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Games Designers Help w/Co-Op Random Events

7 replies [Last post]
Milostnik's picture
Joined: 03/11/2017

Howdy ya'll.

I'm trying to come up with an interesting way to have players have a random event happen in their turn, by using dice.

It's a co-op game where the players use their turn to move lemmings on the map to the exit of the maze. On a players turn they can move 2 lemmings 1 space, or 1 lemming 2 spaces.

To add flair to the turns, I was going to have the players roll a bunch of dice and use the matching symbols to determine a special action or event they can do in their turn. e.g if you roll two or more "1's" you get to move twice as many pawns etc etc.

I wanted to get some games designers opinions on how to maybe implement an element of randomness to what actions they can take in their turn?

Thanks :)

Paul Ott
Joined: 01/22/2018
It sounds like everything

It sounds like everything else about the game is fixed, and the only difference are the dice. If that's the case, dice could give multiple options. Either roll one die and each face gives 2+ options, or roll 2+ dice and each face gives one option and you can pick which one to use.

Jay103's picture
Joined: 01/23/2018
Could use a simple look-up

Could use a simple look-up table. If there are just a few options, one die, up to six possibilities. If some should be rarer than others, use two dice, and have something like:

2, 12: Great thing
3, 11: Pretty great thing
4, 10: good thing
5, 9 : decent thing
6,7,8: nothing

Obviously if you have more things to choose from, you can split those up, etc. Don't make the table too complicated if you don't have to. In the example I just gave, after one play-through of the game, the players would pretty much have the table memorized.

Lowenhigh's picture
Joined: 03/20/2018
I really like the method that

I really like the method that Crusaders: Thy Will Be Done for limiting actions. They use a rondel to show what actions you may take. You can do certain things to mess with your rondel, but there is a limit to the types of actions you may take.

The premise is that you have a bottom board in a circular shape with actions spread around it. On top of that, you have another circle with a pie-shaped slice taken out that shows what actions may be taken. Some actions, like move or attack, can be printed on top of the top circle so they can be used every turn. Special actions are limited.

I much prefer this to dice, because each “faction” gets their own unique combo of actions since they get a rondel unique to them. “Randomizing” reminds me of Catan and makes me less interested since randomness with dice makes for high odds for most actions and low odds for others which is very meh.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Hmm... I think a TABLE is too simple

I would maybe think about introducing a "Push-Your-Luck" (PYL) mechanic!

Again nothing too complicated but maybe a simple rule: if you roll a PAIR, you lose and get NO EVENT.

You roll two (2) dice:

1st Roll: you get something average.
2nd Roll: you get something good.
3rd Roll: you get something great.

Think of it like a "mini-game" ... with some interesting odds. The odds for a PAIR are 1 in 6 (so 16.67% of losing on each roll).

And maybe you could ADD "another" dice rule: you must not roll the amount of any PREVIOUS rolls.

So let's examine an example:

1st Roll = 5 + 1 = 6 (Not a pair).
2nd Roll = 3 + 4 = 7 (Not a pair and not 6).
3rd Roll = 5 + 6 = 11 (Not a pair and not 6 or 7).

Another example:

1st Roll = 4 + 5 = 9 (Not a pair).
2nd Roll = 3 + 6 = 9 (YOU LOSE! because its a 9).

It may be a bit more "demanding" in terms of a mechanic... More complicated than a simple 2d6 roll. But at the same time, you get risk vs. reward and PYL action... Which can increase the FUN-factor too.

I suggest you TRY it out and see if you like how it goes. Is it more FUN? Or does it add too much play time?? Playtesting is the only way to find out...


Update: This method is rather simple to manage. All you need is three (3) card piles: average, good, and great. Whatever the fate of your rolls determines the type and quality of the event. And you can even add some "mess-with-you" events that are of a lesser quality too.

The idea is that on "average" the event is better according to the amount of risk you take...

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
More about the PYL mechanic

One thing I wanted to add... Not only is the PYL mechanic FUN, it also ADDS a layer of additional STRATEGY.

How? Why?

Look at it this way:

If your FIRST roll is a "4 + 3" = 7! That's make the next roll RISKIEST because "7" is 16.67% odds of rolling. Add to this a chance of a potential PAIR and you have another 16.67%. That's basically a 1 in 3 chance of having a BAD roll.

Do you want to risk it? Yes or no. And if you do, do you want to risk it AGAIN (if you are successful) knowing the odds are even LESS in your favor.

Again this is more "meaty" than a simple 2d6 roll. It makes players THINK and play with odds, adding a real "nice" level of strategy!

Milostnik's picture
Joined: 03/11/2017
I love the ideas. I'll

I love the ideas. I'll definitely try this one out and see how it goes. A+

Joined: 09/06/2017
Good Better Best action grid

Sorry for the late reply. You could add a chart like the one below. Each column would have good better and best actions. Something would enable players to roll dice and then place it in the topmost spot of the appropriate column that does not already have a die. Players could take these actions by removing a die from that column.

For the I provided some good-better-best dice manipulation example actions.

I am not really sure what the best number of dice is to use for this grid. I am thinking that 3-5 might be a good place to start. Adding and removing dice from the pool could even be incorporated into the game. (The more dice that you have in the pool the more likely players will be to take better and best actions)

This was loosely inspired by the action selection grid in Panamax.

Good Reroll this dice and place in correct column
Better flip any placed dice and place correct column
Best Place this die in any column
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