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How to implement Skill rolls with dice manipulations

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larienna
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I have released recently Eldritch Express. Since the characters do not have attributes, the skills and knowledge they could use are expressed as special abilities where some can manipulate dice rolls.

Now I have 2 game ideas, one where you have a space ship with 2 crew member and a TMNT game where characters fullfill mission where I would like to give character Attributes/Skill Levels. But I do not want to end up like in Arkham/Eldritch Horror where you roll to test your skill and that's it. It just feels dull and there is no strategy.

--- Idea A ---
My first idea was to give characters stats from 1 to 5. When you roll dice, you can assign dice where the value is lower or equal to the skill level. So that low values have much more assignment possibilities than high values.

Then each die assigned to a skill, count like a hit,success,icon that could be used to accomplish stuff.

The drawback is that 6 gets discarded, and high numbers could have an obvious placement which does not always gives you strategy.

--- Idea B ---
Another idea was to use the value of the die to my advantage. You assign your dice value to a skill, and you can assign multiple dice to the same skill to improve your score. You could take advantage of low rolls, by combining dices together, but you would do less stuff in a round. At least, you do not lose dices.

The problem is that characters has no stat that influence the rolls. Limiting values that or the number of dice that could be assigned both works badly.

--- Idea C ----
Same as above, assign any die to any skill, but characters has a +1 to +3 on certain skills. Each die assigned add the bonus to the value of the die. So if you put 2 dice at +3, you get 6 + the value of both dice. You could also combine dice as 1 action, or use dice separately as separate actions/icons/hits, etc.

The drawback, is that the math could easily exceed 20 points. Still, dice could be used for separate actions for lower math. So if I place 3 dice at +3, it's not necessarily 9+ die value. But for example I could need 2 skill roll of 8 or more: I have a roll of 1 dice +3, and 2 dice +6 which both groups of dice exceed/equal 8 to get my 2 hits.

Else the only drawback I found is that a +1 or +2 could be meaningless on dice with value 1-6, or I could have too large math. I could reduce the number on the dice to [1,1,1,2,2,3] which requires custom dice, or use larger bonus. Else having skills expressed as +X is not really elegant, it gives more manipulation option but much more complex than method A.

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Now I was wondering if there were other games with skill rolls that allowed dice manipulations because I never seen this in a game.

Squinshee
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What if you're allowed to

What if you're allowed to roll a certain amount of dice, and can only assign a total of X to skills? There could then be benefits to grabbing one or two large numbers (stronger attacks or whatever), as well as grabbing smaller numbers (more versatility in actions).

Just a quick thought.

larienna
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So for example, you could

So for example, you could have skills of value 4-6-8 and dice you assign cannot exceed the value. So if you roll 5, you cannot assign it to the skill with value 4, but if you happen to have also a 3, you can add both dice together to get your 8.

Interesting, It's similar to method A but use the value of the dice.

Squinshee
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That works too. My idea

That works too.

My idea didn't involve combining the numbers though, because that system still implies that maxing out each stat is the optimal strategy. My idea was that you can assign multiple low numbers, up to its value in that stat. For each dice assigned you get a bonus (in what form that would take, I'm not entirely sure). So having three ones on your attack stat would give you three weak attacks, while having one three on your attack stat would give you one much stronger attack. Depending on the situation, one of these may be more beneficial than the other. Does that make sense?

Honestly, this sounds like a pretty intriguing mechanic...I may have to develop this myself. It's always good to discuss mechanics!

keirion
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Could you combine that with a

Could you combine that with a dice manipulation ability?

Say you have stats of 8 and 4. You roll 5-2-2. You assign 5 and 2 to the 8 but you have a 2 left over 8>5+2 So you spend that 1 difference to either a) reroll another die or b) increase another die by 1, depending on how luck based you'd want that to feel.

Either way that 8 is now maxed out at 7 so you couldn't apply it to that, but could apply the new value to your 4 stat.

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
I imagine you could design a

I imagine you could design a game where success requirements is a number of dice and value.

Somebody else suggested dead of winter which is similar to Idea A, but in reverse numeric. The main differences is that each die is an action and you do not play them all at the same time, you only spend 1 when making the action. Some action requires no specific value, so "failed" rolls still have an use.

This looks like a decent mechanic.

Quote:
Could you combine that with a dice manipulation ability?

I want to avoid special text abilities, This is what I had to do for Eldritch Express. I only want numerical attribute or skills,

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