12 May 2014

Neat little randomization system stolen from This Quar's War

As you can tell from my posting those days, I'm quite taken by my All Quiet on the Quar Front project. While reading This Quar's War for inspiration I came across a very neat system I might just stole for other (nefarious of course) designs.
28mm Designated Rhyflequa. Picture from Zombiesmith website.
Most things (with the notable exception of units firing at and assaulting eachother) are resolved by throwing to good old 6-faced dice. A result of 6 on any of those indicates a positive result, a result of 1 a negative one. Combining both dice results together you can have the following results:
  • Two 6s (±3% probability): very positive outcome
  • One 6 and anything but another 6 or a 1 (±22%): positive outcome
  • No 6s nor 1s (±44%): neutral outcome or no effect
  • One 1 and anything but a 6 or  another 1 (±22%): negative outcome
  • Two 1s (±3%): very negative outcome
  • One 1 and One 6 (±6%): a mixed outcome,  somehow combining the positive and negative one

It helps me understand it to imagine a pair of dice each with a single [+] side, a single [-] side and four blank sides*. The possible results become:
  • [+] [+]: very positive outcome
  • [+] [ ]: positive outcome
  • [ ] [ ]: neutral outcome
  • [-] [ ]:  negative outcome
  • [-] [-]: very negative outcome
  • [+] [-]: mixed outcome
A very intuitive system indeed providing five level of success/failure and a special result... What's not to like?

To make all this a little bit more practical, let's look at a sniper taking a shot at a target:
  • [+] [+]: the sniper kills his target
  • [+] [ ]: the sniper kills a member of the target's unit (chosen by the player controlling that unit)
  • [ ] [ ]: the sniper doesn't get a clear shot and hold his fire
  • [-] [ ]: the target unit gets wind of the sniper whereabout (and rises is "detection level" by one on a scale goind "hidden", "heard", "seen") while he tries to get into firing positio, he aborts
  • [-] [-]: the sniper misses his target and gives his precise location away (he becomes "spotted")
  • [+] [-]: the sniper kills a member of the target's unit (chosen by the player controlling that unit) but the target unit gets wind of the sniper whereabout (and rises is "detection level" by one)
The same kind of table is provided for advance under MG fire, artillery, morale, mortar, musicians, smoke and tanks fire.

Now, what do I do with this... Not sure yet. I can't really copy past the thing into, for example, a role-playing game skill roll because I can't think of a way to introduce the character skill level (not to mention situational modifiers) into the system without breaking it's sheer elegance.

Maybe in our Fate games, when I need to figure out something entirely random, instead of a single "odd is yes"/"even is no" die, I'll throw two Fudge dice (that have two [+] sides and two [-] ones, the probability curve will thus be a bit different: 11% [+] [+], 22% [+] [ ], 11% [ ] [ ], 22% [-] [ ], 11% [-] [-] and 22% [+] [-]) and and call the results: 
  • [+] [+]: "yes and..."
  • [+] [ ]: "yes"
  • [ ] [ ]: "neither yes nor no", "unknown", "ask again"
  • [-] [ ]: "no"
  • [-] [-]: "no and..."
  • [+] [-]:"yes but..." or "no, but..."
No sure if it's even a fair idea. Random 1am ramblings. Trojan Points out.
* Special dice (and rules using them) are usually a pretty polarizing subject: some people love them, other hate them. As far as I'm concern, it all depends on how their used... Used "elegantly" (a subjective concept of course) to make a game more fluid by augmenting the readability of a thrown and or reducing the amount mental math required (and thus freeing some of the player's "processing power" for its "core business" i.e. tactics in a wargame, role interpretation in a RPG), they're great, I love them (I'm thinking Fate or Memoir '44 here)! If their interpretation isn't intuitive and they end up making the game more confusing and less fluid they're a plague (I might be unfair here, I've never played the game, but I'm thinking Warhammer RPG 3rd edition).

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