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Author Topic: A Question of progression in RTDs  (Read 1408 times)


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A Question of progression in RTDs
« on: August 20, 2018, 11:50:40 am »

So RTD is a pretty unique system, tying results directly to the number rolled instead of trying to succeed by beating a target number or opposed roll. Its a good system for games based more on stories than complex rules or simulation. But it has one big flaw in my mind: Leveling up. With most systems you can handle leveling up by just slapping some numbers onto a stat or skill or whatever. Because systems tend to have binary fail/succeed states, making any action more likely to succeed is a reasonable progression method.

However, slapping some extra numbers onto an RTD effectively removes results. If you're rolling d6 and have +1 in a stat, that means you'll never get the dreaded [1] failure. And while that seems reasonable at first, it also makes you more likely to overshoot. You lose one possible result while doubling the chance of another, also less than great result. And when you start getting +2's and higher it only gets worse.  So I'm going to list some ways I've tried to circumvent this issue and I just want you to tell me which way you like best, and any ways you've thought of avoiding the same issue.

Expanding success

This is the method I used in 888th.  A d6 and normal rtd outcomes are still used with one acceptation: What is considered a "Perfect Success" varies depending on the skill of the user.  At +0, only 5 is a perfect success.  however, at +1, 4,5,6 are all perfect successes. At +2, 3-6 are, and at +3, 2-6 are. 1 always remains as a terrible failure state.  This system allows for the continued use of the d6 and its outcomes and produces more likely good results as you level up. However it also removes "Gray" results of normal failures, partial failures, and overshoots.

Expanding Die
What I used in Lucha. The same breakdown of results (1 terrible failure, 2 failure, 3 lesser failure, etc) however as stats increase the dice rolled also increases in size. So at +2, its a normal d6, but at +3 its a d8, in which 5-7 are considered perfect success. At +4, you roll d10 and 5-9 are perfect successes. In this way all the RTD options are kept while increasing the chance of a "perfect success" roll as skill or stats increase. The only downsides is the fact that it no longer uses a d6 for everything(which some purists may dislike) and that applying negatives for disadvantage might be difficult.

Modified Binary
Used in Dig. In this case the system uses a more standard d20 roll under set up with the addition of a "Fate" die. This die is a d6 and operates via standard RTD rules. Leveling up adds to the player stats and makes the d20 roll more likely to succeed. The Fate die cannot be modified (by normal means) and colors the results of the binary success/failure result. So a successful roll with a fate roll of 1 would still succeed but with serious consequences. Your sword slash landed but you were hit in the process.

Token Exchange
A method I haven't used in any game so far.  As someone gains skill or stat levels, they gain "Tokens". These can be called anything; fate points, experience points, etc. They act like mulligans, letting players exchange token in order to reroll a check and take the new roll. These tokens would refresh after a set period (maybe on level up, maybe on the end of a quest, etc) so players with more skill or stat levels could try to "buy" their way out of failures more often than the unskilled.

Advantage and disadvantage
This one is very simple; if someone is good at something you roll twice with normal d6 RTD rules and take the best result. If they're bad at it, you roll twice and take the worst. If they're average, you just roll once, as normal. A good system for very simple play but  lacks much in terms of advancement. You can't really do things like give double or triple advantage without it getting silly. Advantage already massively increases the chance of a good roll: getting a 1 goes from 1/6 to 1/36 , double advantage would be like a 1/216 chance, effectively meaningless.

Thats about it. If you like one of those best, lemme know, and if you have your own ideas, lemme know too.


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Re: A Question of progression in RTDs
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2018, 09:28:48 pm »

Here's what I've come up with. I've tested it a few times on IRC and such and it seems to work well enough.

Rolls 3d6. Your skill is a number from 0 to 5, where:
0: You simply cannot perform the action associated with the stat, or if you NEED to roll, use -2.
1: -2 to your roll.
2: +0
3: +1
4: +2
5: +3

Result varies depending on what number you got, obviously, and it's not a simple pass/fail. Use a table for this.

Note that this means that +5 allows for a 84% chance of success, and "merely" a 25% chance of a critical success. That's pretty good, but you might want something better than that for the very peak of performance, so you could add more levels, granting a bonus past +3. In this case, I would modify the table so that "you explode" is always the single highest possible result, aka a 1/216 chance for someone who is the very best at what they do, and a 0% chance for anyone else.

Alternatively, there's this, which is a little closer to normal RTD, and might be good for something that's less serious and higher power-level, like Lucha.

Roll is just 1d6. Add a bonus for your skill, up to +5.
If your roll is above a 6, just reroll it, but this time at one lower skill level, and one higher power level.

"Power levels" escalate roughly exponentially, so if you get very high, you might end up punching the planet to death accidentally/intentionally.

Players advance by gaining both skill levels and power levels. Power levels should be given out more sparingly, keeping in mind that a very powerful character with no skill does run the risk of a very embarrassing and calamitous critfail.

Level 1: normal human level. You probably can't scratch anything powerful, but at least if you roll a 1, nothing truly bad will happen.
Level 2: peak human performance. Not punching through boulders yet, but anything you do will be pretty damn impressive. Unless you fail.
Level 3+: magical lazor beams. Each level past this point is roughly 10 times as powerful as the last. At 5 you can crack mountains. At 8 you can crack planets.

In terms of what you listed, I prefer the modified binary and advantage/disadvantage systems. I've used the latter for my own game and it works well. There's no progression, but did we really need progression anyway? ;V
Also Dev used something like the token system for BARBARIANS. In that game everything was just a coin flip, and you could use a token to win the coin flip. Though those tokens would never regenerate, having a limited number for the whole lifetime of your character.

Oh yes! One more thing! This site is handy to visualize what these systems look like, probability-wise.

And here's some already-set-up stuff for your consideration while you're here! :V
Mind expanding stuff you know! It'll make you smarter! :V :V :V
« Last Edit: August 20, 2018, 09:47:04 pm by Egan_BW »
In this game there are many strategies to be used, but none of them matter for victory does not exist.