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14

The suggested mechanic uses similar maths that optimisers use to build combat-focussed characters. Also White Dwarf magazine presented an optional Monster Mark system of experience built around expected damage to a standardised fighter (I think this may even of made it into a TSR product, but I may be mis-remembering). In the unmodified game, there are lots ...


9

The way I found works is one step at a time. Get them to role play a "social" scene without dice. Then a combat. Then a one afternoon of adventure. Then a whole game. By introducing things slowly, everyone can get a good feel for how different things work. You could, and should, address any concern they have during those sessions. This is the same ...


8

Hit Points, in general Hit point systems abstract survivability, not damage. Though most pure HP systems call reducing HP "damage," they take the analogy no further: there's no pain, no bloody wounds, no foul effects. Let's face it, most real fights aren't about inflicting numerous wounds on your opponent until they bleed out. Most real fights are about one ...


8

There are several such games, some of which are short-form, but some long-form (i.e., useful for open-ended campaigns) as well. I can think of two of each off the top of my head / that are sitting on my shelf. Unsurprisingly, all of these are heavy on the story-games style of mechanics, since without randomised resolution and stats, the moving parts of the ...


8

Another well known diceless RPG is Nobilis. I haven't played it but I have read it and the resolution mechanism does come down to who has the most ranks in a category allow characters can essentially overpower their miracles allowing them to do things over their base stat. It's a little tough to get your head around but from what I've read it allows for a ...


7

Castle Falkenstein This 1994 game was the first steampunk game I'd seen since Space: 1889. It uses cards as a randomizer because Gentlemen of Quality, and Ladies (most certainly!) would never game with dice! This game is a lot of fun. Should be combined with the Comme il Faut expansion. The Marvel Universe RPG This early-21st-century superhero game is ...


7

Dread uses a Jenga tower for resolution. There are about a hundred others.


7

My experience with diceless games is almost exclusively with Microscope RPG, but it's an excellent way to demonstrate diceless roleplaying. Never have I heard the complaint (before or after a game) that Microscope has no dice—though I've often heard people exclaim in pleased surprise, after the fact, that they didn't even notice the lack of dice at the ...


5

These are based on my experience selling Dungeon World & Fate (both dice-lite narrative driven systems). I feel that they have similar initial buy-in issues for people used to traditional RPGs. Emphasis on player agency Point out that crit fails, bad rolls, and system math will no longer stymie your players' actions. They can always succeed at basic ...


5

Maybe most importantly, consider the effects on the fun of combat. You mentioned the absence of critical hits; I'll say from experience that finishing the fight against the Big Bad Evil Guy with a critical hit is one of the most satisfying ways to end a battle. On the other hand, the most exciting part of combat shouldn't be "roll a 15 and hit or roll a 14 ...


5

Games not yet mentioned: Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple uses colored stones pulled out of a bag. Dust Devils uses a deck of playing cards and elements of poker. FreeMarket uses decks of custom cards. Primetime Adventures uses a deck of playing cards.


5

I've had some similar ideas with valadil, but since commenting is restricting I thought I'd post a full answer to expand on his. I've been thinking about this for a while and I've had a few ideas revolving around game theory. The basic mechanic I propose is a bidding system. In simple terms, when there is a conflict, all relevant actors secretly put forth ...


4

Tthere's very little point to using math without statistics. A statistical roll requires a function to determine success or failure. A deterministic system (non-die based) does not require an accurate model-of-universe, and therefore doesn't require math. Most deterministic systems are narrative in focus, exploring the stories of the protagonists without ...


4

As you suggest, any completely nonrandom, non-stat-based game is also likely to be strongly collaborative if not completely GMless. I'll start with my favourite option right now, then mention others: Microscope My top answer in this field is Ben Robbins' excellent world-building RPG. Microscope handles large-scale sweep-of-history games, zooming in to ...


4

If you are willing to look at indie RPGs, there's a lot of non-random systems around. To name a few: System DL: if skill is higher than difficulty then it is a success. Obviously there are luck points that allow you to get automatic successes (with a price...). Active Exploits: players manage a limited pool of "effort" points. No Dice: freeform ...


3

I believe there would be several unusual side effects from trying to use this sort of averaging system. There are also several circumstances unaffected or unconsidered by this change. Firstly, any attack that has an unusually high chance of hitting will do a commensurately-higher amount of damage under this system. Any attack that targets touch AC will ...


3

GUMSHOE isn't fully diceless, but reminds me personally a lot of Marvel SAGA which you cite in the question. It is an investigation ruleset (used in Trails of Cthulhu, Fear Itself, Esoterrorists, and Mutant City Blues) which eschews using dice for finding important clues, instead stats are usually points you spend to get better effects. You do roll for the ...


3

I've had some ideas for a diceless system for a while now that sounds similar to what you've described. Basically I noticed that in some systems I was playing with the players had points that they could spend to alter the effects of die rolls. The players and GMs took turns whittling away each others collection of points. When someone ran out, they ...


2

I wrote a one off game based around the concept of slasher movies once. In that game instead of Hit Points each character had a "body" grid which strikes could be recorded against. Head wounds did have special rules. The point of the system was to simulate the slasher genre's obsession with the minutiae of personal injury. You can have a look at a copy here ...


2

There have been a few systems out there were hit points weren't used, a hit location system was used and a will power based resistance system as far as combat effects go was used. The one that comes to mind for me is Phoenix Command by Leading Edge Games. This system used the characters Will score (3d6) as a way to handle what happens when you are hit. On ...


2

Can you describe how does your system deal with attacking? If attacking takes willpower points and damage removes points, doesn't the system basically descend into who has the most points? Eg, if I have 12 willpower and you have 10, don't I always win by investing 12 points in an attack? My point is that a single pool for action and reaction, I think, just ...


2

While I agree with the excellent answers so far, I feel that the complexity of the math has not been addresses quite yet. For every combination of AC, damage and to Hit, you would have to calculate Damage = (AC-AttackBonus)/20 * (maxDmg+minDmg)/2 Not taking into account damage reduction (see Envision's answer) Think of a simple fight between 4 PCs and 3 ...


2

The core of this question is that you're trying to get your friends/group to try out a new system. The fact of it being diceless is not particularly different than any other type of system, and the reasons they may not want to play can boil down to these possible causes: They genuinely are not interested in the system They do not have enough information ...


1

It sounds like you're trying to reduce randomness in the Pathfinder game. To be clear, the D&D / Pathfinder system has a lot of randomness baked in. And the system is not just about the averages, but about the range around the averages. In D&D / PF, the d20 is the most common die and relative to many of the DC numbers in the games, it represents a ...


1

There is a faster magic system for playing Castle Falkenstein... unfortunately, it's the GURPS Castle Falkenstein rules, having also the side effect of GURPS rules for everything else. On the other hand, one could simply decide that each spell simply required a sorcery roll to trigger, instead of the mana gathering system; if doing so, it's a small step ...


1

There are several kinds of pseudorandomization used in diceless play... only a few of which actually count as random. RSP (Rock-Scissors-Paper) is used in the formulaic Masquerade LARP rules - rules which do, by the way, play fine at the table top. Bid a trait, opponent may bid a trait or retire. If both bid, play RSP. If lose, may opt for overbid with ...


1

Runequest (and others like Judge Dredd) has specific location-based injuries. You had a few hit points for each body part (head, chest, arms, legs etc) and armour covering for each that absorbed damage (6hp damage - 2 point armour = 4 hp to you). The result was that combat was a lot more 'serious', if you went into battle, there was a good chance you'd get ...


1

you may want to look at Mouse Guard, for the Disposition based combat system. Damage is done to disposition, when it's 0, you lose the conflict, and they get their victory condition (Intent).you might get part of yours if you did enough.



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