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February 15, 2012 / Wythe

d6 RPG: difficulty ratings

Here are some notes from the early days of the d6 RPG. P.M. said:

Difficulty ratings

I agree with all. I think the key here is playtesting. I like this idea of value relating to the number of dice. Again, the thing is fear the most is unbalances that might be hard to initially detect, or things that would have to be balanced by complicated conditionalities (like you can only add to melee # of attacks after third level, etc), but I think this could work well. What this is doing is it is pushing higher skills to be MUCH BETTER than lower ones. For example, if you are rolling 4 dice to dodge your average roll is going to be 14. This basically cannot be hit by a 2 unless someone is really lucky / unlucky. Maybe that is what we are going for, buddy who is a 4 would be able to take on a bunch of rando dudes who are 2’s. But also, someone shooting a bunch of shots should have minuses to hit, not getting bonuses. I know it maybe works out in the end (more shots results in more wounds), but the process by which you get those wounds should be more intuitive. We will need to explore this multiple rolling stuff. Again, I think a lot of interesting things will come out of play testing. What we should do is decide on a somewhat arbitrary set of rules, build up some characters (3 each), and then have a rumble / scenario. Get Zac in on it, he is a master at min/maxing his way to ridiculousness.

There is some analagous stuff actually from WH40K with the Tau and their use of markerlights, which can either reduce cover saves or increase ballistic scores and there are in fact optimal choices. I would like to design a system where maybe some of those things don’t matter too much, or again, matter in certain scenarios. Like you have multiple attacks but they are weak, VS 1 attack that is strong, optimal for certain scenarios. Again just the numbers man in me thinking out loud.

P.D. said:

Here’s how I think the numbers would work out scale-wise. And yes, this is VERY different than DnD. in DnD someone who has a 12 and someone who has a 15 (in STR let’s say) are going to be pretty comparable, Especially after you factor in armor and weapons and what not.

BUT in this d6 system, the difference between someone who is a 2 and someone who is a 5 is practically astronomical.  In our system it would be:

  1. pretty much hopeless. physically this would be people way worse than us – either super fat or ill or something
  2. your Average Joe. I feel like Wythe and I would be 2’s physically, and that Paul you’re on the border between 2 and 3, Like, if we were to get in a fight you’d almost certainly win, but it’s not unthinkable that Wythe or I might get lucky and get the upper hand (improvised weapon)
  3. very accomplished. to me this is highest amateur or lower professional. this would be “most” athletes anyone who’s received training, etc.
  4. this is like Jet Li.
  5. this is like Daredevil.
  6. this is practically God-like.

Now all of this is assuming that 2 is average. You make 3 or 4 average, and the scale shifts. I think it’s more interesting, though, to have more gradations of awesome rather than gradations of bad.

To me what is interesting is not how well this system handles super amazing characters, but how it handles really good characters (best in the their field esque) vs. EITHER tons of normal to bad things (crowds of people, zombies, etc) OR one or two REALLY EXTREME SCARY things. Like in this Dracula would be STAT’d out with lots of 4s and 5s, which would probably be a perfect challenge for a party of 4 – 8 characters with mostly 2, 3, and maybe a couple of 4s.

I added:

Right, exactly!  This is perfect!  A hero with a +1 bonus to ONE STAT is suddenly THE SHIT when it comes to that stat…  [We are all almost all 2s, with 3s in Intellect, yo.]

P.M. added:

I like 2 being the baseline. So basically every character will start off all 2’s (perhaps they start of with 1’s in things like WS, BS, attacks, etc), and then either through archetypes or gaining experience they get more points. This is very different from D&D, where your stats pretty much never change (+1 every 4 levels is pretty much meaningless). We need to figure out conditions on adding points. I think our first campaign should be what Patrick briefly mentioned before, a bunch of 0-level dudes (effectively all 2’s).

Another excellent post diving into difficulty ratings/scale >>

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