Grade The D6 System

How do you feel about The D6 System (any variant)?

  • I love it.

    Votes: 7 7.4%
  • It's pretty good.

    Votes: 39 41.1%
  • It's alright I guess.

    Votes: 18 18.9%
  • It's pretty bad.

    Votes: 1 1.1%
  • I hate it.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I've never played it.

    Votes: 26 27.4%
  • I've never even heard of it.

    Votes: 4 4.2%

Thomas Shey

Legend
Hmmm. Fair point about the variance issues. That said, if you set static defenses and modifiers within the range you expect to see then that still should be manageable. As an example, if your defenses are normally, say, the equivalent of rolling 3 on each die, then a +6 is still a respectable addition unless you normally expect really wide ranges of dice at either end. I mean, honestly, I'd expect that if you're running around with 8D combat skills and fighting people with 4D combat skills, they're mostly going to be speed bumps anyway. If you still want some variance something like an open ended Wild Die will produce it while simplifying the combat exchange for people who don't like two-ended combat result (i.e. attack rolls versus defense rolls). (I'm not bothered by it being an old BRP hand, but I know it bothers a lot of people for--reasons).
 

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Adding to the discussion of static defense, I would say it's just plain anathema to the way things worked in WEG d6.

In that system, you could opt to do multiple things in one round by taking a penalty to all things during the round (and a bigger penalty if you had to do an action without planning). With active defense, this means that a big part of strategic planning was based on how much you wanted to defend or attack. You could chose to put all your action into something and ignore dodging completely, sacrificing HP to achieve your primary goal. Or you could put more effort into dodging multiple foes but just make a pot shot at enemies with a really low bonus. Or go full defense. There were a lot of options.

Even more importantly, you could spend your bonus resources like Character Points or Force Points with any roll, included dodging. Which means you could choose to force even a low Dodge to a very high number when you're in a critical situation. This could lead to really cinematic moments like choosing to spend it all to survive when you're at 1HP, or a non-pilot pulling off a critical dodge maneuver. From a gaming perspective, this also meant that resource management between your special bonuses, HP, and action economy were all tied together.

With static defense, you would have to create an entirely new list of mechanics and options to mirror that style of play.
 

Celebrim

Legend
Hmmm. Fair point about the variance issues. That said, if you set static defenses and modifiers within the range you expect to see then that still should be manageable.

D6 really only accommodates a pretty small range of dice. That said, the Hyperspace D6 "lite" version of D6 seems to accommodate an even narrower range of dice.

I mean, honestly, I'd expect that if you're running around with 8D combat skills and fighting people with 4D combat skills, they're mostly going to be speed bumps anyway.

Sure. The math would back up that claim. It's like 8th level characters fighting kobolds or something. But then, at least the kobolds have a 5% chance to hit.

If you still want some variance something like an open ended Wild Die will produce it while simplifying the combat exchange for people who don't like two-ended combat result (i.e. attack rolls versus defense rolls).

Yes, an open ended wild die could be seen as a solution, but open ended wild die ("exploding die") would slow down play more than having opposed rolls would. Open ended wild die is one of the slowest dice rolling mechanisms you can have, while having only a marginal impact on play usually (in terms of how it effects the math). It's one of those mechanisms that I think primarily exists for people who get a thrill out of rolling dice. Personally, I just avoid having wild die in D6 to simplify and speed up play.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Yes, an open ended wild die could be seen as a solution, but open ended wild die ("exploding die") would slow down play more than having opposed rolls would. Open ended wild die is one of the slowest dice rolling mechanisms you can have, while having only a marginal impact on play usually (in terms of how it effects the math). It's one of those mechanisms that I think primarily exists for people who get a thrill out of rolling dice. Personally, I just avoid having wild die in D6 to simplify and speed up play.

Really? Never seemed so when we did it, or saw the equivalent in Savage Worlds. I mean, as long as the Wild Die is distinct, you're only having to do anything with it one time in 6 (3 if you had it work at both ends) where you need to roll the defense roll every time. I mean I'm not going to deny your experiences (and I agree the impact is usually going to be mild) but I'm just not seeing the handling being that painful on a routine basis personally.
 

aramis erak

Legend
D6 really only accommodates a pretty small range of dice. That said, the Hyperspace D6 "lite" version of D6 seems to accommodate an even narrower range of dice.



Sure. The math would back up that claim. It's like 8th level characters fighting kobolds or something. But then, at least the kobolds have a 5% chance to hit.



Yes, an open ended wild die could be seen as a solution, but open ended wild die ("exploding die") would slow down play more than having opposed rolls would. Open ended wild die is one of the slowest dice rolling mechanisms you can have, while having only a marginal impact on play usually (in terms of how it effects the math). It's one of those mechanisms that I think primarily exists for people who get a thrill out of rolling dice. Personally, I just avoid having wild die in D6 to simplify and speed up play.
Given that the Main Cast Characters run up over 11d, not really. Many dicepool systems I've seen cap the dice at 10.
Several cap at 5.

Now, starting characters? Humans being allowed 1d+0 to 4d+0 in attributes... 1d+0, 1d+1, 1d+2, 2d+0, 2d+1, 2d+2, 3d+0, 3d+1, 3d+2, 4d...
10 steps. Starting skills can be up to 2d more... 4d+1, 4d+2, 5d+0, 5d+1, 5d+2, 6d+0... a range of 16 steps.This is more nuanced than most d6 dicepools; many have 10d6 caps, and those that are count successes often have only whole dice, so the variability does make for a rather wide number of steps.

Note as well: D&D attributes, when rolled, run 3 to 18, 12 steps. Traveller and Cepheus use 2d6, but a range of 1 to 15, for 15 steps.

Most step dice systems use 5 steps (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12) for 5 steps; the step-die flavor of YZE only use d6, d8, d10, and d12, a measly 4 steps.
 

ThrorII

Explorer
So, I found that reaction rolls (Dodge, Parry, Stamina) reaaaallly slow down the game, especially when there are multiple actions per player per round. Having a MiniSix fixed defense (at the expense of -1D for a Dodge or Parry) is well worth it. For those who don't know, the static number is determined by your skill dice x3, plus any pips you have. A Dodge skill of 4D+2 gives you a static dodge of 14. And yes, cover gives you +5 (in MiniSix). Additionally, Each weapon does not have an individual Difficulty number to hit. The static dodge is increased by cover (+5) or range (+5/+10/+15). I've also dumped separate "Melee Parry" and "Brawling Parry" skills, and have them automatically equal to your "Melee" or "Brawling" skill dice.

And yes, HyperspaceD6 is too simplistic overall, but their Force rules are good in my opinion. Instead of dozens of Force abilities, with a multitude of skill checks for each ability (for example, needing a Diff 5 Control roll AND a Diff 10 Alter roll), you have 1 Force skill for each ability, and the Difficulty is set for how you use the Force. As a made-up example, Lifting a small item might be a Diff 5 Alter roll, pulling a blaster out of someones hand might be a Diff 10 Alter roll, Force Pushing or lifting a 3PO unit might be a Diff 15 Alter roll, and lifting an X-wing a Diff 20 Alter roll. Again, quick, cinematic, and intuitive.
 

Celebrim

Legend
And yes, HyperspaceD6 is too simplistic overall, but their Force rules are good in my opinion. Instead of dozens of Force abilities, with a multitude of skill checks for each ability (for example, needing a Diff 5 Control roll AND a Diff 10 Alter roll), you have 1 Force skill for each ability, and the Difficulty is set for how you use the Force. As a made-up example, Lifting a small item might be a Diff 5 Alter roll, pulling a blaster out of someones hand might be a Diff 10 Alter roll, Force Pushing or lifting a 3PO unit might be a Diff 15 Alter roll, and lifting an X-wing a Diff 20 Alter roll. Again, quick, cinematic, and intuitive.

Yeah, I recognized you were just borrowing the simplified force skills. I do feel like this is exchanging a 1e Magic User for a 3e Wizard though, as traditional D6 force skills makes being a force user suck for most of the early part of a campaign, only to have them ramp up in power to the point they are the most powerful member of the party. It feels like in Hyperspace D6, you are much more likely to have a good time as a starting force user. But then, with fewer constraints on your power and fewer costs to obtain it, then it feels like you are going to be like a 3e spellcaster and leave behind the rest of the party just that much quicker.

So yes, absolutely quicker and more intuitive, but like most rules light, to me it feels more like it's built for short campaigns rather than longer ones.
 

aramis erak

Legend
D6 really only accommodates a pretty small range of dice. That said, the Hyperspace D6 "lite" version of D6 seems to accommodate an even narrower range of dice.
Up to 11d6+2 for published characters I'd not consider that a small range, especially versus the 5 steps of most step die systems by comparison. That the SW D6, the D6 Space, D6 Fantasy, and D6 Adventure all also use adds...
the attribute range is 1d+0 to 4d for PC... 10 steps. far deeper delineation than step dice or many dice pool systems using whole dice only.
 

Celebrim

Legend
Given that the Main Cast Characters run up over 11d, not really.

As others have noted in the thread, it's virtually impossible to play long enough to get dice pools as large as main cast characters. Vader and Palpatine in particular might as well be in the Deities and Demigods section.

The real issue with the system arises from force points. They are awesome and elegant meta-currency that is well tied to the setting, but as the dice pools of the characters increase, so too does the power of the force point. Doubling the dice pools of starting characters makes them momentarily awesome heroes capable of performing main character like heroic feats. But by the time you get up to like 8D, doubling the dice pools of the character becomes just a straight up win button - scaling the character up past the point anything can reasonably resist them. Even with a cap of say 12 dice in any action, you can always just take multiple 12D actions - which would potentially overwhelm even a main character that wasn't also spending force points.

Either way, whether we are talking having 12D in skills or having 8D and some force points, my suspicion is that D6 breaks down at that power level similarly to the way D20 does when you start getting bonuses nearing +20. Even early on, doing something like building a 6D wookie and putting them in medium armor to make a nigh unkillable walking tank can stretch the system to its limits because damage is based not just success but margin of success.

I guess in short I love D6 as a system but it has some warts, the chief of which is that antagonists tend to be either hapless or utterly lethal and there is very little range in between. This does fit well with the movies, but doesn't necessarily make for tense dramatic situations.
 

aramis erak

Legend
As others have noted in the thread, it's virtually impossible to play long enough to get dice pools as large as main cast characters. Vader and Palpatine in particular might as well be in the Deities and Demigods section.
I've seen players into the 10d range, and my campaigns didn't run more than 6 months of weekly sessions. Now, my sessions were long, and CP awarded with that in mind... but also, my players almost never used CP for bonus dice. (and that's a 2e thing, while my longest were 1e).

With starting PCs, the most key example of appropriate use of a force point:
Party is raiding an ISD to free some rebel spies. OF COURSE, they get pinned down by 8 stormtroopers. The Young Jedi, who carried no blasters, still had 5d in it. He has one of the PCs with a blaster toss him one. Then, dropping a force point, does 8 shots, so -7d on everything, leaving him with 3d per stormtrooper at short range... Stormtroopers don't dodge well - 1d, typically - so he dropped most of the stormtroopers. Rest of the round was others mopping up the last few.
Next round, tosses it back to its owner, saying, "Just because I hate using them doesn't mean I can't. Now, Let's get out of here."

In my 2018 game, several PCs hit 8d in blaster. That ran about 5 months of weekly 1800-2200 sessions. Not a one of them spent CP for extra dice. Force points typically leads to action flurries instead of tall rolls.

Now, the 2e CP per session is based upon 2 sessions per adventure, and the following amounts (see 2.0 pp 46-47), essentially 15 points per 2 sessions. At that rate, a starting 5.0 skill can be raised quickly...
15 points to 6d, 18 more to 7d (total 33), 21 more to 8d (total 54) - readily achievable. That also ignores the reductions for obtaining training. Getting to 9d+0 is another 24 (total 78), and 10d+0 is another 27 (total 105 CP from start of 5d+0 for a signature skill.)
(5 for 5+1, 5 for 5+2, 5 for 6+0; 6 for 6+1, 6 for 6+2, 6 for 7d, and so on,)

105/15 is 7 advenutres, or about 14 sessions. At least, if the player is fixated on one skill. And I've seen that to the 8d level.

1e (see p 94) is about 2/3 the rate, less clear about adventure length intent, and many were treating adventures for a single session in the 7+ range (of a "15 per adventure at the very most")... but 1E also sucked points to beef up ships, too.
 

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