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  • Who uses paradox dice?

    I've seen in other threads mentions of paradox dice as an alternative to normal paradox. The idea of them sounded intriguing but I don't recall seeing them in full detail. Does anyone use a paradox dice system or have a full implementation of how they'd work?

  • #2
    I did try using a system where you roll a number of dice equal to the number of paradox points that you got and each success is translated into points of paradox what your mage accumulated. Effectively, what this means is that the amount of paradox that you get from any given the fact is totally randomized which gave paradox a uncontrollable feel, and unquantifiable feel. It added to the mystique of it. I originally did this using the revised era rules for how much paradox your character received

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    • #3
      This is how I do paradox, but I made a few tweaks to the system in order to incorporate the feel of being able to do a lot of magic from 2nd ed, as well as the gradual unease of paradox accumulation that came with revised.

      Just like M20, paradox is 1 points per vulgar effect, and at sphere for a botched effect. Like revised I make it even harsher if witnesses are present.

      Paradox is completely stable at 5 points, and relatively unstable up to 10. What this means is that, until 5 points no backlash will occur, and until 10 only botches will cause a backlash.

      All backlash is rolled and successes are deducted from the pool. A botched roll means all paradox backlashes at once (this almost never happens, but it's a fun thing to hang over their heads).


      In practice, this usually means that the mage gets a lot of "chip damage" with only the occasional huge blowout. So I made the following adjustments to make paradox more accumulative to mages who get really trigger happy with vulgar effects.

      Normally, with my system, any paradox that goes over 10 points is volatile and triggers a roll. However, if a mage gets a lot of paradox, say 16 points, but the roll only causes 3 points of backlash (more common than you'd think), leaving them with 13 points on their wheel. Then rather than trigger paradox roll the very next time they get some, I set 16 as their new threshold. I let them accumulate back up to where it was before, or even higher, before triggering a roll again. Otherwise it could just gradually chip down with until it goes below 5 with pretty much only tiny effects ever really being felt by the mage.

      However, this then threatens to make paradox go in the opposite direction, and more likely to accumulate rather than collapse in a spectacular show of fire and fury we all want it to be when paradox gets REALLY big. So the final change I make is adjusting the difficulty of the paradox roll.

      To start it's a standard 6. Above 15 points I lower it to 5, above 20 it lowers to 4, and above 25 it's a 3.

      This system gives paradox the perfect feel for me. It makes paradox feel like it's not all that big a problem in the early game, but as it starts to accumulate, they begin to fear low rolls even more so than the high rolls, with bigger backlashes getting all the more likely, and only the relief that the wheel may reset if they can survive the explosion.


      Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy

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      • #4
        Originally posted by PhillyCuriosity View Post
        I've seen in other threads mentions of paradox dice as an alternative to normal paradox. The idea of them sounded intriguing but I don't recall seeing them in full detail. Does anyone use a paradox dice system or have a full implementation of how they'd work?
        Well, Paradox dice don't exist yeat as a concept (which has nothing to do with concensual reality!)! It's just that V5 has introduced a neat mechanic of including red coloured Hunger dice in normal dice pools, which then have an impact on criticals and botched rolls. Some people have speculated that Mage could do a similar thing with Paradox dice, so that when you accumulate Paradox it can create a random backlash whenever you roll any dicepool, in a reflexive way.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Trippy View Post
          Well, Paradox dice don't exist yeat as a concept (which has nothing to do with concensual reality!)! It's just that V5 has introduced a neat mechanic of including red coloured Hunger dice in normal dice pools, which then have an impact on criticals and botched rolls. Some people have speculated that Mage could do a similar thing with Paradox dice, so that when you accumulate Paradox it can create a random backlash whenever you roll any dicepool, in a reflexive way.
          I saw mention in the "Mage V5 Wishlist" thread about paradox dice which suggested people had used some homebrew system, I was curious how people had implemented it.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by PhillyCuriosity View Post
            I saw mention in the "Mage V5 Wishlist" thread about paradox dice which suggested people had used some homebrew system, I was curious how people had implemented it.
            I brought it up, I think in the 'M5' thread? I must have missed the Mage V5 Wishlist thread!

            Honestly, I have a pretty big and radical Mage 5 wishlist, but I'd derail this thread if I listed them all here.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Trippy View Post

              I brought it up, I think in the 'M5' thread? I must have missed the Mage V5 Wishlist thread!

              Honestly, I have a pretty big and radical Mage 5 wishlist, but I'd derail this thread if I listed them all here.
              Found the thread, oh hey, your posts :3. Looks like no one quite pinned down a system. The questions looked like:
              Are paradox dice just dice that are rolled after a vulgar effect, used in future dice pools or when paradox hits a given point?
              What causes a die to be added? Is it per vulgar effect, botched coincidental, or per otherwise normally accumulated paradox points per existing system?
              If they're added to a dice pool or replace dice?
              Do they trigger on a success on that die, on a failure on that die, on an overall failure, or on an overall botch?
              Last edited by PhillyCuriosity; 09-15-2018, 11:09 PM.

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              • #8
                Question on damage from Paradox in M20; can you heal damage from Paradox using magick? How about other things, like merits where your body heals quickly, or with Ghoul healing?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by PhillyCuriosity View Post
                  Found the thread, oh hey, your posts :3. Looks like no one quite pinned down a system. The questions looked like:
                  Are paradox dice just dice that are rolled after a vulgar effect, used in future dice pools or when paradox hits a given point?
                  What causes a die to be added? Is it per vulgar effect, botched coincidental, or per otherwise normally accumulated paradox points per existing system?
                  If they're added to a dice pool or replace dice?
                  Do they trigger on a success on that die, on a failure on that die, on an overall failure, or on an overall botch?
                  If Paradox dice were to be run like Hunger dice in V5, then you'd basically roll a d10 as a "paradox check' after each magick effect used. If you roll 6 or more nothing happens, but if you roll 1-5, you'd accumulate a Paradox dice to your pool (to a max of 5). In Mage, you could have Vulgar effects add one extra dice to the check, and another one if there are witnesses - which would make it three times as dangerous, with three check dice rolled meaning you could generate up to three Paradox dice into your pool with just one effect.

                  The Paradox dice would be inserted into all dicepools used, except Willpower or Health checks. The Paradox dice (probably purple or some other distinct colour) would swap out normal dice from your pool on a 1-for-1 basis. So if you were rolling, say, Dexterity (3) and Firearms (2), with a Paradox pool of 3, you'd have 2 normal dice and 3 Paradox dice for that roll. This would include dice pools used in magick checks as well. Each Paradox die would add a risk of a Paradox Backlash on a botch (when you roll no successes and at least a single '1' is rolled on a Paradox die), and a 'Paradoxical Success' on a critical success (rolling '00' combined) that involves any of the Paradox dice rolling a 0 that contributes.

                  A Paradox backlash could be determined by the leading Sphere in the effect and would have list of thematic effects listed and discussed, and a Paradoxical Success would be something spectacularly successful but leaving an obvious sign of reality having been bent out of shape (a strong resonance or just some weird, unexplainable effect).

                  The roll of Quintessence in all of this, as well as the basic rolls involved in casting magickal effects (I'm thinking of Sphere+Skill or Ability level rating for the most part?), I'm not sure about. I'm thinking that Arete would be a passive rather than an active stat in Magic use - maybe like Blood Potency in V5, and I'd be looking to move away from even having a magic roll in some cases anyway. For example, low level effects on perception should just be automatic - you can simply perceive Spirits, or Entropy or Forces or whathaveyou without needing to roll anything or do a Paradox Check. If you have the level you could just do it. Only higher level Spheres (where the effects get more likely to challenge reality) or contested magic (by Willpower or by other effects) would need dice pools rolled. Finally, I'd try to ensure that there wasn't any need to keep a tally on any pools to spend on effects, including Quintessence I guess - so less admin for the player.
                  Last edited by Trippy; 09-16-2018, 07:34 AM.

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