"Reverse" resource/"Chore" dice

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quaffeine
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"Reverse" resource/"Chore" dice

Post by quaffeine » Wed Jul 14, 2021 11:11 am

Here's a quick mechanic I used during an M20 game played over the last couple weeks. Set in the 1790s, PCs were 0-Level servants in a New Orleans antebellum manor where their employer (to whom they were very loyal) was thought to be in danger. Their main objective was to investigate by speaking with guests and others to try to determine what was going on.

So rather than random encounters, I saddled them with "chore dice." Kind of like reverse resource dice, each occupation had a different one (Footmen were d8, as they mostly hang outside, while Butlers were d4 and always being asked about something).

At the outset, rolling a 1 meant PCs had to stop what they were doing and attend to some menial task (a great way to introduce red herrings, by the way). As the evening went on and became busier, a 1 or 2 would pull them away. I was thinking of having this work like resource dice in that rolling a 1 moved you down to the next smaller die, but for this game I found that simply increasing the target to 1-2 did the trick.

I wanted to toss this out here in case anyone required something to introduce tension without necessarily relying on combat or set encounters. It does mean you need to have a couple of ideas for these menial tasks. For the game last night this worked well to temporarily distract the PCs from their goals, sometimes for worse, sometimes even for better (their distraction leads them to some clue they wouldn't have otherwise found).

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sofge
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Re: "Reverse" resource/"Chore" dice

Post by sofge » Sat Jul 17, 2021 10:02 pm

Could you please review the Resource Dice concept for those of us unfamiliar? Or cite the source so we can go read up on it? From the hints in your post it sounds revolutionary compared to the bean-counting I associate with D&D.

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quaffeine
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Re: "Reverse" resource/"Chore" dice

Post by quaffeine » Mon Jul 19, 2021 12:49 am

Hi @sofge,

Yes, so sorry, I should have done that!

But you're right, the idea is to eliminate bookkeeping. Basically, you set a starting die, say a d10, to represent your resource. Whenever you use it, you roll that die, and when you roll a 1 (or other target range), you "move down" to the next die -- a d8 in this example. Next would be a d6, then finally a d4.

Once you roll a 1 (or target range) on the d4, you are out of that resource. You can use this for things like ammunition or rations in the event you want to keep it realistic, i.e. that PCs don't have an infinite amount of these things, while not requiring explicit bookkeeping.

I agree this is a great idea, that I think someone lifted from the old d6 Star Wars game, but I could be wrong (a quick Google search on "rpg resource dice" or "rpg usage dice" will deliver all the results you could want). In any case it's been around for a while, and is in general a very good fit for m20. I just riffed off the concept for a different purpose here... making it basically "resource dice" that account for their free time.

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squirewaldo
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Re: "Reverse" resource/"Chore" dice

Post by squirewaldo » Fri Jul 23, 2021 10:14 am

hmmmm this looks very similar to a game I have been playing in during the last few weeks. What are the odds of that???? :lol:

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quaffeine
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Re: "Reverse" resource/"Chore" dice

Post by quaffeine » Fri Jul 23, 2021 7:30 pm

@squirewaldo, you just rolled a 1!

Time to go muck out the stable stalls!!!!

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squirewaldo
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Re: "Reverse" resource/"Chore" dice

Post by squirewaldo » Fri Jul 23, 2021 10:22 pm

Yes Master!

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