Dicecide (system proposal)

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Dice and Rolling:

Dice:

a. The dice used in the Dicecide system are d100s.

b. Dice are rolled a number of times based on the character's skill and the highest result is kept. All results are opposed, either by another player or by a general roll by the moderator.

c. Subtracting the acting roll from the resisting roll generates a value between –99 and +99, with a tendency towards average. Odds are easily found as X to Y, where X is the acting roll and Y the opposing (so, a player with a pool of 10 dice versus a single die would have odds of 10:1 in their favor). Alternately, the success ratio can be easily found as X/(X+Y) (That is, the player in the previous example would have odds of 10/11)

The Basic Roll

a. A character has a chain of values representing their aptitude for certain tasks, and for more specialized tasks under that group, and so on. When rolling you combine all the values applicable for that task, except for the main Attribute that they are under (See Pushing, below, for how your attribute value is used). You can roll the dice for a number of times up to the value produced by adding up all your applicable skill values. The highest value is kept, even if you choose to further rerolls. The goal is to get the highest value, up to 100, the number approximately representing the percentage to which your action was executed perfectly.

b. Opposition - Once your number has been generated, either the GM or another player will roll to oppose you. An important note- if multiple players are rolling in opposition, none should announce their roll until all concerned have finished rolling. Even if there is no character opposing your action, the moderator still rolls 1 D 100 to represent random forces that could work on the action (when rolling on behalf of the universe like this, the moderator is not bound to tell the degree to which something has succeeded or failed, or indeed whether they have succeeded or failed at all, as the situation may warrant). The opposing roll is subtracted from the acting roll, the higher value succeeding by approximately the difference between the two rolls, as interpreted by the moderator. Ties go to the status quo- that is, whichever roll is acting to maintain the current state of things succeeds, which is usually but not always the resisting roll.

The Full Rolling Cycle:

In some situations where two or more characters match against each other, especially in combat, it may be necessary to undergo multiple rolls in order to account for all variables. The full cycle is as follows.

a. The Acting character(s) rolls their Skill.

b. The Opposing character(s) makes any active rolls applicable (Ex, they attempt to dodge or block.) The Opposing character must have sufficient Descriptors to perform the action. The moderator may instead make a general roll if the Opposing character has no options, or does not wish to exercise them. Having the moderator make this roll does not forfeit any rolls further on.

c. The initial rolls are compared. If the Opposing roll is greater, then the action fails at this point and there is usually no need to proceed further. If the Acting roll is greater, then subtract the two rolls.

d. The Acting character(s) rolls any Result dice. The Acting character also retains the initial Skill minus Opposition value, if this turns out to be greater than any of the Result rolls.

e. The Opposing character(s) makes any passive rolls. (Ex, to soak damage). Passive rolls do not require that the player have any Descriptors to use, and can never be denied.

f. If this roll is greater than the Active player's Result roll (above), then they take the minimum success (as determined by the success range of the action). If the Active player's roll is greater, then the effect increases towards the maximum success for the action.

  • If the passive Opposing rolls are less than both the Result dice and the initial Skill minus Opposition value, then the action succeeded above and beyond the normal success range. The moderator may interpret the results in any way that feels appropriate, not bound by this range. This represents an incredibly accurate use of the skill that exploited some weakness in the Opposing character. In combat, this usually means that a vital area has been struck.

Permutations:

The basic roll will not always cover the situation. When this happens, the following permutations may be applied as necessary.

a. Pushing It - Sometimes a player will be unsatisfied with the rolls generated by their skills. If so, they may Push their roll using their attribute points. A player may pay a point of the attribute used to govern the action for one roll. This action is costly: all skills governed by that attribute that were equal to the old value of the attribute, roll instead as if they were equal to the new value (IE, you cannot have a skill that is functionally higher than the current value of the attribute that governs it). If you do not have a skill appropriate for an action, then all rolls are Pushed automatically. If you reach 0 in any attribute, you are Exhausted for that attribute and cannot perform any actions involving it, even those which are normally too mundane to roll for. A character Exhausted for any attribute is more or less helpless, if not dead.

  • Restoring Attribute Points - If you Push yourself, you do regain the points back, slowly. During any prolonged period of rest (such as sleeping), or performing certain activities that are appropriate for the attribute (such as Meditating to regain Energy- what activities are appropriate for what attribute is entirely at the GM's discretion), the GM may allow you to roll to restore your attributes. The method is: you may roll any number of times, providing that each subsequent roll is higher than the first. For each roll you can make like this, you regain one attribute point from a depleted attribute (the first point is automatic, being as any number is higher than 0). You cannot regain more than the value of your attribute originally was. If you ever roll lower than the previous result, you must stop and cannot regain more of that attribute for a period of time, as determined by the GM.
    • Second Wind Option - In a critical situation, an Exhausted player may spontaneously regain some of their attribute points back. The player rolls to regenerate that attribute (and no other) immediately, gaining back whatever they roll. Their attribute is then set permanently at whatever value they can roll to, and any skill values under that attribute that exceed the new value are reduced accordingly, permanently. The reduced attribute represents the enormous strain of forcing yourself beyond your own limits. This can only be done once in a scene, and only if the situation warrants a truly heroic effort- it is not an action to be considered lightly. This option may only be used by players and key NPCs.

b. Descriptors - Descriptors allow a player to modify their character's actions, giving them a greater degree of control over what their character does.

  • Descriptors must be announced before the roll is made. Each Descriptor added to the roll costs one point of the Skill roll. You must at have at least one die to roll after naming all Descriptors on the action. Attribute points cannot be spent on Descriptors, though modified rolls can still be Pushed as normal. Spending for Descriptors only affects the roll for that round, and does not change any skill values afterward.
  • In certain cases (with GM approval) the use of Descriptors may modify or limit the Success Range of an action. This is most appropriate when the skills indicate that finesse is being used: the character is concentrating on a smaller, more difficult task than necessary in order to improve the eventual outcome.
  • In certain cases (with GM approval) characters may use descriptors to transfer points from the Skill roll to the Result roll. This is most appropriate when a brute force method is being used: the character is sacrificing accuracy in order to make the end result greater.
  • Descriptors may be spent to compensate for an awkward use of a skill (Ex: while using something in a character's off hand). Generally this only costs one, though it depends on the exact situation.
  • More than you can handle? Descriptors and extended actions
    • If a task calls for more descriptors than the character has available in their skill, they may attempt to perform the action over a longer period of time.
      • The player assigns a number of descriptors in each round of play. They must have at least one die remaining after all descriptors for the round are assigned. The player makes a check with their remaining skill each round to see if they have messed anything up at that stage. If they have, the action fails immediately, and the quality of the results are read off of that roll. If it succeeds, the action passes on to the next round. Only the final roll counts for quality of the success.
  • Multiple Actions: Descriptors may be spent in very specific ways in order to simulate multiple actions. The character must be able to reasonably perform all the actions with their equipment as it is (that is, they cannot perform three different actions, which require three different tools, assuming that they only have two hands). All the actions must take place on the same relative time scale, otherwise the slower action is paused or stopped and the quicker one resolves first instead. It is entirely the moderator's discretion what actions can be done simultaneously.
    • Descriptors above and beyond those used to account for the extra actions may be used to represent variations on the action as described above.
    • Each additional action for the round costs one point off the skill.
      • If two actions use the same skill in exactly the same way, and operating on the same thing, this is all that is needed, aside from any further modifiers. (Thus, if a two-weapon style was being used where both weapons were approximately the same, you would spend one point for an extra action plus one point for using one of the weapon in your off hand, assuming both weapons were being used in the same way against the same target.) When rolling in this way any Result dice are rolled independently, but the Skill roll is rolled as one. The Opposing character would get passive rolls against each Result roll.
    • If one skill is to be used to perform significantly different actions, you must split the value of the skill between each separate roll. This is appropriate when different variations of the skill are being used, when the skill is used on different things, or when the items being used for each roll are significantly different from each other. Splitting the roll is done after allocating points for other Descriptors, including the one point for each action beyond the first. Either roll may be Pushed, and Pushing one does not limit the maximum value of the other since they are simultaneous. All further actions would be limited by the new Attribute value however.
    • If more than one skill is to be used in the same action, you must spend the points for the action against the lowest ranked skill being used. All other skills are limited to the points split off of that roll.
      • This should be used if the rolls represent a sequence of different actions to be done in the same round rather than truly simultaneous actions; in this case, however, each roll must be successful for the next roll to be made, since the character is relying on having finished each one in order to proceed to the next. If any roll fails, all further rolls are cancelled, and any points spent cannot be regained for that turn.
    • You may also choose to split a roll (after spending at least one point as a Descriptor for multiple actions) and not assign the reserved value to any skill; in this case, the value you have held aside can be used to make any Skill roll at any point before the next turn (for instance, to make an active Opposed roll). If not used before then the reserved points mean nothing.
  • Creation: Descriptors are used extensively in creating things.
    • Each different function of an item costs a descriptor.
    • Every skill or result die costs descriptors at the cost at character generation (see character creation section below). That is, something to modify an attribute costs 5 for a skill die or 3 for a result die, skill sets cost 3 for a skill die or 1 for a result die, etc.
      • In addition, every skill die also requires the sacrifice of experience at one step below the cost of the skill being modified (that is, an attribute modifier would cost 5 descriptors per point and 3 experience; a skill set modifier would cost 3 descriptors and 1 point of experience, etc.). Result dice do not require this spending of experience.
    • Setting the success range may require the use of descriptors, at the moderator's discretion.

c. Bonuses And Penalties - If an action is more difficult than usual, or is significantly easier, the GM may add or subtract points from either roll. It is generally advised to add to an opposing roll rather than to subtract from the acting roll, especially if the acting roll is being opposed only by a GM's universal roll. No roll can go higher than 100; any number that exceeds 100 is set at 100 instead. Similarly, no roll can ever generate less than a 1. The GM is not bound to tell the value of any bonuses or penalties, though in most cases the character can reasonably tell if an action will be easier or tougher than normal. In some cases it is appropriate to give additional dice to one party or the other instead.

d. Sequential Rolling - In most cases it doesn't matter how many times a payer rerolls their dice to get their final value. If timing is important, however, the GM may ask the player to roll each die in sequence. This is particularly appropriate if an action that would normally take an extended amount of time, such as fixing something, is to be done during a period of combat, when the turns are generally reflective of a short amount of time; here, each roll of the extended task might occur during a full round of combat for everyone else in the scene. Depending on the situation, the moderator might determine the resisting roll beforehand (Ex, a character picking a lock; the moderator rolls for the lock first, then lets the player know when they have beaten that score and defeated it) or else afterward (as in the case of fixing something, the player may roll as many times as they wish, and then see if their rushed work is sufficient when they try to put what was being repaired to use. Here they do not have to use their full dice pool for the task, but they cannot roll more in total than they have dice for).

Character Creation

Attributes:

Mortals have the following attributes: Intelligence (INT), Wits (WITS), Presence (PRES), Dexterity (DEX), Strength (STR), Constitution (CON), Energy (EN), and Luck (LUCK).

a. These statistics are the basic attributes of a character, representing the raw potential that they have.

  • INT governs knowledge and memory.
  • WITS shows the ability for fast thinking and information processing.
  • PRES represents the person's ability to persuade and influence others.
  • DEX shows physical quickness and accuracy.
  • STR shows the ability for raw physical strength.
  • CON represents how sturdy the person's body and health are.
  • EN shows a character's will and their ability to impress it on the world through supernatural means.
  • LUCK governs chance events that happen around the character.
    • Heavy use of luck can lead to a very loose and unpredictable game. It may be discarded if the moderator feels this is inappropriate.

b. To determine a character's starting statistics, roll 9 d10 (That is, one more dice than there are attributes. If any attributes are being discarded as unnecessary for the setting, reduce the number rolled accordingly. For a higher-powered game, roll more extra dice, but this is not recommended for general use.)

c. Assign one die rolled to each statistic. Take the remaining die (or dice) and distribute that value among the attributes.

  • It is recommended that a relatively high roll should be reserved to distribute, as this gives more flexibility.

d. Alternately, players may (with moderator permission) distribute 50 points instead of rolling. This yields a character of marginally (.5 points) above statistical average. The point value may be adjusted according to the particular game setting. This decision should be made before any rolling is attempted.

Skill Sets

a. Skill sets represent general groups of skills that most people tend to posses at a basic level.

  • Players may choose not to buy into particular skill sets, either because of character reasons or because of cost.

b. Skill sets are associated with a particular attribute. The skill set can never have a greater value than the attribute that it is under. Each attribute has the skill sets as follows:

  • INT: Formal Knowledge (That is, knowledge that was specifically trained and taught for); Esoteric Knowledge (Knowledge gained by experience or gleaned through more practical means); Memory (Retention of facts and events)
  • WITS: Fast Thinking (The ability to think improvisationally); Idea (Creative acts, the ability to connect seemingly unrelated facts); Perception (The speed and accuracy at which the character handles sensory data)
  • PRES: Social (Affecting large numbers of people, or affecting people indiscriminately); Influence (Dealing with people in small groups or individually); Gimmick (Gimmick is used to generate flashy effects that happen for no reason other than because they are cool. This set lends itself to very cinematic style that might not be appropriate for all campaigns, in which case the set may need to be limited, replaced or eliminated.)
  • DEX: Dexterous Combat (Using Dexterity in a combat situation); Quickness (Affects gross body movements- the ability to make your body be where you want it when it's needed.); Manipulation (Fine motor skills)
  • STR: Strong Combat (Using Strength in a combat situation); Power (The ability to apply muscles in short bursts, as for sprinting, jumping, etc.); Might (The ability to apply force steadily over time, as when pushing or lifting)
  • CON: Endurance (The ability to withstand pain and damage); Health (The ability to recover from injury, and also the body's resistance to disease and toxins); Stamina (The ability to use one's body for long periods of time without wearing out)
  • EN: Magic (The ability to generate magical effects); Psi (The ability to manipulate the world with the mind); Willpower (The strength of a person's sense of self)
  • LUCK: Fortune (Deals with luck in situations where nobody is particularly in advantage, or situations that are intentionally left up to chance); Lucky Break (Can be invoked to generate fluke effects in the character's favor, often useful as a last chance at preserving a character. Using luck like this cannot be controlled, however, and if the results are not in the character's favor the situation is likely to turn even worse.)

c. To determine values for each skill set, take the value for the controlling attribute and distribute it as appropriate for the character among the sets under it. The distribution does not have to be even, and sets can be left at 0.

Skills and subskills

a. Skills represent particular activities that the character knows how to do at a better than basic level.

  • Skills may be attached to any reasonable skill set, though which set they are linked to will necessarily shape how the skill is used and the effects it has.
  • Skills may never exceed the value of the set that they're assigned to.

b. Subskills represent particular proficiencies under a skill.

  • Subskills are added under a skill. They should further limit the uses of the skill.
  • Any number of subskills may be placed under the same skill.
  • The value of a subskill can never be greater than the skill it is placed under.

c. Equipment enhances abilities of the character or adds to them.

d. To determine points to spend: add the highest two attributes of the character. This value represents the number of points that the character has to spend on skills, items, and advancing skill sets and attributes.

e. Add the two lowest attributes of the character. This value is the number of skills that can be bought with these original points.

  • This number does not count for the number of attributes, skill sets, subskills, or equipment that can be bought at this time, only skills.

f. Costs: The points are spent as follows:

  • Raising an attribute by 1 costs 5 points.
    • Raising attributes does NOT increase the number of points or selections available to spend.
  • Raising a skill set by 1 costs 3 points.
    • A skill set can never be greater than the attribute that it's under.
  • Raising a skill by 1 costs 1 point.
    • A skill can never be greater than the set it's under.
  • Raising a subskill under costs ½ point.
    • Any fractions of points are void after character generation.
    • Subskills cannot be greater than the skill or subskill they are placed under.

Equipment:

  • Not all pieces of equipment need to be paid for in points. Characters are assumed to have (at a value of 0) possession of, or access to, all normal pieces of equipment needed to perform all their purchased skills, unless otherwise stated. You may wish to specifically list weapons with no dice associated with them, in order to clearly have the success range for that weapon.
  • Equipment items enhance the character's ability to perform actions. Equipment points are effectively spent on attributes, skill sets, skills and subskills that are associated with the equipment.
  • The entries bought under an equipment do not have to match with any skill of the character so long as use is reasonably clear. Skill sets and attributes do not have to match the standard entries as is appropriate.
  • Items may have any number of entries, and entries may be chained together. (That is, a piece of equipment may affect a skill and different subskills under that skill).
  • Equipment contains two types of dice, skill dice and result dice. A piece of equipment does not require both to be present. Unless the full rolling cycle is being used (this is used primarily for combat situations) skill and result dice are combined for the equipment's value.
    • Skill dice represent an assist from the item to a attribute, set, skill or subskill (not just skills). This represents not just making the existing skill (or whatever) more useful, but actually improving it because of the equipment. (Ex: an enchanted tool that contains the working ability of everyone who ever possessed it; an AI implant with knowledge associated with it; a gun sight or laser scope that helps a person aim more accurately).
      • Skill dice cost as they would for the character normally, but are not bound by the attribute>set>skill>subskill series of the character.
    • Result dice represent the degree to which an item enhances the end results of existing skill of a character. The use of most items lean more towards result dice than skill dice.
      • Result dice cost one level down from what the trait would cost at character or skill dice. That is, attribute enhancers cost 3 points, set enhancers cost 1, skill enhancers cost ½, affecting subskills costs 1/3.
      • Result dice are bound by the character's current functional level; that is, they cannot provide more dice than the value of the same relative level that the character is using. (Ex: A character with a skill of 3 that uses a tool with a result of 5 with that skill only gains 3 dice from the tool. Note that the skill does not have to exactly match that listed in the item: they do have to be bought at the same level and close enough that the item can be logically used with that skill.) If a tool contains both skill and result dice for a particular roll, then the result dice are limited by the item's skill added to the player's.
        • Exception: weapons with result dice greater than the skill being used keep their full result value. Complications may arise from using a weapon with more 'bang' than you're used to, at moderator's discretion. (Having to make a STR- or CON-based roll to simulate kickback or difficulty wielding the weapon properly; adding points to any roll to avoid or block the attack, etc. If so, the appropriate penalty should be based on the difference between the player's skill roll and the result dice).
  • Types of items:
    • Tools – Tools generally only require one type of dice (result in most cases) and do not require a success range (success range is considered the same as for performing a task without assistance)
    • Weapons – it is more important to differentiate between skill and result dice with weapons than other types of equipment. In addition, weapons will also have a success range associated with it. This range varies according to the type of weapon, not the points spent into it. The success range for a weapon describes the least amount of damage it can do at a hit, to the greatest amount of damage it can normally do. (IE- a knife may have a success range of 'Minor Cut – Deep Wound')
    • Vehicles, animals and allies – Vehicles, particularly self-propelled ones, animals (whether used for mounts or not) and allies that function as an NPC under the PC's control are likely to have more complex trees of attributes, sets and skills than other types of equipment. There may be instances where only the item's are counted (Ex: a truck pulling a load behind it does not include the driver's strength; an NPC follower on a mission will use their own rolls and not the player's). Note that these will necessarily drain a large portion of a character's starting points because of their complexity. Campaigns where these types of items are a strong feature may wish to allocate a certain number of points specifically for making them, decrease costs for their creation, or allow the characters to have ones made by the moderator at no point cost).

Flaws

a. Flaws represent faults in a player's character.

b. Flaws are attached to specific attributes, skill sets, skills, or subskills. The item it attaches to should reflect the roll it will normally be paired off against.

  • Flaws may be attached to things for two main reasons: 1). The flaw opposes attempts using that item (for instance, a flaw 'Poor Eyesight' attached to Perception would oppose all Perception rolls that use sight), or 2). The flaw rolls periodically of its own accord, and can only be resisted with the item it's attached to (For example, a flaw 'Arachnophobia' attached to Willpower would activate in the presence of spiders, and would require a Willpower roll to ignore.
    • At the GM's discretion, a player may buy a flaw as a 'total flaw'. This is one, such as blindness, that precludes all possibility of resisting, and instead denies them the chance to use it at all. The flaw must be bought at the full value of the skill or attribute it attaches to, and will raise along with it, though no more points will be gained after startup. However, the points returned for the flaw are tallied as if there are an additional 2 ranks of the flaw for attributes and skill sets, and an additional 1 for skills and below.

c. Flaws return an amount of points equal to one step lower than the character cost of the item it attaches to. Thus, a flaw on a primary attribute returns 3 points per point of flaw, one on a skill set returns one point per point taken, etc.

Notepad

Above is the system as written out so far, but it is incomplete. Notes for concepts not fully covered above, which would be expanded if the system was finalized:

Damage

  • Damage is not tracked numerically but descriptively. Every weapon and offensive ability should have attached to it a success range that covers the extent of the damage it will normally do. (Critical hits bypass this range.) Moderators would be expected to fairly apply injuries as they occur, and players would be expected to RP them.
  • Money is also not numbered explicitly and would be rendered as a skill for buying power.

Experience and growth

  • Recommended experience payout is 1 for appearing each period (week?), and 1 for being IC during this time. XP during a TP could be awarded the same (1 for being on time, 1 for staying IC) for each day the TP runs. On the spot awards for RP excellence are encouraged.
  • To increase an stat, you must roll vs. your current stat. Dice are purchased with experience points, and each die costs an amount of XP equal to its chargen cost (5 / 3 / 1 / ½ (subskills give 2 dice rolled for each XP spent) ). On success you increase the stat, on failure the XP is still spent. Dice for skill advancement may be bought one at a time, all rolling against the same result from the current stat (it should be remembered for the duration of the 'training session' until it is successfully improved, or the player opts out). Any number of skills may be trained at once, and a skill may be advanced any number of times in one session (given enough XP to fund it).
    • Skills may be taught. This requires a teacher with a greater stat that the current one you're attempting to train. The instructor rolls vs. your current stat (or 1 if it does not currently exist), and if successful the final result (Instructor's roll minus student's roll) may be used in place of a purchased die roll when attempting to advance.

To-do

Things that would need to be done before use in FFa

  • Discard, modify or keep Luck?
  • Discard, replace, modify or keep PRES: Gimmick?
  • Determine mundane skill list (likely very similar to the one currently in use)
    • Common subskill list? All current specialties would likely apply as subskills.
  • Determine gear list with success ranges by type of weapon.
  • Construct 'special skills' (Or, in some cases, skill sets) for powers, orders, races, etc.
  • Find a reasonable alternative to specials which give additional successes or minimum successes, or remove those specials.