What's your favorite dice system?

Yora

Legend
Blades in the Dark has a dice pool system I don't hate.

You take a d6 for every point you have in the relevant attribute and any applicable bonus. You roll them all, but you don't count them and only look for the die with the highest number. That die is your result.

All the neat aspects of dice pools, but without having to do endless additions.
 

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innerdude

Legend
Do the d10s do anything? Otherwise, it seems more complicated for a similar effect.

Another, homebrew-specific thing I like about 2d6+modifier is it lets me replace several 2d6-based mechanics with skill checks: reaction becomes Connect (CHA), turn undead becomes Invoke (CHA), and morale and loyalty become modifiers that are added to the roll and evaluated like skill checks.

I also do initiative the same way. Hit points and damage are still whatever dice, but everything else uses one of the two unified (and roll-over) mechanics: d20 for combat/saves and 2d6 for checks. I would add unified dice mechanics as another favorite dice mechanic.

@Aldarc 's linked Twitter thread from Shawn Tompkin hits the nail on the head.

The dice mechanic for Ironsworn (and Starforged, which I just started playing) gives a greater variety/range of results, while allowing for more flexibility in how bonuses get added to rolls, while also being tightly integrated into the momentum and exploration/questing mechanics.

All told, I vastly prefer it to bog standard 2d6 from Dungeon World.

I'm excited to compare it to FitD's dice pool when Court of Blades Kickstarter finally gets here.
 

kenada

Legend
Thanks @Aldarc, @innerdude, and @aramis erak for the explanations. I did put both through AnyDice, but I didn’t extend the modifiers all the way out to +9, so I missed that the Ironsworn mechanic allows for a greater range of modifiers. That’s a problem I’m going to need to solve because the maximum theoretical modifier in my homebrew system is +7.

I am aware that bonuses past +4 result in some degree of automatic success, but I’ve been ignoring it for now because 2d6+mod works really nicely with the rest of the system, and it only comes into play at higher levels (9th at the earliest and more likely 12th — out of 14 total levels). I don’t think I would want to just copy the Ironsworn mechanic, and I want to see how much of a problem it is for us in practice, but I’m also annoyed that it is a potential issue with the system.
 


aramis erak

Legend
Thanks @Aldarc, @innerdude, and @aramis erak for the explanations. I did put both through AnyDice, but I didn’t extend the modifiers all the way out to +9, so I missed that the Ironsworn mechanic allows for a greater range of modifiers. That’s a problem I’m going to need to solve because the maximum theoretical modifier in my homebrew system is +7.
With a +7, the min 9 really does hit strongly. ;) Have you considered renorming downward, such that a -2 is the low, and +4 the high?
I am aware that bonuses past +4 result in some degree of automatic success, but I’ve been ignoring it for now because 2d6+mod works really nicely with the rest of the system, and it only comes into play at higher levels (9th at the earliest and more likely 12th — out of 14 total levels). I don’t think I would want to just copy the Ironsworn mechanic, and I want to see how much of a problem it is for us in practice, but I’m also annoyed that it is a potential issue with the system.
If you don't want the auto success problem, it may instead be time to think about altering the roles of TN, dice and mod.
Or just put a special case: A nat 2 always fails.
 

kenada

Legend
With a +7, the min 9 really does hit strongly. ;) Have you considered renorming downward, such that a -2 is the low, and +4 the high?
I have, but the lowest possible modifier is −4, so there’s not a lot of space to move down. I could shift the range up, but I don’t like that either.

If you don't want the auto success problem, it may instead be time to think about altering the roles of TN, dice and mod.
Or just put a special case: A nat 2 always fails.
I hadn’t tried that. It works, but it feels like an awkward bandaid (especially since something like turn undead, which uses an open-ended roll to determine the highest HD turned, shouldn’t fail).

I hate to say it, but I might be better off using 3d6 for skills (with ranges 9−/10–14/15+). Here’s the AnyDice. It still has problems at the extremes, but there is still a 16% chance of a partial success at +7. I also like that the graph of results is symmetrical across the whole range (for no reason other than I find it visually pleasing).

So, anyway. Like I said, 2d6+modifier a triangular distribution of results, especially the PbtA difficulty with a range of success. 🙃
 


clearstream

(He, Him)
Hi all,

What is your favorite dice system and why do you like it? What's the pros and cons of the dice system? And what games using the system is your favorite?
Qualities I look for are
  • Expressive - can nuance be read off the results?
  • Predictable - can players tell how their strategies affect their odds?
  • Sensitive - can the method tolerate a wide range of modifiers without degenerating?
My favourite methods would be
  1. 5e combat d20, (re)roll+mods
    1. equal or exceed target #
    2. 1 = autofail, 20 = autohit & crit (I prefer the tweak that if only 20 is a hit, it can't crit)
    3. can add/deduct flat modifiers, and reroll keeping high (advantage) or low (disadvantage)
  2. TB2 d6 pools, count successes
    1. equal or exceed objective # of successes (4+s count as successes)
    2. fewer = fail + consequence OR succeed + condition (GM call), equal or exceed = unconditional success
    3. many factors add/deduct 1d or 1s, some effects reroll fails or 6s
  3. BitD d6 pools, count highest
    1. read result off highest where 6 = success, 5-4 = partial, 3-1 = bad, and multiple 6s = crit
    2. base pool of trait, and can take stress and strike bargains for extra dice
    3. GM choose (before roll) a position that will shape the consequences of partial or bad results
Honorable mentions go to Legend of Five Rings and The One Ring for their nuanced methods using custom dice. I don't dislike the PbtA method seen in Stonetop i.e. 2d6+mods with a possible extra d6 (highest two for adv, lowest disadv), roll sorts between the usual outcomes, albeit for me it lacks sensitivity. There are many games that use similar methods. I'm fond of methods where the target number is itself random (not very common, but examples include the indie games Ironsworn and Highway.)

Additionally, there is the matter of whether the method is player-facing or world-facing, by which I mean is the player essentially rolling against themselves (as expressed through their character), or are they rolling against an objective target (i.e. a supposedly real external world)? Which I prefer very much depends on the coherence and overall quality of the game system.
 
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