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Thread: Expanding on the Drama Die

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Fort Smith, AR

    Expanding on the Drama Die

    I'm in the process of setting up a forum-based LUGTrek game, and one of the things I've done is expand a bit on the results you can get from the Drama Die. This is partly based on the version used in the Dune RPG, with some extrapolation.

    With the regular rolls (i.e., the Drama Die reads 2-5), you get the listed results -- success, failure, Dramatic Success, Dramatic Failure. Nothing unusual there.

    A roll of 6 on the Drama Die increases everything by a step. A regular success becomes a Dramatic Success, while a Dramatic Success is a Spectacular Success: the action succeeds far beyond what was intended, or creates an unexpected opportunity. If the Drama Die is a 6, but the task fails anyway, it becomes an "Acceptable Failure": even though the attempt fails, something beneficial comes out of it anyway. Though rare, a Dramatic Failure with a 6 on the Drama Die becomes a "Reversal of Fortune": the task fails utterly, but the complications it creates might work in your favor if you're quick-witted enough.

    With a 1 on the Drama Die, everything gets a bit worse. Failures become Dramatic Failures, and Dramatic Failures become Spectacular Failures (something gets botched so badly that it has far-reaching repercussions). A success despite a 1 on the Drama Die is a "Pyrrhic Victory", wherein success comes at a price, either personal or something that affects the task at hand. A Dramatic Success with a 1 on the Drama Die is also a "Reversal of Fortune", but in the opposite way: the task succeeds too well, and ends up causing unexpected trouble.

    Mainly, I made this to answer those fringe situations, in which the Drama Die indicates the opposite of the actual results.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Edmond, Oklahoma USA
    I somewhat like the idea as a GM not sure how easy this would be to pull off. I believe it would work extremely well in a Forum game.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    I think this would completely unbalance the game. As written, rolling a 6 on the DD has a maximum effect of adding 6 to your result. Period. Very simple and easy to remember. If you're rolling 3 dice and have a 4 skill, You might get 6/6/3 +4, for a total of 16. If you roll a 5/6/3 +4, you get a 10. With a 1/2/3 +4, you get a 7, which means you have succeeded. With a 1/2/2 +4, you get a 6, which means you have failed with a 7 difficulty. With a1/1/1 +4, you not only fail, but something bad happens. Nothing could be simpler. This is not the earth-shattering problem some complain about with the DD, and IMHO needs no modification to the rules.
    Last edited by Owen E Oulton; 10-21-2015 at 11:19 AM.

  4. #4
    Putting mechanical concerns aside (I've always thought ICON is about one step more complicated than necessary), I'd be worried about implementing it in a game without a clearer framework for constructing dramatic reversals etc. that allows for players to have even a remote chance of knowing ahead of time what the possible results of their actions could be.
    Portfolio | Blog Currently Running: Call of Cthulhu, Star Trek GUMSHOE Currently Playing: DramaSystem, Swords & Wizardry

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