Are Dice Pools Good, Actually?

Ratskinner

Adventurer
It's not. I thought the definition of a dice pool system was counting the number of "hits" and not adding up the numbers and comparing that to a target number - which is what GURPS does. From what I can see posters are mixing things up.
Well, counting the "hits" is the way WoD does it.

There is also the bizarre way that Whispering Vault (and some kind of WWII supers game that I forget the title of) did it (which involved finding the total of the most matching dice vs difficulty, IIRC), Cortex Plus (Marvel Heroic, Firefly, Smallville, and Leverage) builds a dice pool from the character's various modes, features, distinctions, etc. then you take the sum of the best two, and the largest uncounted is your "effect" die. (So, for a given roll, you might be rolling 1d10 & 2d8 & 1d6). There's a fringe, but very interesting game called Schema, for which you roll a number of d6/DFs and use the results to either buy off bad results or buy good results. Similarly the new Genesys system (a la Edge of the Empire) has its own wonky dice that you build a pool out of.

To me, a "dice pool" system is a system where you "build a pool" from your various character attributes to make the roll. Whether those dice are all the same size or not doesn't matter, nor does whether or not you sum them or resolve it in some other way. The GURPS type is questionable for me, and I would tend not to include it, because you're always rolling the same 3d6 and your skills are reflected in a modifier, not the number or size of dice included.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker
Well, counting the "hits" is the way WoD does it.

There is also the bizarre way that Whispering Vault (and some kind of WWII supers game that I forget the title of) did it
I suspect the WW2 supers game was Godlike, which used a dice pool, but you were looking for dice that matched (and had a difficulty mechanic that meant that both dice of a matched pair needed to be, e.g., 7 or higher). There are many neat things about Godlike (and Wild Talents, which is a sorta sequel) but the mechanics are ... kinda weird.
 

Bilharzia

Villager
The GURPS type is questionable for me, and I would tend not to include it, because you're always rolling the same 3d6 and your skills are reflected in a modifier, not the number or size of dice included.
Yup, I barely know any dice pool systems as they've always seemed a bit silly and pointless to me, but Mutant Year Zero changed my mind with its pushing mechanics. GURPS doesn't seem to fit, neither would a system like Traveller but I could see people were putting them into the mix, including the OP who seems a bit confused.
 

Ratskinner

Adventurer
I suspect the WW2 supers game was Godlike, which used a dice pool, but you were looking for dice that matched (and had a difficulty mechanic that meant that both dice of a matched pair needed to be, e.g., 7 or higher). There are many neat things about Godlike (and Wild Talents, which is a sorta sequel) but the mechanics are ... kinda weird.
I believe you are correct, that sounds right to me.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
Yup, I barely know any dice pool systems as they've always seemed a bit silly and pointless to me, but Mutant Year Zero changed my mind with its pushing mechanics. GURPS doesn't seem to fit, neither would a system like Traveller but I could see people were putting them into the mix, including the OP who seems a bit confused.
While no edition of traveller sets the number of dice by ability, T4 and T5 do set the number of dice from the difficulty. Whether that's a dice pool or not? That's been argued.

GURPS, really isn't a dicepool. the dice are a fixed number — always 3d — for tasks. A few argue damage is a dicepool, but since the primary roll mode isn't, I don't think that rises to the level of a dicepool system. Same applies to Hero. Traveller... CT is 2d most of the time, MT is 2d all the time, TNE is 1d20, MgT is 2d in both editions, and GT is GURPS, HT is Hero, and T20 is d20.

It is worth noting that some dicepool systems provide a pool of dice to be split into various actions. Shadowrun 1E did this for hacking, for example.

Haven't run (but have read) MYZ. I have and am running ALIEN. Same core principles, but divergent mechanically. Pushing is even better in ALIEN than in MYZ, but is a double edged sword: it adds a stress die, so the push is more than the base.
 
GURPS, really isn't a dicepool. the dice are a fixed number — always 3d — for tasks. A few argue damage is a dicepool, but since the primary roll mode isn't, I don't think that rises to the level of a dicepool system.
GURPS is about as much a dicepool system as D&D would be if you replaced all the 1d20 rolls with 3d6 rolls. That's not a dicepool - it's still a simple roll. As for damage, fireball's always rolled a bucked of d6s and simply added them up.
 

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