This Blog 2019, Goals and Grommets

Inspired by the 2019 goals post over at Charles's Dragons Never Forget Blog, I figured I would do the same thing. 2018 right around ...

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Continued from here:
When I start working on Shards of Timbral again  this will be the  mechanic:

  • Roll 1d20 + an attribute Vs  a difficulty number set by the  GM or by  the rules of the game depending on situation. 
  • If the roll is equal to or higher then the  difficulty number the action succedes.
  • If a skill can be applied to the action roll a skill die along with the  d20.
  • If the skill die result is a 1 the roll automatically succeeds.
That's it.
Nothing  else mechanically to determine success or failure of an action. there is nothing  inherently new as far as the mechanic goes. What is new for me is the idea that I will not hang anything else off of that mechanic. It is simply pass fail. There are no critical failures for rolling badly, no critical success rules.

My Hope:
I hope (and again it's not new in game design for sure.) is that players will be liberated by this kind of fire and forget die system. Liberated in that the system will not direct how they interact with the fiction from round to round. When a success is rolled the next question will be, how do you succeed?With no pressure coming from the mechanics the players are completely free to answer however they please.

The trick here (not really a trick ) is that this is basically GM'ing listening, learning via question, and playing via imposition.

To use a combat example:
A Player character strikes at a giant snake and rolls successfully to hit.
GM: "You hit. How do you strike the Snake?"
Player: "I wait for it to rear up and  quickly strike with my dagger at its underbelly then dart away!"
GM: "Raising up to it's full height the serpent prepares to strike, you dart in  and slice it deeply crossed it's underbelly trickles of blood stream from the wound."
"When you dart away do you try to get out of striking range."
Player: "I sure do !"
GM: " The massive snake never looses eye contact with you as you move away, it stands swaying ready to lunge and you remain just out of its reach.  This looks like a stand off. What do you do?"

(The gm uses the players answer to complicate the situation.) If the Gm keeps asking questions players will naturally keeping answers and every player answer is a chance for the Gm to add another layer of complexity to a situation.

Again before some Internet wonk shouts about how, "This has all been done since  D&D was chain mail." and that, "I(me) am in fact an internet wonk."(truth). I have to restate that none of this is new. I will be trying to take it to a bit of an extreme in this game. While there will be other die rolls for between game activities and resource management, I am aiming to make what is written above the whole of the resolutions system. Hanging a game and setting on what is in effect a rules light mechanical frame.


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