World of Diceness

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This week we have been working on adding dicerolls to the World of Darkness system, most commonly used for Vampire games. The system can already be configured for different editions of the game, allowing you to, for example, change attributes, abilities and the names of the energy and morality tracks.

Over its many iterations and variations though, the World of Darkness system has gone through many different rolling methods, all centered around the D10. At their base all these systems are the same: you roll a number of dice and determine how many successes you have. The details of the implementation vary wildly though.

Most notably, many of the older style World of Darkness systems rely on a varying difficulty system. Your D10 needs to come up with a certain higher or lower number depending on how difficult the task is, and the more dice cross that threshold, the more successful your attempt is. Newer World of Darkness systems often use a static difficulty, and instead require a minimum number of rolls to meet that difficulty to even be considered a success.

Later iterations also often have special ways to deal with a natural 10 on the dice, with some counting those as 2 successes, while others let you roll an extra die for every 10, potentially adding multiple additional successes or none. Similarly, some editions have a roll of a 1 reduce the number of successes by one, while others do not.

Botches — also known as critical failures — can also be handled in different manners. Original vampire only required negative successes, while the anniversary edition fixed botches to only happen if no successes were rolled and a natural 1 was present (a subtle but important difference). Other editions instead relied more heavily on the size of the dicepool, with botches only occurring if you try something in which you have no actual dice (essentially when you have no idea what you’re doing).

In order to make sure we support this wide varieties of systems, we will be implementing options to select what roll mechanics your campaign uses, configurable in your campaigns settings. Certain details might still be manually adjusted by the player for their particular roll (such as applying a different difficulty), but it means you can make your roll easily and get the results that fit with your campaign.

We also found a commonality between the systems: all D10 systems have methods to add automatic successes or additional dice to a roll (or subtract them). The methods by which this takes place vary wildly, some editions add dice for useful equipment, others allow you to gain dice from points in specializations, and willpower can add successes directly or allow you to roll additional dice depending on your version of the game.

To allow for these various optiosn in our dice rolling system, we’ll simply allow players to manually add conditional dice or automatic successes to their roll, leaving the why in the hands of the players and storytellers. Once made, the roll will be displayed with those additional dice and successes in the final roll, so you can see exactly what the result was and how it came to be and so the storyteller can verify you didn’t forget the crucial bonus that applied!

Despite this shared part though, there is a great variety of rolling mechanics for the ostensibly simple D10 system which we’ve collected and analyzed to find the common and unique features between the systems. Hopefully this means our dice rolling system will be simple while covering all variations — including your houserules!

Do you have a particular houserule regarding how to roll checks in the Vampire system? Be sure to let us know in the forum and we’ll try to include it in the system. While you’re there, why not check out the latest changelog?