Game design: Is there already a TTRPG system…

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
…that uses opposed pools of die rolls- high rolls wins, tie goes to the defense, 1s being a failure- to resolve skills, but using various die sizes? Point buy based.

To clarify: much like certain board or war games, the player & DM would roll dice, High roll wins. But not only does each side have multiple die to roll, the die may be of various sizes.

Example: a player‘s warrior attacks a goblin. The warrior has a D20 attack, a d12 attack and a pair of d4 attacks. He rolls them, getting 10 (on the d12), a 7 (on the d20), a 3 and a 1 (on the d4s). The goblin has only 2 d10 defense dice, and rolls a 10 and a 5.

Comparing highest to highest, the 10s cancel out. But the warrior’s 7 beats the goblin’s 5 for one hit, the undefended 3 resulting in another hit, and the 1 being a miss. The goblin would take damage from the two hits.

Same thing would go for any kind of skill. A thief picking a lock would roll his dice pool against the lock’s.

A cliff might have a variety of die pools & sizes to oppose would be climbers on more difficult or easier paths.

The smaller dice would be cheaper to buy, but would provide lower odds of success when opposed.* Larger dice would be more expensive, but would have better odds of success when opposed.






* Of course, buying LOTS of smaller dice could overwhelm defenses, so there would have to be limitations on how many you could buy in some way.
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Yeah, you're asking about a pretty specific design there. Cortex is in the neighborhood.

I wouldn't expect to see that design in a recent game, because having to go through both pools together to compare dice in order seems pretty awkward and time consuming.
 
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Bilharzia

Fish Priest
Forbidden Lands (from Free League) does something like this. The core of the system (Year Zero Engine) uses a pool of d6, determined by characteristics + skill + equipment. A 6 is a success, 1 is a fail (or potential fail). You can use this as an opposed roll with two parties rolling.
Forbidden lands extends this a bit by introducing higher dice for special equipment, producing more successes in stages if rolling above 6. I believe Twilight 2000 takes this further, but I have not seen the rules.
 




Earthdawn? Although that gets complicated with "exploding dice" (roll a dice again if you've managed to roll the highest number).

As I recall, Earthdawn used static target numbers for the most part, not opposed rolls (I'm not sure how skill versus skill worked any more, but that was certainly how combat did).
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
The only thing that comes to mind that I haven't seen mentioned is Dogs in the Vinyard, where you assemble pools of various-size dice and compare the rolls--and the sides have opportunities to add dice (at the cost of changing what kind of conflict is happening and perhaps risking nastier consequences). There is (or at least was) a genericized version of it available on DriveThru.
 

aramis erak

Legend
Forbidden Lands (from Free League) does something like this. The core of the system (Year Zero Engine) uses a pool of d6, determined by characteristics + skill + equipment. A 6 is a success, 1 is a fail (or potential fail). You can use this as an opposed roll with two parties rolling.
Forbidden lands extends this a bit by introducing higher dice for special equipment, producing more successes in stages if rolling above 6. I believe Twilight 2000 takes this further, but I have not seen the rules.
T2K uses 6-9=1s, 10+=2s, using d6, d8, d10, and d12 as the available dice by stat/skill.
This does feel a bit compressed, with only 4 available attribute levels ([A,B,C,D]=[d12,d10,d8,d6]). (most games use 5 or more.)

it lacks the risk-style comparisons.
In fact, I can't think of any RPGs with risk-style comparisons. Partly because going non-boolean is awkward. (Even One Roll Engine isn't risk style.)

End of the World is closest to risk style... but not that close. All d6's. It's good dice in one color, bad in a second. Pair same face good with bad, and remove. remaining good dice are successes; remaining bad are stress.
 

GMMichael

Guide of Modos
…that uses opposed pools of die rolls- high rolls wins, tie goes to the defense, 1s being a failure- to resolve skills, but using various die sizes?
Would you like there to be such a system?

I suspect it would have all the excitement of a Risk war, but it's hard to tell because it looks like the maths get much muddier than in Risk.
 

Would you like there to be such a system?

I suspect it would have all the excitement of a Risk war, but it's hard to tell because it looks like the maths get much muddier than in Risk.

Other than using polyhedra its not that different from a number of die-pool systems. The polyhedra do muddy that somewhat (one of the few basic design complaints I have about Cortex) but that sort of die pool system doesn't seem unpopular.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Would you like there to be such a system?

I suspect it would have all the excitement of a Risk war, but it's hard to tell because it looks like the maths get much muddier than in Risk.
I would, actually. It kinda popped into my head while I was doing something.

I’ve played in something like 150 different RPG systems- including a couple mentioned here- and couldn’t recall any quite like it.
 

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