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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Idea for a "Diceless" Game [PEACH]

    I recently had a brainstorm for a “diceless” roleplaying game, and I hope you’ll give me some advice on it.

    The basic premise is that instead of rolling a die every time you attempt something, you instead have a “pool” of results that you can use. For example, instead of rolling a d20, you might have a pool of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20. Whenever a situation occurs in which a d20 roll would be required, you instead choose a result from your pool and add a specific modifier (so attack rolls and knowledge checks would draw from the same pool, but add different modifiers). Once that result is chosen, you may not choose it again until your pool is reset. Your pool resets when you have expended every result.

    This system would probably work best in a game where only one die is being used (such as GURPS, where only d6s are used, as opposed to D&D 3.5, which utilizes dice ranging from d2 to d20), so a character would only have to keep track of one pool.

    One could also give players different pools to draw on with different numbers in each one (maybe a player has one pool with lots of extreme numbers like 1s and 20s, another pool with mostly low results, another pool with mostly high results, and a fourth pool with standard results). If a DM uses this rule, he/she might also decide that no pools refresh until every result from every pool is expended (effectively making one mega-pool with different numbers of different results).

    At some point, I might create and post a sample system using this instead of dice, but for now, I’ll just post the idea for the core mechanic and see what the Playground thinks.
    Last edited by Timeless Error; 2012-01-15 at 10:06 AM.
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    Default Re: Idea for a "Diceless" Game [PEACH]

    the basic premise is cool. though i have to say you'll need another 1 or 2 ways to refresh your 'pool' or else it ends up being a little less freindly to the characters

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    Default Re: Idea for a "Diceless" Game [PEACH]

    I could see this leading to a slowdown of action for a lot of precalculation:

    "OK, I only need a 12 to succeed on that, I'll cross off my 12 result."

    "Umm, I need an 18 to succeed on that, but I want to save that for something important and I don't really care if I fail on this, so I'll just cross off my 1 result."

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Idea for a "Diceless" Game [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenneth View Post
    the basic premise is cool. though i have to say you'll need another 1 or 2 ways to refresh your 'pool' or else it ends up being a little less freindly to the characters
    Good idea, I'll try to put a few ideas on refreshing up in the OP. Any suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by SpaceBadger View Post
    I could see this leading to a slowdown of action for a lot of precalculation:

    "OK, I only need a 12 to succeed on that, I'll cross off my 12 result."

    "Umm, I need an 18 to succeed on that, but I want to save that for something important and I don't really care if I fail on this, so I'll just cross off my 1 result."
    If the DM doesn't tell the players skill DCs/target AC/enemy HP, the PC couldn't really do any calculation and would have to make a judgment call about the importance of the situation. If necessary, the DM could impose a "2-second timer" for the player to decide which result to use if PCs take too much time.

    To address the potential problem of players only failing when they want to, the DM might have to make sure that each battle or test of skill a party faces would require several "rolls" instead of just one, or create several consecutive combats/skill checks, allowing characters to shine when they really want to/need to while still making it possible for a character to get a bad result in an important situation if he/she uses up all the good ones too quickly and can't recharge.
    Last edited by Timeless Error; 2012-01-14 at 11:25 PM.
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    Default Re: Idea for a "Diceless" Game [PEACH]

    I could see this getting abused rather swiftly.

    DM: Okay you see a big bad skeery monster.

    Player: 20! Blam! *cycles down from 20 to 15 or so, monster is dead*

    DM: Okay, now what?

    Player: I make a listen check at the door, using my 1.

    DM: You hear nothing.

    Player: *keeps cycling though until his numbers refresh*

    DM: Rocks fall. I hate you so much.
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    Default Re: Idea for a "Diceless" Game [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by The Endbringer Xaraphim View Post
    I could see this getting abused rather swiftly.

    DM: Okay you see a big bad skeery monster.

    Player: 20! Blam! *cycles down from 20 to 15 or so, monster is dead*

    DM: Okay, now what?

    Player: I make a listen check at the door, using my 1.

    DM: You hear nothing.

    Player: *keeps cycling though until his numbers refresh*

    DM: Rocks fall. I hate you so much.
    But isn't this just the equivalent of taking 20?

    Edit: For the listen check, that is; obviously the ability to blast through monsters with high numbers is somewhat abusive, and the refresh timing issues therefore need careful consideration.
    Last edited by TuggyNE; 2012-01-15 at 05:59 AM.
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    That's RAW for you; 100% Rules-Legal, 110% silly.
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    Default Re: Idea for a "Diceless" Game [PEACH]

    This has some fun elements.

    To keep your players on their toes, you should once in while ask for a number for an unspecified purpose, don't say initiative or reflex save or notice-secret-door-elf-stuff, just "I need a number", even for benign things or just to mess with them - "give me four numbers in order for later". This would allow you to thin out their pools.

    To the issue of trying over and over: this isn't a problem, if there is anything to be heard on the other side of the door, it may have a chance of hearing you as well. And you are using actions the others could use to get ready...

    I like it, but a think you should work on the replenish method... If you just get a fresh pool after using the one you have, the system will be gamed for that purpose. But if your pool is the actions you can take until all pools replenish then players must manage their pools.

    This could also be used to give different sized pools for different quests/encounters. Another way of throwing you player off your intentions(if that is what you want to do).

    Maybe one pool is heavy in the extremes:
    (roll: amount)
    1: 5
    2: 4
    3: 3
    4: 2
    ... : 1 each
    17: 2
    18: 3
    19: 4
    20: 5

    and another just set up for failure:
    1: 2
    2: 2
    3: 2
    4: 2
    5: 2
    6-10: 1 each
    11-19: 0 each
    20: 2

    it gives some awesome tools for setting up player expectations.

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    Default Re: Idea for a "Diceless" Game [PEACH]

    I attempt to be a god. I cross off my 1.
    I attempt to convince my shoes I am a god. I cross off my 2.
    I attempt to coerce my shoes into agreeing that I am a god. I cross off my 3.
    I attempt to convince my socks to team up with me in changing my shoes opinion of my godhood. I cross off my 4.
    I listen to my shoes. I cross off my 5.
    I do the above once more. I cross off 6-10.
    I am now ready for the day.
    My preferred pronouns are they, them, and their.

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    Default Re: Idea for a "Diceless" Game [PEACH]

    I assume of course there will be some "roleplay rule" to prevent you from relentlessly abusing the system?
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    Default Re: Idea for a "Diceless" Game [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by The Endbringer Xaraphim View Post
    I could see this getting abused rather swiftly.

    DM: Okay you see a big bad skeery monster.
    Player: 20! Blam! *cycles down from 20 to 15 or so, monster is dead*
    DM: Okay, now what?
    Player: I make a listen check at the door, using my 1.
    DM: You hear nothing.
    Player: *keeps cycling though until his numbers refresh*
    DM: Rocks fall. I hate you so much.
    As I mentioned earlier (see my post above yours), the system would probably require a few changes in play style to prevent this from happening. The player uses all his/her good results on the monster, listens at the door once and is not allowed to retry, hears nothing, and walks right into a room full of three more of those skeery monsters (or a bunch of traps, or a cliff face that the player needs several good results to scale) and ends up regretting his/her poor research management.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonDuckie View Post
    This has some fun elements.

    To keep your players on their toes, you should once in while ask for a number for an unspecified purpose, don't say initiative or reflex save or notice-secret-door-elf-stuff, just "I need a number", even for benign things or just to mess with them - "give me four numbers in order for later". This would allow you to thin out their pools.
    This pretty much exactly how I wanted the system to be used when I created it.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonDuckie View Post
    I like it, but a think you should work on the replenish method... If you just get a fresh pool after using the one you have, the system will be gamed for that purpose. But if your pool is the actions you can take until all pools replenish then players must manage their pools.

    This could also be used to give different sized pools for different quests/encounters. Another way of throwing you player off your intentions(if that is what you want to do).

    Maybe one pool is heavy in the extremes:
    (roll: amount)
    1: 5
    2: 4
    3: 3
    4: 2
    ... : 1 each
    17: 2
    18: 3
    19: 4
    20: 5

    and another just set up for failure:
    1: 2
    2: 2
    3: 2
    4: 2
    5: 2
    6-10: 1 each
    11-19: 0 each
    20: 2

    it gives some awesome tools for setting up player expectations.
    Interesting ideas, giving players several pools to draw on/uneven amounts of different numbers. I'll stick it in the OP as an optional rule.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChumpLump View Post
    I attempt to be a god. I cross off my 1.
    I attempt to convince my shoes I am a god. I cross off my 2.
    I attempt to coerce my shoes into agreeing that I am a god. I cross off my 3.
    I attempt to convince my socks to team up with me in changing my shoes opinion of my godhood. I cross off my 4.
    I listen to my shoes. I cross off my 5.
    I do the above once more. I cross off 6-10.
    I am now ready for the day.
    Really? The system can't be denounced due to silly rules interpretations like that; no DM in his/her right mind would allow it.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Zoat View Post
    I assume of course there will be some "roleplay rule" to prevent you from relentlessly abusing the system?
    No hard-and-fast rule, of course, but the DM has just as much power as ever to shut down player shenanigans, so if a PC tries a maneuver like the one ChumpLump suggested, he/she wouldn't get far.
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    Default Re: Idea for a "Diceless" Game [PEACH]

    Maybe even use tokens, so secret rolls can be passed. It also makes it harder for jerk players to wait for another player to have used his good rolls to decide to go PvP.

    This also allows for players to bluff each other out-of-character.
    P1: "I'll try that"(pass a roll of 1)
    GM: you FAIL!
    P1: "OMG it's impossible!"
    P2: "I'm so scared."
    P3: "Screw this, I'm going to the tavern!


    Also: reroll ability shenanigans a la "fate spinner" would be a fun thing, making them a legal retry...

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    Default Re: Idea for a "Diceless" Game [PEACH]

    I am not denouncing the system, just pointing out a potential flaw to isolate and target. I would highly suggest creating a hard and fast rule, about such behavior.

    It seems to me that the PCs to find every way possible to game the mechanic by looking for something to fail at that won't matter very much as often as possible.
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    Default Re: Idea for a "Diceless" Game [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by ChumpLump View Post
    I am not denouncing the system, just pointing out a potential flaw to isolate and target. I would highly suggest creating a hard and fast rule, about such behavior.

    It seems to me that the PCs to find every way possible to game the mechanic by looking for something to fail at that won't matter very much as often as possible.
    OK, fair enough...what sort of rule would you suggest? It's kind of difficult to find a wording loophole-proof enough to regulate something like this. "Use common sense" is the closest I can come to something that covers most ridiculous exploits to get free recharges.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Idea for a "Diceless" Game [PEACH]

    A simple rule would be something like: The DM decides when a situation calls for a "roll", not the players.

    Still, I'm not sure if I, personally am keen on the mechanic. It feels odd to have to choose to fail.
    My preferred pronouns are they, them, and their.

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