House of Cards: Melee Strike

Melee Strike is the basic melee attack action that everyone gets for free. Also, barring a conservative die delay penalty, it can be used every round. This makes it a good reference point for other attacks.

To remain consistent with the other posts I modeled Melee Strike using a great weapon.

Action Card

Conservative/ Reckless
1 success base damage
3 successes D +2 dam
2 boons free maneuver
2 boons# +1 critical
-2 boons foe can disengage
-2 boons* 1 fatigue

# from the Critical Rating of the weapon
* all physical actions have this as a possible result so it isn’t listed on the card

Assumptions

Comet use
The comet was given the following priority: increase 0 success to 1 > increase 2 successes to 3 > +1 critical
When using boons in order to maximize damage the +1 critical was given priority over the maneuver. Foe escape was given priority over fatigue.

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House of Cards: Mighty Swing

There are a few things to note about Mighty Swing. Like Thunderous Blow it requires being armed with a great weapon. The attack also has a penalty of 2 Black dice. In order to make the results comparable to the other attacks I used a dice pool of 5 characteristic dice, 1 Yellow, 1 Purple, and 2 Black. The same base difficulty used for Thunderous Blow and Reckless Cleave plus 2 Black for the attack penalty.

Action Card

The card has some special effects.
On the conservative side the weapon Critical Rating is reduced by 1 to 1.
On the reckless side, if the target has 3 or more points of armor then the attack ignores 2 points of armor, effectively increasing damage by 2 points.

Conservative Reckless
1 success base damage +1 1 success base damage
2 successes D +1 dam
3 successes D +3 dam 3 successes D +3 dam
4 successes D +5 dam
1 boon +1 dam
2 boons +3 dam 2 boons +3 dam
3 boons +5 dam
2 boons# +1 critical 2 boons# +1 critical
-2 boons 1 fatigue, delay this attack -2 boon 1 fatigue, 2 if target
has 3+ armor
-2 boons* 1 fatigue -2 boons* 1 fatigue
1 comet +1 dam +1 crit 1 comet +2 crit
1 chaos delay this attack

# from the Critical Rating of the weapon
* all physical actions have this as a possible result so it isn’t listed on the card

Assumptions

Comet use
On the conservative side comet priority was: increase 0 successes to 1 > increase 1 boon to 2 > increase 2 or 3 successes to 3 or 4 > comet line.
On the reckless side comet priority was: increase 0 success to 1 > increase 2 successes to 3 > increase 1, 2, or 4 boons to 2, 3, or 5 > increase 1 success to 2 > increase 0, 3, or 5 boons to 1, 4, or 6 > comet line

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House of Cards: Thunderous Blow

This is another action card, Thunderous Blow. Thunderous Blow requires a great weapon. This is the reason for the shift to using great weapon stats for all the actions as this will allow comparisons between them.

Action Card

Conservative Reckless
1 success base damage 1 success base damage
3 successes D +1 critical 2 successes D +1 critical
2 boons +1 critical 1 boon +1 critical
2 boons# +1 critical 2 boons# +1 critical
-2 boons 1 fatigue -1 boon 1 fatigue
-2 boons* 1 fatigue -2 boons* 1 fatigue
1 comet +7 dam
1 chaos delay this attack

# from the Critical Rating of the weapon
* all physical actions have this as a possible result so it isn’t listed on the card

Assumptions

Comet use
On the conservative side comet priority was: increase 0 successes to 1 > +1 critical
On the reckless side comet priority was: increase 0 successes to 1 > comet line

Results: Thunderous Blow  Continue reading

House of Cards: Reckless Cleave in Warhammer 3rd

Having already generated the dice pools to analyze Troll-Feller Strike I figured I might as well see what would happen if I applied those results to a different action card, Reckless Cleave.

Weapon Change

For reasons that will become apparent in future articles I chose to switch the base weapon for the simulation. Instead of using 5 strength and a hand weapon I used 5 strength and a great weapon giving a base damage of 12 and a Critical Rating of 2. For those unfamiliar, a Critical Rating is the cost in boons for any attack made with that weapon to generate a critical hit, as will be seen in the card description.

Action Card

Here are the available results for Reckless Cleave

Conservative Reckless
1 success base damage +2 1 success base damage +1
3 successes D +3
2 boons +Str^ dam, delay this card 1 boon +Str^ dam, delay this card
2 boons# +1 critical 2 boons# +1 critical
-1 boon -1 soak -1 boon -1 soak
-2 boons* 1 fatigue -2 boons* 1 fatigue
1 comet +2 critical
1 chaos delay defense 1 chaos delay defense

^ assumed to be 5 for this example
# from the Critical Rating of the weapon
* all physical actions have this as a possible result so it isn’t listed on the card

Assumptions Continue reading

Reckless or More? Damage and Stance in Warhammer

The mechanics of the new Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying edition (WFR 3rd) are very opaque. This results in many questions about how the mechanics really work. One common question revolves around the mechanics for stance. Characters can choose to be in reckless or conservative stance and this choice can change the dice that they roll and even the outcome of the same roll result. One analysis tried comparing reckless versus conservative stance for the classic test action Troll-Feller Strike. Unfortunately, errors in the probability generator they were using made the final result more difficult to interpret. This article is an attempt to answer the question of how the reckless and conservative stances effect attacks.

Mechanics

For people that aren’t familiar with the mechanics.

Rolls in WFR 3rd use dice pools. These consist of dice of different sides, colors, and symbols. The basic roll uses a number of Blue dice equal to the controlling characteristic plus Yellow dice equal to the skill and possibly a number of White dice for a variety of reasons. The pool will also contain dice that represent the difficulty of the task, Purple and Black dice with negative results on them. Players can change this pool by choosing to go into what are called stances. These are either reckless, nominally representing risk taking, or conservative, nominally what it says on the tin. When they do so, they then replace a number of the basic Blue dice with either Red (reckless) or Green (conservative) dice.

As an added wrinkle, the results of the die rolls are determined by referencing a card. This card will often give different results depending on which stance the character is in. Also, even when someone isn’t in a stance, i.e. they are rolling all Blue dice, they still have to reference either the reckless or the conservative side of the card. Each character has a default side so that if they are in a neutral stance they will always use either the reckless or the conservative side depending on the character.

Basic Dice Probabilities Continue reading

The Correlation Effect

The Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying Game 3rd edition (from now on WFR3) employs an unusual resolution mechanic with specialized dice. The results are very non-linear and the resulting probabilities are not intuitive. As a result there have been a number of good statistical analyses of the new mechanic. So why am I doing another one? One aspect of the mechanics is generally left out of these analyses because it is such a pain to deal with. So, in my fine tradition of dealing with stupidly complicated game mechanics for no good reason, I decided to see just how important this aspect really is to the game.

The Question

So what is this aspect? That takes a bit of explaining. Thanks to the different specialized symbols rather than just numbers like an ordinary die WFR3 has several axes for resolution on any roll.

What do I mean by that? The classic d20 system only has one axis. Roll a d20 and add a number to it. The result can be higher or lower but it just produces one number. This is why in d20 systems everything uses a separate roll. In contrast the One Roll Engine, as the name indicates, resolves entire actions from initiative to hit location with a single roll. Its dicing mechanic has two axes. A player rolls a number of 10 sided dice and looks for matching numbers. For example if 3 of the dice showed the number 2 this would be 3 2’s, while 2 dice showing 8’s would be 2 8’s. The number of matching dice and the number on the die give two different results to use to resolve an action. This is why I don’t care for the One Roll Engine. It only has two axes. However, those two results are used to determine every aspect of a roll leading to strange links. So an attack will have initiative, damage, to hit, and target location, four different things but using only two numbers for them. Thus the earlier an attack goes in the round the more damage it does and it is easier to avoid an attack that might hit your feet than it is to avoid one that might hit your head.  Continue reading

The Importance of FATE

Add FATE Points and Stir

The previous article talked about setting up and testing a basic Monte Carlo model of FATE combat. This one tackles the task of introducing FATE points to the model. Most of the article covers testing and optimizing the model. Readers not interested in finicky details of model building are really encouraged to skip to the Results section at the end. Seriously, it’s ten pages of details, just look for the picture of fudge dice.

FATE point mechanics

While different versions of the mechanics change things up a bit most FATE systems use FATE points. FATE points are a limited pool of points that can be spent for a number of different bonuses. However, in order to spend a FATE point the character not only needs a FATE point but needs an appropriate Aspect.

Aspects are character abilities that are usually a phrase or description like “Veteran of Normandy” or “World’s Greatest Mechanic”. In order to use a FATE point in a situation the character has to have an Aspect appropriate to the circumstance. So a “Veteran of Normandy” could spend points on combat rolls or getting along with other veterans while the “World’s Greatest Mechanic” could spend points repairing things or to have a special gadget rigged up in their car.

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