As promised, I’ve uploaded a cleaned up document with some of my SilCore house rules. These got reasonably extensive play, and worked out pretty well for our group.
I believe the complexity rules in this document are the prototype for one of the Complexity house rules that I wrote for Aurora.
What’s interesting to me is how I latched on to a couple of concepts before really knowing what they entailed. I’ve talked about how I kind of halfway implemented “success at a cost” in Silhouette by having fumbles actually generate a result (instead of being treated as zero), just with the addition of a complication. For example, a character who fumbles a Firearms roll might still have a high enough roll plus modifiers to hit the target but their gun jams, they find out they’re out of ammo, etc. The same thing happened conceptually with these house rules for Flaws – I saw that there should be some narrative currency attached to Flaws, rather than simply receiving character points for them. I just didn’t have the context of something like the Fate Point economy to recognize the design pattern.
Also, the mechanism of sacrificing dice for effects is one that SilCore touched on only in terms of “deception attacks”, but it’s one that I had thought was a good axis beyond simple result modifiers even before that. It ties into my love of dice mechanics being used to “unpack” data about how something happened in addition to how well. Successes, margin of success or failure, the overall quality of the result, those are things that I like to see in dice mechanics. Justin Bacon has a good series called Dice of Destiny along those lines that I’ve mentioned before.
From the perspective of a 90’s-ish, dice pool styled retroclone (which has been bouncing around my head a bit) I’d want something similar. It would just be a matter of doing it without counting successes, doing pairing of values, or any of the other dice pool tricks I’ve seen that I personally find distracting. I’d actually almost lean toward a “roll and keep and keep the highest” system, where you roll x dice and keep y based on some measures, and then take the highest from there. For extra detail, maybe there would be a small picklist of qualities that could be attributed to each die depending on the kind of roll. These wouldn’t be fixed before the roll, the player would be able to choose after, “This die represents how fast I did this, this die represents damage done, this die represents knowledge gained”. They also wouldn’t be part of the base resolution mechanic – again, make the base die roll as quick to parse as possible.
This is definitely an avenue I’m going to be pursuing more in future posts.