care for game mechanics that dictate or override the player. To me, that is the single worst aspect of 4e D&D.

Like I said, "impatience" was a bad choice of word.

Just about every single pen and pager rpg ever has dice based rules for psychology in some way, shape or form.

I mean, if your character wants to resist being seduced, he has to roll his Willpower or whatever.

If you want him to stand courageously in the face of a pack of Velociraptors, he has to pass a fear test of some kind.

Similarily, I believe that taking one;s sweet time to aim very carefully while monsters are charging you might require some kind of "cool" test. Concentration, perhaps?

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Gorehammer said:

 

I can't think of anything in 4e like that at all.  Game mechanics that override player decisions exist way more in the nWoD than anywhere else.  But they are pretty thematic and are called out as such in the rules.

I don't want to turn this into a 4e discussion, but in the 4e games I've run this has come up numerous times.  The example that comes to mind at player powers that require monsters or other opponents to move into certain squares.  Thus, the mechanic completely overrides the conscious decision making of the monster or NPC. A power like Come and Get It, for example.  The NPC or monster has no choice but to move no matter how intelligent, how faithful or fervently it wishes to hold a particular area. It's a board-game mechanic, essentially.  So when our group played 4e we simply waived the ability of those types of powers to be used in certain situations.  But that's less than desirable, because it takes away from powers granted to the PC so we disregarded it sparingly.

In any event, 4e is, in my view, rife with examples of metagaming and game-mechanic situations that overstep the RP or decision-making of the GM or players.  Much more than any other RPG I've played (I've never played nWoD).  I don't really want to see WFRPG going down that path, but as of yet I have no reason to think that they are. If they do and our group switches, we'll house rule away the most egregious examples.  If that's not possible, we'll probably stick to 2e. 

I'm taking a wait and see approach.

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Necrozius said:

 

Like I said, "impatience" was a bad choice of word.

Just about every single pen and pager rpg ever has dice based rules for psychology in some way, shape or form.

I mean, if your character wants to resist being seduced, he has to roll his Willpower or whatever.

If you want him to stand courageously in the face of a pack of Velociraptors, he has to pass a fear test of some kind.

Similarily, I believe that taking one;s sweet time to aim very carefully while monsters are charging you might require some kind of "cool" test. Concentration, perhaps?

Yeah, that makes sense.  I think there is a fine line between such things and stepping into territory that really should be the will of the players. It's hard to define in the abstract.  As I found when our group switched to 4e D&D, we know it when we see it (i.e. when it actually happened in-game).  It's a big reason we're not playing 4e anymore.

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