Duke Bushido Posted January 17 Report Share Posted January 17 Nope; this is not apropos of anything; it has nothing to do with anything we arw currently discussing (as far as I know: I tend to avoid the political thread and the news thread as if they contained a horribly mixture of syphilis and leprosy, so feel free to do le check me) I have heard so many opinions on exploding dice over the years-- even before Savage Worlds. I cant remember which ones, but it is little more than a board or smdice game mechanic applied to RPGs- well, at least one as part of the core rules; others as house rules. I have even played Exploding Dice in DnD- had a DM that, if you rolled a damage die at max, then you rolled it again and added them together. Id ir maxed again- well, you kept adding until it didn't max out. You'd still add it, but you didnt get another roll. I have a very fond memory of watching a young GI at the Rec Center back in the 80s..., first level magic user scoring twenty-two points off a magic missile. It was hilarious, and _amazing_. I know that this board is filled mostly with gaming grognarss and gurus from way back- I mean, it's not like HERO is pulling in new blood in number higher than ones or twos, and we are dying off faster than that. Most of what I hear about exploding dice-- outside of Savage Worlds-- is how awful it is because of how unpredictable it makes things. I have no intention- or interest- in changing your minds. Why should I? I dont use it much myself. I can honestly tell you, though, that this is because most of my games are in one way or another built on Champions (this is going to be one of those times were I avoid some tedious touchscreen work by dropping any pretense that I call it "HERO System" anywhere but this board), and while it took some time, I came to realize that typically, long-term Champions players _don't like_ unpredictability and have already decided how much damage they want to inflict and buy- after checking the campaign standards for Defenses- damage-dealing abilities custom Taylor's to get the some predetermined-as-acceptable amount (more or less) of damage inflicted by purchasing X dice, which will average roll Y, subtracting Z typical defenses means damage D is typically near N applies to the character, with a quick look at campaign guideines demontrating that I should drop a brick in 8 Phases rounds, a speedster in 6, a martial Arts "normal guy" in 4 phases, and an Energy blaster in 5. We tell newbies ans complainers that Champions isnt math heavy then spend forty years creating a perfect "character-building equation" to formulaicly resolve the entire game, satisfied that the bell curve of 36d and the average 3.5 per D6 damage assures of a range of damage that will typically fluctuate only some small number. We tell them that it is not "math heavy" then settle in for a six-hour session of light Algebra disguised as random chance, and are smug that our experience and skill means "standard Effects" is beneath us, because we have already learned how to program it in suring character generation. Why dont we just have tick boxes? Bricks get 8 ticks, etc. Why not just take Standard Effects and write down the actual number of damage that you want your power to inflict? It would suggest more complexity than just ticking off the boxes, I think. There wouldn't be, but it would be suggested. But now that no one (again: I _think_ ) is talking about exploding dice, let's talk about something else entirely. Let's talk about critical hits. DnD famously has this (or did; I dont care any more): roll a natural 20 and you have scored a critical hit! The single most common house rule in Champions: roll a natural 3, and you have achieved a critical hit! At least the Champions version is slightly more controlled- more predictable: instead of having our metixulius formulae upset one time in 20, we only suffer this indignity one timw in two-hundred and sixteen: less than one-half of one percent of the attack rolls made during a typical session. Our simple game of subtraction flows more regularly, and more smoothly. Now let's talk about another different thing: Joe the Plumber. You all know Joe! He is that guy who absolutely _bombed_ on Jeopardy, but managed to get on the show because the screening test was kind of heavy with Star Trek questions. Joe the Plumber plumbs, and he plumbs well. Joe knows his way around copper (Type L _and_ Type M, as well as type K!) In hard and soft. He is aces at both galvanized and malleable, and unbeatable at at cast iron, PVC, even the old soil pipe. He spent a lot of time and effort learning CPVC when it popped up, and misses the old polybutelyne because the PEX that replaced it is a serious pain in the butt to work with. He can join and mix and match any kind of supply lines, because he caught on instantly that once you adapt to IPS threads, you can go anywhere. He learned shark bites and pro bites and flow bites and jokes about overbites. When it comes to plumbing, no one is better, because he has spent his whole life studting and working toward and eventually in this field. Now forget Joe. Let's look at Hiro, the greatest swordsman who ever lived. Sold into service of the shotgun at age 4, Hiro has spent every waking moment with a swird in hand, practice, practice, practice, non-stop. Anyway, the short version of this is that Joe has to unclog a line at the shogun's place, and to ensure that he doesn't wander off, Hiro esxorts him to the nearest clean out. Well, ol' Joe gets it rodded out pretty quick- he is the best, after all, and starts rewinding his drain sugar, anxious to be fone from this strange holdover from a bygone era, but in his haste, he loses control of the cable, which whios its way out of the clean out, and absolutely _flings_ efluvium (and a bit of paper) all over Hiro. The insult is unforgivable, and Hiro reaches for his sword. Joe is going to die. Oh! No! The shogun tells Hiro rhis is a great opportunity to get some live practice in. Agreeing, Hiro looks about for a weapon to give Joe. Eventually, in the junk drawer in the kitchen, he finds an off-brand Leathermab Multiform and hands it to Joe. "There!" He declares. "We are know evenly matched!" Without further comment, he draws his sword..... Joe got a little lucky, because the author is using a D20, meaning that Joe has a one-in-twenty chance of actuallly hitting Hiro! Better still, they get the same number of turns! Jies odds went from "you dumb bastard" to "that poor, poor man..." The author feels that it makes absolutely no sense that Joe should be able to do that Well against Hiro, and puts down the d20. He picks up 3d6. Joe feels, impossibly, even more sick. Now he is only going to touch Hiro once every 256 attempts. Worse yet, Joe has a SPD2, while Hiro has trained his whole life foe a Ninja-like SPD 4, which means that Hiro gets two tuens to every one of Joe's! Joe contemplates reconfiguring the Leathermab into needle-noses pliers, pushing them up his nose, and stabbing himself in the brain just to end it all right now... The author picks up the dice, and he tries to reassure Joe that it is okay! He only has to hit once to win. See, Hiro will probably hit him three or four times bedire Joe can even act, but that's okay! Because if Joe hits him just once, Hiro will fall! How can that be?! Joe screams; that makes no science! I am not even certain I am holding this thing right! Well, Joe, you need to roll a 3 to hit. That is the only chance you have to hit him. I get that, and I kinda think it sucks! But Joe... That is _also_ the critical hit number.... I don't follow. You two are so unevenly matched- you are so hopelessly outclassed- that the only choices you have are to miss completely, or decapitate him in one shot. What?! Don't you see? If you hit, it is also the CH number. Every single hit you land is going to be a critical hit! But that's still pretty poor odds for me. I wont argue with the fundamental wrongness of it- for what I assume are obvious reasons- but is there no better way? I mean, that's not even an official rule in Champions! Okay, _fine_, the author sighs, and picks up the d20 "Sucker!" thinks Joe. "Now I have a dive percent chance of hitting him!" And every shot you land is going to automatically be a crit! Cheers the author, reminding Joe that his thoughts were being written for him.... This has _always_ been my problem with any game that makws "best possible attack roll is a critical." That, and the idea that a critical is usually a set reward: Insta-kill, double-damage, etc. Now, i understand that this level of predictability is appealing- or at least comforting- to today's HERO player, but it's.... Well, I want to say that it is a little odd, especially if the,only way you can hit someone at all results in a crit every time you do it, but the predictability of the odds and the repetitious payout are a bit fun-robbing. That is the advantage of exploding dice. It can happen for anyone, it can happen at any time- it isn't dependant on a miraculous Hail Mary attack roll, meaning that if you need a 3 or a 20 or a 12 to hit, it doesnr automatically trigger a critical hit. It pops up here and there, adding a tiny bit extra (a chunk in the defenses) here, then again later (an extra-powerful blow), and once in a blue moon, a significant increase to the results (a critical blow!). It shakes things up, but on average, not by a lot-- just enough to make everyone potentially dangerous, no matter how many times you ran through the character creation equation, or how many blows it _should_ take to fell a character of a specific type. Now to be fair, I don't use them a lot, ans when I do, I usually cap it (no die can explode more than twice), and if it _does- come for a third re-roll, I usually give something different: half endurance for the attack, or some such. For what it is worth, I dont usually,charge END on the "extra' dice, either: it is qssumes to be rhe exact same attack, just exceptionally well-places, or maybe stimulating the target's sword allergy or something. Why do I cap them? Because I believe if somethinf is available to the players, it should be for the villains as well, and I am,well-known for rolling an inordinate number of sixes. (Alas, this applies to attack rolls and skill chexks as well)... Anyway, while it was not a current topic or pushing toward an argument, I just wanted to take,a few minutes to remind dolks od the upside of exploding dice, and their value as an alternative to 'critical hits.' Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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