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The New Death Roll System

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  • @Waterninja3

    Every single attack by almost every single Character has the "intent" to kill so you are not bothered by the fact that was being attacked over and over, you are bothered by how he was attacked over and over in relation to what you in your head were imaging. Literally 90% of these complaints will go away with new terms and if they don't then you don't like the system and that's that. This is the one I'm using because it produces much better stories and interesting encounters. Stamina is the buffer before attacks make you "Roll for your life" and the only reason I'm seeing that people dislike is simply the how we are describing this system of gameplay. I think after the next campaign if I can afford to rewrite the cards that need it, you guys will be able to better imagine how the battle is going and I'll be a better game master.


    I think anyone who has a problem with the new Death Roll system is skipping over the critical problem of this campaign and it was my performance. I did not perform well and described things poorly and made many errors. I understand you guys can't really just say "Rob you sucked this week" but blaming the issues you had with the campaign on the system is far too hasty because from my perspective it worked AMAZING today and gave me moment after moment of entertaining encounters. You can be annoyed that "oh roamin just kept attacking him and i thought he should be killed by now" but all your really saying is that you didn't give a shit about justins porc character and that's not a Deathroll issue, that's a gamemaster issue. I decided Justins Porc character was VALUABLE enough to treat as if he was a Player Character and apply the system equally. If the Porc Character was replaced with Coe's Main Character, you would not have felt like the death rolls dragged on and to be honest I think that's stupid. Small side Characters should not be treated as worthless garbage just to die as fodder every campaign. It's fun when small side Characters can be developed alongside the player characters too. 
  • The Death Roll system reminds me of the Death's Door mechanic in Darkest Dungeon, in a way, since they're both RNG.
    I don't have any real read on it seeing as we've gotten to the point where Rob has said what he needed to say on this topic.
  • By the end of the campaign I was reminded of a quote from "Return of Jafar"

    Aladdin:
    But... I thought a Genie can't kill anybody.

    Iago:
    [coughs, as he awakens] You'll be surprised what you can live through. [coughs again]

    ----

    Thinking it over, skimming this thread, doing some soul searching, I think I've come to two conclusions.

    1) Until Roamin went, accidentally, potentially story breaking OP while Anti the system did seem fair.  So this is likely just an edge case.  Not indicative of how the system will feel for the rest of the campaigns.

    2) It was just bad optics.  I get defeated is more just "winded", and the system is mostly balanced around the player characters so they don't get forced off that week's show too easily.  All of that makes sense on a meta level and seems well taken care of on the mechanic level for player characters.

    It was just that due to Roamin being effectively broken when he went Anti and NPCs not having escalating death rolls the fight felt hollow.  It started good and cool.  The ending was good.  The middle felt like one drawn out "Okay Roamin, attack the Urealms Live equivalent of Boppo the Clown until you crit fail or the other guys finish up the real encounter".  


  • @Rob
    There is one thing I'd like you to address and that is context. If someone is honor chained inside a small walled off area and a whelpling a fiery, hard to avoid area attack into that area and rolls a 20. From a story perspective, I think whatever player is in that situation is going to have to be really creative if they want to lower their chances of certain death.

    I'm going to reserve my judgement though. It's the first campaign of the show, there were a lot of technical issues on the start, and you and everyone else have spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours on this season. Couple that with having so many named characters in a campaign? It's going to be hard to stay at the top of your game. Prove in a show why you're right and the ones who are lukewarm on it are wrong.
  • edited May 2017
    @Rob I did not mean to suggest that anything was stupid, I just wanted to state my concern about the effect that particular moment had on me.

    I do understand that it could have been dealt with better/quicker for the show but the dice would not allow it. Hell, I thought it was funny at first but to be completely honest, as a viewer that long scene kind of lost my attention. I do agree with what other people are saying here, though, that a little extra slap on the wrist for running in to danger might help. Little idea, maybe have the character lose an item or a limb for the rest of the campaign? Cut their stamina by 5 or 10 depending on their max and what they were death rolling to?


  • @Rob
    First thing I want to say is I loved the campaign, I think you GMd fine, and you should be less hard on yourself.

    Also, I think the new death roll system(and the game as a whole) is significantly better than last season, and last season was really damn good.

    The one issue I had with the death roll system, and it really isnt a big deal, is that context really doesn't seem to matter.  It wasn't that i thought william was worthless and it didnt matter that he died.  It was that Roamin was trying really really hard to kill him, and he was getting the rolls to do so.  Had it been a character player I would have felt the same way.  I think if someone gets consecutively death rolled while defeated, it makes sense for the death rolls to go up(I think just by 1 per is enough, and when you switched to that for william it worked pretty well).

    But if you disagree, I think just about all of us are fine with it, and will still love the show.
  • @prophetofmemes I like that idea. For the most part I like the death roll system, and I think it works well for players and major NPCs like lance, Galen or Gwyneth. However, for less important NPCs, such as companions and jimmys, they should be far easier to kill. I do like the idea of if you are attacked while defeated, the death rolls scale until you get back up, and then they reset. otherwise however, I think pepole didn't see anyone non expendable die, and it sort of ruined the tension. 
  • edited May 2017
    I don't know really, this is the first time we saw it implimented and in an ageless campaign I did feel like it fit that there were so many death rolls that just never went off. THe idea of having a whole army of ageless under the previous system wouldn't have worked and it would acctually be too hard to play through seeing as 25% to 50% for the first 2 death rolls would make a campaign like this literally immpossible. Was there tension in it? Well, sort of? It exists more so in the latter portion of the fights like how when everything was going to crap and they had to roll for 5 death rolls it was scary, but after so many went off it felt moot and just felt like it was taking up time. 

    Something I really enjoyed about season 2's system is that death rolls took longer to come out, but when they did they made things tense becuase there was not a rare but a pretty common chance a character could die. I know Rawb keeps talkign about how he's doing what's best from the perspective of a show, but from a show perspective (at least from my point of view) the previous system makes more sense. 

    I'm not asking for change or anythin, with the way Rawb is balancing the campaighns I presoanlly think that it works fine and that the show will go on, but I feel like saying that this new system is better is questionable to say the least. 

    TL;DR: What Rawb's doing with the death roll system is fine, but I feel like spamming death rolls for quantity over limiting them with a more punishing system doesn't kill but causes isues in pacing, logic, and in the worst of cases tension as well. THe old system does have issues in that it promotes a more passive playstyle later on which is dangerous from a show perspective becuase it CAN make combat dull, and it canb e restrictive on A) How powerful characters can be and B) What is possible from a narrative standpoint when making enemy encounters, but there must be a comparamise that works in favor of both it shouldn't have to be one extreme against the other ya know?

    (Side note, the death roll system was only really questionable with Roamin because his entire legendary card which I feel could have had a really cool story that could have expanded to the entire order rather than a few side characters was completly screwed over by it. He literally froze off 3 people's heads 4 times and the worst punishment was a 25% death roll what used to be the standered for death rolls in the past. It was funny, but I don't think it was supposed to be -.-)
  • Let's remember that this is merely the first campaign. Spammed death rolls probably aren't even a permanent fixture! It was Ageless, after all, so let's not worry about that so much. :)
  • edited May 2017
    It's new and different, and it took most of this first campaign to see the system in action properly.  It felt confusing at first, as I thought defeated was like past season out of stamina where a guy could get dispatched, but once the dramatic description about fending off blows in a near death state was given it really made everything so much clearer.

    I appreciate the extra clarity and context by Rob's posts here as it really helps me from a GM standpoint how to break it down to my own players.
  • Honestly, I think one of the reasons why people are getting so passionate about how deathrolls need to be stronger, is because of the times during the campaign where Rob was talking about wanting to kill the players. This likely wasn't helped by Rpamin's anti-party killingspree, the fact that we just got off of a break. When people were re-introduced to the game, and immediately had Rob telling them that he wanted to kill players, it gets it into their minds that players SHOULD be dying. If soon after that they see players NOT dying when they are faced with the possibility a couple of times, they begin questioning why.

    Now, I wouldn't say that this is Rob's fault here. It is completely acceptable for a GM to try and kill their players to add a sense of tension. In any other set of events had occurred with this same system, the community probably wouldn't have reacted so negatively towards it. Had Rob made these comments three campaigns into the season, no one would have batted an eyelash about the death roles, as they would have already been used to them.
  • What if we had it so that the main way to get up from the defeated state is by being healed, so that way healing would be more impactful. Plus I think it would make more sense anyway, since being knocked down to the point where you can't attack should probably require something in order to restore their strength other than waiting for a round.
  • I really like it because even tho it's only a 5% chance it is so much more amazing and dramatic when someone does die from rolling a 1
  • Hey uh, it's a pretty good death roll system. I quite liked it.
  • @Caprikel
    I agree I feel like being defeated isn't that punishing, but I don't know if it should. It's really just a way to make it so that living through a deathroll has some kind of cost. But I do think deathrolling someone in a defeated state should increase it (maybe they have to roll better than a 4...so it's about a 20% chance from exhaustion. Since isn't that what defeated is closer to?) Since someone is likely to live through like 10 deathrolls in a row right now. (That's about a 60% chance in probability...) 
  • I don't think it's so much the system doesn't work, I think it's that this campaign was the first of the season and Rob was out of it a bit. When the guys get more used to it and we get to see it used in more situations I think it'll be great
  • @Rob while I can agree with some of this, one thing for sure (atleast for me I don't speak for the audience) was that as much as I did care about Roamin's character more than the porc, that should not be stated as an issue on our front and not the death roll system. Take all the other cahracters near him into account, his vision showed him killing everyone all the way up to deadbones. Deadbones's character has been established to be important and I atleast did care about him, as much as I would hate for him to die, imagine the story of a Kobold rampaging and killing people we DO care about. Instead what ended up happening is he fought a porc who couldn't defend himself for the duration of the entire enoucter. Take Coe's daughter for eaxmple, she was an important character, people did care about her and she was in his ice prison box thing she was at risk of dying too and that was exciting. Like I've said I'm ok with this new death roll system, I don't want it to go back to how it was becuase for the campaigns your designing, and the balance you are creating it makes sense and works. 

    Apart from that regarding tension in the show while I disagree with this new system, realistically I'm comparing two values, a system with less death rolls, but a greater cahnce for death, to a system where there are more death rolls with lower chance at death. Again the balnce works so I won't say anything beyond that. 

    Apart from that good show I quite liked it.
  • @Caprikel as great as that would be, its worth noting that Rawb is sort of designing this (atleast from waht I've seen) that you sohuldn't need to take something in order to have a campighn, if that became the case then every party even if just through Npc's will require one healing spell which could be seen as a step backward
  • @Ininja73737 ;
    True, but that's why I specifically used the word mainly, as in there would be other, more risky ways of doing it. For example, you could have the alternative to healing being something like using your own life force to regain your strength (Aka You have roll a riskier death roll in order to get back up and be fully healed). 

  • So after a better explanation by Rob on what the defeated state means, I actually really like the new death role system. The only thing that I might suggest is creating multiple "Defeated" states, just because it felt like William, (Justin's porc), should have become easier to kill the more that Roamin was pulverizing him. Maybe you could go from being "Winded" to "Exhausted" making it harder to survive a death roll.

    That being said, I'm not sure if it's even all that necessary because in a typical combat encounter an enemy is not going to be wailing on anyone nearly that hard. This encounter really just kind of highlighted that they death roll system may not be the best for PvP, but it really isn't intended to be.
  • I kinda understand where Rob was coming from with this new system, but I believe the implementation was shoddy. I envision a death roll by rank system, which will add back a bit of the lost tension and but also helps Rob keep track of things:

    All NPCs should have fixed death roll numbers

         Hero NPCs (i.e. Gwyneth, Galen, Lance, etc.) Should only die if they roll a 1 on their death roll since they are supposed to be badass hero types/they are very important to the plot

         Former Player Character NPCs (i.e. Vitali) Should only die if they roll a 1-3 on their death roll since they were former player characters and should enjoy a certain amount of protection. If former player characters show a large amount of badassness (i.e. Kallark) they should receive hero status

         Companion NPCs (i.e. Deadbone's daughters) Should only die if they roll a 1-4 on their death roll since they are in the company of the player/they take up a lot of inventory space and should not be bumped off too early

         Generic NPCs (i.e. Heathera) Should only die if they roll a 1-5 on their death roll since they are just generic

         Minion-like (i.e. Jimmies) Should either die automatically or die if they roll a 1-10 on their death roll since they are basically cannon fodder

    For players, their first death roll should only kill if it is a 1, and each successive death roll should increase the range by 1 (1,1-2,1-3,1-4,1-5, etc.) up to a cap of 7. This counter should reset at the end of combat.

    Exceptions will be made for legendary spells/very big damage spells

         Hero NPCs will die if they roll a 1-2 on their death roll (what did you expect, they're badass heroes)

         Players will die if they roll a 1-4 on their death roll

         All other NPCs with die if they roll a 1-7 on their death roll, unless their death roll range is higher than that

    Though I am not a game master, I believe that these categories are fairly simple and can easily be recognized at a glace by anybody

    If you feel I have made a mistake, please feel free to suggest fixes
  • This seems really well thought out, I would have the rate at which the player's death roll range increase be much more, and capping out at 10. If they player ever is knocked out more than four times, they should be very worried about getting back up again. @badcompany1477
  • @badcompany1477
    Sorry Rob, didn't read the whole forum before shooting my mouth off, I kinda forgot that if a player dies they may leave the table, I just sorta assumed that you would shuffle them off into an NPC, there were certainly enough just lying around. I still believe there should be some sort of ranking system since Hero NPCs and Players are more important than regular NPCs and Companions. Even if you do not implement a ranking system, I still like the new changes to death roll, the only thing  that irked me about it was the proc. He wasn't impotent character, he wasn't funny, he was just sort of there, hell Justin barely used him in combat, I would have understood a bit more if it were one of Deadbonese's daughter's since they actually had a bit mire weight to them (but not much). I understand your whole HP vs Stamina/Defeated vs Unconscious argument, but we were way beyond that with the porc, he was hit by a 9999 damage light beam and should have been a crumpled mass on the ground that could die if someone poked it with a stick. To be honest, you handled the situation poorly, you should have read the mood and let Roamin kill the porc in one or two actions. The way your persisted in trying to keep the thing alive by strictly following the death roll rule, instead of fudging it a bit to allow a perfectly justified slaying take place, made it look (emphasis on the whole "look" part) like your were trying to prevent Roamin from getting the full use out of his legendary as some sort of petty revenge for not having any important deaths earlier in the campaign. I choose to chalk this up to your tiredness/nervousness during the campaign and wish you luck managing that for the next one. All in all though, the porc was a very minor blemish on a otherwise great start to the season, man I missed urealms.
  • edited May 2017
    I think that the new death role system works really well. Most people seem to be upset for two reasons: the death roles seem anticlimactic (obviously when someone doesn't die!) and an NPC lasted too long against Roamin's sustained attacks. It's worth keeping in mind that this is the first campaign and these doubts may be eased as we see more of the system. I do see how some people may have the first aforementioned problem, sometimes the death roles seem flippant, particularly when it comes to NPCs and this "could" be solved (I don't think this is a viable solution) by describing what's happening in more detail to engage us as listeners. However, in most circumstances Rob does a fantastic job of this, but it is impossible to maintain over a 7 hour campaign. I have a huge respect for how Rob keeps up his performance as is. A good few people have suggested that there should be a penalty to death roles to up the stakes, but increasing the chance of death or reducing stamina upon getting up won't work. What I propose (although there are likely good reasons as to why it wouldn't work) is that death roles are treated more like rolling ones, at the gamester's discretion, applying the occasional (maybe the character dies on a one but is injured on a two and three) status effect or temporary limitation. e.g. a character is hit by an explosion, they survive a death role, but their leg is pierced by shrapnel; for the rest of combat the character cannot sprint or move more that 3 spaces unless another player spends an action to remove the metal. Regarding the second "problem" people found, it will quite likely turn out to be a non-issue in the grande scheme of things. What could be done though when attempting to kill a "defeated" character is have a roll-off, perhaps using a variation on the rules in "Risk" whereby the attacking character roles two die and the defending character, three die. This increases the chance of death beyond that of a random chance during battle (as would be the case with a weakened opponent being deliberately attacked) and is more engaging for the players and viewers (than a single person rolling a single die to see what happens). If the defending character then survives the attack they can then be given a bonus action to attempt to escape or retaliate. Anyhow, after this long winded comment (that I have no idea why I made given I have no real expertise in this field or empirical evidence to support my probably useless ideas), I'd like to say that I have complete faith in Rob to do what's best for the game and show, if there turns out to be a problem, he will fix it. Providing we don't drive him insane.....
  • @badcompany1477 ;
    "I would have understood a bit more if it were one of Deadbonese's daughter's since they actually had a bit mire weight to them (but not much)."
    The reason Deadbones' daughters didn't have that much weight to them was because he casted featherfie on them.
  • I liked the old system only because I loved the suffering it caused me. I love the idea of growing attached to a character and them just dying, either tragically or stupidly. The new system still allows this, but less frequently, which in terms of game mechanics and show health is good. But I want to feel my stomach drop when the die is rolling.
  • I get the feeling that the second we lose a few pc's or loved npc's to the new deathroll system people will start to see how scary a 5% chance to die really is... :o
  • Alot of good arguments here, but at the moment I like the current system, less to keep track of and more excitement overall. With the part where Roamin was focusing the porc, he was just shooting ice at him over and over again, so to me it seemed the 5% chance to die was fair. Like sure it would hurt and you could go down and be hurt, but to DIE to something like that, it would take a lot. 

    This first campaign was enjoyable, and showed someone can't just go into a bloodlust and insta-kill heaps of people just because they felt like it. Nothing about Roamin's character was 'god-like' so it makes sense another person has a fighting chance against them until they are completely overpowered. With other people helping the characters Roamin was targeting, it makes sense they don't just fall over and die because it would have suited Roamin and not everyone else. 
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