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Alternate Dice / Resolution mechanics for HQ?


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Namaste all:

I've posted a bit about a new campaign game I'm working on with a friend, set in Vithela.

I've run and played a lot of Glorantha content before, and we are pretty experienced with all the versions of the HeroQuest RPG system by Robin Laws. In general, I like it a great deal, especially with how open ended, narratively focused, and relatively crunch-free it is.

However, I really strongly dislike the base dice mechanic of opposed d20, and the tallying up of abilities and augments and bonuses and penalties, to me at least, crosses the point of "too much math for too little fun."

I've been looking at other systems to attempt to adapt to the setting. I'm intrigued by Freeform Universal (and I've seen an adaption on here that has been inspiring), have a great deal of love for the Powered by Apocalypse games (and tried my hand at my own homebrew version of this, which didn't work so well), and I'm experienced enough to hack together my own system.

Nothing yet has inspired the "ah-ha!" epiphany one gets when you discover a system that syncs up with the story you are looking to tell.

I think my ideal system would be to keep the way HQ uses Keywords, Abilities, Stretches and the like, but come up with a more interesting way to resolve conflicts than what's provided.    I've been fussing around with an unholy hybrid of HQG, Freeform Universal and Cortex Plus, but I perhaps someone on here has a simpler solution.

Thanks in advance.

Edited by aumshantih
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6 hours ago, aumshantih said:

However, I really strongly dislike the base dice mechanic of opposed d20, and the tallying up of abilities and augments and bonuses and penalties, to me at least, crosses the point of "too much math for too little fun."

That's largely in HW/HQ1.  HQG only allows one augment (there can be GM-based bonuses/penalties, but at least in my game those are very rare), so very little math (particularly if you just use the Quick Augment method).  I've been running HQG for 6 years now and the opposed roll method is very quick and easy (even in Extended Contests).

6 hours ago, aumshantih said:

a more interesting way to resolve conflicts than what's provided.    I've been fussing around with an unholy hybrid of HQG, Freeform Universal and Cortex Plus, but I perhaps someone on here has a simpler solution.

HQG (at least for me) is very straightforward and allows me to stay focused on the story.  What's the hero trying to achieve, what ability is being used, and any augments that help achieve it.  I figure out how difficult it likely is.  Player rolls, GM rolls - compare results and get the level of victory or defeat.  And then was this a:  Yes and...; or Yes; or Yes, but...; etc. result.

I don't know if that helps, but it's very simple and any of my players can figure it out looking at the book.

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On 8/30/2020 at 8:29 PM, aumshantih said:

However, I really strongly dislike the base dice mechanic of opposed d20, and the tallying up of abilities and augments and bonuses and penalties, to me at least, crosses the point of "too much math for too little fun."

You could of course ignore all the augments and bonuses and penalties and just make single opposed rolls. That way you are not too far off from something like Freeform Universal (isn't it single d6 roll?) but you still have some say which way you would like the story obstacle to go. Of course reading the value from the d6 is easier than comparing the two rolls. Have you looked at the HeroQuest dice help table? You can print it and put the dice to correct row and column to read the outcome.

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  • 4 months later...
On 8/30/2020 at 6:29 PM, aumshantih said:

Namaste all:

However, I really strongly dislike the base dice mechanic of opposed d20, and the tallying up of abilities and augments and bonuses and penalties, to me at least, crosses the point of "too much math for too little fun."

You might want to check out the latest iteration. The SRD has been developed in the open: https://github.com/ChaosiumInc/QuestWorlds/tree/master/docs

A quick summary.

TN is given by ability + modifiers. A modifier is one augment, a stretch, or situation. Usually GM just hands you a + 5 or a +10

GM determines resistance

Roll D20 under or equal to your TN, GM under resistance

Under or equal: one success

TN exactly: two successes

Fail: No successes

A mastery or story point adds a success.

Most successes wins, high roll if number of successes tie.

Degree of victory is difference between successes. if that is zero it's a partial victory, you get the prize but there are complications, or a partial defeat, you lose the prize but gain something else.

We think it's simpler, but compatible

 

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Thanks Ian.
I'll give it a look over.   For the game I'm running, we've mostly used HQ2, with the following changes:

  • Moved from d20 to d10.   Halved numbers, and its worked fairly well.
  • Instead of Hero Points, we've given out Rune Points.   Every session, each hero gets 3 random runes from the approved list.    These can be used as Hero Points as usual, but if they are used in challenge in accordance to the Rune, the Hero also earns 1 XP towards an ability used in that contest.

Here's a link, if you'd like to look at it in more detail:   https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aZbsmLrPE-xieRKTRtwzOTGXTnxQDp2dYUmy8mVEzns/edit#heading=h.pqj4p9ixf5zv

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have also been thinking of this, as I have more and more been sliding into the GM should not roll dice camp, but I haven’t found any solution yet that don’t make a mess of the rest of the elegant system .... 

However, with Ian’s latest iteration of, I can actually can disconnect the generation of successes and use any system for generating successes. The thing I’m not sure about yet is how to deal with skill level and Masteries in an elegant way ... the fixed 5 unit have given me some ideas, but I really need to crunch some numbers to be sure the probabilities are not completely bonkers.

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On 1/17/2021 at 5:14 PM, Ian Cooper said:

You might want to check out the latest iteration. The SRD has been developed in the open: https://github.com/ChaosiumInc/QuestWorlds/tree/master/docs

A quick summary.

TN is given by ability + modifiers. A modifier is one augment, a stretch, or situation. Usually GM just hands you a + 5 or a +10

GM determines resistance

Roll D20 under or equal to your TN, GM under resistance

Under or equal: one success

TN exactly: two successes

Fail: No successes

A mastery or story point adds a success.

Most successes wins, high roll if number of successes tie.

Degree of victory is difference between successes. if that is zero it's a partial victory, you get the prize but there are complications, or a partial defeat, you lose the prize but gain something else.

We think it's simpler, but compatible

 

I've been in favor of this change (along with roll high wins) since the beginnings of HeroWars. I'd perhaps use a reroll instead of a straight 2 successes if the d20 equals TN, but it's really not important. 

The only reason to not opt for this was that some results in the HW and HQ1 opposition table had "exchange", where you drained APs from your opponent. But since AP are now just an option, it's better to do it that way.

Edited by Mugen
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