Mechanics Makeover: Dice in a Cup – Round 1a

Design Workbench

Since I am starting to report this progress further into the design phase than previously, I will break up the “rounds” a little differently at first to catch up. Here’s how the first few rounds will shake out:

  1. I will catch up on the mechanics and their attributes, which I will call modifiers.
    1. Since there is a lot to report here, I’ll break this round up into two parts.
  2. I will catch up on the gamelets.
    1. Since there is a lot to report here, I’ll break this round up into three parts.
  3. I will catch up on the game created by compiling the gamelets.

At this point I have also published a glossary of terms as well. Some of them won’t make sense yet, as they are described in future articles, but it’s better to just get it all out on the table now. Since ultimately all of these mechanics and gamelets will end up in a game called Challenge Dice, from here on, I may refer to the collection of mechanics dice as the Challenge Dice, the rules resulting from compiling them as the Challenge Rules, the active player as the Challenger, and a gamelet as a Challenge Round.

Traditional Mechanics

As mentioned previously, many different games have introduced many different mechanics/modifiers to the dice rolling mechanic. These additions range from simply adding to or subtracting from the total, permitting or prohibiting re-rolls, locking certain die values, etc.

Something Old, Something New

In this discovery I have tried to find mechanics that can be introduced together and varied independently without breaking the game. I think I have several that work together and can show where they don’t work or don’t apply. However, the beauty of this approach is new modifiers can be introduced and the game system provides a means to test the interaction of that modifier with others.

Let’s start off by looking at modifiers individually. There are three basic sets of modifiers; starting from the bottom up:

  1. Those that affect the die rolls. (Roll Modifiers)
  2. Those that affect the goal of the roll. (Goal Modifiers)
  3. Those that affect the players rolling. (Round Modifiers)

In this round we will look at the first two sets and follow up with the last in the next round.

Roll Modifiers

Rolls/Rounds

Indicates the number of rolls/rounds (depending on the type of Challenge) to play to determine a winner.

Values

Description

Up To #

Each roller can take as many rolls/rounds as desired up to the number indicated.

Exactly #

Each roller must take the number of rolls/rounds as the number indicated.

Follow

The First Roller may choose to stop rolling at any number of rolls/rounds (up to 3).

The second Roller must follow with no more rolls than the Challenger.

Choice

The Challenger chooses the number of rolls or to follow.

Lock/Free

Indicates whether kept dice are Locked (cannot be re-rolled) or Free (can be re-rolled).

Values

Description

Lock

Kept dice cannot be re-rolled.

Free

All dice can be re-rolled.

Choice

The Challenger chooses whether dice kept are locked or free.

Keep/Throw

Indicates whether the roller is required to keep or throw a specific number of dice.

Values

Description

Keep

The minimum # of dice that must be kept in each roll.

Throw

The minimum # of dice that must be thrown in each roll.

None

There is no restriction on the number of dice to keep or throw.

Choice

The Challenger chooses any keep or throw rule.

Special Rules:

  • The Keep/Throw rule only applies if there is another roll.
  • A roller's turn ends if they cannot follow a Keep/Throw rule.
  • If a roller must keep dice that cannot be used, they immediately become Trash and cannot be used later.
    • (Exception when totaling for a tiebreaker).

Wilds & Wild #

Together these two dice indicate whether there is a wild number and what the number is.

Values

Description

No Wild

There is no Wild # in the Challenge.

Wild

There is a Wild # in the Challenge. A die that is wild is changed to the desired # on scoring.

Wild Once

There is a Wild # in the Challenge. A die that is wild is changed to the desired # before subsequent rolls.

Too Wild

There is a Wild # in the Challenge. The roller must stop when the number of wilds equals the wild number.

Choice

The Challenger chooses the wild modifier to use.

 

Values

Description

Wild #

Indicates the # that is wild.

Special Rules:

  • The Wild # may count as any number including the # that is wild.
  • The Wild # is also used for other rules, so keep it even if there is No Wild.

Goal Modifiers

Goal/Winning Condition

Indicates whether the goal of the challenge is to get the biggest/longest/highest or smallest/shortest/lowest score.

Values

Description

Big

The goal of the challenge is to get the biggest/longest/highest score to win the round (or Tiebreaker).

Little

The goal of the challenge is to get the smallest/shortest/lowest score to win the round (or Tiebreaker).

Choice

The choice can be Big, Little, or Big and Little (like High-Low Poker) for some games.

Difficulty: Easy/Hard

Indicates which game rules are in play, Easy or Hard.

Values

Description

Easy

Use the Easy (standard) rules.

Hard

Use the "Hard Way" rules (which usually make the game more restrictive).

Choice

The Challenger chooses the level of difficulty.

That is a lot for now and probably isn’t coming together yet for you, but hopefully it will when we get onto the gamelets and then you can refer back to this article.

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