Player-Facing Rolls simply means that the GM doesn't roll dice. Every die roll falls to the player. The old Marvel SAGA system did this (but with cards) and the new ICONs game does too.
My system currently uses a "roll to hit" made by the attacker, followed by a "control damage roll" made by the defender. While not really an "opposed roll" system, it is one where both sides roll to resolve every attack and one where if we were to make the system "Player Facing" the total amount of dice rolling would be cut in half. This simplifies and speeds things up immensely.
Here is how I see it. The Xceptional combat system eliminates all the "ineffectual rounds" of combat keeping things fast and deadly by assuming that every declared attack scores a successful "Hit." The only roll remaining is the "Control Damage" roll and its effect depends on which side of the attack the player is on.
PLAYER IS THE ATTACKER
Player rolls an Offensive Action check.
Critical Success = Monster suffers one hit. Player chooses which Ability takes the hit. Player Rolls to Attack again!
Basic Success = Monster suffers one hit. Player chooses which Ability takes the hit.
Basic Failure = Monster suffers one hit. GM chooses which Ability takes the hit.
Critical Failure = Monster suffers zero hits. No Ability takes a hit.
PLAYER IS THE DEFENDER
Player rolls a Defensive Action check.
Critical Success = Player suffers zero hits. No Ability takes a hit.
Basic Success = Player suffers one hit. Player chooses which Ability takes the hit.
Basic Failure = Player suffers one hit. GM chooses which Ability takes the hit.
Critical Failure = Player suffers one hit. GM chooses which Ability takes the hit. Player must roll to Defend again!
Difficulty and Opposing Skill Values
Making "Player Facing Rolls" work by incorporating Difficulty ... skill vs. skill ...
Normally the roll under system is Trait x Skill. To improve the game mechanic to recognize difficulty (especially important since only the player is rolling dice) the multiplier applied to a Trait is no longer a flat skill value but rather a reflection of the difference between skill vs. skill ... this opens up the skill ranges immensely and allows for more freedom in character advancement as well.
The multiplier for the player's roll is based on the difference between his skill and the skill of his target.
Skill Factor is Player Skill minus Monster Skill:
|Skill Factor|| |
Roll Under Trait *X
|-6 or less|| |
|Weakness (roll 0 on 1 die only)|
|-4 to -5|| |
|Roll 0 on 5x5 roll|
|-2 to -3|| |
|Roll Trait or less on 5x5 roll|
|-1 to +1|| |
|Roll Trait x2 or less on 5x5 roll|
|+2 to +3|| |
|Roll Trait x3 or less on 5x5 roll|
|+4 to +5|| |
|Roll Trait x4 or less on 5x5 roll|
|+6 or more|| |
|Roll Trait x5 or less on 5x5 roll|
SKILL VS. SKILL
Player Skill minus Monster Skill (Find Player Skill down the side.)
While I'm at it, I also want to mention what I've come up with for weapons and armor. You may note that my new Player Facing Rolls mechanic derives a lot of meaning from not only basic success and failure but also critical success and failure. I have tied the frequency of critical effects (both success and failure) to weapons and armor. This opens up a wide range of useful weapon and armor values.
WEAPONS and ARMOR have values. These are cross indexed to determine "Critical Factor"
The 5x5 roll now uses dice of differing colors. Record the color of your "Critical Die" on your character sheet. A good option is a red and white die, where red is the Critical Die.
There is a target number that this die must reach before a critical success is achieved with a successful roll, or a critical failure is achieved with an unsuccessful roll.
|Critical Factor||Critical Success if ...||Critical Failure if ...|
|-6 or less||(No Critical Success Possible)||Critical Die is a 3, 4 or 5|
|-4 to -5||Critical Die is a 0||Critical Die is a 3, 4 or 5|
|-2 to -3||Critical Die is a 0||Critical Die is a 4 or 5|
|-1 to +1||Critical Die is a 0 or 1||Critical Die is a 4 or 5|
|+2 to +3||Critical Die is a 0 or 1||Critical Die is a 5|
|+4 to +5||Critical Die is a 0, 1 or 2||Critical Die is a 5|
|+6 or more||Critical Die is a 0, 1 or 2||(No Critical Failure Possible)|
Check the Critical Success Column when you succeed at a task.
Check the Critical Failure Column when you fail at a task.
Critical Factor is equal to the difference between Armor and Weapon values and is dependent upon whether player is attacking or defending.
Player is ATTACKING (FIND WEAPON DOWN THE SIDE)
Player is DEFENDING (FIND ARMOR DOWN THE SIDE)
Since players make all rolls, Monsters won't need Abilities except as a means to track damage, (but will still need skills to act as opposing values to determine difficulty.)
Monsters only have two Abilities: HIGH and LOW
HIGH = the larger pool of life points, usually where the Monster will choose to take damage when given a choice.
LOW = the smaller pool of life points, usually a small number, the Monster's "vulnerable spot." Generally, this is where the player will want to apply damage.
Monsters also have weapons and armor ... these may be actual weapons and armor or reflections of natural abilities like claws and scales.
This post seems a bit all over the place. It's a stream of ideas reflecting what I am working on right now and the kinds of changes that Xceptional is likely to see in the near future.
Just thought it might be fun to share.