Dicing with Death – A Haunted DevBlog [2]

dice
"Dice" by Mak Ting Him is licensed under CC BY 2.0

With a history of playing TTRPGs, a keen interest in data analysis and statistics, you’d think only one thing… that I’m a hoot at parties.

The second thing you might think is that developing a new dice mechanic for an RPG would be a relatively easy task.

Wrong

As it turns out, it isn’t all maths (that’s right, I’m British), and probability curves. As I worked through some of the more widely used systems I found myself thinking more about the human factors than the purely numerical ones.

Now, I am naturally biased, coming from a long history of 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons. I enjoy a good equation and it didn’t feel right not having to balance the numbers just to make a skill check… don’t even get me started on fractions! However, that didn’t feel right for a game set within a more real-world setting.

Heroes gonna hero!

Juggling immense numbers and eye-watering amounts of damage fits perfectly with the fantastical worlds granted to us by the more popular RPG systems but with Haunted I wanted something more down to Earth, manageable with mental arithmetic, and inclusive enough to not require a degree in accountancy. Newer editions of the popular systems have taken great strides in this area but copying them didn’t feel right either…

even if it would have been easier…

and saved me hours…

Starting to regret my life choices now.

Anyway, in order to represent the wide range of skills, abilities, and weaknesses an average individual has, I settled on an adaptation of a stepped, additive1 system. It gives the flexibility to build the character you want with the added inbuilt expectation that you can’t be good at everything, certainly not right at the beginning of your career2.

I’ll delve more into the exact mechanic at some point in the future… but for now, those numbers won’t crunch themselves!

Until next time


1 A standard set of RPG dice assigned to abilities.

2 Slight spoiler for a future DevBlog perhaps?

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