Xavid (kihou) wrote,

Dice and Ovals

So, a while back I talked about how I didn't necessarily feel it'd work well to add dice to a Chuubo's-like game. But for some reason I've still been thinking about it periodically, mostly in terms of a hypothetical Chuubo's x Apocalypse World game called "A Wish Chang'd World". But I hadn't really convinced myself of anything until I started thinking about something unrelated, namely "too many bubbles".

See, I was asking Sarah about her thoughts on various tabletops we'd played (in preparation for maybe fleshing out Librarians Errant some), and one of her key takeaways from the Halloween Chuubo's one-shot was that quests involved filling in too many little bubbles. Now, an obvious solution here would be to track XP as a number, D&D style, instead of filling in ovals. But that wouldn't make a very interesting blog post. (And, while large numbers in tabletops aren't as bad as in LARPs, I still try to avoid them when possible.) My brain ended up going more the direction of the 5 XP major goals being more the right size of things to focus on. If you divided quest targets by 5, you'd have 3 or 5 or 7 bubbles per quest, a much more reasonable number.

But that doesn't really fit well with XP Actions, Emotion XP, Quest Flavor, and Any-time Quests. Making one of those worth five times as much would make quests fly by super-fast. But then I realized that I could avoid needing the fine precision of tracking fractions of a "major XP" if I made the values work out right in expectation. If you had a 20% chance of getting a big XP for each of these, it'll take about the same amount of time to complete a quest, with obviously more variation. So, it'd end up looking something like:
When you take a genre or quest flavor action, you may seek meaning. Roll 2d6. 10+, mark experience. 7+, it’s a nice moment. Otherwise, something’s off; the HG may hand out an issue or interrupt the moment.
(Unlike Jenna's dice mechanic, your chapter allotment of XP actions is used up whether or not you mark a big XP.) This version is Apocalypse Worldy in its numbers and gives you a 1/6 chance of getting a big XP, for slightly slower quests. You could roll +1 to have faster-than-Chuubo's quests or use a d10 or d20 if you want to get exactly 1/5. I don't know if I'll ever use it in practice, but it seems like it could work.

I'm assuming with this, by the way, that we're abandoning the "XP from XP Actions goes in the pot and gets divided evenly later". It's sorta weird how Chuubo's has one type of XP that's lockstep and one that isn't, and I found the fact that XP goes in opposite directions for XP actions and emotion XP weird in my one-shot. Treating XP actions and quest flavor the same simplifies the move description, but it's mostly unrelated.

It's unclear that either of these were really problems that needed to be solved, but hey, I can solve "dicelessness" and "too many ovals" with one stone. Meanwhile, I'm excited for my diceless, oval-heavy actual Chuubo's run, with play starting… technically today. Cheers!
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