I’ve been working away on my ol’ PbtA game for awhile now (getting really close to playtest ready, which is exciting!) and as I tinker with it, I keep thinking back to this thread:
They eventually get onto the topic of “Blades-ifying” PbtA, meaning rolling a dice pool and modifiers being +/-1d instead of +1’s or advantage. I’m reeeally bad with math and have no intuitive understanding of probability, so I don’t know how this compares to your classic 2d6+x, as far as that subtle behind the scenes mathiness that affects how heroic or grungy the success rate ends up being, but I keep coming back to this idea. I’ve been feeling like my game has a few too many moving parts and places I want to give bonuses or debuffs, to the point where giving +/-1’s or dis/advantage on rolls gets to be cumbersome, and I’m wondering if I could do a really simplified version of Blades’ system that still looks mostly like classic PbtA?
- Stats are your base pool. Let’s say you start with 0, 0, 1, 1, 2. As in Blades, roll 2, take the lowest if you’re rolling 0.
- Something like stress, stamina, mana, etc. Spend 2 to give yourself +1d, spend 1 to give someone else +1d, pass out if you run out.
- Gain ability tags that give you +1d if relevant to your action (rolling a generic “Act Under Fire” type thing to stop a rolling boulder, take +1d from your [Strength] tag, for example. Fight a tree monster, +1d from your [Fire] magic, etc. Kind of a mix in my head of fictional positioning from Ability tags in Masks and how this works in Lady Blackbird)
- An extra resource like Gambits in S&V that anyone can spend to give themselves +1d.
- Playbook moves might give +1d if you fulfill some requirement, spend a resource, get and spend hold, etc. Your classic PbtA resource repertoire.
- Moves are still specific, not the generic Blades roll. Effectively you’re rolling and looking for your highest result. Think of any PbtA game move, just replace 10+ with a 6, 7-9 with 4-5, 6- with 1-3 (or 10+ = 5-6, 7-9 = 3-4, 6- = 1-2…? Again, so bad at probability…)
So if you really went all out with EVERY source of bonus, you could roll like, 8d…? But that’s more or less true in Blades, I believe?
What do people think of a PbtA game operating like this instead of the classic 2d6 and modifiers around that? I can’t think of any glaring reasons why this wouldn’t work, but again, I cannot stress enough how bad I am at math, so I might be missing some glaring shortcoming…
TLDR; can you replace the PbtA 2d6 roll with Blades-style dice pool without changing much else?