Monday, 21 March 2016

Advantage and Disadvantage

I’m anticipating that the Traits in Races, Roles and Origins will afford characters advantages in play. Mechanically i’ve been wondering how to represent this advantage.

PbtA games are on a 2d6 roll with Stat modifiers in the range -1 to +3 and results always measured on the -6/7-9/10+ scale.. The dice range is quite a tight bell curve, so a mechanical +1/-1 is significant. I considered using Advantage and Disadvantage dice but I think mathematics is telling me “no”.

The rule would have gone along the lines of:

Whilst At an Advantage, roll 3 dice and take away the lowest value die. Only remove one die if there is a tie for lowest. This roughly equates to a +2.

Whilst At a Disadvantage, roll 3 dice and take away the highest value die.  Only remove one die if there is a tie for the highest. This roughly equates to a -2.

Mongoose Traveller introduced Boon and Bane dice on a similar 2d range with a typical Task requiring 8+ for success and with modifiers for Stat and Skill. So, not a million miles away. I like the notion that the dice result is affected one way or the other before applying modifiers.  However, instinct tells me that, within PbtA systems, this rule introduces too much swing in the results creating a substantial advantage/disadvantage.

So, maybe, I’ll just revert to whilst At an Advantage/Disadvantage gain a +1/-1 DM to the roll either just once or ongoing for the scene.


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