Snake Eyes and Box Cars

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
coreyvw
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Snake Eyes and Box Cars

Postby coreyvw » Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:58 pm

So I am thinking of the following home brewed idea. My players are pretty stacked with good skills and attributes. This is not hard to do when you mix good decisions that end up panning out in character creation. Then add Jack of all Trades. So, my point is with skill 4 and an attribute bonus of 2 and no mods it falls into the ‘why even roll’ catagory.
I am not complaining, but 8 is not meant to be simple, 4 is. I have always liked the ‘1 always misses’ in D&D and a 20 always hits (baring requirements like needs magic items,etc) BUT in Traveller saying snake eyes always misses would be much more common (Math guys can pitch in here)
So what about validating the roll? So if you roll a natural snake eyes, roll again with no bonuses shooting for an eight not to miss? Now lets talk about critical hits- Box Cars always hits validate a no mod roll of 8 to max damage. Or if you want to do a called shot, roll normal to hit then roll again with no mods shooting for an 8. If you miss that roll, you miss the whole shot (otherwise people would always do called shots)
Now what about skills? I think the same would work. But the argument would be, well if he has that much skill he should just be able to do it. Every heard of failures in space or the worlds best doctors ‘googing up’? Yep. As a player and DM, I hate a sure deal. Failures produce some of the best roll playing!

What do you think? To harsh? Better ideas?
ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Snake Eyes and Box Cars

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:14 pm

More die rolls required?

Either no die roll is needed, or extra die roll is needed. I'd rather just use the rules as written. Seems odd about the skill 4 characters (with JOAT even) you have.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Snake Eyes and Box Cars

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:28 pm

A roll of 2 on 2D6 is 1/36 ≈ 2.8%, so less likely than a roll of 1 on 1D20 (5%). No additional qualifiers for fumble/crit necessary.

I have always liked to use Fumble on 2 and Crit on 12, it makes the system less mechanical, allowing David to defeat Goliath once in a while.
coreyvw
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Re: Snake Eyes and Box Cars

Postby coreyvw » Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:40 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:28 pm
A roll of 2 on 2D6 is 1/36 ≈ 2.8%, so less likely than a roll of 1 on 1D20 (5%). No additional qualifiers for fumble/crit necessary.

I have always liked to use Fumble on 2 and Crit on 12, it makes the system less mechanical, allowing David to defeat Goliath once in a while.
Well that does it for me then! Thanks!
BigDogsRunning
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Re: Snake Eyes and Box Cars

Postby BigDogsRunning » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:46 am

It really depends on your game.

The downside to auto-fail, is that if you require rolls for even routine things, you've just skewed the rules of probability for your TU.
If you always misjump on a 2, for instance, that means that 1 out of every 36 ship transits results in a misjump, which would completely break any economic model you try to put in place.

Auto-Success on a 12 does the same thing. If it is always possible, then you've created, and I've seen people argue in favor of, a situation where you just keep attempting otherwise impossible things, because, eventually you'll succeed.

Another way to handle a 2 or a 12 is to have the success, or failure continue as indicated, but add another effect.
If you can't fail even on a 2, then you don't fail, but there might be some other negative impact to whatever you were trying to do.
Same thing with a 12, you still don't succeed, but there may be a partial success, or some effect that is conducive to future attempts.

I generally don't require rolls for routine tasks, unless there is a story reason. I try to use Chekhov's gun as a guide for these sorts of things.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chekhov%27s_gun

I've found that rolling for every little thing, with consequences, can also create an atmosphere where the players are loath to do things that call for rolls, because they are afraid to fail. removing many of the routine rolls that don't advance the story can really allow the players to immerse in the roleplaying aspect of the game.
Condottiere
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Re: Snake Eyes and Box Cars

Postby Condottiere » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:07 am

The advantage of multiple die, is that automatic failure, could be negated by automatic success.

But that is a different mechanic.
RogerMc
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Re: Snake Eyes and Box Cars

Postby RogerMc » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:12 am

I house rule that a natural 2 is always a failure and a natural 12 always a success.

Of course this only applies if there is a chance - however remote - of success or failure.
Linwood
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Re: Snake Eyes and Box Cars

Postby Linwood » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:24 am

I think we’re all following a similar principle here, Coreyvw. With skills that high consider not making your players roll simple or even routine tasks unless there are circumstancial DMs in the scene that significantly increase difficulty or give the character a Bane or the Effect of the check is important. That will speed your game up a bit.
arcador
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Re: Snake Eyes and Box Cars

Postby arcador » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:06 pm

With our current campaign, we rolled characters with a specific point-buy system.

The result is in some extremes in both skills and stats. We have a character who can fire energy weapons with a net bonus of +6, not considering equipment.

Of course, the referee, expecting such extremes, doesn't hold punches. Outnumbering enemies, harsh obstacles, extremely limited and low TL equipment somehow compensate for it.

My suggestion is to embrace the result and adapt accordingly. Those travellers are a legendary level of proficient. They might be known or recognized for those abilities, and it will drag the complications along - allies requesting their help, enemies taking extra precautions against them. Just don't do the usual "level-based solution", making the environment suddenly their skill level. It might work for some fantasy level based games but does not for Traveller since it breaks the immersion (suddenly all citizens and chumps have skills 3-4??).

As for combat, Traveller is designed in such way that even if you're pretty good shot, you will get shot.

In a previous campaign, some of my players, after obtaining status, equipment, and some skills, got cocky. They engaged a mercenary squad, seemingly outgunning their enemies. But they failed to consider that unlike previous enemies, the mercs had significant combat experience, resulting not in higher skills, but advantageous tactics (overwhelming fire/suppression, proficient use of grenades, outflanking, use of terrain and range...). The travellers won, but they paid a hefty price (injuries and resources); they had to regroup thus postponing the mission.

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