Thursday, June 15, 2017

Dancing with Mr. D (Part 1)

Several months ago, I had an idea.  Actually, it was more of a question that I posed to myself.
I had just wrapped up another game session, and was going over some points in my mind.  I was half asleep in my warm bed, passing through ideas in the ether of pre-unconsciousness.  
I remembered another game that I had played a long time ago, where success and damage were determined in one roll.  "I wish the game could do that," I thought to myself.

And then a little voice in my head said, "Why not?"

My eyes snapped open, and I was wide awake.  It was a very weird feeling, something I hadn't experienced before; a kind of buzz, but not brought on by any kind of medicine or drug.  It felt like I had to write something down RIGHT NOW.  If I didn't, it would be gone forever.  I shuffled into the living room, sat down in my chair, and opened up my laptop.  

Success and Damage in one roll.  Lots of different systems handle this, and do it well.  Why would this be any different?  I thought about dice pools, and thought of d6; it's a tried and true dice pool, even set of values, and easy to get.  It can also be broken down to different variables, depending on what you want to represent.

Dice pools can be cumbersome, especially if you're rolling a fistful of dice.  Some kind of limiter would need to be in place.  I started thinking about how to accomplish this, and thought about how it could effect other aspects of the system.  Character creation, advancement, averages, just about everything.  That's how I came up with the Rule of 10 - a dice pool cannot exceed 10 in total.  It seemed like a simple and effective way to limit massive dice pools, and I was pretty pleased with the concept.  Little did I know how deep this simple rule would shape the system.

Target numbers were no good to me, and didn't seem to fit the flow of the system.  I wanted it to be more about the dice, rather than their face value.  Skills and Attributes would be measured in the amount of dice you allocated to them.  How many Attributes, though?  I wanted to remain as simple as possible, so I decided on three; Body, Mind, and Spirit.  These Attributes would also form the basis of derived stat pools; Health, Speed, and Grit.  

Skills were tricky, mainly because I wanted to stay away from a long exhaustive list.  I wanted a simple list, but have the option for complexity and specialization.  I came up with a two tier system of Broad and Focused Skills, with each group granting a benefit to the character.  Broad skills represent general knowledge and aptitude in a field, and Focused skills represent specialization and expertise.

There's a lot more to talk about, and it's still evolving.  Stay tuned for more!