View Full Version : Dice pools, cancelling and the ffg forum?

3 December 2012, 12:59 AM
I have trouble posting on the FFG beta-forum, which I guess might be because the beta-period is over, odd I thought they'd let it stay up for communication a while longer. Anyone else had issues with this?

Anyways, I'm not sure how many frequenting these boards have access to or have tested the Beta, but I had this "wild" idea about setback dice (SD) and boost dice (BD), and thought I'd share it, in case anyone cares.

What if these two dice types cancelled each other out? I mean, you have cover 1SD, but I'm aiming once, that's 1 BD, these cancels each other, and I roll basic dice pool. It's less dice, but is it balanced? Would it disrupt a lot? I mean, certain talents would loose their already limited "oomph" due to this, but then again I just thought I'd throw it out there. The more dice the greater variation of results, so it does remove the chance for real great success or damning failure, or a failure with real good consequences or success with tons of drawbacks. But these results are always possible, now they are only slightly limited.

I guess that those talents, like convincing demeanor, that removes setback dice when using charm and the like, will become useless, as long as you get a boost die or more - but this doesn't happen that often I guess. Hm. This should be tested I think.

Vanger Chevane
3 December 2012, 08:23 AM
Thing is, dice don't "cancel each other out" due to the random nature of rolling. From what I've seen, the dice used are specialty D6. If you roll 2d6 & subtract 1 die from the other, there's a range of results from -5, through zero, to +5. The Random Roll adds a definite element of Chance to success or Failure.

The old D6 Wild Die was additive only, but the add-and-reroll-on-6 rule did allow for Heroic Successes, but not Critical Failures. So roll those bones unless there's so much math you need to use a trivial cancellation rule. B)

3 December 2012, 09:45 AM
Yeah, I figured the same, but I was thinking about keeping the dice pool small.

3 December 2012, 04:46 PM
How many dice are you talking about in a regular pool? 6? 10?

I haven't played the beta, but I was under the impression that each dice could mean different things, depending on the frequency and number of instances of a condition. If you were actually removing dice, wouldn't that alter how things could actually come out?

Unless the "setback" and "boost" dice could only have negative and positive results on them, and not a variety of possible results, then removing dice might work. But if those dice have a range of good and bad, or varying goods and bads on them, then I don't think cancelling dice out would work with the spirit of the game.

3 December 2012, 05:48 PM
A regular pool, for a starting character, I guess would be about 4-6 dice - which include difficulty dice and ability dice. Boost and setback dice are added as environmental and similar effects that are either of a negative (setback die) or positive (boost die).

Simply put, the good dice (green d8) can show either success or advantage, these results are then cancelled by the failure or threat results on the difficulty dice (purple d8) - I'm ignoring the d12 proficiency die (yellow) and challenge die (red) with their unique triumph/despair symbols now, they are mostly covered in similar symbols as their respective smaller d8 brethren.

Failure cancels successes, but does not affect advantage symbols. Threats cancels advantages, but does not affect success symbols. Boost and setback dice are basically d6 versions of ability and difficulty dice, but external to ability and base difficulty - they are added due to actions, adverse effects of concealment, weather, slippery surface, motivation and moral, etc. For instance, cover adds a setback die, aiming adds a boost die, fear effects can cause an insane amount of setback dice.

Basically large pools are not a big problem, but sometimes they are rather large, and with not released dice set - only stickers that came with the beta - the number of easily read dice are small. Therefore tables of conversion from numbers to symbols must be used, its not problematic, only cumbersome. I have been informed, which I realised during to nights session, that the boost and setback dice are not the exact opposites, they have as many symbols as each other, but different mix of success/advantage vs failure/threat.

Donovan Morningfire
14 February 2013, 01:38 PM
The big problem with having Boost dice and Setback dice just cancel each other out is that they don't have a "one-to-one" mapping of symbols. In fact, you're more likely to wind up with an extra Advantage from a Boost die, as it has 3 facings with the Advantage symbol (one facing is double Advantage, while the third is Success + Advantage), where the Setback die has two facings with Failure symbols and two facings with Threat symbols.

I can see the appeal of keeping dice pools on the smaller end of things (average is probably about 5 for most starting PCs, figuring 3 dice from Ability/Proficiency and 2 Difficulty dice for most tasks), especially if you've got a limited pool of dice to work with, I really don't see the cancelling being a viable option without having an adverse effect on the math; given how easy it is to generate Boost dice, it might almost make them too much of a bennie if you let them cancel Setback dice.