Although I’ve been trying to post about my game design experience every Friday, you may have noticed that I didn’t last week. I’ve been struggling with what seems like the next logical obstacle and I wasn’t sure what to write about those struggles. Namely, I can’t figure out what to use for target numbers.

At this point, I’m pretty content with the class and skill lists. With the content I have, someone could create a character and be ready to play. I still need to write GM advice on running an actual “episode” but then we come to what happens the first time someone needs to roll dice. Gather up your The Brains dice and beat a… um, yeah. What number do you beat?

In a game like D&D, they have a fancy chart and formula that helps you determine target numbers. My experience with that was that there were things I wanted the players to succeed at and, since rolls in D&D are pass/fail, I often lowered the difficulty. Mouse Guard, on the other hand, allows you to give the players what they want even if they fail so I tend to stick to the higher difficulty numbers. With that in mind, my plan is to use a “Yes and…” or “No but…” approach to rolls in Geeks and Elites. I want to give the GM an option of letting the players get what they want but at some cost.

That basic design decision still doesn’t give me target numbers but it does let me know that they aren’t quite as important. The computer programmer in me is leaning towards building a small simulation. I see it starting with a few sample characters and then doing rolls for various situations. I could then find what target number(s) would average around 50% success for the players.

Next week, I’ll post the results of that simulation.

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