I decided on using a d6 based, modifiable dice pool system for Lovecraft RPG. Here is the breakdown of the why I selected this type of system.
Dice Pools are Awesome
They work remarkably well in the WEG based d6 system (popularized by the original Star Wars Role Playing Game), as well as both old and new White Wolf World of Darkness. It can get crazy if you are rolling 10 dice at the same time, yes.
How about a system that makes the player want to roll fewer dice? That’s something you’ll see.
A dice pool can also allow results to vary if you are using a Success Based Roll (1-3 fail / 4-6 succeed) or a Cumulative Roll (adding up the numbers to result in a larger number).
A dice pool also lends itself to special treatment of Matching Dice – the more you have with the same number showing, the more of a particular result you will get.
The Lowly d6
While I dig the many types of die in D&D / OGL games, the lowly d6 is easy to spot in a crowd. Also, it is easy to find these dice. Chances are you have more of these floating around, especially in places where RPGs aren’t the only game around.
I like the idea of both dice and dice results that are modifiable.
Dice of a Different Color
Rolling X on one color may have consequences vs rolling X on another color die. Currently I am planning a system that normally relies on a single color but can provide for replacing those dice with another color.
Also two colors allow for matrix results – where one color can represent a row result, and another color can represent a column result. In its simplest form, this allows for a grid result of 36 possible results. A sub-system of Lovecraft RPG that I will discuss in more detail at a later date is the Psychograph, which will use this matrix system.
Player Choices When Rolling
I like the idea that players can make choices that can allow them to change the result through die manipulation.
For example, a decision prior to the roll that could allow them to increment, decrement or remove dice after rolled. This is not a mechanic like that found in some Story Games that incorporate player narrative control to change results. This isn’t a Retconning system.