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Dice Caps & Dice Floors
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 1:15 pm    Post subject: Dice Caps & Dice Floors Reply with quote

As mentioned elsewhere, one of my on-again-off-again projects is a 1R&E Hybrid system that reverts back to the simpler rules of the 1E while incorporating the improvements that worked in 2E and 2R&E.

One of the biggest obstacles for me is Speed Codes; while I want to keep them, I think rolling dice to generate relative speed values produces a result that's too variable to be an accurate representation of the in-universe reality. Outside of damage or similar factors, engine speeds are going to be pretty constant. Since I'm looking at a hybrid system, it wouldn't be too problematic to port 2E Space Move values back in, and yet I'd like to keep Speed Codes if at all possible.

The only solution I've been able to find makes use of the Dice Cap rule used by the 2E Scale System. For those unfamiliar, this rule places a hard limit on whatever dice rolled when attacking/defending across Scales; if the Dice Cap is a 4, any dice that roll 5's or 6's are treated as 4's (Wild Dice are still re-rolled, but I digress).

So, what I'm considering for Speed Codes is a Cap/Floor System, whereby the pilot/driver still rolls the Speed Code Dice, but there is a minimum value - the Dice Floor - for any dice rolled. In bare bones form...
    -When a character / vehicle makes a Move, they roll their Running / Agility skill against the Terrain Difficulty.

    -On a simple Success (roll beats Terrain Difficulty by 0-4), the Speed Code is rolled normally.

    -For additional levels of Success (5 or more, plus one level for every additional 5 points by which they beat the Terrain Difficulty), a Dice Floor is applied, where any Dice results below the Floor are treated as the minimum Value. If the Dice Floor is 3, any 1's or 2's are treated as 3's.

    -Any Lost Moves due to Damage or Injury in turn apply a Dice Cap, where no matter how high Dice roll, they can't exceed the Dice Cap. One Lost Move from Damage results in a Dice Cap of 5; two Lost Moves a Dice Cap of 4, and so on.

Thoughts?
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So wait... in the example given, you roll running as a sort of balance/agility check, and that generates a dice cap/floor for a subsequent roll (the character's "speed code")?

If you are certain you want to get as close to the RAW speed codes as possible it sounds reasonable.

I tried to address this years ago with a different approach:

Vehicles had speed modifiers with maximum performance ceilings.

Using cars as an example, a Mini Cooper might have a speed modifier of +0, while a Dodge Viper has a speed modifier of +15 (or whatever). And, no matter what either vehicle rolls in the speed contest, the result is limited by the cieling. The Mini might have a cieling of 15 or 20, while the Dodge hasa cieling of, say, 45.

So even if the mini rolls a 26 on speed, it gets dropped down to a 20, since it's maximum performance is just that, whereas most drivers cannot access the full capabilities of the Viper (there is plenty of room under its cieling to allow for only pros to wring out everything it has to offer).

The caveat is that some maneuvers or vehicles also have higher base difficulties... so your roll must beat the base difficulty before you are allowed to apply speed bonuses.

Sorry for the long post. Hopefully there is something there that might spark some more ideas.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
So wait... in the example given, you roll running as a sort of balance/agility check, and that generates a dice cap/floor for a subsequent roll (the character's "speed code")?

I kinda overlapped a couple House Rules there. A clearer example would be to have the pilot roll his Piloting skill against the Terrain Difficulty to generate a Dice Floor for the subsequent Speed Code roll. I also have a House Rule for giving characters a Speed Code, which would allow them to use a parallel rule, but under 1E, characters generally have a Move of 10 meters.

Quote:
Vehicles had speed modifiers with maximum performance ceilings.

This reminds me of something that came up in an off-Pit discussion recently. The idea would be to give ships a Performance Dice Pool which can be distributed between various performance parameters, to a maximum of the listed Dice in the stats.

For example, an A-Wing might have a Performance Pool of 8D, which it can distribute between Speed Code and Maneuverability. If the Pilot wants to use his full 6D Speed Code, he's left with only 2D to put into Maneuverability; if he wants to use the full 4D of Maneuverability, he can only use 4D of his Speed Code.

Quote:
So even if the mini rolls a 26 on speed, it gets dropped down to a 20, since it's maximum performance is just that, whereas most drivers cannot access the full capabilities of the Viper (there is plenty of room under its ceiling to allow for only pros to wring out everything it has to offer).

I see what you're going for, and using Dice Floors on Speed Codes achieves a similar effect. An A-Wing, for example, has a maximum possible result of 36 (all 6's on its Speed Code roll), but to consistently reach that level, the pilot has to succeed spectacularly well on his Piloting roll (Success by 25+ to push the Dice Floor up to 6). And of course, the chances of rolling that high decrease as Terrain Difficulty increases.

Quote:
The caveat is that some maneuvers or vehicles also have higher base difficulties... so your roll must beat the base difficulty before you are allowed to apply speed bonuses.

This somewhat parallels my thinking elsewhere, that vehicles should all have a Base Difficulty which the pilot must roll against before applying any Maneuverability Dice. The idea is to represent the "user friendliness" of a vehicle; an A-Wing should not be as easy to fly as a stock YT-1300.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All of what you're saying sounds good to me... with the occasional exception regarding the below:

CRMcNeill wrote:

This somewhat parallels my thinking elsewhere, that vehicles should all have a Base Difficulty which the pilot must roll against before applying any Maneuverability Dice. The idea is to represent the "user friendliness" of a vehicle; an A-Wing should not be as easy to fly as a stock YT-1300.


In many cases, I would agree.

However, an A-wing is MORE maneuverable than a freighter, which means that at equal speeds, the A-wing should be easier to maneuver than the freighter.

Consider the difference between parking your car, and parking your tractor with a trailer on it (or a bus or whatever). Consider driving your car along a windy mountain road (heck, let's throw in some Sunday afternoon traffic, which is sure to include a bunch of car clubs taking their toys out for a drive). Do you imagine it would be easier to negotiate that road with a freight truck or with a sports car?

I say that at any given speed, the sports car is easier every time.

Likewise, at any given speed, an A-wing is easier to "drive" than a freighter.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My point is more that a high-performance vehicle can be more challenging to drive than something safer / more sedate. Picture some high school kid with a learner's permit getting behind the wheel of the Viper you mentioned above. The car may well be able to handle in spectacular fashion (High Maneuverability), but that doesn't mean the driver will automatically have the skill to make it happen.

What I'm picturing is separating the Maneuverability from the Operation Difficulty; in order to use the Maneuverability, you have to be able to master the vehicle, and some vehicles are ornerier than others.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
My point is more that a high-performance vehicle can be more challenging to drive than something safer / more sedate. Picture some high school kid with a learner's permit getting behind the wheel of the Viper you mentioned above. The car may well be able to handle in spectacular fashion (High Maneuverability), but that doesn't mean the driver will automatically have the skill to make it happen.

What I'm picturing is separating the Maneuverability from the Operation Difficulty; in order to use the Maneuverability, you have to be able to master the vehicle, and some vehicles are ornerier than others.

This concept makes a lot of sense to me, and I believe this does reflect some of the fluff out there about A-Wings. In high speed and maneuverability vehicles, it may be easy to over-maneuver. (I'm not a huge video gamers but I feel like I have experienced this in video games, where it is too easy to crash the vehicle due to its high maneuverability if inexperienced/unskilled.)

I'm pretty sure I didn't bother addressing this idea in my 1e days, but since my game has been primarily based on 2e, how I've addressed it by including it as part of an unfamiliarity factor that increases difficulties when a character is first piloting certain vehicles using base attribute or even base skill, until the character becomes acclimated to it. The amount of the difficulty depends on the degree of unfamiliarity. A character with no experience flying any starfighters would have a bigger factor first flying in a starfighter than a character who has flown an X-Wing first flying an A-Wing, even if these characters had the same attribute/skill.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another in-universe example that occurred to me today is pod-racing. Pods are extremely fast and maneuverable, but require literally inhuman reflexes to operate.
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My philosophy on this topic:

All craft of a type can travel in the same 'speed envelope'.

I roll speed codes to show relative rates of closure or distancing between the two competing craft on a round-by-round basis, which can vary based on a number of un-defined factors.

In simple terms (stripped down from the additional crunch I use)
A series of boxes in a line like:

[-][-][-][-][-][-][-][-]

I place the 2 fighters somewhere along this positional tracking aide. Each round roll the speed codes. The higher roll advances 1 box for every 5 points over the lower roll.

You can assign the boxes whatever range characteristics you desire. ie each represents 1 space unit. Or each represents a fighter-length or whatever.

Both are assumed to be travelling within the same general speed 'envelope' with regards to the outside world.


As far as skill vs speed:

In my philosophy most of speed is the machine. The pilot's skill really comes to matter only when things go wrong.

So I make speed rolls based on the speed dice.
If a '1' is rolled on the wild die, then the speed roll stands, but the pilot roll his pilot skill and get an equal or higher result than the speed dice or suffer a mishap/ loss of control.

This approximates the young inexperienced driver behind the wheel of a viper. All well and good until they hit a bump.

Pilots have the option to 'drive within their limits' as well.
This is where the pilot chooses to roll no more speed dice than their pilot skill dice. When they do this, the wild 1 does not prompt a mishap/ loss of control.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:49 am    Post subject: Re: Dice Caps & Dice Floors Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:


The only solution I've been able to find makes use of the Dice Cap rule used by the 2E Scale System. For those unfamiliar, this rule places a hard limit on whatever dice rolled when attacking/defending across Scales; if the Dice Cap is a 4, any dice that roll 5's or 6's are treated as 4's (Wild Dice are still re-rolled, but I digress).

So, what I'm considering for Speed Codes is a Cap/Floor System, whereby the pilot/driver still rolls the Speed Code Dice, but there is a minimum value - the Dice Floor - for any dice rolled. In bare bones form...
    -When a character / vehicle makes a Move, they roll their Running / Agility skill against the Terrain Difficulty.

    -On a simple Success (roll beats Terrain Difficulty by 0-4), the Speed Code is rolled normally.

    -For additional levels of Success (5 or more, plus one level for every additional 5 points by which they beat the Terrain Difficulty), a Dice Floor is applied, where any Dice results below the Floor are treated as the minimum Value. If the Dice Floor is 3, any 1's or 2's are treated as 3's.

    -Any Lost Moves due to Damage or Injury in turn apply a Dice Cap, where no matter how high Dice roll, they can't exceed the Dice Cap. One Lost Move from Damage results in a Dice Cap of 5; two Lost Moves a Dice Cap of 4, and so on.

Thoughts?



I'm curious.... what would happen if, for example, a vehicle is damaged and sitting at a Die Cap of 4, but the piloting roll is high enough to put the "Die Floor" also at 4 (or say it made it to 3).

In the case of the floor and the cap being the same, do you just multiply the dice by the number?

In the case of the floor being one less than the cap, does that mean you're basically having an extremely low amount of variability in speed?

How does that reflect the experience of the pilot? Shouldn't a veteran or highly skilled pilot be able to squeeze out more speed, even in a damaged vehicle, compared to a lesser skilled pilot?


Don't get me wrong, I am a 2E player and a LOVE Die Caps (I don't use R&E added dice), but I think this might have a tendency to create very limited benefit for skilled pilots in terms of getting more speed out of their vehicles.

I'd almost suggest doing something simpler, and having the Piloting roll become the bonus in speed for the vehicle. Your idea of granting a "Die Floor" for every 5 points over the difficulty of piloting could just be directly applied and you can say "Gain +1 Move for every 5 points over difficulty". So if a highly skilled pilot rolled an impressive 28 on a difficulty 10 piloting task, exceeds by 18 or +3 to movement. That could push that X-Wing faster in a flat-out, full throttle run.

You could also have that Piloting roll bonus be used instead to add to Maneuverability rolls. So when dodging that TIE fighter that is tailing you, and you get +3 based on your Piloting roll, you could opt to add +1 to Movement and get +2 to your total in the Maneuver roll to avoid incoming fire.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The way I picture it, Dice Caps for combat damage would take precedence over Dice Floors for Piloting Skill.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
Another in-universe example that occurred to me today is pod-racing. Pods are extremely fast and maneuverable, but require literally inhuman reflexes to operate.


All that is true. But what I'm trying to say is that if you take any two vehicles and drive them at the same speed, the more maneuverable one will be easier to drive, maneuver, even for someone unfamiliar with both vehicles.

A Honda civic vs. a Ford F350 in a parking lot, for example... or on a curvy mountain road with blind corners and fast moving traffic, etc.

If you drive the A-wing at the same speed (say, space 4) as the transport's max speed, it's not going to be a problem.

You each seem to be interpreting the issue as both ships operating a wide open throttle (correct me if I'm wrong Embarassed), which creates a speed differential between the ships, and thereby a completely different scenario for each vehicle.

To me, it's an apples to oranges comparison.

All things being equal, more maneuverability is always an advantage (a big rig going 200mph is not easier to drive than a Ferrari going 200mph; whereas a Ferrari going 40 mph is easy to drive basically anywhere, but a big rig can get in to trouble at that speed depending on the "terrain difficulty").
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dredwulf60 wrote:


Pilots have the option to 'drive within their limits' as well.
This is where the pilot chooses to roll no more speed dice than their pilot skill dice. When they do this, the wild 1 does not prompt a mishap/ loss of control.


This.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm just thinking that you're having the potential for very little variability in the speed rolls.

Let me do an example:

Bob has 8D in Piloting.
He is flying at ship with 3D Speed.
The ship has suffered some damage, so it is capped at 5 for the Speed rolls.

The difficulty of flying through the wreckage is 15.
Bob rolls a 32!
That is +17, or three "levels" increase on the Dice Floor.

So Bob now rolls the Speed of 3D and gets a 3, 3, 3. Since there is a Dice Floor of +3, that puts the minimum the dice can roll at 4 (3 above the base of 1). So instead of a roll of 9, the roll becomes 4, 4, 4. A Total of 12.

Now, instead, let's say Bob rolled 1, 2, 6 (for 9). With the Dice Floor bonus it becomes 4, 4. And the 6 is Capped for damage at 5. So the total is 4, 4, 5, for 13 total.

Now let's use Sam, who has just 4D+1 in Piloting, flying the same vehicle.
Same difficulty of 15.
Sam rolls and gets just enough, 15. So no Dice Floor bonus.
The vehicle is still somewhat damaged, so capped at 5.

Now Sam rolls the Speed of 3D. He gets 3, 4, 6. The 6 is Capped at 5, meaning the total is 12.

Instead, let's say Sam rolled oddly and got 2, 2, 4. No cap limit and no floor bonus means you add them up as normal for a total of 8.

So from a person, Bob, who is highly skilled at flying, to the pretty brand-new pilot of Sam, you have a variance in these examples of just 5 points between the best roll of the highly skilled pilot and the worst roll for the barely skilled pilot.

Yes, the highly skilled pilot will creep a few areas forward, but not in any significant manner.

Is that what you are really intending this method to accomplish? To make highly skilled people pretty close to the same as low skilled pilots?

Even at the best and worst rolls, the highly skilled could still only roll the maximum, in this example, of 15, and the lowest skilled could roll just a mere 4 (can't roll three because then a 1 would be a Wild 1), for a total difference of 11.

For average speed rolls, they're both looking at 9-11 for the roll, meaning there is almost no difference between the opposing sides, even with one pilot having a 3D+2 advantage in Piloting skill.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grimace wrote:
I'm just thinking that you're having the potential for very little variability in the speed rolls.

Well... that was kinda the whole point, that Speed Codes resulted in too much variability. The other option would be to throw out Speed Codes entirely in favor of 2E's fixed Move values, where you'll get even less variability.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
Grimace wrote:
I'm just thinking that you're having the potential for very little variability in the speed rolls.

Well... that was kinda the whole point, that Speed Codes resulted in too much variability. The other option would be to throw out Speed Codes entirely in favor of 2E's fixed Move values, where you'll get even less variability.


I think the OP gets at the concept pretty well:

Limited amount of skill results in a limited access to performance. The dice caps ultimately impose a greater risk of mishap for folks messing around beyond their capability.
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