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A tabletop RPG set in an ominous space station, home to millions, where stories of struggle and survival are written on a daily basis.
A tabletop RPG set in an ominous space station, home to millions, where stories of struggle and survival are written on a daily basis.
558 backers pledged £27,224 to help bring this project to life.

Nibiru Update #19 - Dice!

Posted by Federico Sohns (Creator)
7 likes

Hello Vagabonds!  

Yesterday was a great day for us; we got a lot of funding in, and we are now just a pledge away from those custom dice :) make sure you check in in a little while, since we'll unlock the next SG as well as enabling the dice add on (the high quality, six metal dice set will be £12). 

Given the dice-related news, I want to talk a bit about the task resolution system in Nibiru. 

Task resolution (or conflict resolution) is a staple part of RPG mechanics, meant to determine the nature of an event's outcome (generally, players' actions). Whereas in most RPGs you have a series of attributes and skills that might tell you what number you need to roll or how many dice, in Nibiru this is quite simpler. You just grab three dice, you roll them, and if you get a "4" you are successful. But... why?  

Part of this is to keep things simple, and part of it is due to the Vagabond's not knowing their capabilities. Three dice is a bit below the average for humans (whom, depending on their skill, roll anything between 1 and 6 dice). As Vagabonds start remembering stuff, uncovering their strengths and weaknesses, you start to learn when is it that you'll roll more dice and when to roll less.  

The cool thing about this is that it allows for nigh uninterrupted narration. I as the Narrator can just say "roll to see if you climb up", and the player just rolls three dice. There's nothing more to it (unless the player wishes to toy around with that roll a bit or trigger a memory), so the brevity of the process helps safeguard pacing. Also, rolls are exciting not just because of what's at stake, but also because they are the only moment in which players can choose to trigger a memory.  

We chose D4s because their statistics are simple, and for contested rolls (where you add up numbers and compare instead of just looking for "4s") the results are super easy to work with. The players instantly know that a 1, a 2 and a 3 make 6, so overall the same "brevity" we were trying to preserve is kept.  

There's also a consideration with regards to what's essential to the game's mechanics. One of the main differences between video games and tabletop games is that the latter ask their players to execute all of the "computational" mechanisms of the game (that is, mechanics that don't exactly enrich the experience, but are required so that the game actually works). Our vision with having a super simple task resolution system was that we wanted to reduce the more computational mechanics to make the bulk of the rules about memory creation and manipulation (the most fun, thematic part!).  

These topics are always a bit more dense, but I think it's interesting to know what happens in people's heads when they create a game, so... hope you enjoyed it!

Alton C. Capps, René Schultze, and 5 more people like this update.

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