30 September, 2009

Game Mechani(sm) of the Week #38: Roll and Keep

Legend of the Five Rings has an interesting mechanism for resolving actions.

You basically roll a bunch of dice, keep some of them and sum up the face values of the dice you've kept.

In that specific game, the pool of dice rolled is equal to a total of attribute and skill, while you keep a number of dice equal to your attribute. In this way, attributes are more important because they both provide dice for the pool and provide the number of dice kept...skills are less significant because they only add dice to the pool.

In L5R, there is an added mechanism that natural 10's are rerolled, with the new value added to the previous result.

As an example, 7k4 (Roll 7 dice keep 4). [5],[7],[3],[6],[2],[8],[10+8]...keep the best 4 [18],[8],[7],[6]...for a total of 39.

During Gencon Oz we saw another version of this, flipping around the last game mechanism presented. Instead of rolling under but aiming for the highest score, we saw duels of precision which saw players trying to beat a target score, but choosing the dice sum that would beat it by the finest margin.

It worked well, providing drama and reflecting skill while minimising the risk to characters.

It's another one of those mechanisms where I can't think of an immediate use, but I'm sure the inspiration will hit me eventually.
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