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Tell Me About Your Favorite Mechanics

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
RPGs are interesting games, not least because they often aim for innovative mechanics in their design for the sake of being innovative. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don't, but that isn't necessarily tied to how much we might enjoy those designs.

So, just for the sake of discussion, tell me about some of your favorite mechanics and systems in RPGs, and why you like those mechanics.
 

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innerdude

Legend
I honestly thought I would hate using a critical hit chart in FFG Star Wars. The way the weapon crit ratings worked made me think they'd never get used.

Boy was I ever wrong.

Our group loves it. It's exciting to roll the chart, and the narrative effects are fun and flavorful.

Also, the hit point mechanic in Genesys / FFG feels much different than D&D. It feels more like a Star Wars fight should. Death is possible, but it's radically more likely to end in surrender or retreat, or being "knocked out" of a fight via condition.

It feels like a tense race, where the PCs and opponents are using every trick up their sleeve for advantage before they're hung out to dry. In no way does it feel like a bag of hit points just being depleted.

I also love Ironsworn's momentum mechanic. It's a PC resource that builds over time, which you can activate any time the dice meet specific conditions to turn failure into success, or success into great success. Basically, your momentum rating has to be greater or equal to the level of threat rolled. When you burn it, it resets back to 2.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
I like Advantage/Disadvantage from D&D
I like the rune magic combination rules I did for Altus Adventum years ago (I'll be revisiting that in a future project)
And I liked the theory of the dice pool progression in Altus Adventum, even though it needs refinement. I liked it because you didn't add or subtract anything when making rolls. You compared your highest dice to the opponents (or target's) and whoever was higher won. As you got more skilled, the dice type and number improved. For example:

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So if your DP level was 6 (3d6) and you were fighting an orc with a defensive DP of 4 (d6+2d4), you each rolled your pools of dice, and if you had the highest number, you won.

But admittedly it's pretty clunky and I'd have to revist it at some point.
 

Vraal

you can scroll on down, the abyss is massive
I really like how silver works in Spire: The City Must Fall, treating it sort of as a stat that can be rolled against. It removes the number tracking of precisely how many coins you have and instead just assumes you can make regular small purchases, and then larger purchases have an element of chance to them that might decrease your silver stat. I know I'm not using the words the game itself uses to describe this, hopefully someone can correct me if I'm explaining it the wrong way.

I'm also a big fan of advantage/disadvantage from a game you've probably heard of, it's a really effective way of changing the odds on the fly to convey favourable or unfavourable circumstances.

Also gotta mention "connection" from .dungeon, a game set in an MMO. You have health, though it's sort of superfluous as you can just respawn; connection is what actually matters, a group resource that slowly dwindles, representing the forces of the exterior world trying to draw you away from the game and your friends and back to dull reality. Really gives the game a sense of "we're acting like this summer is going to last forever but deep down we're all desperately afraid that it won't"
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
I really like how silver works in Spire: The City Must Fall, treating it sort of as a stat that can be rolled against. It removes the number tracking of precisely how many coins you have and instead just assumes you can make regular small purchases, and then larger purchases have an element of chance to them that might decrease your silver stat. I know I'm not using the words the game itself uses to describe this, hopefully someone can correct me if I'm explaining it the wrong way.
Wealth checks have been around since at least d20 Modern. Does Spire do something different?
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I really like Aspects (character, scene and setting) as used in FATE and the invoke mechanics.
Also I like FATE Accelerated use of Approaches instead of Skills, Approaches lean into How a character does things within a given setting (according to relevant aspects) rather than limiting What they can try to do

I also like Advantage/Disadvantage mechanic
and the simplicty of D20+bonus > DC

How Ironsworn handles Assets is also pretty cool
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Dice mechanic from The One Ring. Also flat power curve while leveling. (Not a fan of zero-to-hero.)

Special ability choices in Dungeon World. Also damage by class. And the core dice mechanic/philosophy.

Spellcasting in Five Torches Deep. And Supplies.

“Nature” in Mouseguard/Torchbearer
 

Lilcamper

Explorer
There are some rules that, while not that revolutionary, do put a smile on me:

1 - In Conan 2d20, how you can sacrifice a piece of your armor to ignore one wound. Very thematic.
2 - How complications work in Mutants and Masterminds. They are disadvantageous characteristics of your character, but, instead of giving you "build points", whenever they happen to complicate the life of your character, you get a Hero Point (the game metacurrency) back, this make the players actually selecting complications which they would like to see in play.
 

Atomoctba

Adventurer
While I dislike 7th Sea 2E mechanics, I love how Hero Dice work in 1E. Very flavorful and giving a swashbuckling feeling to a swashbuckler game.

Also, as many already commented, advantage/disadvantage was one of the truly genial idea of D&D 5e.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
You know what, I've only had to use it for like 5 sessions in my 20's, but I really appreciated the mathematical elegance of the THAC0 system, and how 5E brought back the same curve and made it a universal mechanic for everything, but just changing to 1-30 and removing the unintuitive aspects of -10 to 20.

The XP system od DCC is brilliant, and I've been tempted to just take ot for other games. Encourages roleplaying instead of specific behavior (murder or acquisition).
 

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