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FFG_Sam Stewart

Dice Mechanics Feedback Thread

165 posts in this topic

DailyRich said:

 But if both numbers are 2, there is no higher number.  Or maybe I'm just being too literal…

You're failing to account for certain values of "2."

 

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DailyRich said:

 But if both numbers are 2, there is no higher number.  Or maybe I'm just being too literal…

True. But If you have a skill you get upgrades, so the only time you roll only ability dice is when you have no skill ranks.

They could use one sentence that simply states, "if your skill rankings ability are the same, roll that many proficiency dice." Or something similar.

-EF

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I and a friend of mine have purchased the books and are testing it in advance of our group getting together to play (this Saturday night). Thus far, we love a lot of the way the mechanics are, from obligations to motivations, the careers and specialization.

HOWEVER…

We hate the dice.  Mostly, because don't get it. We read through it several times, and continue to struggle. Is there some sort of "For example" walkthrough that we've missed? 

That would be HUGELY helpful in learning this game. From rolling the obligation percentile at the beginning, to initiative and combat, destiny, and everything else.  

Yeah, we feel stupid, since we just don't get it. We have had a gaming group playing RPGs from Star Wars Saga to the older d20 system to the even older D6 system to Pathfinder to Modern to Mutants & Masterminds- all since the late 80's. 

Did someone post a better breakdown or a 'for example' walkthrough of how this should go? If so, please link!

Something step by step would be incredible, rather than flipping to multiple locations in the book just to get past a couple of rolls (and the whole time that we're doing it right).

We really want to like this game and introduce our player to it.

 

If this was all covered in another post or thread, forgive me for not finding it.

 

Talon Wolfe

 

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 well, You've got 3 good dice (pale blue, Green, yellow), 3 bad dice (black, red, purple), and the force die (not used much, more later)

Good dice have:

Successes, look like explosions

Advantages, Look like a winged crest with a dot

Triumphs, look like a saber in a circle

 

Bad dice have:

Failures, look like triangles, or 3 pointed stars

Threats, look like concentric hexagons

Despairs, like the failure in a circle.

 

Interpreting the dice pool:

Add up the success and triumphs, subtract the number of failures and despairs.  If this number is one or higher, the roll succeeded.  If it's less, the roll failed.

Add up the number of advantages and subtract the number of threats.  These can be used in various way depending on whats going on (Combat has some rules, each skill has some rules)

Separately, you can use any triumphs (even if the roll failed) and any despairs (even if the roll succeeded).  These don't cancel each other out (but the successes and failures they count as do).

 

Is that all clear?  I can see where there'd be confusion.  We can produce some examples if you need, but there aren't any that I'm currently aware of.

 

-WJL

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And in terms of building a dice pool - every action a PC wants to take involves assembling and rolling a dice pool that is governed by the skill involved (even combat uses skills) and the difficulty of what is being attempted. Each skill has an associated characteristic, and a PC will have a numerical rating in each skill (often 0) or characteristic (always 1 or higher).

To build the dice pool for each action attempted, you take a number of green (Ability) dice equal to the higher of the governing skill rating and it's associated characteristic rating. You then upgrade a number of green (Ability) dice, equal to the lower of the governing skill rating and it's associated characteristic rating, to yellow (Proficiency) dice.

The GM then adds a number of purple (Difficulty) dice determined by the difficulty of the task you're attempting, which may be upgraded to red (Challenge) dice if attempting a particularly challenging task.

Finally blue (boost) or setback (black) dice may be added to the dice pool to represent particularly beneficial or complicating factors that aren't direclty related to your character's skill or the inherent difficulty of the task being attempted.

The pool is then rolled - all dice together - and the symbols interpreted as per LethalDose's previous post.

For example, say my PC wants to shoot his pistol at the dark Force user at the far end of a corridor illuminated by dim red emergency lighting. When making a ranged attack with a pistol (or any one handed weapon), you use the Ranged(light) skill, which has Agility as it's associated characteristic. My PC has Ranged(light) of 2, with Agility of 3. I take the higher of those two ratings (Agility 3) and add three green dice to the pool. I then take the lower of those two ratings (Ranged (light) 2) and upgrade that many of those green dice to yellow dice, i.e.: I remove two of the three green dice from the pool and replace them with two yellow dice.

The GM determines that the end of the corridor is at "Short" (previously "Close" before this weeks update) range from my PC, so that is an Average difficulty check which adds two purple dice to the pool. However, the dark Force user has the sense Force power active, which upgrades the difficulty of my attack, so the GM removes one of the purple dice from the dice pool and replaces it with a red die.

Finally the GM determines that the dim lighting provides my opponent some concealment, adding one black die to the pool, and my character used their maneuver this round to aim, adding one blue die to the pool.

Having assembled my pool, I now roll 1 green, 2 yellow, 1 purple, 1 red, 1 black and one blue dice, and interpret the symbols to determine success/failure and advantage/threat.

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One suggestion I would like to make is that if a player(or the GM) can't think of anything to spend a Triumph result on then this could be used to buy a Destiny Point to add to the destiny pool (light or dark depending if its from the player or GM).  A player would add a light destiny point and a GM would add a dark destiny point. 

And to follow on from this, if a player (or GM) can't think of anything to spend a Despair result on then this could be spent to remove a destiny point from the destiny point pool (light or dark depending if its from a player or GM).  A player would remove a dark destiny point, and a GM would remove a light destiny point. 

This would ensure that the Triumph or Despair isn't wasted, particularly during non-combat encounters, by defering gratification of spending a destiny point later in the session, it would also make the amount of destiny points flow a bit more.

What do you think?

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Triumphs and Despairs count as Successes and Failures, but they're not negated by Successes and Failures, just by each other, right?

It seems obvious, I'm just trying to be prepared for any possible player question.

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DailyRich said:

Triumphs and Despairs count as Successes and Failures, but they're not negated by Successes and Failures, just by each other, right?

It seems obvious, I'm just trying to be prepared for any possible player question.

Triumphs and Despairs are tallied up alongside regular successes and failures.  However, the "extra mojo" that each symbol packs is not canceled by anything (even each other).  So, regardless of overall success or failure on the dice pool result, the Triumph and/or Despair "extra somethin' somethin'" should be enacted. 

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DailyRich said:

So if I roll a Triumph and a regular Failure, the Success aspect is cancelled by the Failure?

Yes, but you can still spend your triumph in an appropriate manner.

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DailyRich said:

Got it, we were having a good back and forth about that, since it doesn't really specifically state that it acts as a Success in all respects.

Yeah, its all on Page 11.  This particular point is [nearly verbatim] in the second paragraph under triumph.

 

-WJL

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 I feel like, because of the placement of advantages and threats on the dice, and how dice either have facings with advantages/threats or successes/failures or a combination in equal numbers, most of the time a check with an equal chance of success (say, two difficulty vs two ability as your base dice) leaves you with either a failure with advantages or a success with threats.

Members of our group have played both WFRP and Edge now, and so I can't help but compare since there is a similarity in the proprietary dice.  

For something like Warhammer FRP, where the setting is gritty and there's this feeling that what matters is that the world is doing things to you rather than heroes doing something to change the world, diluting success with extenuating circumstances makes sense.  For heroic space opera it feels a little more weird.  I feel like success and failure should be a little less ambiguous.

And we kind of feel like the existince of reckless and conservative dice in WFRP did a great deal to ameliorate that feeling that plot is doing things to you rather than you doing things with the plot.  You could set how extreme you wanted the successes and failures to be.  I feel like an opportunity was missed in not bringing those dice over.  It would be a great fit for Star Wars, where aggression and recklessness are specifically called out as bad ideas by Jedi in the canon and  the overall storyline, and the tragedy of Anakin Skywalker shows that these dramatic swings that recklessness cause can lead to darkness, but conversely, sitting around and debating what is happening and being conservative can cause weakness.  Having players balance aggressive and defensive stances on dice rolls could have brought that theme of balance out in the mechanics of the game a lot more. 

The smaller dice pools (WFRP had additive dice rather than upgrades) and larger size of the stepped up dice (from d8 to d12 instead of d8 to d10) might also make things shake out a bit more strangely.  

Overall, I think we need to play more in order to really get a feel for it but it definitely feels strange, and may not feel appropriately heroic for Star Wars.  There's certainly less of a feel of unambiguous accomplishment and agency in the ability checks.      

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Illya Mar said:

And we kind of feel like the existince of reckless and conservative dice in WFRP did a great deal to ameliorate that feeling that plot is doing things to you rather than you doing things with the plot.  You could set how extreme you wanted the successes and failures to be.  I feel like an opportunity was missed in not bringing those dice over.  It would be a great fit for Star Wars, where aggression and recklessness are specifically called out as bad ideas by Jedi in the canon and  the overall storyline, and the tragedy of Anakin Skywalker shows that these dramatic swings that recklessness cause can lead to darkness, but conversely, sitting around and debating what is happening and being conservative can cause weakness.  Having players balance aggressive and defensive stances on dice rolls could have brought that theme of balance out in the mechanics of the game a lot more. 

I'm also pretty surprised that FFG decided not to bring these dice across from WFRP. As you say, them seem like a very good fit (perhaps for dark side/light side destiny points, rather than a simple upgrade, tjavascript:f_valida_respuesta();o represent channelling the aggression of the dark side and the tranquility of the light side)…

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bbarlowglamdring said:

 We have played several sessions now and, while very happy with nearly all of the system, we have found the sheer number of Advantages and Threats that come up on the dice to be distracting.  We don't have issues developing them into story points, it's just that there are so many of them that they no longer seem interesting, and they become a superfluous distraction (which we don't think any core mechanic should be!).

Keep in mind that if u reduce the number of advantages and disadvantages u impact a number of things:

*  With a 'straight roll' w/ roughly half good & bad dice …despite advantages & disadvantages cancelling each other out -  the variance is still reduced, thus decreasing the chance of outlyer results such as 3 advantages for a crit or 3 threats for a out-of-ammo

* Often the acting player will have the advantage in dice, thus reducing the number of advantages/disadvantages will reduce teh overall expected amount of advantages thus impacting all abilities derived from such (leadership from Politico, Healing, Crits, autofire etc).

IMO somtimes just outsource the narrative a bit or fall back on simple mechanics like gain or loss of strain or bonus/penalty of dice on next roll ;)

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So, I've been reading up this thread again, needed that it seemed.

My question might fit into the skill thread too, but I think this is the most appropriate place.

Since advantages apply, even if the check (combat or skill) was not successful - which I had assumed as is now confirmed by reading through this thread I wonder. Spending threats and advantages in combat is all good and well, even computers and mechanics seems to go swell, but social skills…

Last session, with my second group of beta-testers, the politico wanted to deceive a customs desk clerk to gain access to some stuff (long story) on Cloud City… So she rolls deceit against his discipline - which he hasn't got… so only willpower then. She does not succeed, but rolls a ton of advantages… now, in combat its more or less easy to throw around setbacks and boost dice, and similar stuff… there's crates, dust, shrapnel flying about, running, falling and hiding behind bodies, screaming, aiming, balance, over reaching, insults… you know, a lot… but across a counter, talking to a person… how do you spend advantages?

My ruling, since she was new and didn't really get the idea, and because she's not that familiar with star wars, was that she by accident mentioned GalEx or something (you know, DHL FedEx thingy in SW gui%C3%B1o.gif) and the desk clerk reacted to this (which she could see and rewarded herself with a boost die) - the whole conversation wasn't roleplayed properly due to late hours, long day and her lack familiarity with star wars and roleplaying, but would that be a fair use of advantage expenditure in a non-successful attempt to deceive someone? The result of failures and successes were exactly 0, there was no cancelling of successes, only a advantage or two cancelled… so the advantages stirred a reaction in the clerk, due to some new deal or lots of traffic for those delivery guys these last few week, new faces, lots of stuff - hence boost die on next attempt/round - since she realises this - which is the advantage… even if he doesn't really believe her on her first try…

Makes sense? How would you do it?

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 Do you remember that scene in The Incredibles where Mr . Incredible was helping the old lady with her insurance claim? "I would not advise you to talk to Norma Wilcox…"

That's how I'd take handle your situation. The person your talkin to cant help, but knows someone who can. Adv and Threat spent on the first interaction roll modifies your first roll with the new person.

-EF

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Jegergryte said:

something (you know, DHL FedEx thingy in SW gui%C3%B1o.gif) and the desk clerk reacted to this (which she could see and rewarded herself with a boost die) - the whole conversation wasn't roleplayed properly due to late hours, long day and her lack familiarity with star wars and roleplaying, but would that be a fair use of advantage expenditure in a non-successful attempt to deceive someone?

sounds fair to me :) use advantages to either:

* gain a hint / boost die to follow up attempts … - perhaps failing a decieve check, but noticing how the guy checks out the girl in the group …giving her an opportunity to apply a bit of charm to persuade the guard to just look the other way … and perhaps even gain a future 'friend' eh I mean contact ;)

* gain a hint about some unrelated stuff - "no sorry we are fully booked, bad luck on your part - its usually not a problem but just last night we had a big group of guys come in - shady looking fellows I tell ya … etc"

* some other minor advantage … - with the guy offering some other help, perhaps he cant help u with this, but he does know another guy who might be able to help …. or perhaps he notices one of the guys having a wound …and he just happens to be an old combat medic from his times in the military…

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Various threads have hit on the fact that dice "upgrades" aren't really much of an upgrade.  For example, does it make sense that someone with Agility 3 and 1 rank of training in ranged - heavy fails more than someone with 4 Agility and no training in the skill?  Based on what we've seen out of EtoE so far, I don't think that is the desired mechanic - but from our pooled experiences, it seems like more dice is always better than upgraded dice.

(Now, granted yellow and red dice have the all-powerful triumph and despair symbols on them… but they only count as a single success, and success versus failure is what I'm getting at here.)

That said, I see a couple of options that may help to remedy this issue - option 1 is presented if the designers are able to modify the dice prior to release, and option 2 if that is not possible.

Option 1:  Changing a Die Face

If changing/re-egineering the dice is actually in-scope for this beta, then either the yellow dice need to be revamped to to include more successes respectively, OR the green dice need to include less success and failures.  Needless to say, this would have impact to the corresponding red and purple dice, respectively, and that would need to be evaluated to maintain similar ratios of success:failure.  In this regard, updating a face on the yellow (and red) die seems most appropriate.

Looking at the numbers (and not at the in-depth probability):

> a green die has a total of 5 successes spread over 4 faces.  That means you'll get a success 50% of the time, and theres a 12% chance you'll get an extra success.

> a yellow die had a total of 10 successes spread over 8 faces (including the triumph).  That means you'll get a success 66% of the time… and there's a 16% chance you'll get an extra success (not including triumph).

The 50% to 66% jump seems reasonable… a little more wouldn't hurt, but the real bummer is that "extra successes" are only generated an additional 4% of the time (negligible).  This is where the yellow die needs some serious work. 

Recommendation:  replace the "single advantage" face of the d12 with a "triple success"… this would increase the chance of getting a success to 75% (up 9%) and bump the chances of extra successes to 25%.  Additionally, it gives the yellow dice more weight - not only can you achieve triumph, but you can also achieve levels of success that an untrained person could never achieve.

The corresponding change would need to occur on the red challenge dice, replacing a "single threat" face with a triple failure. 

(I have altered the dice, pray I don't alter them any further…)

 

Option 2:  Triumph = Triple Success; Despair = Triple Failure

If the dice designs have already been sent to the factory and can't be adjusted, then the next best fix would be to change potency of the triumph and despair symbols to help improve the perceived lack of success generation from yellow dice. 

Recommendation:  Change the second paragraph under "Triumph" on page 11 to read: "First, each Triumph (!) counts as THREE success symbols (*), in every means previously defined as a success…" and so forth. This would make the yellow (proficiency) dice meaningful, and as noted above, would allow trained characters to achieve levels of success (read: success, not triumph - remember the triumph symbol does two different things) that an untrained character could not.

The same would apply for the red (challenge) dice as well; the Despair symbol would count as three failures.

 

Edit/Note:  I am not suggesting any changes to the second part of the triumph/despair mechanic; this would remain as-is.  The only change would be that those symbols would count as 3 success/failures instead of just 1, on top of any additional effects.

 

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 You know, without doing the math, I think that is a good compromise. I doubt the dice are changeable at this point (as the beginners game must be in production if they want to release it before christmas), but triumph/despair counting as three successes is a good compromise.

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gribble said:

 You know, without doing the math, I think that is a good compromise. I doubt the dice are changeable at this point (as the beginners game must be in production if they want to release it before christmas), but triumph/despair counting as three successes is a good compromise.

I like the triumph/despair counting as 3 threat/advantage idea, it works well to keep the triumph/despair results feeling strong. However, I feel that it might make those single 1/12 rolls too powerful and overwhelming, they already give you a tide-swing the the battle.

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Exalted5 said:


Recommendation: Change the second paragraph under "Triumph" on page 11 to read: "First, each Triumph (!) counts as THREE success symbols (*), in every means previously defined as a success…" and so forth. This would make the yellow (proficiency) dice meaningful, and as noted above, would allow trained characters to achieve levels of success (read: success, not triumph - remember the triumph symbol does two different things) that an untrained character could not.

 

The same would apply for the red (challenge) dice as well; the Despair symbol would count as three failures.

Edit/Note: I am not suggesting any changes to the second part of the triumph/despair mechanic; this would remain as-is. The only change would be that those symbols would count as 3 success/failures instead of just 1, on top of any additional effects.


 

3WhiteFox3 said:

gribble said:

 

 You know, without doing the math, I think that is a good compromise. I doubt the dice are changeable at this point (as the beginners game must be in production if they want to release it before christmas), but triumph/despair counting as three successes is a good compromise.

 

I like the triumph/despair counting as 3 threat/advantage idea, it works well to keep the triumph/despair results feeling strong. However, I feel that it might make those single 1/12 rolls too powerful and overwhelming, they already give you a tide-swing the the battle.

 

How about simply making the Triumph/Despair 'wild' as in any combination of 3 … 1 success + 2 advantages or 3 successes or 2 success +1 advantage …(and then drop the autocrit) IMO the Triumph is already plenty powerful when it comes to advantages its in the successdepartment its lacking!

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I kind of like the "wild" idea, as long the the "turn the tide of battle" also remains - I'm already a bit confused as to it counting as 1 success at the same time as being able to do something amazing… or 1 success and auto-crit.

Talking about crits: they seem rather pointless against minions, I might have overlooked something somewhere, but I assume that crits have no function against minions really…

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Jegergryte said:

I kind of like the "wild" idea, as long the the "turn the tide of battle" also remains - I'm already a bit confused as to it counting as 1 success at the same time as being able to do something amazing… or 1 success and auto-crit.

Talking about crits: they seem rather pointless against minions, I might have overlooked something somewhere, but I assume that crits have no function against minions really…

Im actually not sure exactly what the rules say - but so far we have played with a rule that a crit autokill 1 minion

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