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Bayushi Koba

No D10???

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On 07/10/2017 at 9:33 AM, Bazakahuna said:

I find it quaint how people think numbers are so massively different to symbols when all they actually are is just symbols.

The difference is an obvious one: everyone understand a number instinctively by now, while these symbols are a new thing that have to be committed to memory, each of their interaction have to be learned.

There is also the "feels" of it, but that is something that can't be discussed.

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8 hours ago, DarkHorse said:

Last time I played Shadowrun, the GM got everyone in the group to buy a cube of GW d6s and then colour the pips red on 5-6 and black for the 1.  For any rolls, we just counted the colours and ignored the actual numbers.

Exactly, all the numbers on a dice are really just symbols, people get so caught up in tradition that they fail to recognise this. The only reason you would need numbers is a) variable target numbers b) if you wish to add them together (like old L5R).

There was nothing so wonderful about adding them together for a TN that I feel those rules HAD to be kept, and multiple successes is a pretty well used and respected mechanic, so I have little issue with them shifting to that. At this point symbols are perfectly acceptable if you don't want a mutable target numbers, and mutable target numbers are statistically game breaking and incredibly hard to balance around (see why nWoD moved to fixed TNs).

Edited by Bazakahuna

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We were discussing this on discord, and to some extent the idea of custom dice feels like a violation to people.  Its not on a rational level; it is on the emotional level.  When I described the L5R Beta to my tabletop group, the general response was "That is interesting, too bad it has custom dice." and so we are likely to never play it, despite having played AEG L5R for 10+ years (15 for me, and about 20 for our GM).  I also do not really hold FFG responsible for this either.  Yes they created they system, and made a pretty cool looking one.  It profits them to sell new sets of dice.  I just might not be a customer for the RPG.

In part, many people who play RPGs are emotionally attached to their dice.  I know I am, and a number of my group are (though not all).  One is willing to go out and buy newer pretty ones every week, and some of us like to use the same ones for years.  Its not that we are unwilling to buy new dice, but the fact that we HAVE to buy new dice for this is a bit repugnant.  If new dice maybe came with the book, it might be different, but I don't really see that happening, as that would add at least $10 to the cost of the book, might be hard to shelve, etc.  We don't get to pick out our new dice, we are forced to use the base ones (Despite having spent much time pouring over color options to pick out the really pretty ones), with whatever color they are.  And many people don't like to share dice, and again, its a personal/emotional thing.  It is a really big pet peeve of mine personally, and I know I am not alone.  So this means each person needs to buy dice, which is great for FFG, but makes it less appealing since now we each need a set, or at least 4 sets to share among 6 people.  And there are logistical reasons not to have to share dice, since waiting to pass the dice down each time adds a little bit of time for each roll, which can add up over time.

However, the another part of the discussion comes down to what do we expect from an RPG.  In part, we expect "Buy a book, print out some character sheets, bring some appropriate dice and pencils, and that is all you need."  Adding custom dice now adds "Now buy some dice".  Where does this stop?  Maybe you need to buy other custom things, like some custom widget for your character sheet, or custom character cards to know what your powers are (and have some mechanic revolving around this).

This is a bit rambling, but hopefully I got my point across.

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They tried custom cards with Warhammer RPG and it is a pain, in the almost decade since they have not gone back.

Again I'll say it, our group has spent $65 on dice for Star Wars in 4 years, yet over $1100 on books. If it's developed properly then the dice enable a very different experience in a gaming system at very little overall cost.

Given there is only 2 types of dice in this system, and the low stats they link to, a single pack of dice should be plenty to play. Of course that doesn't help with not wanting to share.

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38 minutes ago, Mirith said:

 "That is interesting, too bad it has custom dice."

*Snip*

Its not that we are unwilling to buy new dice, but the fact that we HAVE to buy new dice for this is a bit repugnant.

*Snip*

"Buy a book, print out some character sheets, bring some appropriate dice and pencils, and that is all you need."  Adding custom dice now adds "Now buy some dice". 

This was our groups initial reaction when FFG released Edge of the Empire. However, after some discussion we came to think that this is exactly like learning a new game system has been like for us almost every single time: Roll dice, compare result to a table, move on.

 

After that, the dice didn't matter anymore. We would roll our old dice, look at the chart they made for conversion, and play on. Like learning any new system, bumps abound. We see this as no different. 

Obviously this won't be everyone's experience, so YMMV.

 

*Edit: please excuse the poor formatting, I'm on my phone at the moment.

Edited by JorArns

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15 hours ago, JorArns said:

This was our groups initial reaction when FFG released Edge of the Empire. However, after some discussion we came to think that this is exactly like learning a new game system has been like for us almost every single time: Roll dice, compare result to a table, move on.

 

After that, the dice didn't matter anymore. We would roll our old dice, look at the chart they made for conversion, and play on. Like learning any new system, bumps abound. We see this as no different. 

Obviously this won't be everyone's experience, so YMMV.

 

*Edit: please excuse the poor formatting, I'm on my phone at the moment.

I don't disagree there are many alternative methods to handling dice, but all of them are unappealing on some level. 

You can buy/make your own Dice Rolling App of some form.  This gets rid of the tactile feel of actually rolling dice. 

There is using a table.  Now your group each has to have a copy of the table, and then has to look up each time they make a roll, maybe after a while a few of us would start mentally associate the numbers with the symbols, but honestly, we are all getting older and I know a few would never make it to that point.  However, this process of looking up, despite any efforts to make it as efficient as possible, would still be extra overhead each time you rolled.  I don't know if this happened for Star Wars, but it feels like the number -> symbol conversion is somewhat random, where higher numbers don't mean "Better" or "Worse" so the actual mapping in your head is a little harder to work out.

Modifying dice is just a different form of extra cost (as time = money, or sometimes more precious).

I don't disagree that there are perfectly rational ways around all of this, but I think you missed the point that this is 100% not a rational problem.

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On 10/4/2017 at 3:31 PM, Bayushi Koba said:

So, 
I have just fast-read most of the beta rules, and I have one main question, which I believe will be the focus of the discussion here: 


Why have you abandoned the D10 Roll & Keep system???

After all the high talk about respecting the setting and system, you have basically went against all you said and flushed one of the foundations and best aspects of the game down the drain.

Will there be an explation for this gross mistake and, more importantly, is there still time to fix it and actually, as you had promised, respect the franchise?

I'M SO EXCITED!!! SO SO SO EXCITED FOR NEW R&K! And I'm not a hardcore fan of FFG or L5R (at least, in the way that many on this forum are). Which I'm sure none of the regulars will be surprised about.

 

I'm so pleasantly surprised by the beta, and very hopeful about play experience. I figured we'd get another game with the Genesys/narrative dice system. Which I would have at least looked forward to, if I wasn't exactly excited. But this new R&K seems like the best of both worlds to me--it has what I like about both, and discards /adjusts what I don't like about both (or at least what I don't think would be the best fit for L5R). Will it be a "perfect" system? I dunno. Probably not. But I think I'll enjoy it more than 4e. At any rate, I'm willing to at least, you know, try the free beta before making bold declarations of heresy and deal breakers and demanding an explanation. 

 

One more argument for why I'm hopeful about the new system, which I haven't seen in this thread yet: L5R is, by far, the most frequently house-ruled system I've ever seen or played ( Which, to be fair, is a fact that I take with a grain of salt, because I haven't touched anything D20 or Savage Worlds in years). And the changes are often deep, changing entire systems--or even.... the basic R&K mechanic! DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUN! (*crowd gasps*)

 

Maybe all that house ruling is evidence that the core mechanic could be refreshed. 

Edited by sidescroller

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On 10/6/2017 at 6:36 PM, Mirumoto Saito said:

Let me just ask you one question: what kind of dice all those games use(d)?

;)

 

The problem isn't that the system changed. I was actually hoping for massive changes in that regard. But the dice changing is a deal-breaker for me and many other people.

And this isn't a binary thing: you can change the system massively without changing the dice used, as you yourself demonstrated. Just compare D&D 4th with AD&D, for example. Or 5th with 3.5.

You realize D&D 3rd edition introduced the d20 system, right (and pretty much saved D&D from oblivion)? D&D certainly didn’t use a uniform dice system across all iterations.

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7 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

You realize D&D 3rd edition introduced the d20 system, right (and pretty much saved D&D from oblivion)? D&D certainly didn’t use a uniform dice system across all iterations.

The only thing really new in 3.0 was skills being roll high... the combat system is directly derivative of AD&D 2 Combat & Tactics...

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4 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

The only thing really new in 3.0 was skills being roll high... the combat system is directly derivative of AD&D 2 Combat & Tactics...

OD&D/first used D6s for most resolutions, since that’s what Chainmail used. That moved to D20s for most combat in AD&D (attack roles and saves) as well as proficiency roles (what later became plain skills), but AD&D used D10s for initiative and percentile dice for most character abilities. I still use some of those as D10s for other games. It wasn’t until 3E that the D20 (and always wanting to roll high, but that’s neither here nor there) became the only die used for mechanic resolution - figuring out if you managed to do something and how well. Percentile went out the window (thank God, no more rolling against various tables to see what happened) and any die size other than D20 got relegated to things like HP and weapon damage. Just saying that in D&D with edition changes there were some die size changes as well. For good reason: I enjoyed the early editions, have some very fond memories of them, but in terms of mechanics they didn’t exactly age well. D10 R&K is much more robust in that regard, FFG certainly could have gone for a system that stuck closer to the classics, but “systems don’t change their dice” is not a correct argument. Star Wars is another example: D6 with WEG, D20 with WotC, then FFG’s system.

Edited by nameless ronin

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10 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

OD&D/first used D6s for most resolutions, since that’s what Chainmail used. That moved to D20s for most combat in AD&D (attack roles and saves) as well as proficiency roles (what later became plain skills), but AD&D used D10s for initiative and percentile dice for most character abilities. I still use some of those as D10s for other games. It wasn’t until 3E that the D20 (and always wanting to roll high, but that’s neither here nor there) became the only die used for mechanic resolution - figuring out if you managed to do something and how well. Percentile went out the window (thank God, no more rolling against various tables to see what happened) and any die size other than D20 got relegated to things like HP and weapon damage. Just saying that in D&D with edition changes there were some die size changes as well. For good reason: I enjoyed the early editions, have some very fond memories of them, but in terms of mechanics they didn’t exactly age well. D10 R&K is much more robust in that regard, FFG certainly could have gone for a system that stuck closer to the classics, but “systems don’t change their dice” is not a correct argument. Star Wars is another example: D6 with WEG, D20 with WotC, then FFG’s system.

Actually, The d20 option was in OD&D from the get-go, according to Dave Arneson. My 9th printing, and my scan of 6th, both have d20 as well. 

Chainmail was an option, as was the d20. The only thing is that d20's of the era were double-10 - that is, numbered 0-9 twice, rather than 1-20 as modern ones are, and by convention, 0 was read as 10/20. You would color the numbers with two different color crayons, and call which was high before/while rolling.

The white/brown box rules really didn't provide advice on abilities other than combat and spells, and saves and attacks were roll high. Supplement I added percentile skills for thieves... and we get in that era a mixed bag of different approaches - multiple dice for under attribute (Steve Jackson [US],  Frank Chadwick, Marc Miller), percentiles for everything (Steve Perrin and Ray Turney),  Percentiles for non-combat and d20 roll high for combat (Kevin Siembieda,  Stephan Michael Sechi, & Vernie Taylor). those parenthesized names? Game designers who put stuff out based mostly upon "fixing" OD&D and whose games still have fanbases. SJ did TFT starting in 1978, finally finished in 1981... dice by difficulty under stats. Frank Chadwick wrote the still going strong En Garde - which eventually lead to Marc writing Traveller. Marc has commented that he's ALWAYS used Xd6 for stat+skill or less. Marc has implied that 2d6 roll high was Loren's thing (but never outright said it where I can find). Kevin Siembieda did Palladium - rifts still uses that mode. Sechi & Taylor did the excellent Arcanum - which is conceptually parallel to palladium, but a better implementation. Perrin and Turney - they wrote the original RuneQuest for Greg Stafford's Glorantha setting, which evolved ever so slightly to become BRP.  Sechi later moves onto straight 1d20 roll high in Talislanta.

D&D 3E wasn't revolutionary, but merely evolutionary. The skill points were a simplification out of AD&D2E's Skills & Powers system. The combat mechanics are a simplification of AD&D 2E's Combat & Tactics system. Both of those being add-on books from the mid-late 90's.... 

D&D 4E was revolutionary - at least within the D&D context - as it was mechanically similar only in consistent 1d20 roll-high and the attributes and their scaling. Great game, sucked as D&D. Felt very different to many (including me). But not a bad game - just not a game that did what I expected for D&D.

5E is probably the best edition of D&D from a game standpoint - smooth, runs well... and even has the right mix of abilities to feel close to those older editions I used to love... but it doesn't do the endurance push–your–luck dungeoneering that was the hallmark of many AD&D1 modules.

AD&D was where skills entered the D&D game in earnest - but again, only thieves, rangers, and the backgrounds - but the later NWP's in OA, DSG and WSG would become core in AD&D 2E.

Now, for L5R...

John Wick wrote it after the "White Wolf Revolution" had happened. Games focused upon single consistent mechanic, and story trumping all. Still, John's a consistent tinkerer. I've good friends who game with John regularly. Released games from John are, very much a snapshot of "Good enough for now", as John cannot help but keep tinkering.

John made use of the now-readily-available d10's, and evolved from a WEG d6 system concept (d6 system was dice by  skill, total beats difficulty - that same mode was used as an option in Frank Chadwick's Space 1889) - but rather than total all, cap the numbers by keeping only some of the rolled dice. Exploding 10's are straight out of White Wolf. Hybridize. Play them all, pick the best bits.

Actually, that is advice John has given: Play a wide range of games, and keep the bits you like.

Looking at L5R5...

I see elements of classic L5R:
• Roll X+Y, keep Z of them
• School Ranks
• Attribute ranges (1E says traits are 1-5 ranked - and thus rings are as well - page 41)
• Exploding dice
• 20 Questions 

I see elements of Fireborn (also by FFG):
• Attribute by approach
• rerolls from advantages
• Elements as attributes directly 

And FFG's/Jay Little's Narrative Dice Engine (WFRP3, SW):
• symbols, not numbers
• 2-axis results
• death from crits only, not from wounds alone
• Minions vs non-Minion NPCs

I'd expected a move away from the classic system. I'm impressed at the breadth of borrowing in this edition.

I was expecting Genesys, to be honest. Tho', if you check, you'll find I mentioned a possibility of borrows of the engines from Fireborn or EOTW before the beta started. (Fireborn is interesting - d6 pools by attribute, skill is how many you can move from other pools to the one you're using.) All of these games scale similarly.

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The system had to be changed (otherwise, what’s the point of a new edition?) and so it was. I like quite a lot of the rules, have some doubts about others, and the jury isn’t out on whether the implementation of some of the concepts hits the tone I’d like it to. My point above was merely about the dice though: apparently some feel changing the dice used in previous editions is not done, even if it’s ok - expected, even - to change the ruleset to a large extent, and they pointed at D&D as a supporting argument. D&D did not always use just D20s for resolution purposes though, and other games have changed the dice used from one edition to the next as well. 

Edited by nameless ronin

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At least personally, dice are the only mechanical thing I wanted them to keep. R&K has had the best feel of any dice system I've ever played with and it's a shame that the flag ship system using it is moving away. R&K generates some simply beautiful probability distributions and it lead to reliable performance, properly rare exceptional results, quick play, control of outcomes, and solid growth with diminishing returns.  Other systems with flat distributions or opposed dice (I'm looking at you Edge of the Empire) lead to super poor play experiences and the apparent devaluation of skills. I'm not optimistic that what I've seen so far of the new dice system will lend itself to any of the strengths that R&K really shone for other than outcome control, but this will be at the cost of speed of play.

One other side effect, skill contests were everywhere in my L5R games and ties are rare under R&K, with these new dice ties are going to become far more common since there's a very limited distribution space for most rolls. 

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This is the first time that Fantasy Flight has introduced funny dice to a game and I've been genuinely this excited about it. The dice are easy to read--basically nothing, success, success and a reroll to maybe get another success and a sakura blossom that represents some internal conflict sparked in your character from the situation which pushes him closer to emoting true feelings--which is the bane of any samurai.

I love this so hard.

That and I love the idea that you're not looking at endless situations where you succeed at a roll but something bad happens, or you fail at a roll but something good happens. All that random weirdness made it hard to tell a consistent story--things kept veering off into madcap Keystone Cops territory.

Plus some of the other symbols were so obscure I couldn't even tell if they were good or bad things, much less what they meant. I always had to keep a cheatsheet on hand. This? Super easy.

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Star Wars and WFRP had a bit of "Keystone Cops" in prior editions, as well, and in the case of Star Wars, the movies.

Quote

[Han answers the intercom after comandeering an attack station] 
Han Solo: [sounding official] Uh, everything's under control. Situation normal. 
Voice: What happened? 
Han Solo: [getting nervous] Uh, we had a slight weapons malfunction, but uh... everything's perfectly all right now. We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you? 
Voice: We're sending a squad up. 
Han Solo: Uh, uh... negative, negative. We had a reactor leak here now. Give us a few minutes to lock it down. Large leak, very dangerous. 
Voice: Who is this? What's your operating number? 
Han Solo: Uh... 
[Han shoots the intercom] 
Han Solo: [muttering] Boring conversation anyway. LUKE, WE'RE GONNA HAVE COMPANY! 


And Han chasing a squad off, then running away from them as it dawns on them they have him outnumbered 8:1...

I doubt most people's versions of Rokugan have a keystone cops feel. (But I do know at least one whose did...)

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