RPG Building: Runepunk #3 (Dice Mechanics 1)

I could have titled the post resolution mechanics because I was considering using cards this time around. The idea of attributes controlling a card pool that the player builds over the career of their character is interesting, but merits more than my amateurish part time tinkering.

So dice it is 🙂

In the last post I decided that the game would use three main attributes (Power, Finesse, and Cunning) for most tasks, encouraging the player to choose which attribute they use approach a roll as a matter of simple role-playing, as well as tactical thinking.

I started thinking about what other attributes I wanted to use to describe the character, how should skills work, do I want to use classes, etc. But before I get there, I think it is best to write about the dice mechanic I am inclined to use.

As an aside; I love dice. They are just fun to play with and you can use four sided dice as caltrops in a pinch.

So what do I want from a dice mechanic for my homebrew Runepunk Game? (The goals for the game are set out here). BULLET TIME!

  • Consistency. When I ask a player to roll the dice, I want them to know what to roll without consulting their character sheet for dice types. This requires that I use the same pool of dice for everything, an idea put forth by the d20 system (D&D, Pathfinder), but not taken far enough by most versions. I do not have the same legacy issues, so I will use the same dice for everything. Higher is better in all cases.
  • Bell Curve: I want to use 3-4 dice to provide a strong bell curve on each roll. Rolling a single die is not as satisfying as rolling a small handful in my opinion, but the main idea here is provide a more predictable average roll. My gaming group for this game is very large, so the players get fewer rolls.
  • No Custom Dice: This one should be obvious, but I am feeling a little butthurt after discovering that two of my FFG star wars dice packs contain some custom dice from other FFG games. Grrr.
  • Elegant Resolution: The important idea here is that I want to make the most out of every roll and keep the action smooth. One of the things I do like about dice pool games like Shadowrun and FFG star wars is counting successes. It is pretty easy for every player to grok, a lot faster than adding a number to the roll. The problem lies in assembling the dice pool to begin with. I think consistency gives D&D the edge in this.
  • Exploding Dice: Earthdawn 1 was one of my favourite games partly because I loved the idea of exploding dice. I would love to find a way to use that in my little homebrew runepunk game.

So I am currently thinking 3 or 4d6 with some sort of exploding dice. More on this next week!



One comment on “RPG Building: Runepunk #3 (Dice Mechanics 1)

  1. […] is a continuation of last week’s post, which sets out my goals for a dice mechanic for a homebrew RPG system to replace Shadowrun 5th for […]

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