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aramis September 1st, 2018 03:34 PM

FFG Narrative Dice Systems...
I've been thinking about how to use the various flavors of the NDS with Traveller...

For those not familiar, the basis of the NDS is symbols, rather than numbers, and division of dice into 3 kinds in each of good dice and bad dice.
Good diesizeBad Die
Proficiency ⬡ d12 ⬢Challenge
Ability◇ d8 ♦Difficulty
Boost◻︎ d6 ◼︎Setback

Not going into the probabilities, but will note that "critical" type results (Triumph and Despair) are only on d12's, but many of the functions can be done with lots of advantage. All three types of good dice have successes, advantages, and combined success/advantage sides.
Bad dice have failures and threat.

Success: more successes+triumphs rolled than failures+despairs
Beneficial side effects: more advantage than threat
Failure: successes+triumphs ≤ failures+despairs
Bad side effects: more threat than advantage.

The number of successes (after cancelling), the number of advantage or threat (after cancelling), the number of triumphs, and the number of despairs all contribute to the outcome.
Advantage has a bunch of mechanics it can trigger - some good for the character, some bad for their target (if any); threat is spent by the opponent on bad-for-the-rolling-character options and good-for-the-opponent options.
Triumphs are super-advantage, despairs super-threat.

Traveller has 6 or 7 difficulty levels in rules, and atts on a 1-15 scale for humans, and skills generally under 5 levels (excepting T5). FFG NDS uses 1-6 for attributes, 1-5 for skills...

So... Attribute conversions...
1 is weak
2 is average
3 is good
4 is high
5 is very high
6 is wookie maximum strength... (and human, as well)

2 should map to 6-8... so maybe 1-4 = 1, 5-8=2, 9-11=3, 12-14=4 15-16=5, 17-18=6 19-20=7... (just to cover K'kree)

SimpleRoutine, with the outcome rarely in question Usually not rolled unless the GM wishes to know the possible magnitude of success, or Setback dice indicate the possibility of complications.
EasyPicking a primitive lock, tending to minor cuts and bruises, finding food and shelter on a lush planet, shooting a target at close range.
Picking a typical lock, stitching up a small wound, finding food and shelter on a temperate planet, shooting a target at medium range or trying to strike a target while engaged.
Picking a complicated lock, setting broken bones or suturing large wounds, finding food and shelter on a rugged planet, shooting at a target at long range.
Daunting♦♦♦♦Picking an exceptionally sophisticated lock, performing surgery or grafting implants, finding food and shelter on a barren desert planet, shooting at a target at extreme range.
Formidable♦♦♦♦♦Picking a lock with no comprehensible mechanism, cloning a new body, finding food and shelter on a planet without breathable atmosphere.

There is an option for a 6th... but it's legendary...

vs Traveller's
Routine ♦
Difficult ♦♦
formidable ♦♦♦
Staggering ♦♦♦♦
Impossible ♦♦♦♦♦

Yeah, that looks workable...

FFG SW has no unskilled penalty... but traveller usually does. So, if unskilled, add a challenge die ⬢.

Normal good dice are lower of attribute or skill in proficiency ⬡ dice... and difference in ability dice. This looks pretty easy.

Upgrade Difficulties: if there is a purple in the pool, swap it for a red; if not, add a purple instead.
If task isn't safe, upgrade difficulty once
Is hazardous or fatefull: upgrade twice (total)
Is hazardous and fateful: upgrade thrice

Opposed rolls, same as usual: use challenge dice equal to the proficiency dice they'd roll, and difficulty dice equal to the ability dice they'd roll.

Most modifiers should be one boost die or one setback die; big mods (3 or more) should be 2...

Given the damage scale... and that FFG damages are fixed, with humans normally having 12 HP... while Traveller PC's normally have 21+...
I think it should be 2+CT/T4 Damage Dice... That puts plasma only at 14... a bit low... but add vicious 4 and Armor piercing 3, crit rating 2. Fusion should be AP 5 and Vicious 6, crit rating 1. Maximum ranges match up well.
C = Engaged
S = Short
M = Medium
L, VL = Long
Dist+ = Extreme

Just some initial thoughts.

Note that WFRP3 dice are different... as is the balance of good and bad dice.

L5R5 has only skill and ring (attribute) dice, and they simply add, vs fixed TN's. Would be a different (and simpler) conversion, tho'.

Whipsnade September 1st, 2018 03:48 PM

Interesting stuff, Wil. Is TOR an example of NDS? Or perhaps "semi" NDS?

aramis September 1st, 2018 06:15 PM


Originally Posted by Whipsnade (Post 592035)
Interesting stuff, Wil. Is TOR an example of NDS? Or perhaps "semi" NDS?

No. Not even all that close. TOR uses numerical dice in a fairly traditional way.

TOR uses 1d12 (with special values for 11 and 12), and skill d6. Unless the d12 is 11 or 12, compare the total to the TN (which is between 8 and 20 inclusive) to see if you succeeded. On a 12 on the d12 (A Gandalf) PC's succeed, and villains count zero and fumble if they fail on the other dice. On an 11 (A Sauron), PC's count it as 0 and fumble if the other dice don't beat the difficulty, while villains auto-succeed. If you succeed, the number of 6's rolled on the d6's sets the quality of the result.

Why do I say this is fairly traditional? Autofail and auto-success are part of D&D from early days - Nat 20 always hits, nat 1 always misses, no matter what the score, and aside from those two cases, it's the total on the dice that matters.

And, while I do have a TOR/Hobbit Tales d12... I've always just used black d12s with white numbers, with the numbers 11 recolored to red and 12 recolored to gold. (I got them cheap at Bosco's.)

TOR generates a linear scale of results, too, on a PC roll:
Fumble (Fail the TN on the d6's, and rolled an 11 on the d12)
Fail (sum of all dice < TN, and the D12 ≤10)
Success (Sum of all dice ≥ TN, or d12 shows 12; no d6's show 6's)
Great Success (as Success, except one of the d6's shows a 6)
Extraordinary Success (as success, except 2 or more of the d6's show a 6).

That's one more level than most trad games, excepting the RQ/BRP line. (Crit Fail, Fail, Success, Special Success, Critical Success - special is important for impailing weapons)

Back to NDS...

A typical NDS roll might be 2 proficiency and 1 ability, plus 2 boost, vs 2 difficulty and 1 setback, and generate...
<Tr> + <S><A> + <A><A> + <S> + <> + <F><F> + <F> + <Th>
Note - this fails! <Tr>+<S> results are not more than <F>... but the <A><A><A> + <Th> = <A><A>... so it fails, but with a beneficial side effect from advantage, and a significant benefit from the <Tr>
So, if it was plotting a course to Alderaan from Tatooine, it failed, you're going nowhere, but at least your buddy can try with a couple bonus blue next time (spending the <A> on next player gets a blue and specific player gets a blue), and with a minor hop getting you away from the ISD on your tail.

If it was, say, routine merchant travel Jumping Wypock to Regina, you didn't jump, but noticed the bad course in time to not engage the drive (2<A> to mitigate the fuel spend) and use the <Tr> to spot a derelict to go salvage..

No refined fuel? Change that from 2 difficulty dice to 2 challenge dice... if rushing, add a third, and on one despair (<D>), take a non-shutdown critical hit to an engineering system; on 2... <D><D> time goes wonky OR <D><D> you come out in the wrong part of the system OR <D><D> come out safely in the wrong system, a few parsecs away. At <D><D><D> think classic misjump, or a any combination of <D> and <D><D>. If you get a <D><D><D><D> result due to 4 or more challenge dice, that's a destroyed level mishap...
Threat on Jump? <Th> jump sickness (black die on all actions for duration of jump), or exit position errors (1 G-Day per <Th>) or minor hull stress (1 per <Th>) or minor relativity errors (<Th><Th> per day longer or shorter than main universe time)

Whipsnade September 1st, 2018 06:24 PM


Originally Posted by aramis (Post 592044)
No. Not even all that close. TOR uses numerical dice in a fairly traditional way.

Understood. I thought the Sauron and Gandalf results on TOR's d12 and the tengwar result on it's d6 might be NDS mechanisms within a traditional numerical system.

Kilgs September 4th, 2018 03:42 PM

I actually really enjoy FFG's system. Really encourages cinematic and interesting gameplay. I've kicked around a Trav FFG system but they satisfy too different sides of my SF... soft candy and hard candy.

MIx-em-up and you just have an inedible lump ;-)

mike wightman September 4th, 2018 04:46 PM

I used Genesys to run a couple of culture inspired scenarios. Once we got over the learning curve of the dice symbols and some excellent advice from Aramis about how to assign difficulty etc for a throw we had a great deal of fun with the system.

It really encourages the players to roll play and describe the events that resolve a situation rather than the referee having to do all the work.

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