Tuesday, September 15, 2020

RPG Design - Which Dice?

Over the years I've been experimenting with home-brew roleplaying rules (such as Kevin's Krawl). Recently these experiments have taken the form of adventures on my Paladin's Quest blog.

One of the questions I've been trying to address was what type(s) of dice to use. I am not fond of the ubiquitous D20; it just rolls too much. Over the years, my preference for all games (including my home-brew wargames) has been for the classic D6. So much so that my initial attempts at RPG rules have featured a 2D6 system.

Earlier this year I switched to a D10. I made this change for 2 reasons:

  • In order to speed up the game, I wanted to be able to make multiple attacks with one roll. I suppose I could have done it by using pairs of D6s of different colors, but that would require visually matching up the sets, which would slow down the game.
  • To mitigate against the first issue, I tried a single D6 system. However, it did not seem to have enough granularity, given that I modify the roll by the character's fighting ability and the enemy's difficulty. A D6 rather limits the range of modifiers (e.g. a modifier of +5 would practically guarantee a hit).
I felt that a D10 satisfactorily addressed these two issues.

But now I am considering another change:

Not that there was anything particularly wrong with a D10 in terms of game play. However it has drawbacks when it comes to designing random rolls or tables. A D12 is more versatile because I can use it as a D2, D3, D4, D6, or D12.

I'll be experimenting with the D12 to see how it works.

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