Saturday, February 8, 2014

Stuff of Legends - More About Dice Mechanics

Apparently I still have a lot to say about dice mechanics that I didn't cover in the last post.

Effects and the Effect Ladder
How I failed to mention this, I do not know.
The effect in a roll is wide concept - it is damage, it is the amount of targets, it is a type of margin of success and essentially ties into most rolls. Below, there will also be a redux on contests, now that I remembered to mention effects.
The effect of a roll is always determined by an effect die, with one special case of the effect simply being 1 - 1 damage, 1 target, a margin of 1. This is where the ladder comes in, since there are ways to affect your effect. The effect ladder has two special notations - high die, or HD, and low die, or LD:

1 > LD > HD > HD+2

After you reach HD+2, each additional increment simply adds another +2. This does mean that you can go into an infinitely large result, but it is unlikely. There are also some special cases where you might regard several effects for the same roll. In that case, you never count the same die twice. If you have 2HD, you count to highest and then second highest.
An effect might also move backwards on the ladder. If an effect goes backwards from 1, it is Shut Down and does not go into effect, normally defeating the purpose of a roll. No effect may move backwards from being Shut Down.

Criticals, Boosts and Drops
Like in many RPGs, Stuff of Legends also has a notion of a critical success or failure.
Criticals happen when you roll the same result on several of your dice, the more of them meaning the greater the critical. A critical success (under the threshold) produces Boosts. A critical failure (above the threshold) produces Drops.
When a critical occurs, the player tallies the amount of identical dice as Boosts or Drops. If he has more than one identical set, he tallies that set separately. Each set may only be applied to one effect in the roll. If there is only 1 effect, only the set with the most tallies applies. For some titles, and in some specific cases, boosts and drops become "free" and may be applied freely. If multiple criticals are rolled for one effect and they are "free", all apply.
A boost moves the effect forwards by 1 step per boost. A drop does the opposite, moving the effect backwards. By the nature of getting criticals, a critical would always produce at least 2 boosts or 2 drops, causing any critical to be at least spectacular.

Contests, revised
I made contests needlessly complex in the last post. At least in hindsight.
New rules!
A contest happens any time two characters are certain goals, normally as opposing parties for the same one. Races, holding a door closed and other activities apply.
A contest has a length, measured in the amount of victories that are needed by one of the parties to succeed over the other. The more victories needed, the harder the goal should be to attain - a race from one end of the room to another is not a 5 victory affair, while a race across the city is unlikely to require just the 1 victory.
Each round in a contest assures a single victor for that round. Every round each participant, normally only 2 of them, rolls the respective skill. The victor is whoever rolled higher under his threshold. In ties, whoever has a higher effect wins. Effect is determined in advance, starting from LD. Certain traits may change the effect for certain skills. In the unlikely case that both roll and effect are tied, all tied score a victory. In the contest had a length of 1 victory, this will usually lead to another contest.

Now I'm fairly certain I've left nothing out.