Tell Me About Your Favorite Mechanics

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
kayleefrye.jpg


Seriously, though, advantage/disadvantage from 5E and playbooks from PbtA/Beyond the Wall, the stress dice mechanic from Alien.
 

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DrunkonDuty

he/him
Escalation die - you have a d6 that turns up by one every round, and that adds to hit rolls. However in 13th age the monsters have different powers that work if the escalation die is odd or even. It's a narrative rule that does the "losing at the start of the fight, figuring out how to fight the opponent and winning" feel of action movies.

The countdown dice pool. Lets say you have the PCs in a situation where something dire is about to happen, but you don't want to decided a specific time, so you put a pool of D6s into the pool. At the end of reach round you roll them, and remove any that have a specific number (I think six is the default). So each round there is a chance of 0-lots of dice being removed. When all the dice are removed the event happens. It helps build tension, and isn't some arbitrary amount of time. The players can see the pool get smaller and smaller and adjust their actions accordingly.

Thanks! They both sound very cool.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
I really love Playbooks and think that any number of games, trad and otherwise, can benefit from them.

Yeah, I love Playbooks, too. I think I said something about "class abilities in Dungeon World" but really that means Playbooks, from all PbtA games.

Also, I mentioned TOR and DW dice mechanics, but I'll broaden that to: "Simple dice mechanics that have a range of possible results, not just binary pass/fail."
 


DrunkonDuty

he/him
I love hero, and in theory I love the speed chart. Until there's a speedster in the party.

Oh man, I agree so much. I once had a player who insisted that his speedster, with a speed of 24!!* (that he'd paid for with an elemental control!!!!) was a perfectly fine character. It was not.

Luckily, there are other ways of modelling speedster tropes. I'm fond of things like selective area of effect attacks to model running around a space and punching every single baddie. And change environment to do all that cute "instant clean room" thing. You can limit the speedsters to speed to 1 or 2 over the campaign average and still hit all those speedster tropes.



*for people not familiar with Hero, speed only goes up to 12.
 

aramis erak

Legend
I can see that. But for 25 years the only people in my groups that wanted to play a speedster was me. :devilish:
My fantasy hero setting had +1 speed for elves as a racial... which lead to a 2 of 3 elves maxed in each group... PC elves tended to be speed 6, everyone else speed 3-4... There was one Speed 4 elf... but he bought Pre to 30, and took the disad, "Hunted, local badass, 15-"...
Oh man, I agree so much. I once had a player who insisted that his speedster, with a speed of 24!!* (that he'd paid for with an elemental control!!!!) was a perfectly fine character. It was not.
I've had a couple people who couldn't keep straight move vs speed. They were die-hard AD&D 1E players... and to them, speed always meant movment range.
 

DrunkonDuty

he/him
I may not have made myself clear. Sorry.

When I said that that character had a speed of 24, I mean the Speed characteristic, not the character's Running (or any other movement.) This guy wanted to go, that is take a phase, twice every segment of the turn.
 

Oh man, I agree so much. I once had a player who insisted that his speedster, with a speed of 24!!* (that he'd paid for with an elemental control!!!!) was a perfectly fine character. It was not.

Luckily, there are other ways of modelling speedster tropes. I'm fond of things like selective area of effect attacks to model running around a space and punching every single baddie. And change environment to do all that cute "instant clean room" thing. You can limit the speedsters to speed to 1 or 2 over the campaign average and still hit all those speedster tropes.



*for people not familiar with Hero, speed only goes up to 12.
Holy Cow!

When I ran speedsters if the Brick was a speed 4 (or 5 for higher powered games) and the standard EP was a 6, I'd try for a 7.... maybe an 8, but I tried to keep is no more than couple higher than the slowest. I love the tricks. I remember going through the core book and finding a speedster based effect for every power in the book. Like you I liked area effects with that kind of thing. I loved all the Change Environment tricks. I actually pulled off the Kid Flash trick (from the Teen Titans / X-Men book) of taking an engine apart as the minor bad guys were driving away.
 

Zweihander/Flames of Freedom, minus the woke stuff in FoF (I like my history accurate).

The tidy turn handling (three Action points), the collection Fate Coin Pool (use a Coin, get an advantage, and the coin now goes to the GM to buy bennies for the NPCs), the dealy, unpredictable combat, the elegant PC growth system, the listing for lawyers in the monster section.
 



James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
kayleefrye.jpg


Seriously, though, advantage/disadvantage from 5E and playbooks from PbtA/Beyond the Wall, the stress dice mechanic from Alien.
That's a very good mechanic!

I'm going to go with Karma, as used in the old FASERIP Marvel Super Heroes and Earthdawn. So you this resource (in Marvel it was your xp, in Earthdawn it cost xp) that you could use to add more oomph to rolls when you really needed to succeed, but since using it cost xp that you could use to progress, players have a vested interest in being stingy about it, as opposed to using Karma willy nilly. There are times when a campaign can really hinge on whether or not a key roll succeeds or not, and I've always liked giving players a resource to use in case of such emergencies, but usually, they either never use it, because they have no direct way to get more of it, or they spam it like it's going out of style.

By tying it to progression, you have a very simple "you win but not without a cost" mechanic.
 

For me the Ravenloft Powers check remains my favorite. If fit the genre, it was fun and added an unexpected and surprising element to play plus it really forced you to be creative as a Gm when it came up. I liked the double edged sword nature of it
 

payn

Legend
Maybe I only like them in theory, too. I love reading them, but I don't actually play any PbtA games.

:rolleyes:
In play I just found it to be a bit formulaic. Like episodic TV. This is the part where Sam's dark past reveals a piece of what's going on, and then we have Melissa's resourceful bit where she constructs a makeshift device to save the day. Finally, Phil does...

I like my game play a little more serial, and I haven't really come to terms with making playbooks work with that. I know you can gain additional moves, even moves from other playbooks, but I just don't know how to make it work for me just yet.
 


Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
In play I just found it to be a bit formulaic. Like episodic TV. This is the part where Sam's dark past reveals a piece of what's going on, and then we have Melissa's resourceful bit where she constructs a makeshift device to save the day. Finally, Phil does...

I like my game play a little more serial, and I haven't really come to terms with making playbooks work with that. I know you can gain additional moves, even moves from other playbooks, but I just don't know how to make it work for me just yet.
You're describing Monster of the Week which is designed to model episodic TV!

If you look at playbooks in other games, they can be more flexible than that. There's nothing in Beyond the Wall, for instance, that ties plot revelations to mechanics, as happens in Monster of the Week.
 


Reynard

Legend
Personally I find playbooks are overly prescriptive and too complicated for my liking, I prefer things more freeform (like Fate aspects)
I don't think playbooks have to be particularly prescriptive, at least no moreso than most standard classed RPGs. You could "playbook" most 5E classes, for example. Having all the rules and options in front of the player, with a clear advancement track, has benefits. My favorite implementation isn't even really from an RPG (although I have always wanted to try and use the rules for one): Pathfinder Adventure Card Game.
 

DrunkonDuty

he/him
That's a very good mechanic!

I'm going to go with Karma, as used in the old FASERIP Marvel Super Heroes and Earthdawn.

Oh yeah! I loved the karma system in FASERIP (never played Earthdawn.) It was a brand new concept to little me back in... I think I bought a copy of Advanced Marvel in 1989. I will say neither myself nor any of the people I played with had a problem spending our karma. Wanna make sure that Spidey web goos up the macguffin before it can do the bad thing? Spend the karma baby!

One minor gripe: I did feel that karma was very hard to come by, especially for villains. I can be quite "by the book" (even more so back then) and I wanted a fair(sic) and transparent way for Dr. Doom to have all that karma he needs to (nearly) pull off his schemes.


I bought my first PbtA game the other day. Nightwitches. You play a member of the 588th Soviet bomber squadron, the famed Nightwitches. I've only had a quick flick through and it's been lovingly researched. I doubt I'll ever play it, it's not the sort of game that will appeal to my players who have a distinct preference for silliness. Also, like @Tonguez, I find the concept of playbooks a bit restrictive. But I will enjoy reading it when I get a spare arvo.
 

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