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Old 11-13-2019, 08:26 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
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Default A "Whiteboard" Mechanic I've been Contemplating

Unlike the adoption of D&D5e's ADVANTAGE & DISADVANTAGE mechanic, this one requires a little more input before I begin to use it. I'm going to call it a "Focus Roll" for lack of a better term right now.

The Focus Roll:

The Focus Roll is an added 1D10 that is rolled IN ADDITION to the D20 you would roll to determine success or failure on a given task. It is designed as a combination "saving throw" and "special effect" determiner based on the RAW SKILL LEVEL (the 1 to 10 Skill, not the Skill + Characteristic ATTRIBUTE). It can be used in uncertain tasks to determine how bad or how good the outcome of a given task is. Here are some examples of how it could be used...

Situation 1: A comrade has stepped on a mine. The character is attempting to disarm the mine. His EOD Skill is 4.
- IF he succeeds at his D20 Skill roll AND rolls 4 or less on the Focus D10, he can even save the mine for future use.
- IF he succeeds at his D20 roll BUT fails his Focus D10 roll, the mine is disarmed but it is damaged in the process and CANNOT be salvaged. It may even be dangerous if it is handled from that point forward. The smart solution would be to destroy it in place.
- IF he fails the D20 Skill roll but still rolls under the 4 on his Focus die, he fails to disarm the mine but it doesn't explode (because of his success on the Focus D10). He may try again with a penalty to his D20 roll.
- IF he fails BOTH rolls, the mine explodes.

Situation 2: A person is trying to pick a lock on a safe in order to replace a disk with another fake disk containing misinformation. Her INTRUSION is 6.
- IF she rolls both her Skill test (D20) AND her Focus test (D10) successfully, She not only opens the safe but leaves no trace of her activity.
- IF she rolls her D20 Skill test successfully BUT fails her D10 Focus roll, she will leave behind "evidence" that a Forensics test could find.
- IF she fails her Skill check but succeeds at her Focus check, she cannot get into the safe but leaves no evidence behind.
- IF both rolls are failed, she not only cannot open the safe but also leaves evidence behind which can be found with a Forensics test.

Situation 3: A man is fighting an enemy soldier in HTH. His Unarmed Melee Combat is 5.
- IF he succeeds at both the D20 Skill roll and the D10 Focus roll, he may be able to execute some type of a special maneuver in addition to his attack.
- IF he succeeds at the D20 Skill roll but fails the Focus roll, he simply hits with no bonus effects.
- IF he fails his D20 roll BUT succeeds at his Focus roll, he simply fails... that's it.
-IF he fails BOTH rolls, he may DISADVANTAGE himself in some way.

The Focus Roll could also be used with CHARACTERISTICS (STR, EDU, INT, etc...) where you would need to roll under EDU on the Focus die to find a difficult piece of information or under INT to fix a complex issue with a piece of equipment you are trying to repair.

I haven't used it yet but I feel it would add another dimension to task rolls. My biggest concern is that it would "complicate" Skill rolls too much.
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Old 11-13-2019, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
Situation 1: A comrade has stepped on a mine. The character is attempting to disarm the mine. His EOD Skill is 4.
Small point. If somebody steps on a mine, it WILL go bang.
There's no "if's", "buts", "maybes" or delays. It WILL go BOOM!
If for some reason it doesn't immediately detonate, almost nothing will make it go off - it's either fake, a dud, or an AT mine and the person wasn't heavy enough to trigger it in the first place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
I haven't used it yet but I feel it would add another dimension to task rolls. My biggest concern is that it would "complicate" Skill rolls too much.
Seems to me the Outstanding Success/Catastrophic Failure mechanism already covers this.
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If it moves, shoot it, if not push it, if it still doesn't move, use explosives.

Nothing happens in isolation - it's called "the butterfly effect"

Mors ante pudorem
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Old 11-19-2019, 11:43 AM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
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Small point. If somebody steps on a mine, it WILL go bang.
There's no "if's", "buts", "maybes" or delays. It WILL go BOOM!
If for some reason it doesn't immediately detonate, almost nothing will make it go off - it's either fake, a dud, or an AT mine and the person wasn't heavy enough to trigger it in the first place.


Seems to me the Outstanding Success/Catastrophic Failure mechanism already covers this.
You can substitute the term/phrase "an IED with a deadman's delay trigger" and you still get the picture. It's a COMMON Hollywood trope.
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Old 11-19-2019, 07:44 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
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Seems to me the Outstanding Success/Catastrophic Failure mechanism already covers this.
I was looking for a more "dynamic" mechanic. My Millenials believe that the base rules don't have enough "flash" or "fluff" to make the system interesting.

I have been using a variant Outstanding Success/Catastrophic Failure rule based on the character's skill level for some time. The new mechanic was meant to "expand" the rules more than this mechanic does.


My "old" variant Thresholds for Outstanding Success/Critical Success are...

Skill Level 10+ = 5+ (Outstanding)/10+ (Critical) rolled under the success threshold.

Skill Level 9 or 8 = 6+ (Outstanding)/12+ (Critical) rolled under the success threshold.

Skill Level 7 or 6 = 7+ (Outstanding)/14+ (Critical) rolled under the success threshold.

Skill Level 5 or 4 = 8+ (Outstanding)/16+ (Critical) rolled under the success threshold.

Skill Level 3 or 2 = 9+ (Outstanding)/18+ (Critical) rolled under the success threshold.

Skill Level 1 or 0 = 10+ (Outstanding)/20+ (Critical) rolled under the success threshold.

The thresholds for Significant Failure and Catastrophic Failure are simply the inverse of the chart above.



I have used the modified Outstanding Success/Catastrophic Failure rules for years now and they work quite well (even if the system is a bit "boring" by today's game standards).
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Old 11-19-2019, 08:22 PM
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It's a COMMON Hollywood trope.
Yeah, an extremely annoying one for anyone who knows anything about mines.
Pressure release switches do indeed exist for use in booby traps, however they're much rarer than Hollywood would have us believe. Booby traps are only allowed to be set in limited situations and only with authority from higher command. This doesn't happen all that often because of the risk of unintended civilian casualties.
These type of switches are activated by either pressure or release (depending on how they're set). They do not require two "stages" so to speak to activate them.
Note I'm simplifying this a bit for the benefit of those without any real military training or knowledge.

However, there is one situation where a two stage activation might occur - anti lift device under a mine. Step on the mine and it goes boom. As you're lifted 100 feet into the air and spread over a wide area, the sudden lack of downward pressure on the second charge causes it to go boom too, thereby increasing the area you're now fertilising and ruling out the option of an open casket.
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If it moves, shoot it, if not push it, if it still doesn't move, use explosives.

Nothing happens in isolation - it's called "the butterfly effect"

Mors ante pudorem
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:17 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
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Originally Posted by Legbreaker View Post
Yeah, an extremely annoying one for anyone who knows anything about mines.
Pressure release switches do indeed exist for use in booby traps, however they're much rarer than Hollywood would have us believe. Booby traps are only allowed to be set in limited situations and only with authority from higher command. This doesn't happen all that often because of the risk of unintended civilian casualties.
These type of switches are activated by either pressure or release (depending on how they're set). They do not require two "stages" so to speak to activate them.
Note I'm simplifying this a bit for the benefit of those without any real military training or knowledge.

However, there is one situation where a two stage activation might occur - anti lift device under a mine. Step on the mine and it goes boom. As you're lifted 100 feet into the air and spread over a wide area, the sudden lack of downward pressure on the second charge causes it to go boom too, thereby increasing the area you're now fertilising and ruling out the option of an open casket.
YEP! Kind of like the 40mm Grenade Launcher rounds that explode in a huge ball of flame more akin to a 105mm howitzer round than a grenade round (I'm looking at you Michael Bay).

There's a reason the 40mm HE has a 5m burst and the HEDP a 4m burst in my game... It's called reality.
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