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Funksaw

Where else do you roll down?

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You know, I understand that HERO is a roll under system. This made sense back in the day when HERO 4 was designed. But why has HERO just not gone to "3d6+OCV > 10+DCV?"

 

In other words - why go with the roll-under, rather than roll-above mechanic? It sure would simplify stuff for players coming from any of the big "gateway" games of Storyteller or D&D. Hell, I *prefer* 3d6, roll-under systems and I think it'd make more sense.

 

I'm thinking about writing a PDF showing how the system and it's rolls are affected - but other than combat and skills, what other rolls are "roll under" rather than "roll high?"

 

That said: How do you simplify skills? Like this?

 

Skills

3d6+Skill Level > 10(?) + difficulty modifier?

Costs 3 to train a skill, +2 for each skill level?

Untrained skills have a +2 difficulty?

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Re: Where else do you roll down?

 

You know, I understand that HERO is a roll under system. This made sense back in the day when HERO 4 was designed. But why has HERO just not gone to "3d6+OCV > 10+DCV?"

 

In other words - why go with the roll-under, rather than roll-above mechanic? It sure would simplify stuff for players coming from any of the big "gateway" games of Storyteller or D&D. Hell, I *prefer* 3d6, roll-under systems and I think it'd make more sense.

 

I'm thinking about writing a PDF showing how the system and it's rolls are affected - but other than combat and skills, what other rolls are "roll under" rather than "roll high?"

 

That said: How do you simplify skills? Like this?

 

Skills

3d6+Skill Level > 10(?) + difficulty modifier?

Costs 3 to train a skill, +2 for each skill level?

Untrained skills have a +2 difficulty?

 

Not going to add much to this debate as I agree with you.

 

I have no problem running Hero the way it is written: I'm used to it, but a lot of people I;ve introduced do seem to get a certain amount of initial confusion at the idea that rolling 3 sixes is a bad thing. Anything putting off or confusing new players should be looked at long and hard. In addition the maths of a roll-over system is marginally easier, which I think is a bonus.

 

Probability wise there would be absolutely no change if the systen was amended as you suggest.

 

I would like skills and combat rolls to use the same mechanic, and do it as you suggest (except untrained is +3, I think). At present combat and skill use feel different even though they both use a low is good mechanic, and can be jiggered to work in a similar way.

 

Definitely one to think about for 6th edition!

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Re: Where else do you roll down?

 

They already tried changing the HERO System to a method of "you always want to roll high, and beat a target number." It was called Fuzion, and was almost universally loathed by Hero players. ;)

 

I mean, come on. It's just not that complicated to say "If you're checking for success, roll low; if you're determining effect, roll high." That ain't differential calculus or something. Someone who seriously can't grasp that has a lot bigger problems to worry about than their choice of RPG systems. ;)

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Re: Where else do you roll down?

 

They already tried changing the HERO System to a method of "you always want to roll high, and beat a target number." It was called Fuzion, and was almost universally loathed by Hero players. ;)

 

 

IIRC Fuzion did add another small tweak or two to the system :hush:

 

 

It does not bother me but I can see how it might help new players who were comfortable with d20

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Re: Where else do you roll down?

 

They already tried changing the HERO System to a method of "you always want to roll high, and beat a target number." It was called Fuzion, and was almost universally loathed by Hero players. ;)

 

I mean, come on. It's just not that complicated to say "If you're checking for success, roll low; if you're determining effect, roll high." That ain't differential calculus or something. Someone who seriously can't grasp that has a lot bigger problems to worry about than their choice of RPG systems. ;)

 

Fuzion had many things wrong with it, and I would not attribute the 'universal' loathing to the way it had 'to hit' rolls figured - there were far more impressive things to loathe than that! :sick:

 

I don't think Funksaw or I are suggesting the maths is difficult or complicated, but can you accept that adding bonuses and subtracting penalties sounds more intuitive than doing it the other way around?

 

I really don't remember a lot about Fuzion, (other than thinking why take out the good bits? They should have named it Champions lobotomised), but I've played the new D&D and was very impressed with the way they have changed the system mechanics to make it easier and quicker, so if you re-define DCV as DEX/3+10, so you don't even have to add that in, you just roll 3d6 and add OCV, with the result being the maximum DCV you hit. One step 'in combat', rather than two (one add instead of an add and a subtract).

 

Similarly with skill rolls, they would all be 3d6 + skill bonus, the result being the difficulty of the task you can accomplish (tasks starting at difficulty 10 for a basic task).

 

Intuitive, easy to get into, combat nice and quick but realistic: good things to say about any game system. Often not said about Hero. Even if that is just blind prejudice, it is still hurting sales. People who are not looking now because the system hasn't changed may do if it does. 3rd edition D&D felt very different, more logical and efficient, even though it was recognisably the same game with broadly the same systems. They sold a lot.

 

Hero is the best system there is out there, but that does not mean it can't improve. :)

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Re: Where else do you roll down?

 

I don't think Funksaw or I are suggesting the maths is difficult or complicated' date=' but can you accept that adding bonuses and subtracting penalties sounds more intuitive than doing it the other way around?[/quote']Sure. But you can add bonuses and subtract penalties in HERO now. You just add or subtract them from the skill/CV values instead of the dice. :)

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Re: Where else do you roll down?

 

I agree with Derek - there is no magic to "roll over" versus "roll under", whatever others might have you believe. I like a system in which rolls are sometimes best to be low, and other times best to be high. It tends to weed out the "less than random" dice.

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Re: Where else do you roll down?

 

Being an old-timer with the system, I really like rolling low to hit and rolling high for damage. But let's be realistic here, that's a system disconnect and it really adds nothing compared to consistency. Truly, the system should always go for rolling high. But is this a serious issue in terms of decreasing the audience? Nah, of course not.

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Re: Where else do you roll down?

 

tetsujin28 proposed fixes to the normal HERO mechanics to make them roll-over rather than roll-under, one of which was the formula that Funksaw gave in his first post. Here's t28's recommendation for changing Skill Rolls: "For those willing to do a little math, using the formula (21-current skill) gives a target number to be equalled or exceeded on 3d6. Apply normal HERO penalties normally to the die roll." Once your PCs have calculated that number there'd be no more need to use the formula in-game, until their current Skill Roll was improved through gaining Experience.

 

As far as I can see that formula should also work for Perception, Characteristic and Activation Rolls, and offhand I can't think of any other "roll-low" mechanics in HERO.

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Re: Where else do you roll down?

 

Actually I rather like rolling high or low depending on circumstances. It helps keep players honest. If high is always good then the temptation to use loaded dice becomes that much greater.

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Re: Where else do you roll down?

 

Sure. But you can add bonuses and subtract penalties in HERO now. You just add or subtract them from the skill/CV values instead of the dice. :)

 

I wasn't being clear: the skill/CV levels ARE the bonuses. Most people consider your OCV 'how good you are at hitting', i.e. a bonus, and you take it away. It doesn'tmake sense to people not already familiar with the system.

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Re: Where else do you roll down?

 

tetsujin28 proposed fixes to the normal HERO mechanics to make them roll-over rather than roll-under, one of which was the formula that Funksaw gave in his first post. Here's t28's recommendation for changing Skill Rolls: "For those willing to do a little math, using the formula (21-current skill) gives a target number to be equalled or exceeded on 3d6. Apply normal HERO penalties normally to the die roll." Once your PCs have calculated that number there'd be no more need to use the formula in-game, until their current Skill Roll was improved through gaining Experience.

 

As far as I can see that formula should also work for Perception, Characteristic and Activation Rolls, and offhand I can't think of any other "roll-low" mechanics in HERO.

 

Combat hit rolls?

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Re: Where else do you roll down?

 

I am genuinely astonished that people are concerned about the use of loaded dice or the naive assumption that, if this is going on, having a system where you sometimes roll high and sometimes roll low is going to solve anything.

 

In our games, we tend to use a pile of identical dice in the middle rather than having our favourites and just pick 'em up and roll them as needed, and if some monkey has dice that roll high, it is just as easy to get another set that rolls low.

 

And, yes, I do think that the roll low mechanic is off-putting to new players, speaking from personal experience and viewing rpg discussion boards.

 

I'm all for distinctiveness in the system, but let's not be silly about it. If it makes no odds, and is doing any harm at all, why keep it?

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Re: Where else do you roll down?

 

If you go roll high, wouldn't you just change the skills to 10+ instead of 11-. Then change the arithmatic of the OCV vs. DCV mechanics.

 

I'm a fan of just leaving it as is.

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Re: Where else do you roll down?

 

If you go roll high, wouldn't you just change the skills to 10+ instead of 11-. Then change the arithmatic of the OCV vs. DCV mechanics.

 

I'm a fan of just leaving it as is.

 

I understand that lots of people favour leaving it alone and not picking at it, and I'm not a fan of change for changes sake*, but I have seen no reason posted as to why it is superior to a high roll mechanic, well, not counting, 'we've always done it like that'.

 

Against that weight of scientific evidence......

 

10 is a friendlier number than 11**.

 

'High is good' is more intuitive for most people.

 

Ditto for adding your OCV when seeing if you hit rather than subtracting.

 

For those who don't like maths adding is easier than subtracting (I have a 10 year old: I know).

 

It makes transition from other game systems easier and smoother.

 

 

*Despite everything I've ever written up to this point :)

 

**Stupid, but true. :stupid:

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Re: Where else do you roll down?

 

I wasn't being clear: the skill/CV levels ARE the bonuses.
I didn't say "levels"... I said "values." If your base OCV is 8, and you have a bonus of 2 from somewhere (Combat Levels, Combat Maneuver, situational bonus, whatever), you can add +2 to your OCV, making 10. 10 is better than 8. You've just added a bonus, and made it better.

 

You just make sure to add bonuses to the CV rather than the die roll.

Most people consider your OCV 'how good you are at hitting'' date=' i.e. a bonus, and you take it away.[/quote']I have no idea what you're talking about here. What do you take it away from?

 

And to me, "How good you are at hitting" doesn't sound like a bonus. It sounds like a base value. "You get +1 for using a magic sword" sounds like a bonus. And bonuses work just fine in HERO. You just add the +1 to your OCV instead of to your die roll.

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Re: Where else do you roll down?

 

Sorry, I forgot how skill works.

 

Still... instead of figuring "characteristic rolls" - why can't skills be

 

3d6 > 12 + difficulty untrained

3d6 + Stat/5 + Skill Levels > 10 + difficulty trained. (3 points to train, + 2 per skill level.)

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Re: Where else do you roll down?

 

I didn't say "levels"... I said "values." If your base OCV is 8, and you have a bonus of 2 from somewhere (Combat Levels, Combat Maneuver, situational bonus, whatever), you can add +2 to your OCV, making 10. 10 is better than 8. You've just added a bonus, and made it better.

 

You just make sure to add bonuses to the CV rather than the die roll.

I have no idea what you're talking about here. What do you take it away from?

 

And to me, "How good you are at hitting" doesn't sound like a bonus. It sounds like a base value. "You get +1 for using a magic sword" sounds like a bonus. And bonuses work just fine in HERO. You just add the +1 to your OCV instead of to your die roll.

 

Y'see - I've been playing for years and I still get it all twisted... :rolleyes:

 

So, modifying my list....

 

Against that weight of scientific evidence......

 

10 is a friendlier number than 11.

 

'High is good' is more intuitive for most people.

 

***Derekified***

 

For those who don't like maths adding is easier than subtracting (I have a 10 year old: I know).

 

It makes transition from other game systems easier and smoother.

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Re: Where else do you roll down?

 

I mean I won't stop playing hero if this happens, it just seems arbitrary. I understand that people feel it'll make the system more accessible, but this seems to be the complaint I hear the least. Seems to me more that, "I hate Rolling Low" is a cheap way of saying I don't wont to play your game, as opposed to an actual complaint.

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Re: Where else do you roll down?

 

I say change it for 6th edition - SOMETHING has to change so it'll be able to advertise

 

NEW AND IMPROVED!

 

 

And this way, no real change is necessary!

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Re: Where else do you roll down?

 

The roll-over method becomes significantly more complicated than the roll-under method if you use the optional rule about critical hits.

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Re: Where else do you roll down?

 

The only place I've every heard of any problem with the "roll low to hit" method of HERO is on these boards, by people who already understand it but want to change it so it stops driving people away from HERO. I have heard a LOT of people complaining about HERO, but never once has someone said "I just don't get the whole roll low to hit thing". Mostly I hear complaints about how hard the math is, how it requires calculus to make up characters, etc. I.e. misconceptions that are fairly easy to clear up.

 

Though I'd love to see the peer reviewed article from a science journal that proves that 10 is a more "friendly" number than 11. And I'll also point out that it really should've been OCV-DCV+10 or less rather than 11. 10 would start things out at a 50% chance of success, 11 starts them out with a 62.5% chance of success. And I'm pretty sure the intent was to have it a 50/50 proposition, modified by OCV vs. DCV.

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