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whafrog

Tracking dice pool effects?

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One of the struggles I have with this system is how to track lingering effects from narrative results or the application of Talents, and I'm wondering how other GMs handle this issue.  A simple example might be the Command Talent, which gives you a boost on Leadership (this is easily incorporated into a character sheet), but on success grants allies a boost to their Discipline for the next 24 hours.  Plenty of other Talents or narrative results give increases/decreases, upgrades/downgrades, boost or setback, each with their own "expiry time".  Each PC (never mind NPCs) could easily be subject to half a dozen continuous and variably expiring effects.

I find it kind of overwhelming at times, not to mention I detest this kind of bean counting in general.  I role-play to immerse in story, not CPA-school, and every time I have to bounce out of the narrative to explain the mechanics is jarring.  It might be fine if all the players were as much of a rule-nerd as I am, and so could help keep track of their own PC's situation, but most of them are casual gamers, and we flip between this and D&D (which they also don't really grapple with), so the task falls to me.

For simple one turn effects, like granting a boost to an ally, I've simply been handing out extra dice, which is easy to track.  For longer effects I've been thinking of creating tokens and some kind of grid, but I'm not sure how to effectively structure it so that non-rule-nerds can easily manage their own PC.

The other struggle is related:  casual players just don't grok the Talents unless the effect affects their dice pool.  They want to look at their sheet and know what to roll, and they can only handle remembering about 3 "special things" their PC can do.  So, there is a growing part of me (especially after reading some of the new Talents in Dawn of the Rebellion and Rise of the Separatists) that wants to ditch it all and just use basic skills and only Talents with obvious or one-turn effects that show directly on the PC's sheet (eg: Gearhead, Knowledge Specialization, etc).  This would require switching over to Genesys...

Any thoughts on how to better manage this?

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Posted (edited)

I use these little skull beads that I hand to players.  I have other manner of chits too, but generally any sort of little reminder is enough.  I used to just have them place a die on the character sheet but that ended up causing confusion, whereas the little skull beads or plastic chits do not. 

 

edit: I'll admit my players are generally savvy to the system.  I like to place a lot of the onus of character management on the player.

Edited by themensch

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23 hours ago, Varlie said:

I created these a couple years ago. They work well for 1 round effects but as you mentioned a grid, you could easily create a grid that these could be set on for the more extended effects. 

 

 

Man, these are ripe for someone with 3d printing talent!

 

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1 hour ago, themensch said:

Man, these are ripe for someone with 3d printing talent!

 

I’ve been noodling around with some 3D print concepts along these lines for a bit...tokens for auto success/failure, advantage/threat. And I’ve finally also started making some of those experimental thin magnetic character tokens we discussed so long ago.

18 minutes ago, Varlie said:

I agree. I've been teetering on buying a printer for two years now and just haven't convinced myself to pull the trigger

Do your homework, find a good one, and if it’s temporarily out of stock, don’t give in to the lure of instant gratification. I did, and I regret my decision every time I print something. 

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6 hours ago, themensch said:

edit: I'll admit my players are generally savvy to the system.  I like to place a lot of the onus of character management on the player.

With my son I can count on him to handle it.  With some of my more casual over-50 crowd, if they can't understand-at-a-glance from their character sheet, they feel lost.

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13 hours ago, Nytwyng said:

Do your homework, find a good one, and if it’s temporarily out of stock, don’t give in to the lure of instant gratification. I did, and I regret my decision every time I print something. 

A lot of my friends have been investing in the Ender 3 model. It's not the best out there, but for the price you pay it's pretty good.

I got one for my wife. Unfortunately, the shipping company did not handle with care, so the Z-Axis stop switch broke off in shipping. Fortunately, those are cheap and easy to replace.

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14 hours ago, whafrog said:

With my son I can count on him to handle it.  With some of my more casual over-50 crowd, if they can't understand-at-a-glance from their character sheet, they feel lost.

You mean it gets worse once I breach 50? 

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On 5/14/2019 at 12:46 PM, whafrog said:

Yes, I've noticed the fossilization starts to happen in earnest after 50...combination maybe of nostalgia and lack of time.  They want to party like it's 1979...

 

15 hours ago, Seam said:

You bet, and fast!

Fiddlesticks. 

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