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Why so many dice tricks?

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  • Why so many dice tricks?

    E3 is absolutely packed with different ways to make your roll better. Some of them seem to serve useful purposes. But others just seem like weird ways to get around the Charm-dice cap.

    Does anyone know why the game is designed this way?

    Maybe I'm just not seeing this from the right angle, but I'm not sure why you'd let someone reroll 3 dice that failed instead of just giving them 3 extra dice on the roll. It seems like a more complicated way to do the exact same thing.


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  • #2
    because 3 extra dice allows up to 6 extra success (statistically) while rerolling 3 failed dice shifts your average a little upwards


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    • #3
      Because it doesn't increase the maximum successes possible and because it does provide benefit but not in as reliable of a way leading to higher risk (chance is a solid shortcut to creating excitement-- see casino games). Also most of the "tricks" are pretty common things that make appearances in other ww games (8-again, 9-again , rote actions etc) my question to you is; why the objection? What's wrong with re-rolling 3 dice vs rolling 13 at once?

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      • #4
        Basically because it helps with botches, and there are a few charms that really screw over those with 1's & 2's in a roll.

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        • #5
          Maybe I didn't phrase my question right.

          I know what the mathematical differences are. I also know how tiny they are. I'm wondering why those differences was thought to be worthwhile.

          Originally posted by JiveX View Post
          ...my question to you is; why the objection? What's wrong with re-rolling 3 dice vs rolling 13 at once?
          Objection is too strong a word for what I've got. Re-rolling 3 dice just takes a bit of extra time and hassle and mindspace. It's not a big deal.

          Still, you need some kind of reason to add more complexity to a complex game. And I'm wondering what that reason was.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Sanctaphrax View Post
            Still, you need some kind of reason to add more complexity to a complex game. And I'm wondering what that reason was.
            Because the authors felt like it and thought it'd be somewhat fun and engaging with the dice, versus just always counting 7+?


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            • #7
              I think the point is that the system is heavy and bloated, and that would not change if you had simple excellencies ala 2nd edition. So instead they try to add some gambling fun into the dice rolls so you don't see them as useless and bloating (or a little less so, at least)


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              • #8
                The mathematical differences are actually not that small. Rolling six dice with double 7s vs rolling 10 dice is huge. Your average roll is about the same, around a 5, but you have a radically better chance of epic, world shattering success and total failure.

                As for the rerolling that's twofold. One reason is that some people just find it fun, it's kind of an exciting thing in a dice game to see a bunch of 1s and know that those little bastards are getting re rolled, or finding a straight in your melee roll. Some people think that's stupid, which is legit, but Yahtzee exists so... Another is charm interaction, there's a few charms now that do things like punish you for rolling 1s, rerolling 1s until they fail to appear makes you immune to that shit.

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                • #9
                  Game feel.

                  Getting some re-rolls of 6s or 1s or whatever feels cool, same with doubling the successes from different numbers - and sure, rolling more dice is also something that feels cool... but I find that after a certain point, the idea of rolling more dice tips from "feels cool" to "is obnoxious" and that tipping point with d10s is actually already being passed for me by any character that has maxed-out relevant stats and has maxed out their dice cap from magic, so the other little dice tricks being used to give some "feels cool" for charms to do besides push on that tipping point is good for me.


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                  • #10
                    My biggest complaint with dice tricks is that it's yet another system that seems geared heavily towards face-to-face tabletop role-play, when an increasing number of games, possibly even the majority of games these days (or at least a significant minority), are run through chat programs or over forums. Dice tricks are typically a lot easier to deal with if you're physically rolling dice, versus depending on rollers and making multiple roller rolls.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Zelbinnean View Post
                      Because the authors felt like it and thought it'd be somewhat fun and engaging with the dice, versus just always counting 7+?
                      Is that a common feeling?

                      I don't have any interest in engaging with my dice, but maybe I'm in the minority. I know a lot of people collect dice, and I've never seen the appeal of that either.

                      To me they're just a particularly simple random number generator, no more interesting than the one in the background of some random video game.

                      Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                      The mathematical differences are actually not that small. Rolling six dice with double 7s vs rolling 10 dice is huge. Your average roll is about the same, around a 5, but you have a radically better chance of epic, world shattering success and total failure.
                      Like I said, some of the tricks are meaningful. Double 7s, 8s, and 9s, for example, are. Others aren't so significant.


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                      • #12
                        Feel. It's in part designed so that Sidereal Dice Tricks for instance will feel differently from Solar or Lunar ones.


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                        • #13
                          The re-rolls can be extremely gratifying in a "snatching victory from the jaws of defeat" kind of way.


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                          • #14
                            It's psychological.

                            "1" is the "failure" number, the one that turns a mere failed roll into a botch. Rerolling 1s is symbolic of a character who may fail but never fails catastrophically - who turns the very icon of failure into more successes. A character who turns his opponents' 1s into -1 successes emphasizes that image, making 1s even more catastrophic for those who roll them.

                            6s is "almost" a success, it's a could-have-been just on the verge of 7-8-9-0. You can't expand the range of successes to 6s (unless you're a Sidereal), but you can reroll them, in which case those 6s have the potential to become successes, which once again reinforces that image.

                            Most people you'll meet online are nerdier/math-ier than average and so don't see it that way and insist on boiling it down to statistics, but the aesthetic of numbers is powerful (just look at gambling and casinos), and a lot of people are susceptible to that kind of "feel-based" mechanics.
                            Last edited by Omicron; 11-11-2015, 05:22 PM.


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                            • #15
                              Solars are designed to squeeze as many successes as possible out of their dice rolls. That's what makes them flat-out better than everyone else without making failure impossible like second edition did.

                              Take a look at Craft, which is the best example of how Solar charms are designed. A 5 dot Artifact requires an extended roll with difficulty 5, terminus 6 and a goal of 100. In order to hit that target, a mortal with a maxed-out dice pool would have to roll nothing but 10s. A Dragon-Blooded with a full dice pool and their Excellency would need to roll nothing but successes, including more than twenty 10s. A Solar with a full dice pool and an excellence would need to roll 124 successful dice out of 126 dice total, although they'd get some more leeway if they get a few 10s in there.

                              So Solars get the Power Craft charms, which allow them to:
                              - Reroll 10s and 6s.
                              - Double 9s, 8s or 7s.
                              - Add one non-charm success and up to (Essence + Intelligence) non-charm dice.
                              - Buy additional successes equal to (Essence + Number of successful dice) after a roll.
                              - Convert failed dice into 10s.
                              - Increase her dice cap's Excellency by 5.
                              - Gain an additional non-charm dice for every 3 successes (with the possibility of getting an additional three non-charm dice of the new dice turn up three successes).

                              And those effects stack with each other and the Craft Excellency. Doubling 7s is enough to drop your required success rate down from 98% to 49% and it doubles the amount of dice you get for having three successes and those dice also get double 7s, which gives you even more dice from successes. Rerolling 6s and 10s means you're more likely to get successes and that you're more likely to convert a failed dice into a 10. You're probably going to make a huge dent in your goal of 100 after one terminus... but there's still a chance that you'll mess up your dice roll. Success isn't a foregone conclusion, even if it is highly likely.

                              As a general rule of thumb, dice tricks are useful if you have a high base dice pool, while direct dice adders are better if your dice pool is on the low end. You don't need to combine them unless you really want to just crush a challenge.


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