Table of Contents MetaScape © 2006 Mental Winds of
Trip Die System
Below is a discussion on how to use the die system known as the “Trip Die System”.
Trip vs Flat Rolls
There are two general types of die rolls in the game, Trip and Flat.
Flat Rolls. Flat rolls are made just like in nearly any roleplaying game – roll the indicated die and read the result!
Trip Rolls. Trip rolls are a quick process that can easily generate more robust effects such as:
· Ability failure
· Critical Success
· Critical Failure
· Tremendous Success
· Tremendous Failure
· Heroic Results of Degree 1, Degree 2, Degree 3, etc.
· Max Heroic
Trip Die & Bonus Die. On a trip roll, the d20 is also called the Trip die and the dB is also called the Bonus die.
* (Target) - To make a trip roll you need to know the target as it is key to several results. The target is ALWAYS denoted by a red asterisk like “*”. Think of the asterisk as a bulleseye with radiating spokes (like a target). Targets come in five values of 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 and are denoted as *0, *2, *4, *6, and *8 ALWAYS in red. Theoretically the odd number “could” exist as targets, but to keep the game simple and syntax streamlined, you will normally only see the even targets.
Simple Trip Roll Steps.
1. Identify your target * value. (We’ll use *4 in our example).
2. Roll a d20 plus the total of ANY and ALL bonuses (Buff, Bonus, Penalty, Focus) as a second “Bonus” die. This is noted as d20+dB.
3. Check for the three “Flags” using ONLY the d20 result as follows (each explained in full detail below)
a. Critical/Tremendous if d20 result is 10
b. Ability failure if d20 is less than *
c. Max Heroic if d20 result is 20
4. Check to see if the d20+dB result trips Heroic as follows (see below for more details)
a. Deg1 if d20+dB result is 10+* or higher
b. Deg2 if d20+dB result is 20+* or higher
c. Deg3 if d20+dB result is 30+* or higher
5. If Heroic, then make appropriate Degree roll and take the better of the Heroic result or the initial Trip result.
Critical & Tremendous
First Flag. If the d20 Trip die rolls a natural 10, then the entire roll is flaged for critical or tremendous. The trip die and ONLY the trip die is picked up and tossed a 2nd time. This second result is then kept and examined for other flags such as ability failure, natural 20, etc. The FIRST 10 on the trip die ONLY coutns as a critical/tremendous flag and does NOT count for ANY other aspect!!!
Even Tremendous. If the second roll of the d20 is an even number (2,4,6,8,10,12,14,16,18,20) then the roll IS Tremendous along WITH any other flag that may occur. INCLUDING ability failure or normal failure.
Odd Critical. Likewise if the second roll of the d20 is odd then the roll IS Critical alogn WITH any other flag that may occur, INCLUING success or even heroic.
Can’t Luck a Critical. One important rule. A player may NOT luck a roll that is flaged Critical!
Tremendous Effect. A tremendous roll should NEVER adjust success OR failure. However, regardless of success or failure, some random GM-Ad-Libbed benefit to the character should occur. I usually roll a d20 or a Heroic roll to help me randomly judge the “intensity” of the tremendous effect.
Critical Effect. Likewise, a critical roll should NEVER adjust success OR failure. However, regardless of the success or failure, some random GM-Ad-Libbed penalty or ill fate to the character should occur. I susually roll a d20 or heroic roll to help me randomly judge the “intensity” of the critical effect.
Trip Roles! In particular to nearly ALL Trip rolls quality for ability failure. And since most abilities start off as a Trip roll, this means nearly ALL initial ability rolls can suffer from ability failure (even if they aren’t actually spells).
Lost Meta. If the Trip roll’s d20 rolls BELOW the * value, then the Trip roll is a failure! This isn’t particularly painful for skill rolls, but when the ability is a feat and the player has expended Meta to cast the feat, then it is a bit more painful as the Meta is NOT recovered. Likewise, any Focus Meta expended is still lost! Note, the dB roll, no matter HOW large will NOT help prevent ability failure!
Failure & Slide. To make matters worse – moohaha – the GM can choose to “slide” by 0 to 9 to the ability failure’s target. So a GM may say, “Make a Strength check difficulty 15, failure 4.” Or, “…failure 4, difficulty 15”. They are both identical. This means that success occurs on a d20+dB roll of 15 or higher IF the d20 ALONE rolls equal to or higher than *+4, in this example. This is called “slidding the failure.” If ability failure occurs, the dB roll is flat out ignored as it is irrelevant!
If an ability attempt is PARTICULLARLY close to impossible, the GM may slide the failure from 0 to 20. However, slides past 9 are RARELY done!
20. If the d20 trip die rolls a natural 20 (regardless of penalties, unskilled, etc.), the roll is flaged for max Heroic Degree. This means that the player consideres the roll as having tripped to the highest Heroic Degree that the character’s level allows (Degree 3 for lower level characters). A Degree 3 Heroic roll is made and the best of that roll OR the 20+dB result is used.
Always a Chance for Success. The purpose of this rule is to always allow the character a chance, no matter how slim, to succeed at nearly any attempt. It allows the small unskilled dart to be thrown at a dragon and score a major organ strike causing massive damage. It allows for the weak Boben to have a slight chance to break out of the iron cage. It allows for true HEROIC results to occur!
Like Luck. A Heroic roll is kind of like an odd version of a lucked roll (two rolls and you keep the best one). The player may EITHER keep the Trip roll result (d20+dB result) or the result of the Heroic roll.
Which Degree? To make a Heroic roll, first determine which Heroic DEGREE was tripped. If the trip roll (d20+dB) is equal to or greater than 10+* then it has tripped to Degree 1. If the trip roll is equal to or greater than 20+* then it has tripped to Degree 2. If the trip roll is equal to or greater than 30+* thin it has tripped to Degree 3, etc. (Obviously, take the highest Degree you qualify for).
So, trips in the teens are Degree1, trips in the 20s are Degree2, and trips in the 30s are Degree3. Couple this with failures to trip in the ones is “Ability failure” and you have a pretty slick way to figure all this out!
Making Heroic Rolls. Once the Degree is known, simply find the indicated die on the Heroic table of the character sheet and roll two of them. Use the two results to create the SMALLEST result you can by placing one number before the other.
· 1 and 1 = 11 (WORST possible result)
· 1 and 6 (or 6 and 1) = 16
· 3 and 5 (or 5 and 3) = 35
· 6 and 6 = 66 (BEST possible result)
· 1 and 1 = 11 (WORST possible result)
· 1 and 6 (or 6 and 1) = 16
· 3 and 5 (or 5 and 3) = 35
· 10 and 8 (or 8 and 10) = 108 (NOT 810!!)
· 10 and 10 = 1010 (BEST possible result)
Design Note. There is an elegant mathematical curve of probability created by the Heroic die roll of using the lowest result you can create. It means that the very high results are less likely to occur and low results are more likely to occur. This gives the game a beautiful feeling for that small but obtainable chance of greatness!
· Buff – A temporary bonus, usually resulting from the character or an ally’s feat or artifact.
· Focus – A bonus resulting from the use of Meta (Omega or Mana).
· Mastery – Special character advancement bonuses that the player gets to apply. These represent character growth and ability MASTERY!
· Penalty – A negative bonus.
o Use 1 – The ENTIRE category of bonuses.
o Use 2 – Any long term bonus. Usually resulting from a character’s kits or owned artifacts or modules. These are written in the B column of the character sheet. This is rolled during a Trip Roll as the dB or “Bonus” die.
Cumulative. Unless stated otherwise, all bonuses (Buffs, Focus, Mastery, Penalty) are added together and the final number is the actual BONUS for that roll.
Stacking. Bonuses can stack as long as they are from different sources. So a character can stack bonuses in most cases. Here are a few examples that DO NOT stack:
· Only one bonus from a feat set regardless of who cast it (the same or multiple casters). So you can’t gain more than one Buff to say Attack from a feat called “kill” regardless of who cast it.
· Without GM approval, you can gain an artifact buff to the same ability from more than one artifact of a given type. Thus two rings of +1 Str and +2 Str do NOT provide +3 Str. Rather, the more powerful works and the other does NOT.
· Kit Bonuses – Only two kits may stack bonuses on any particular ability. If there are three or more simply take the best TWO.
· Mastery – Only ONE mastery bonus per ability.
· Focus – Only ONE focus bonus per ability.
· Otherwise – stack away!
Which Die? Once the final (and LEGAL) cumulative bonus is calculated, a number or die result is simply added to the d20 Trip die result as follows:
Any negative cumulative bonus is simply subtracted. No dB is rolled.
No bonus. No dB is rolled.
Simply add 1. No dB is rolled.
Simply add 2. No dB is rolled.
3 or 4
d4 is rolled
5 or 6
d6 is rolled
7 or 8
d8 is rolled
9 or 10
d10 is rolled
11 or 12
d12 is rolled
13,14,15 or 16
d16 is rolled
17 or higher
d20 is rolled. Note: d20 is the MAX dB die at lower character levels.
No 2nd Chance. It is IMPORTANT to note that NO bonus may be applied post Trip roll. ALL bonuses must be added, and a single die (or number) added to the d20 trip roll. IF the player forgot a bonus, TOO BAD!! Or, if the player forgot to roll a bonus die, TOO BAD!! This rule is harsh but very important as it prevents game lag AND it prevents a player from rolling poorly and “claiming” “Oh, I forgot that I had this or that bonus. Let me re-roll.” Ummmmm NO! Better luck next time! J
Concept. Focusing is an awesome rule allowing the player to capture that notion of “giving it a 110%.” Think of punching a bag as hard as you can 10 times and then saying to yourself, “Even though I was going all out, THIS time I’m REALLY going to hit it hard,” and you DO!
Meta. Focusing on a roll provides a temporary (one use) bonus to the roll. Only ONE focus (Meta) may be spent per roll! The size of the Focus bonus is determined by spending Meta (Mana or Omega). The B column of the Meta table on the character sheet lists the value Bonus value of the various Meta colors. This is true REGARDLESS of whether the Meta is Mana, Omega, Pool or Channeled. ONLY the color matters as follows:
One Use? Well kind-of. Focus bonus applies to one FULL “use” of the ability on a specific Nish. This means that two part abilities like a weapon Atk and Dmg may use a single Focus (a single Meta) to affect both rolls. Or a feat that has a Sk^Resistance and then a Sk^Attribute and THEN Sk as Dmg may use the same single Focus bonus for all three effects. All of this is true ONLY if all such rolls are essential and made on the EXACT same Nish count! It, for example, does NOT apply if the attack comes at Nish 15 and the Damage has to wait for Nish 0.
Game Tip. Proper Focus strategy and use is KEY to highly successful play. Ending a character’s day with Omega left, event with Mana left, or Nish with Channeled Mana left is often a sign of missed Focus opportunites and thus a weaker, less effective character! DO NOT FORGET to Focus!!! Also, once your make your Trip roll, you CAN NOT go back and add Focus! (Unless you luck the roll – see lucked rolls).
Definition. Unskilled rolls are made when a character makes an ability (Feat, Skill, Atribute, Resistance, Weapon, Armor) roll that the character does not know but for which the GM will allow an attempt.
How? To make an unskilled roll, the GM will assing an Failure slide (usually 5) and a penalty buff (usually -5) to the roll. Another method is anti-luck (make two rolls and take the worst result). Anti-luck works great for Flat rolls like unskilled shield use, etc.
Examples. There are many examples of why an unskilled roll might occur:
· An unskilled weapon is used (opportunity, existing weapon is damaged, some magical weapoin is found, a ranged weapon is needed in a pinch, etc.)
· Unskilled Armor (existing is damaged, some magical armor is found, etc.)
· Attribute is Used as a Common Skill. This is very common need for an unskilled roll. Say the character tries to sneak (Dex) or Climb (Dex or Str) or Swim (Dex) or Intimidate (Alp) or befriend (Cha). These are common skills that ANYONE should be able to try. The GM can simply say “Make an Unskilled Dex Check.” Or whatever abilty or kit makes most sense.
Don’t Stomp on Skilled Characters! One of the most common GM mistakes is to allow attributes to be used by character’s as a skill that another player’s character actually has WITHOUT requiring it to be unskilled. This “can” result in the unskilled character actually rolling a better Trip roll than the skilled character if the chosen attribute happens to be particularly good. So, it is VERY important to require attributes used as known skills to be made as an unskilled roll!