We are making a new version of our role-playing game, -U- the Game of Stories. In the original version we used a slot-machine like d6 system. This time? Well, it's been a journey.
What to Roll...
The core mechanic of the game is Descriptors. Every character has 7 set Descriptors, called Attributes, and any number of other Descriptors to flesh them out. Next to each Descriptor is a number. That number determines how many dice a player will roll for that character. But what dice are we rolling, and why?
To get what dice to roll, we went through several iterations of this. First we started with D6's mimicking some of the more Fate/FUDGE mechanics with 1s and 2s counting as 1s and 2s, while 6s were counted as -1s. Good, but fiddly. Next, we decided to use ten-sided dice with 3 or so numbers counting as successes. Good, but kind of hard to remember.
Then, Aaron (the A of A'n'SR) ended up having a 20-sided die around for some random reason, and started rolling it for fun. Rolling the die, he decided we should use it. After doing some dice calculations using http://anydice.com/program/576a, we came up with the resolution mechanic for the new game. Roll a d20s equal to the points of all applicable Descriptors. Each 5, 10, 15, or 20 counts as a success. If you roll at least 1 success, your character succeeds. This method has worked great, but we are now playing with rolling six-sided dice with 1s being a success and 6s being rerolls. We'll be playtesting that in April and May, and see which one is more fun.
The Ironic Part
The irony of our search for the perfect dice mechanic however is this: we had a similar option in our book -U- Options: Character Checks all along. Yes... we laughed too. Shows us for not looking at what we had before trying to find something new again.
Next time, we talk about blaming the Game Crafter for 10,000 words.