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dsatow

replacing the 3d6

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Okay, this seems a little strange but hear the whole story.

 

Right now I play Shadowrun 5th and run Champions and Pathfinder.  A few nights ago, I dreamed a strange game where I was using Shadowrun to hit mechanics in Champions and its been bugging me since.

 

The idea works out like this and only applies to 3d6 rolls such as to hit and skills:

  • In Shadowrun a success is on a 5 or 6 one each die.  A Failure is on a 1 but only really counts if you get >=50% failures.
  • In OCV vs DCV, your OCV is the number of dice you roll to hit, count successes.  The defender rolls DCV as defending dice.  If the attacker successes exceeds the defenders successes, they hit.
  • In skills, you get one die per 5 points in a skill.  Bought skills get 1d6 + (CHA/5)d6 + 1d6 per 2 pts.  Familiarity would be  2d6 only.  When using skills, contests would be done like combat while just plain skill rolls would be count successes against some limit for success.

 

That was as far as the dream went.  A couple of skill rolls and then rolling to defend against an attack.  In the dream, I blew a stealth roll and then was shot while running away only to be saved by an alarm.

 

But thinking back on this, it would be easier than telling people to add and subtract numbers.  Removing dice from being rolled seems easier for people to comprehend.  Hero points could be used like Edge allowing re-rolls of failed dice or adding 3 + luck dice to your pool.

 

Should I lay off the spicy Mexican food before going to sleep or does this idea have merit enough to look into?  Opinions?

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Long story short, a sufficiently large dice pool behaves very similarly to 3d6.  More formally, both approximate bell curves.  The question will be if you like the change in behavior caused by the different RNG scheme. 

Can it work?  Sure, it's the same basic curve.  Will it work out-of-box with just a simple conversion formula?  I doubt it, I'd expect recosting and balance changes to be necessary. 

 

Here, have some data to process.  First number is OCV, second is DCV, output is % chance to hit.  https://anydice.com/program/13f25

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Um, well, sounds like what you really want is an opposed roll, which you could do on 3D6 by having the attacker roll 11+OCV, the defender roll 11+DCV, and whichever makes the roll by more wins; ties go to the defender.

 

 

 

 

 

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Well, it’s less about the opposed roll and more about it being easier on newbies to figure out how to do combat or skill rolls.

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8 hours ago, dsatow said:

Well, it’s less about the opposed roll and more about it being easier on newbies to figure out how to do combat or skill rolls.

 

Interesting. You think the Shadowrun pool is easier than 3d6 roll under for "noobs"? That has not been my experience. Could you explore that a bit? Why does it seem to be easier to you?

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I think dice pools are a pain in the butt.

 

I'm amazed at the number of people who can't glance at 6d6 and add up the number quickly in their heads. So increasing the number of times everyone has to roll a large number of dice plus increasing the number of dice isn't appealing to me.

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On 3/9/2019 at 4:08 AM, Killer Shrike said:

 

Interesting. You think the Shadowrun pool is easier than 3d6 roll under for "noobs"? That has not been my experience. Could you explore that a bit? Why does it seem to be easier to you?

 

To be honest, I really don't think its easier.  From what I've found, as long as people don't think its math, they think its easier.  Adding and subtracting physical objects is easier for people to deal with than saying something like its "your OCV minus DCV minus range mods plus levels plus maneuver penalties/bonuses".  It doesn't make much sense if you think about it but something about having a physical representation seems to help people do the right thing.

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On 3/9/2019 at 4:49 AM, archer said:

I think dice pools are a pain in the butt.

 

I'm amazed at the number of people who can't glance at 6d6 and add up the number quickly in their heads. So increasing the number of times everyone has to roll a large number of dice plus increasing the number of dice isn't appealing to me.

 

I understand your frustration, my wife and I play mexican train (a domino game) every other sunday with her parents.  He parents and I group tiles in 10 to score, but my wife can't grasp that in her head for some reason and needs to count pips.

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Manipulatives is the term for thatWhen I deal with people at that level who need to interact with things rather than reason about them, I don't tell them the formula up front. I have them roll the dice and tell them what the result is. Some of them will ask why that's the result (immediately or later) and I'll write it down on paper for them, walking them through it, then have them roll and work it out themselves. That helps people like that come up to speed. If they are particularly challenged (I seem them counting on their fingers and visibly trying to work it out), I'll count it out on my fingers in front of them and then have them count it out on their fingers. Try to meet them at their level, if you know what I mean.

 

I bet that for the target audience you introduce SR dice pools (and other similar keep / discard Target Number dice pool mechanics) when you explain how it works you probably don't just tell them "keep 1s and 7 or higher, discard the rest, tally them in this way) and have them go "oh I get it" via pure logic from your explanation any more than the same people would understand by being told "11+OCV-DCV 3D6 roll under". You probably show them how the dice pool works with some dice, moving the dice around on the table into keep, discard, and fumble clusters and they probably have to do it a few times themselves before they are comfortable with it. 

 

You could get a similar visualization of the 3D6 OCV vs DCV model with the to hit table or a variation of it. Here's a chart, roll your dice, look down the side of the chart to see what you rolled, then across to your OCV and it tells you the max DCV that you hit; if the target has a DCV less than or equal to that, they're hit. I think someone also made a phone app at one point that does it so its just a button push. 

 

But, there's no harm in trying to port a keep / discard TN dice pool to hero system if you wanted, or course. I would suggest you try to do something using "counting BODY" to tie it into a core mechanical idea. I roll OCV # of dice and count body, the defender rolls DCV # of dice and counts body. Whoever gets more body "wins", similar to a grab break out roll. If you want fumbles, the 1's are there to be leveraged for that. If you want critical success, the 6's are there to be leveraged for that. If you have some hero man dice with the body pips printed on the face its even easier for cognitive absorption. 

 

More dice rolling, particularly opposed to hit rolls, will slow combat down, but it turns to hit from a statistical math exercise to a contest. FATE has a similar opposed roll model, you roll 4DF to hit and the opponent rolls 4DF to avoid, you both count shifts (degree of success) and win lose or tie determines the outcome. The main advantage for FATE however is that there is just one roll...the to hit also determines the effect level, and a successful defense doesn't necessarily just cancel an attack, it can convey advantage to the defender or even cause harm to the attacker. So in that context while there is an opposed to hit roll, its the ONLY roll and thus combat is actually quite fast. But it could work in the hero system if you the GM don't mind rolling more dice, and it would also give the players something to manipulate when being attacked rather than being told if they are hit or not, which some players (shorter attention spanned, for instance) would enjoy as it helps keep them engaged and puts success and failure in their hands.

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14 minutes ago, Killer Shrike said:

11+OCV-DCV 3D6 roll under"

 

Interesting... I tend to tell people... "11 + OCV - 3d6... that's what you hit" so I get people saying, "I hit a 7 or I hit a 12, etc." That way they get why they want to roll low... they are subtracting less. It also lets people have a score on their sheet (11+OCV = 18) so they have a simple "18-what you roll" and can easily just tell me a number that they would hit and I can say whether they are successful or not.

 

Not sure if my way is better, but it seemed to have reduced the strain, initially. If they learn, they understand how some things will make their number (18 in this case) higher or lower... but even then it is "18 plus or minus any modifiers, then - 3d6" 

Again, not sure if it is better, but it seems to get the process across. I'd always wanted OCV to be "11+OCV Stat" and that is the base number in big type on the character sheet. 

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I've never been in favor of changing the Hero System to make it "easier" for people who can't (or won't) do 4th grade math in their heads during play. Then again, I've never played with anyone who liked the Hero System but found 4th grade math to be an obstacle to their fun. For me, the solution was never to change the game system, but to find the right people to play with.

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3 hours ago, RDU Neil said:

 

Interesting... I tend to tell people... "11 + OCV - 3d6... that's what you hit" so I get people saying, "I hit a 7 or I hit a 12, etc." That way they get why they want to roll low... they are subtracting less. It also lets people have a score on their sheet (11+OCV = 18) so they have a simple "18-what you roll" and can easily just tell me a number that they would hit and I can say whether they are successful or not.

 

Actually, I use 11 + OCV - 3d6 interchangeably with the standard method. I also use the diff method of just roll 3D6, to determine degree of success and then mentally compare that to (OCV-DCV) to determine if it's a hit by flipping the polarity in my head. You can do a similar thing the other way around (DCV-OCV) to determine modifier to 3D6 roll. Or the "(OCV-DCV)...you need x or less" method.  In the end, the math is the same, and are freely substitutable for one another. 

 

Quote

Not sure if my way is better, but it seemed to have reduced the strain, initially. If they learn, they understand how some things will make their number (18 in this case) higher or lower... but even then it is "18 plus or minus any modifiers, then - 3d6" 

 

Sure, some people will latch on to a particular way to factor it and "grok" it better. Other people will grok a different method better. It really doesn't matter as long as the underlying math is preserved. 

 

Some are more useful in certain circumstances. For instance, at the table during actual gameplay if I'm keeping one or more NPC's DCV's unknown, I have the players roll 11+OCV and tell me the maximum DCV that they hit in the way that you describe. I don't do that because it's intrinsically "easier" or "better", but because it has the advantage of allowing me to keep a piece of information hidden from the players. 

 

In other cases, I'll just tell the players "let me know if you hit DCV 7" or whatever and let them work it out, because I don't care if they know the target's DCV and I don't want to be bothered with the details; whatever I'm doing in that scene is not a tactical obstacle to be overcome but character skill or lack thereof should be respected to maintain verisimilitude in the scene. 

 

Canonically, when working out things in the abstract, I tend to use the default calculation because there is no reason not to; it's mathematically regular and without something else to optimize for none of the other methods offer a compelling advantage over it.

 

Quote

Again, not sure if it is better, but it seems to get the process across. I'd always wanted OCV to be "11+OCV Stat" and that is the base number in big type on the character sheet. 

 

It can be. You could list a HIT calculated value as 11+OCV and a EVADE calculated value as 11 + DCV or -DCV on character sheets (depending on how you think of it). It doesn't really mean or change anything, but if it helps your players, then sure.

 

If you really wanted to, you could print the equivalent of a THAC0 numberline on the combat page of a character sheet.

 

I mean, there's nothing stopping you from doing this. The math works out the same, and if it's helpful to you or your group there's no reason not to do whatever makes you and or your players happiest.

 

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I too love Shadowrun 4/5 (essentially the same thing but with some finer points changed from one iteration to the other). For the longest time, I thought that the Hero 3d6 curve was BOR-ING. I spent a lot of energy trying to shoehorn different dice systems in its place. In the end, a Hero but Roll High method has become my favorite method for speedy dice rolls. I will stick with the Shadowrun system for Shadowrun, but for almost everything else, the Hero system pretty much has an easy to use dice system. Still boring though. :)

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On 3/10/2019 at 11:09 AM, Killer Shrike said:

But, there's no harm in trying to port a keep / discard TN dice pool to hero system if you wanted, or course. I would suggest you try to do something using "counting BODY" to tie it into a core mechanical idea. I roll OCV # of dice and count body, the defender rolls DCV # of dice and counts body. Whoever gets more body "wins", similar to a grab break out roll. If you want fumbles, the 1's are there to be leveraged for that. If you want critical success, the 6's are there to be leveraged for that. If you have some hero man dice with the body pips printed on the face its even easier for cognitive absorption. 

 

I thought of that, but using the normal dice mechanic for damage in HERO in the to hit system alas would result in not a dynamic enough variable for combat.  Too large of a majority of times, they would just hit their CV.

On 3/10/2019 at 11:09 AM, Killer Shrike said:

More dice rolling, particularly opposed to hit rolls, will slow combat down, but it turns to hit from a statistical math exercise to a contest. FATE has a similar opposed roll model, you roll 4DF to hit and the opponent rolls 4DF to avoid, you both count shifts (degree of success) and win lose or tie determines the outcome. The main advantage for FATE however is that there is just one roll...the to hit also determines the effect level, and a successful defense doesn't necessarily just cancel an attack, it can convey advantage to the defender or even cause harm to the attacker. So in that context while there is an opposed to hit roll, its the ONLY roll and thus combat is actually quite fast. But it could work in the hero system if you the GM don't mind rolling more dice, and it would also give the players something to manipulate when being attacked rather than being told if they are hit or not, which some players (shorter attention spanned, for instance) would enjoy as it helps keep them engaged and puts success and failure in their hands.

 

I hadn't thought about this, but the manipulatives, as your term for them, would still need to add and subtract a number (their OCV bonuses and penalties) to get their base value

and then roll.  

 

On 3/10/2019 at 11:31 AM, RDU Neil said:

 

Interesting... I tend to tell people... "11 + OCV - 3d6... that's what you hit" so I get people saying, "I hit a 7 or I hit a 12, etc." That way they get why they want to roll low... they are subtracting less. It also lets people have a score on their sheet (11+OCV = 18) so they have a simple "18-what you roll" and can easily just tell me a number that they would hit and I can say whether they are successful or not.

 

I generally do this too, but it doesn't seem to help.  Its the calculation of their OCV and then the subtraction that seems to be the problem.

 

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, dsatow said:

I thought of that, but using the normal dice mechanic for damage in HERO in the to hit system alas would result in not a dynamic enough variable for combat.  Too large of a majority of times, they would just hit their CV.

 

Eh? I'd be curious for you to show your math on that.

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35 minutes ago, Killer Shrike said:

 

Eh? I'd be curious for you to show your math on that.

 

Each die on average does 1 Body.  Sixes do two body and ones do zero body.  Assuming just 3d6, out of 216 possibilities only 27 will be less 2 Body. (1 die will be a 1, and the other 2d6 rolls a 1-5,1-5; plus the event that one of the two dice rolls a 1,6 and 6,1).

Similarly, we can reverse the numbers, where 27 rolls will do more than 3 Body. Meaning 162 rolls will be 3 Body.  (216 - (27 x 2))  That's a 75% (162/216) of 3 body.  

 

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8 minutes ago, dsatow said:

Each die on average does 1 Body.  Sixes do two body and ones do zero body.  Assuming just 3d6, out of 216 possibilities only 27 will be less 2 Body. (1 die will be a 1, and the other 2d6 rolls a 1-5,1-5; plus the event that one of the two dice rolls a 1,6 and 6,1).

Similarly, we can reverse the numbers, where 27 rolls will do more than 3 Body. Meaning 162 rolls will be 3 Body.  (216 - (27 x 2))  That's a 75% (162/216) of 3 body. 

That actually smooths out as the number of dice rolled increases.  The more dice NDB you're rolling the larger the variance becomes. 

https://anydice.com/program/14009

Moreover, as you increase the number of dice rolled, the chance of beating a slightly larger pool increases. 

https://anydice.com/program/1400a

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8 minutes ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

That actually smooths out as the number of dice rolled increases.  The more dice NDB you're rolling the larger the variance becomes. 

https://anydice.com/program/14009

Moreover, as you increase the number of dice rolled, the chance of beating a slightly larger pool increases. 

https://anydice.com/program/1400a

 

Shouldn't any new die system try to be fair on all HERO game ranges?  This would mean that the dice rolled should seem fair at the low end for heroic games as well as at the high end for superheroic games.  A 2 CV change at normal human levels (5-6) would be devastating.

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51 minutes ago, dsatow said:

 

Each die on average does 1 Body.  Sixes do two body and ones do zero body.  Assuming just 3d6, out of 216 possibilities only 27 will be less 2 Body. (1 die will be a 1, and the other 2d6 rolls a 1-5,1-5; plus the event that one of the two dice rolls a 1,6 and 6,1).

Similarly, we can reverse the numbers, where 27 rolls will do more than 3 Body. Meaning 162 rolls will be 3 Body.  (216 - (27 x 2))  That's a 75% (162/216) of 3 body.  

 

 

Uh, no. The average per die is 1 BODY, obviously, and thus XD6 will on average yield X BODY. That's how averages work. What you are not factoring in that it's a CONTESTED roll. The value rolled by the attacker would then be compared to the value the defender rolled and the bigger value wins, ties go to the defender per HS norms.

 

A 7 OCV rolling 7D6 and counting BODY would on average hit a 6 DCV rolling 6D6 and counting BODY (and less than 6DCV rolling less than 6D6). 

 

Just to keep it real I'm not suggesting that I personally would want to do this and have no horse in this race, but it is mechanically similar to the SR system you are suggesting, just re-expressed using an existing HS concept.

 

You said this is what you wanted:

 

The idea works out like this and only applies to 3d6 rolls such as to hit and skills:

  • In Shadowrun a success is on a 5 or 6 one each die.  A Failure is on a 1 but only really counts if you get >=50% failures.
  • In OCV vs DCV, your OCV is the number of dice you roll to hit, count successes.  The defender rolls DCV as defending dice.  If the attacker successes exceeds the defenders successes, they hit.

 

I suggested that you count BODY instead of "success is on a 5 or 6 one each die. A Failure is on a 1". Otherwise its exactly what you said you wanted. So...it's somewhat surprising when you come back and say "I thought of that, but using the normal dice mechanic for damage in HERO in the to hit system alas would result in not a dynamic enough variable for combat.  Too large of a majority of times, they would just hit their CV.". So...hrm...

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1 minute ago, dsatow said:

Shouldn't any new die system try to be fair on all HERO game ranges?  This would mean that the dice rolled should seem fair at the low end for heroic games as well as at the high end for superheroic games.  A 2 CV change at normal human levels (5-6) would be devastating.

Why does a RNG houserule need to be "fair" for any game other than the one it's implemented in? 

And what does "fair" mean anyways?  Switching to a NDB system for to-hit rolls steepens the curve, but what if that's what the GM wants?  Maybe the GM wants a game where everyone starts at the same CV and small bonuses or penalties are highly influential. 

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If you don't want higher variance, you don't want any kind of contested roll...you want flat modifiers.

 

Every additional die roll added to a resolution increases the variance. If you want the attacker and the defender to roll, that will have more variance than if only the attacker or only the defender rolls. If there are no dice rolls at all in the to hit, just a comparison of values, then its a calculation and there is no variance.

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2 minutes ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

Why does a RNG houserule need to be "fair" for any game other than the one it's implemented in? 

And what does "fair" mean anyways?  Switching to a NDB system for to-hit rolls steepens the curve, but what if that's what the GM wants?  Maybe the GM wants a game where everyone starts at the same CV and small bonuses or penalties are highly influential. 

 

Because, if I use it to help newbies acclimate to the system and I change genres or power levels, changing the system to hit would cause more confusion to the newbie.  If a mechanic is too unbalanced, then gain a significant edge is too cheap in a point based game.  If one CV can cost only 2-3 points (a skill level) or a martial maneuver can give you +2-5 for only 4-5 points, who wouldn't want to escalate this for their character.  +5 to DCV for a dodge, to drop someone's chance to hit to way less than 10%?  I'd be in.

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