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Dice Rolling Methods


Dudemeister

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Hi folks,

hope nobody minds me posting new topics. I am very interested in BRP and reading through all child systems takes a while. // Thanks to Baulderstone for pointing to Delta Green, was a nice read.

I am not very happy with the way BRP handles crits, specials, etc. I find it rather cumbersome to determine 1/5 and 1/20. I know how Cthulhu is handling hard and extreme successes amd would like to know: Are there different methods and does the basic method just need a few sessions to feel smooth?

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I've heard many arguements about the math being clunky, with some of the smarter players boasting how easy it is. :)

Honestly the players kept track of their own possible results while we played. No one wants to miss a critical success.  After a short while I got so use to figuring the numbers it required no effort, so I guess it's like anything else. Repetition makes perfect! I am interested in what other methods people have come up with since the last time this topic came up.

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The 1/5 and 1/20 are very smooth once you get a few sessions under your belt. Of course, that's just my opinion.

Some games only use 1/10 as critical range - Stormbringer, Nephilim, MRQ/Legend/RQ6, OpenQuest etc. Delta Green and Unknown Armies use doubles. HarnMaster (not really a BRP-game) use multiples of 5.

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5 minutes ago, Baragei said:

The 1/5 and 1/20 are very smooth once you get a few sessions under your belt. Of course, that's just my opinion.

Some games only use 1/10 as critical range - Stormbringer, Nephilim, MRQ/Legend/RQ6, OpenQuest etc. Delta Green and Unknown Armies use doubles. HarnMaster (not really a BRP-game) use multiples of 5.

I personally prefer the 10/5 rule. Makes those special successes a bit more exciting and, while it seems like it would make combat a bit slower, remember the opponents use the same formula. 

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9 minutes ago, Baragei said:

The 1/5 and 1/20 are very smooth once you get a few sessions under your belt. Of course, that's just my opinion.

Some games only use 1/10 as critical range - Stormbringer, Nephilim, MRQ/Legend/RQ6, OpenQuest etc. Delta Green and Unknown Armies use doubles. HarnMaster (not really a BRP-game) use multiples of 5.

Thanks, that was comprehensive and short. 

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I've implemented 'numeric matches' in my games to determine dramatic success/ failure. If you suceed and roll matches (11, 22, 33, etc.) it's a critical. Do the same on a failing result, and it's a fumble. '00' is always a fumble, '01' is always a normal success.

I've run numerous individual play tests and  actual plays and everything has gone swiftly. This ruling really helps keep the system in the background.

Before I used the match system I used special and criticals (though it was 1/2 and 1/10, respectively.) It took a while for players to get the hang of the calculations. Matches are much faster.

Good luck, hope you find what works for your table!

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As you can see, you have a plethora of good options to use. However, keep one point in mind: it is not just a matter of taste.

"Doubles are crits" and "1/10th is a crit" are not only a bit easier to evaluate, they also reduce the chance of a special success. This has a non-trivial impact on fights among high-level characters, as you need a special success to bypass a parry when your opponent is so skilled that he always parries successfully.

Now, with specials at 20% it takes approximately 3 rounds for a blow to land between 90% opponents. With "doubles are crits" the chance becomes significantly lower, and combat might lag. If you plan to have your PCs start with combat skills approaching 90%, you should consider carefully whether it is a good idea to reduce the chance of specials in order to simplify the maths.

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1 hour ago, RosenMcStern said:

As you can see, you have a plethora of good options to use. However, keep one point in mind: it is not just a matter of taste.

"Doubles are crits" and "1/10th is a crit" are not only a bit easier to evaluate, they also reduce the chance of a special success. This has a non-trivial impact on fights among high-level characters, as you need a special success to bypass a parry when your opponent is so skilled that he always parries successfully.

Now, with specials at 20% it takes approximately 3 rounds for a blow to land between 90% opponents. With "doubles are crits" the chance becomes significantly lower, and combat might lag. If you plan to have your PCs start with combat skills approaching 90%, you should consider carefully whether it is a good idea to reduce the chance of specials in order to simplify the maths.

I agree with this, but my conclusion is a bit different. Yes it can make fights last longer but I do not think this is a bad thing. It challenges players to think tactically and take advantage of situations, as opposed to hoping for that critical to get them through.  It is about style though, and no one way is right. Skaerune' uses a 1/5 for crits (or fumbles) and a 1/10 auto success - there is no Special. However, it also has the possibility of multiple attacks a round, so I think it will work out. At least so far. More resting is needed. 

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Steve Perrin's Quest Rules use the following:

Quote

•Rolling within the needed % but more than ½ the needed % = 1 success

•Rolling within ½ the needed % but greater than 1/10 the needed % = 2 successes

•Rolling within 1/10 the needed % but greater than 1/100 the needed % = 3 successess

•Rolling within 1/100 the needed % = 4 successes

James Bond 007 (not BRP, but d100) uses the following:

Excellent : < Skill/10

Very good : < Skill/5

Good : < Skill/2

Acceptable : < Skill

EDIT: I don't know why there is such a long blank space below...

Edited by Mugen
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1 hour ago, RosenMcStern said:

"Doubles are crits" and "1/10th is a crit" are not only a bit easier to evaluate, they also reduce the chance of a special success. This has a non-trivial impact on fights among high-level characters, as you need a special success to bypass a parry when your opponent is so skilled that he always parries successfully.

RQ6 uses 1/10th is a crit, but get away with this problem with its blackjack comparative rolls.

In case you don't know, Dudemeister, a blackjack roll is when you compare two rolls of the same success level by having the high roll win. To explain in more detail, in an RQ6 comparative roll, the player with the greater success roll obvious wins. A crit beats a success, and success beats a failure. However, if an attacker and defender both roll a success, you look at the number on each die, and the high roll wins. This means that in order to parry an incoming attack, you don't just have to roll a successful parry. You need to roll higher than the attack roll or get a higher level of success. 

It's a nice system as the higher a skill you have the higher a number you can have on a die roll that still counts as a success. Say you attack me with a 70% skill when I have a 50% skill. You roll 66%. It's impossible for me to roll a normal success that beats 66. However, I can still hope to roll a critical. 

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1 minute ago, Baulderstone said:

RQ6 uses 1/10th is a crit, but get away with this problem with its blackjack comparative rolls.

Errrm... no.

It overcomes this problem outside combat with opposed rolls - where a higher roll trumps the lower roll even when the level of success is the same. But attacks/parries are not opposed, they are differential rolls. You need a crit to trump your opponent's normal parry.

The way RQ6 resolves the problem of high skills in a duel is the "subtract the %age in excess of 100%" mechanics, which works very well in the majority of confrontations. But a fight between two 100% combatants in RQ6, or for what matters any combination of skills > 100% which are equal, will lag, way more than a fight between the same combatants in BRP.

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25 minutes ago, RosenMcStern said:

The way RQ6 resolves the problem of high skills in a duel is the "subtract the %age in excess of 100%" mechanics, which works very well in the majority of confrontations. But a fight between two 100% combatants in RQ6, or for what matters any combination of skills > 100% which are equal, will lag, way more than a fight between the same combatants in BRP.

There is also the fact that RQ6 has a lot more moving parts than just skill level. And even in a whiteroom, all-things-equal combat, the way RQ6's opposed differential rolls work will not make it lag more than a "stock" BRP-game. Quite the opposite IME.

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Fun house rule for BRP:

  • Critical Success = 10% of skill. Easy to calculate, and it happens more often.
  • Special Success = Half of skill. Makes those effects happen way more often, which is fun but I think also more realistic. This may also quicken up the combat scene to a degree, however it works both ways in the fact that characters may also be impaired quicker as well.
Edited by Mankcam
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On 15 March 2016 at 8:28 PM, Mankcam said:

Fun house rule for BRP:

  • Critical Success = 10% of skill. Easy to calculate, and it happens more often.
  • Special Success = Half of skill. Makes those effects happen way more often, which is fun but I think also more realistic. This may also quicken up the combat scene to a degree, however it works both ways in the fact that characters may also be impaired quicker as well.

That's my favoured version

I like Special Results

I've never found that it dilutes the magic or makes them seem less erm Special

Edited by Al.
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I like sheets that have a "mini-stat-block" per weapon (or per-any-reasonably-frequently-used skill) with base %hit, 1/5=Special, 1/20=Critical, StrikeRank, etc all pre-calculated; also damage (if a weapon) or any other specifically-relevant stats/traits (e.g. magical effects, etc).  That is, front-load the calculation, just as you would for any other "derived" trait.

Within a session or two (in my experience) everyone knows both (a) the %Hit / %Special / %Critical for their Go-To skills, and (b) how to quickly find/use those numbers on their sheet, for less-used skills.

 

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Here's a 'visual' dice rolling method I came up with (for BRP) which works on the numbers rolled instead of doing calculations on the fly, which gives accurate probabilities of success for BRP. In practice however, my players were already used to the mathematical method, using 20% as a critical (the Elric! method) or special (as in BRP) so they found it a little harder to adjust, and we didn't really use this system in the end. The critical failure chance relative to your skill is easier to do with this method. It's rarely done by the mathematical method, since it's a bit harder and players usually don't have any incentive to calculate their chance of critical failure :). (In Elric! fumbles are on a 99-00 or 00 if your skill is 100+ I think).

Roll d100
1 or 2 on the units die is a special. If the result is equal to or under your skill, special success; over and it's a special failure (optional)

If you roll an odd 'tens' result, eg 10, 30, 50 etc. which is equal to or under your skill, it's a critical success*

 

In other words, a 0, 1 or 2 on the units die indicates a more powerful result. Roll low still applies!

 

*OPTIONALLY, if you roll an odd 'tens' result over your skill it's a critical failure (though there aren't rules for this in BRP). If you use this rule you shouldn't use the normal fumble rules. Note that such critical failures are more likely than fumbles.

 

I like Akerbakk's roll doubles method above, except that it is 10% instead of 'vanilla' 5%, and a special exception has to be made for '00' which is always a fumble in just about any d100 system.

Edited by Questbird
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I use electronic dice that automatically calculates the result. But if you don't want to do that just take the 10s digit from your skill, divide that in half for critical success and multiply by two for special successes.

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To add another layer of complexity, I wonder if anyone use systems for partial success/partial failure? Examples: "You succeed, but she will never do business with you again" or "You fail, but you're positioned very favorably for the next round". Or do you feel it's not necessary?

Edited by clarence

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I really like Revolution's Advantage mechanic. In my own idealised d100 system I like to use "success & ending in 1" as a critical and "failure and ending with 0" as a fumble with blackjack opposed rolls. I used to use doubles but they have some quirks I don't like. The 1s&0s technique has the advantage of maintaining the traditional 01 = critical and 00 = fumble. If I were starting from scratch I would use Advantage as my favourite level of success mechanic.

The other thing I'm mulling over now is replacing difficulty modifiers with a difficulty die (currently a d12). This has the advantage of meaning that the skill value never changes. for example if the task is "easy" then you roll a d12 along with your skill roll. If the d12 comes up 1-4 (i.e. 25% chance) then the skill automatically succeeds even if you would have failed  normally. Likewise if the difficulty is hard and you roll 1-4 on d12 then the skill fails even if you would have succeeded normally.

This way it is also fairly easy to say things like "I would have climbed that wall normally but the conditions made it too difficult" (succeed at skill but d12 difficulty die came up fail). 

It's kind of odd because it feels as though it's independent of skill even though it isn't. E.g. on 76% skill a hard roll (1-4 on d12 = fail) turns your 76% chance of success into 54%). 

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13 hours ago, Dudemeister said:

Very good read. I like doubles because they scale elegantly with skill rank and are directly readable from the dice. 

 

The problem with doubles is that it doesn't scale at all with skills above 100%.

Whether you have 115% or 250% in your skill, you'll never have more than 9% chances to do a critical success.

Plus, you need at least 11% chance of success to score crits - but this can be viewed as a feature and not a bug...

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18 hours ago, RosenMcStern said:

It overcomes this problem outside combat with opposed rolls - where a higher roll trumps the lower roll even when the level of success is the same. But attacks/parries are not opposed, they are differential rolls. You need a crit to trump your opponent's normal parry.

While that's technically true, an attack vs. parry "tie" (i.e., same level of success) will still do damage if the parrying weapon is smaller than the attacking weapon, so it's still not necessarily a "no effect" result.  The real point here being that RQ6 has more factors playing into this than just "crit or no crit?".

11 hours ago, Questbird said:

Roll d100

1 or 2 on the units die is a special. If the result is equal to or under your skill, special success; over and it's a special failure (optional)

If you roll an odd 'tens' result, eg 10, 30, 50 etc. which is equal to or under your skill, it's a critical success*

Note that this makes specials more common than in the vanilla rules.  In vanilla, it's actually only a 15% chance of a special, not 20%.  (Special isn't just "under 20% of skill", but "under 20% and over 5% of skill".)

The way I'd personally do it is:

- Units die 5 or 0 = special

- Units die is 0 and tens die is odd = crit

Also note that any alternate method (including this one) may have 1% variations in the crit/special chances compared to vanilla, depending on the method and the roll's base success chance, simply due to things rounding differently between methods.  And, as Mugen pointed out, simple non-division-based systems start to come apart when the base chance exceeds 100%.

Edited by nDervish
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An old French game (Légendes) using d20 in a d100-way had the following method (which I convert to d100):

When 01-05 is rolled, roll again and if it is a success again, then it is a crit. Same for fumbles with 96-00, roll again and if failed, it is a fumble. No computing, but worked for crits only, not for specials. It did not take the >100% skills into account, but you may then state that for chances of success above 100, when 06-10 is rolled, roll again at (skill-100)%: it works the same.

For specials, let's say you get a chance when rolling 06-20. Roll again, and a second succes means a special one.

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22 minutes ago, Zit said:

An old French game (Légendes) using d20 in a d100-way had the following method (which I convert to d100):

When 01-05 is rolled, roll again and if it is a success again, then it is a crit. Same for fumbles with 96-00, roll again and if failed, it is a fumble. No computing, but worked for crits only, not for specials. It did not take the >100% skills into account, but you may then state that for chances of success above 100, when 06-10 is rolled, roll again at (skill-100)%: it works the same.

For specials, let's say you get a chance when rolling 06-20. Roll again, and a second succes means a special one.

In many cases (combat, for instance), Légendes uses Margin of Success. That means someone with a skill of 25 was sure to have a Margin above 5.

It is in fact not very different from Pendragon's system, with an additional substraction.

I don't remember what are the consequences of a critical success in Légendes, but in its second édition ("Premières Légendes" (*)), the Margin of success of the second roll was added to the first.

*****

In a d100 game, I'd use the 10s of the roll as a Degree of Success, and count criticals (roll under skill/10) as 10.

In case of a skill above 100, I'd add 1 per 10 points over 100 to DoS.

 

EDIT: (*) Yes, calling "First Legends" the second edition of a game may sound odd, but the Name implied is was as an introduction to the first edition. So, the game you play first, before switching to the complete one.

Edited by Mugen
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4 hours ago, clarence said:

To add another layer of complexity, I wonder if anyone use systems for partial success/partial failure? Examples: "You succeed, but she will never do business with you again" or "You fail, but you're positioned very favorably for the next round". Or do you feel it's not necessary?

I do, but not with a published system, or extensive bunch of house rule docs. It's mostly just looking at the roll, seeing what the margin-of-failure is, and making a call as the Keeper/GM based on that specific situation.

I use a reverse-Special-Success threshold. So the 20% of skill above the skill level is the grey area where partial-success or partial-failure occurs. (Frex: with 50% skill, rolling between 51-60).

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