15 thoughts on “I’m not sure if this is the right sub-section, but.”

  1. First, I’m thinking: “Why?” But following that, I’m thinking that regardless of what you answer, I probably prefer 2d6. “Why,” you may ask? Simply because of snake-eyes and boxcars. You’re more likely to hit both max or min values on your roll with d6s than d12s, and in games I’ve GMed and played in, usually it’s those max/min rolls that get the most satisfying applause or groans of disappointment at the table.

  2. I will address your “why” question, but I am hoping to get beyond preference to look at the mechanical and mathematical issues.

    I want to use dice that give me a great range of results specifically because I want to have a broader spectrum of score values. As Charles put it, +3 doesn’t have the same worth in such a system, and that is exactly the point.

    I definitely agree that the physical act of rolling D6 and reviewing the results can be more exciting. There is definitely something to be said for having fun dice mechanics. I don’t think that the game would suffer very much from losing that sort of excitement, however, especially since the potential gains to character advancement options would be significant.

  3. If I were interested in hacking the math in the *World games, I’d likely switch everything to a d100-based system. iirc, Star Frontiers was almost entirely percentile-based, and I remember it being a really fun game.

    Not that I would ever probably be interested in that, however, since the “offset pyramid” used by *World seems to fit my needs. In my games, I’m more interested in the collaborative fiction being more of a driver of what can happen than what the differences are between a few percentages based on switching from one type of die to another. Or maybe a shorter way of saying that: I think I’m trying to use Custom Moves and other “tricks” to do what you’re proposing, rather than switching out dice or whatever.

  4. Tim: I don’t know if it would necessarily be more rewarding for players per se, in that going up to +5/+6 isn’t inherently exciting. But what it does from a hack-design standpoint is allow for me to have more freedom with handing out such modifiers, without ‘breaking’ the system (not that I think it’d break, but there’s an argument to be made there).

    Al: I’ve actually considered using a flat die such as a D20, which can yield statistically similar results to 2D6 or 2D12. But my players have universally stated that math is for losers and they prefer to roll multiple dice. I suppose a D100 qualifies as multiple dice when using the percentile dice system, but… I am not a fan of percentile dice systems, personally.

    I should say that it is my full intent to mechanic-up the game a little bit, in an attempt to make it a little less like a story game (because I generally hate story games). I enjoy collaborative gameplay, but I also enjoy building characters and crunching numbers. There’s plenty of room in DW for both, methinks. 

  5. That’s going to do some weird things to your distribution curves. The curves will be wider and flatter and bonuses will play significantly less of a role in determining success. A +3 is a huge bonus when you’re rolling 2d6. It means you have a 58% chance of a great success (10+). That’s a huge improvement over the base (+0) with only a 16.67%. 2d12 flattens those out, lowering the +3 to 38.19% of great success and a +0 is upped slightly to 19.44%.

    It’s not just the upper range that’s affected. At the lower range, failure is much more likely for competent folks. Your 2d12 method, as proposed, has a 25% of failure even for someone with a +3. 2d6+3 only fails 8% of the time.

    This also lowers the utility of moves that let you carry +1 forward and what not.

    This isn’t to say changes are good or bad. That’s just the numbers.  

  6. Making DW crunchy is your choice, I would still give a word of warning in that no matter what you do, make sure it’s fun and interesting for both you and your players. Best of luck to you.

  7. Oh, and if you’re unlucky enough to have a -1 to a stat, it’s actually not as bad as in the 2d6 model. Your failure rate is slightly improved (53% vs. 55%) and you are nearly twice as likely to have a great success (14.5% vs. 8.33%).

  8. Hey Adam, Just curious…. Why do you want to hack a storygame to have a greater [range] of  mechanical modifiers, when there are other class/level based games out there that do this as intended and with considerable ‘crunch’? I’m just interested to the reason behind your motives (other than generally disliking storygames and enjoying ‘building’ characters).

  9. If you went with 2d10, and changed the range of -1 to +5, with target of 11+/16+, odds of base and max are very similar to standard AW. You could then change the stat range to, say, 1-9, set the old +0 as being 4, and the standard target number becomes a 15, and the 10+ becomes a 20. Those are very nice numbers to me.

  10. 2D12 would broaden your mechanical design space dramatically for the reasons given here above, making lots of thing possible that are not at the moment. 

    The question is, however, is that what DW is about? Maybe it is. Because the fact is that DW DOES have dice rolling mechanics. 

    For me? I think the current mechanics are adequate for what DW tries to achieve, and the frustration of limited “+1’s” is mitigated by other cool stuff. And I love the aesthetics of 2d6 – which is cultural and non-rational.  

  11. Just another comment in the ongoing “+1’s are uninteresting” discussion. A +1 is only fictionally uninteresting if you are too lazy to make it interesting. (Sorry for being harsh… But see it as tough love.)

    Write your moves as follows, e.g. “When you do an acrobatic stunt, DESCRIBE IT and take +1 …”

    This move makes the +1 bonus dependent on the player role playing and telling the GM why he has this advantage. If he can’t describe his  stunt he does not get the +1. Period. 

  12. All: I appreciate the feedback. It looks like I haven’t missed anything, and 2D12 would be a mechanically functional approach, assuming I make the appropriate adjustments to stats and moves.

    I definitely understand the prevailing question of “why.” Why not just use another system? Why change the dice when they already work so good? I’ll try to answer with something better than “personal preference.”

    One game mechanic that I love is giving dice bonuses for cool descriptions. “Stunts” from Exalted. I use this in all of my games. Except DW, where +1 is an overwhelming bonus. Diminishing the value of +1 increases my ability to hand it out without ‘breaking’ the game. I would rather do this than intensify the criteria for qualifying for the bonus.

    I’m typically not a big lover of items and equipment (one reason I like DW: it eschews the value of materials), BUT when I play Shadowrun I find gear-mongering to be entertaining. Since I have the thought of doing a SR hack of my own (6th world is great but has some flaws), I’d like the flexibility to allow for equipment bonuses that are more than just narrative. Ultimately this boils down to the same point: I can give out more +1s if each is worth less.

    Having a broader spread of stats also gives more room for stat growth. That’s nice. It also gives the options of allowing players to focus on stat growth, if that’s something they’re interested in.

    There is something nostalgic about 2D6, but that’s part of the draw of using 2D12: it’s different. I haven’t played a game that uses D12 very much.

    And finally, you say “why” and I say “why not?” Variety is the spice of life and trying out new things opens new doors. I’m a consummate hacker, I enjoy tinkering.


    I think I just realized how invalid my own point might be. After all, you only use defense if you’re attacked, and thus only when somebody’s getting clobbered (fiction depending of course). Or put another way, when you Hack and Slash you take no damage on a 10+, but when you defend, somebody is going to take damage, no matter how good you roll.  So… maybe damage dealt on Defense needn’t be halved?

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