Testing new dice pool mechanics

I received some very good feedback from a play tester which really got me thinking. 

The current mechanic is a simple 1d6, 2d6, or 3d6 roll. That's it. The only way a character can improve the chance of their roll is to have a special ability, skill, or equipment which will give them a higher chance of success.  Due to this mechanic, the feedback "rolling dice feels like it is based on luck" is pretty accurate. Sure, you can get some skills or traits to help, but they only help so much.

Don't get me wrong, I love the mechanic in the current game and I'll continue using it, but I thought there may be another option.

So, the search began. My goals were the following:

  • One roll resolution - I like the fact that I can roll once and know if I succeeded, and if in a combat situation, I'll know how much damage my roll will inflict.
  • No math - Adding up the dice slows things down. I should be able to glance at the dice and know immediately how well I did
  • One dice type - While rolling various dice sizes is fun, not everyone has them. While it would be a pain, this game could be played with 1d6.
  • Finer grained character advancement - Characters should be able to advance skills multiple times and eventually become awesome at it.
  • More flexibility with equipment and vehicles - Isn't it awesome when your character finds a weapon that gives a bonus for attacking and damage? Maybe that weapon could be enhanced even further to make it even MORE likely you'll hit the target? Yeah, want that.

Where did it land? While not unique by any means, this version of the game has Ability points and Skill points. Those points are added together with any applicable equipment to come up with the number of dice to roll. Getting a 6 on any of the dice is a success. Skills can be advanced through experience. Equipment can have bonuses which make it easier to hit. 

The max amount of dice you can roll is 10. Here is the probability breakdown:

1d - 17%, 2d - 31%, 3d - 42%, 4d - 52%, 5d - 60%, 6d - 67%, 7d - 72%, 8d - 77%, 9d - 81%, 10d - 84%

Here's some examples:

  • Thor has Might of 2 and Melee of 1 and a battle axe which gives him +1d to attack. The player would roll 4d6 when attacking.
  • Thor has Agility of 2 and Hide/Sneak of 2. The player would roll 4d6 when trying to hide sneak.
  • Thor has Agility of 2 and Dodge of 1 and a +2d shield. The player would roll 5d6 when dodging.

As Thor gains experience, those skill points will increase. As he finds more equipment, the attack or defense bonuses will increase. Eventually he'll be rolling 7-9 and maybe 10 die at a time. That is probably a good time to retire Thor and start a new character.

What's up in the air:

  • Saving throws - I have no idea how these would work just yet. Obviously they would be based on the attribute, but that is a REALLY low number. I may say saves start at 2d6 and then add the attribute score to it. That way they'll roll 3d6 - 5d6 depending on their base attribute. Thats a 42% - 60% range for a saving throw, which seems fair?

Ask: Please review and leave comments. 

I'm considering keeping 2 versions of this game available for download. Both have their merits. If you're running a quick/simple game, the original version is it. If you're looking for more crunch and the ability to grow the characters for longer campaigns, then the dice pool version will be good for that.


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This version has been pulled. After playing with it, I decided it wasn't worth the effort. Sorry.