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And/But Variable to Tasks and Combat

 
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:50 am    Post subject: And/But Variable to Tasks and Combat Reply with quote

Some have expressed interest in the And/But die I mentioned in another thread so here is a full explanation.

Before I begin I must first explain that I have unabashedly plagiarized this idea from a thread posted by HarrierPotter on the Exile Game Studio forums. The original thread can be found here...

And/But... (add-on roll results)

And/But...
As it stands, Ubiquity has critical failure (though not critical success), and degrees of success can be used for some of this, but are better suited for things like increasing/decreasing time or damage and similar effects. Plus degrees of success don't allow for a negative attached to a successful roll or a positive attached to a failed roll. If this is used, the usual critical failure rule isn't used.

The thought is to add u3 (3 x Ubiquity dice) to PCs rolls (and only PCs).

If all three are successes, then something positive happens in addition to general roll result.
So, Success/And OR Failure/But.

If all three are misses, then something negative happens in addition to general roll result.
So, Success/But OR Failure/And.

- Degrees of success and the size of the dice pool can be used to help judge the significance of the And/But add-on.

The additional result can be pretty much anything the group can come up with -- an environmental factor, a prop, a minor incident or condition for either party, and so on. The GM should always have final say. What's allowed is highly tuneable to group preferences, and can lead to a lot of creative fun if the players help come up with the and/but rather than the GM doing it all.

So perhaps you're chasing someone and have to jump a wooden fence. Let's look at the options:

- Success/And; not only do you clear the fence, but your opponent has stumbled and is prone or stunned for a turn.
- Success/But; you clear the fence, but drop your gun or slip and have to make a roll to maintain balance.
- Failure/But; the fence is too high for you to clear, but you notice some rotten planks you can bash through.
- Failure/And; not only do you not clear the fence, your leg punches through a plank and you get stuck, possibly injured.

Some other related bits -- To get crazy, you could drop the additional dice to u2, for a lot more ands/buts. There could be a Flaw that means you only need 2 misses to get a negative add-on; conversely a Talent could mean you only need 2 successes to get a positive add-on.

Using a specialised blue Ubiquity die the chance of And occurring is 1:8 and the chance of But occurring is also 1:8. It's just as easy to roll 1d8 and use 1 or 8 to determine the result. Of course, you can use whatever die or variable you want - the important part of this system isn't the chance for it to occur rather than the variable results it produces.

In my AFO campaign I have been using the And/But die to great effect but it may not be to everyones taste. Also, I do have fumble and critical failure tables for my game and I still use the Ubiquity critical failure rules - in such a situation the And/But die can also have an influence.
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CanuckAlchemist

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will add that adding the element on chance adds in an element of realism to a swashbuckling combat. Odd things happen in fights, you slip for an instant and your opponent capitalizes, or you can zig and he can zag and you catch him with an excellent hit.

So combat is no longer just a roll, calculate hit and damage. It can suddenly change, for good or ill in a heartbeat.

The results of the rolls are added into the description of the combat, and can result in excellent opportunities for heroic adventure.

One player leapt down stairs, vaulted/slid on the railing and attacked at the end of the maneuver. He swung, slipped on a pool of blood he had not seen in the dark, and did a pratfall right in front of the enemy. Thankfully his comrade in arms was able to defend him and he was not skewered like a bug.

These random events add memorable events into a campaign. Actions to protect a fallen comrade who has stumbled form memories of fun times around the table, and that is what the game is supposed to provide.
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Runeslinger

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is interesting. HarrierPotter has a touch of genius about him, doesn't he?

This is not something I would use as I provide effects like these already to explain unexpected failures, critical failures, and surprise overwhelming successes, but I like its spirit.

On the other hand, using this when Taking the Average could have some interesting benefits in my games!
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The GIT!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Runeslinger wrote:
That is interesting. HarrierPotter has a touch of genius about him, doesn't he?

This is not something I would use as I provide effects like these already to explain unexpected failures, critical failures, and surprise overwhelming successes, but I like its spirit.

On the other hand, using this when Taking the Average could have some interesting benefits in my games!

One thing to bear in mind is that it is designed to provide variables that can work opposite to critical failures and successes. It this aspect that I particularly like as most games only normally have rules for a great success or cataclysmic cock-up.

An example in combat could be you critically skewer the bad guy in the chest with your rapier BUT the blade has gotten jammed in the ribcage. The enemy is out of action BUT you now have to decide whether to try and pull the blade out or let go and try and find another weapon. This is a critical success with the variable die showing BUT - for me this is better than just using the regular critical success/failure rules most games have.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I was at GenCon this year I saw FFG selling their Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Beta. I'm not in to paying for betas to start with and, to be honest, I was a little turned off by the custom dice (something that has also kept me away from FFGs WFRPG).

What I did find interesting is the following quote from the CarpeGM website...

Quote:
Unique Custom Dice Present Unparalleled Storytelling Options

Where other RPGs’ dice systems determine success or failure as a binary state, Edge of the Empire’s custom dice allow for a rich tapestry of narrative possibilities. For example, you might succeed in wrestling a Gamorrean to the ground as you planned, but in doing so your blaster might fall from its holster and slide just out of reach. On the other hand, you might utterly fail in your attempts to lie to an Imperial customs officer, but in doing so discover that he’s open to bribery. The ever-present potential for success with complications or failure with advantages adds a compelling layer of realism to all your endeavors.


Seems like a lot of work just to add And/But dice to the game Wink
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