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  • Momentum

    I first want to get something out of the way. The Savage World dice mechanics are great the way they are. Even though there is a small quirk in the smoothness of some dice probabilities, I believe it is not a problem that will have any impact on the game. So why am I fussing? Well my math brain likes to see smooth probability curves, plus it likes the idea of being able to roll a 6 result on a d6, but rolling an Ace prevents that. Since my math brain won't stop nagging, my fun brain and even my logic brain gave up, especially since there is a clever trick with some additional Momentum Dice. Not only is my math brain satisfied, as both its main issues are addressed, but my fun brain also gets a bit of a treat. After all, it likes the anticipation of drawing extra cards that have an impact on the story. Plus, I get to use more of those decks of cards I have somehow started to collect.

    The idea of Momentum started when I began rolling those extra dice for smoothing. All those + and - just seemed to yell out to me to use them for more than just smoothing. I have tried a few mechanisms and believe I finally found something that works for me. It still needs lots of playtesting and tweaking, which will take me a while. So instead of waiting, I thought I would share what I have.


    Momentum Dice

    When making a trait roll, always add two additional Fate/Fudge dice to the roll. These extra dice are known as Momentum Dice or simply mvDice, derived from the formula p=mv commonly used in physics to calculate an objects momentum.

    For each + rolled, increase the trait result by +1.
    For each - rolled, lower the trait result by -1.

    When firing at a ROF of 2 or greater, roll the mvDice once for all attacks and apply the mvDice result to each Shooting dice.

    When rerolling a trait roll, also reroll the mvDice.

    mvDeck

    This is where things get interesting. Not only do mvDice smooth and modify the trait roll, they also interact with the mvDeck. The mvDeck abstracts the dynamic nature of a scene and represents circumstances arranging themselves to sometimes provide assistance to achieve scene goals. It aims to create memorable moments and increased enjoyment by providing rewards to the active character in the form of bonus modifiers and Bennies.

    The mvDeck is a normal deck of cards with the Jokers left in. There is one central mvDeck that everyone uses. The players usually have one mvPool that is to the right of the deck while the GM has another on the left. The discard pile is located above the mvDeck.

    When cards are drawn, they are placed on top of the previous card in the active character's mvPool, but offset so you can still see all the cards in the pool.

    Discarding

    When a card is discarded, follow a last in first out method, discarding the topmost card in the mvPool of the active character and place it at the top of the discard pile. If there are no cards in the mvPool, discarding has no effect.

    For each card that is discarded due to a - mvDice, increase the trait roll result by +1, in effect reversing the -1 penalty from the - mvDice. This represents the active character taking advantage of momentum to cancel out current misfortune. This adjustment only applies to the current roll and not to rerolls.


    mvDice Effects on Momentum
    • When you roll ++, draw 2 mvCards.
    • When you roll +0, draw 1 mvCard.
    • When you roll +- or 00, status quo, no change to momentum.
    • When you roll -0, discard 1 mvCard.
    • When you roll --, discard 2 mvCards.

    mvCard Rewards

    Any Bennies that are rewarded go to the active character. This also applies to GM non-Wild Card characters.
    • Face or Ace: For each Face or Ace card you draw, you get +1 to this trait roll and associated damage roll. This bonus is sticky and continues to apply and accumulate if you reroll the trait roll.
    • Joker: When you draw a Joker, you get +2 bonus, a Benny and you discard the Joker. Place the Joker perpendicular in the discard pile so that it is easy to spot. After you discard the second Joker, shuffle the remaining cards in the mvDeck together with the discard pile to create a fresh mvDeck.
    • Pair: If your mvPool ever contains a pair of cards, discard the topmost paired card for a Benny.
    • Elevens: If your mvPool ever contains two cards that add up to 11, discard the topmost paired card for a Benny. For this purpose, an Ace in the mvPool counts as a 1, so a 10 and an Ace add up to 11.

    mvTokens

    It is recommended that you represent the bonus modifiers due to momentum with temporary mvTokens so that they are easy to remember during rerolls and when applying to damage rolls.

    Multiple mvPools

    If the party splits and are in entirely different scenes, form separate mvPools for each split party. Each character can only belong, interact and gain benefits from one mvPool at a time. If required, the GM also gets a corresponding mvPool for each player pool.

    End of Scene

    At the end of a scene, discard the mvPools involved in that scene.

    For combat, and other dramatic scenes, just before discarding the player's mvPool, draw two mvCards. Apply the normal Momentum rules for Benny rewards, but this time each player involved in that scene receives the Benny rewards. Do not do this for boring scenes, such as keeping watch during a camp when the most exciting thing that happens is Fred swallowing a bug while snoring.

    Critical Failure Severity Determination

    Another use of the mvDice is on Critical Failure rolls. Use the mvDice to determine the severity of the failure. Ranging from ++ being more of an inconvenience to -- being disastrous.


    Optional

    When you roll +- and if you have at least one card in your mvPool, discard one and then draw one.
    When you roll 00, blank slate, well now it's up to you. You may spend a Benny and reroll once or twice. Your choice after the first reroll. A Critical Failure ends all rerolls immediately.

    Example

    Let's set the scene. Sam is having a shootout with some thugs down an alleyway. It's been going for a while and momentum has been building for both Sam and the thugs.
    • Sam's mvPool contains a King or Hearts, Seven of Hearts, Three of Clubs and Five of Spades.
    • It's Sam's turn and she makes a Shooting roll.
    • She gets 1,3,+,+ for a result of 5.
    • The following image shows those results and the current state of all the mvCards.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	Momentum Example.jpg Views:	48 Size:	140.8 KB ID:	53496
    • As Sam's mvDice rolled ++, she draws 2 cards from the mvDeck.
    • These are a King of Diamonds and Four of Clubs.
    • The King, as it is a face card, increases the trait result by +1, for a result of 6.
    • Also, since the King pairs with the King of Hearts, Sam receives a Benny, and the King of Diamonds is discarded.
    • The Four also sums with the Seven of Hearts to make 11. Sam receives another Benny and the Four of Clubs is discarded.
    • Sam really needs to hit that thug, so she decides to use one of the rewarded Bennies to reroll.
    • She rolls 7,2,+,+ for a result of 10. This result includes the +1 bonus from the King of Diamonds that was drawn during this trait roll.
    • As Sam's mvDice rolled ++, she draws 2 cards from the mvDeck.
    • These are a Queen of Diamonds and a Jack of Clubs.
    • Both of these increase the trait result by +1 each, for a result of 12.
    • The GM confirms a hit with a raise and Sam makes a 3d6 damage roll.
    • These roll a 1, 4 and 2 for a result of 7.
    • Since Sam's mvDeck draws for this trait roll resulted in a total of three face cards, she adds +3 to the damage roll for a total of 10. Down goes another thug.
    Last edited by Wzrd; 08-19-2021, 01:49 PM.

  • #2
    I can appreciate the effort put into making this, but for my tastes it'll only slow things down. Just from your example, a single Trait roll requires drawing two cards, tracking additional bonuses (beyond what the fudge dice add), checking for Benny rewards, re-rolling, drawing more cards, and adding any new modifiers.
    ...now potentially repeat that for every roll.

    I like the concept---and it seems pretty well executed---but I can't imagine using it all the time. Of course, my subjective opinions shouldn't ruin your fun if your table doesn't mind the extra complexity and extended time on dice resolution.

    Comment


    • #3
      Okay but is all that extra dice rolling really worth smoothing out the probability curve? If you think so, well great for you, but you'll be hard pressed to find anyone who agrees with you. That said, it's not a big deal and you can probably find a group that will tolerate the fudge dice, or at least try them out for one session to see whether or not they find them too annoying.

      The mv cards, on the other hand, will be a dealbreaker for most players. I genuinely don't know what you were thinking coming up with it. It has nothing to do with your initial goal of smoothing out the probability curve, and honestly seems like adding complexity for it's own sake. It does not tie into existing SWADE mechanics nor does it tie into the SW motto of "Fast, Furious and Fun". As already said, it provides a lot of extra book keeping round to round, and from a player's perspective there's no benefit to using it since it affects extras and wildcards equally. And in all of this, it messes with the benny economy...

      My advise is to ditch the mv cards entirely and see how far you get with the extra fudge dice.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Deskepticon View Post
        ...but for my tastes it'll only slow things down. Just from your example, a single Trait roll requires drawing two cards, tracking additional bonuses (beyond what the fudge dice add), checking for Benny rewards, re-rolling, drawing more cards, and adding any new modifiers.
        ...now potentially repeat that for every roll.
        It does slow things down a bit, but I'm hoping that it generates fun to more than compensate. The fun comes from the rewards. Rolling ++ should give the roller that happy vibe, same as when rolling an Ace, especially since it is so visible. Also rolling 00 at times of need should do the same. A different type of fun happens during those moments when the momentum pool builds on one side and the other has nothing. This can be built into the narrative but does take a bit of GM effort.

        I just made a quick change. Now the +- and -+ results require no action. Previously I was sitting on the fence with this, but you reminded me, when in doubt go for fast, so now it is an optional rule.

        So that means +- and -+ results now take nearly no time [22%].
        The --, -0 and 0- results are fairly quick as they are just discards [33%].
        ++, +0 and 0+ take a bit more time. Draw cards, check for pairs, 11s, add tokens [33%].
        00 has the potential to take the longest as the player may need to decide if it's worth trading a Bennie for 2 rerolls [11%].

        So for 55% of the time, not really much to do. Initially I had it so you could decide what cards to discard. But that wastes time so the last in first out method was adopted.

        For the other 44% there is something to do, but since they are positive and have an impact on the story, I think it's worth it.

        Surprisingly, once the mechanic becomes automatic it is surprisingly fast. During development my right hand would challenge my left hand to a momentum duel. I would take turns rolling dice and drawing cards. and counting up the tokens and Bennies rewards. After a few goes it goes smoothly. And sometimes it surprises me how sometimes the rewards get so unbalanced between left and right, but that's the roll of the dice and one of the aspects I love about Savage Worlds. Unpredictability.

        At the end, the whole aim of this is to bring extra enjoyment to Savage Worlds. I'm finding it does at the moment, but it's early days and that may change as time goes by.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by gigacanuck View Post
          Okay but is all that extra dice rolling really worth smoothing out the probability curve? If you think so, well great for you, but you'll be hard pressed to find anyone who agrees with you. That said, it's not a big deal and you can probably find a group that will tolerate the fudge dice, or at least try them out for one session to see whether or not they find them too annoying.
          Simply yes they are. It kept me away from Savage Worlds for years... maybe not the only reason... but one of them. Now granted, this comes from someone that wears a pointed hat, and in public, so maybe I'm just wired up a bit differently.

          One thing I found out over the years when everyone disagrees with me, the problem is that they are usually wrong ;-)

          I have a great bunch of patient friends, with one of our favorite games from all those years ago being Rolemaster. Lots of maths to do, lots of tables to look up and some of them still play it whenever they can today. I don't play often enough, but would like to. Very slow gameplay, but it was savage especially when critical hits happened.


          The mv cards, on the other hand, will be a dealbreaker for most players. I genuinely don't know what you were thinking coming up with it. It has nothing to do with your initial goal of smoothing out the probability curve, and honestly seems like adding complexity for it's own sake. It does not tie into existing SWADE mechanics nor does it tie into the SW motto of "Fast, Furious and Fun". As already said, it provides a lot of extra book keeping round to round, and from a player's perspective there's no benefit to using it since it affects extras and wildcards equally. And in all of this, it messes with the benny economy...

          My advise is to ditch the mv cards entirely and see how far you get with the extra fudge dice.
          I tried with just the dice, found they needed to do more. Tried a few things out on the internet, and then went my own way for the past few months. I actually don't find momentum that bad in play, the player's get rewards and hate it when the GM gets rewards, all part of the fun. It's early days, so time will tell. I have only been playing Savage Worlds for 8 months, so maybe it will take a bit longer for me to really adopt the Fast, Furious, Fun motto. I love the Furious and Fun, but not really fussed with the Fast. It's not what brought me to Savage Worlds.

          Comment


          • #6
            Just for fun, there's a mistake in the image. Let's just say I was devious enough to put it in there in the first place. Can anyone guess?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Wzrd View Post

              Rolling ++ should give the roller that happy vibe, same as when rolling an Ace, especially since it is so visible.
              You mean more of a "happy vibe" than adding +2 to the roll?!
              That's almost the equivalent of drawing a Joker. Strange that you felt that more was needed, but like you said, you're a strange brew.

              I just made a quick change. Now the +- and -+ results require no action. Previously I was sitting on the fence with this, but you reminded me, when in doubt go for fast, so now it is an optional rule.
              That's a good change.

              So that means +- and -+ results now take nearly no time [22%].
              The --, -0 and 0- results are fairly quick as they are just discards [33%].
              ++, +0 and 0+ take a bit more time. Draw cards, check for pairs, 11s, add tokens [33%].
              00 has the potential to take the longest as the player may need to decide if it's worth trading a Bennie for 2 rerolls [11%].
              Couple things:
              First, why specify both "+-" and "-+" (or the other variations)? Aren't they the same thing? It just a weird thing to distinguish. It makes me think there is Fudge 1 and Fudge 2 dice that players should be tracking.

              Second, the answer to "the player may need to decide if it's worth trading a Bennie for 2 rerolls" is a resounding Yes!
              You basically turned what should be the most neutral roll into another benefit. Spending one Benny to reroll twice is double the benefit that a core Benny provides. Furthermore, you lessen the impact that potentially rolling a Crit Failure has by requiring BOTH rerolls to Crit for it to count. I'm legitimately baffled as how anyone would need to consider whether the Benny is worth it, when it most certainly is.

              Considering how 00 is literally neither a positive nor a negative, I'd just treat it the same as +- ... no further action.

              At the end, the whole aim of this is to bring extra enjoyment to Savage Worlds. I'm finding it does at the moment, but it's early days and that may change as time goes by.
              Well, if your table finds enjoyment out of this, that's all that matters. But I might need to agree with gigacanuck that not many other Savages would find the same enjoyment. The lack of responses this thread has generated means they probably took their mother's advice and "said nothing at all."

              Cheers, and good luck.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Deskepticon View Post
                First, why specify both "+-" and "-+" (or the other variations)? Aren't they the same thing? It just a weird thing to distinguish. It makes me think there is Fudge 1 and Fudge 2 dice that players should be tracking.
                It's a design hangover from when I was assigning the 9 different combinations. I just got used to thinking that way to make sure I covered them all. Totally redundant, so I have removed occurrences of it from the rules. Thanks for noticing.


                Second, the answer to "the player may need to decide if it's worth trading a Bennie for 2 rerolls" is a resounding Yes!
                You basically turned what should be the most neutral roll into another benefit. Spending one Benny to reroll twice is double the benefit that a core Benny provides. Furthermore, you lessen the impact that potentially rolling a Crit Failure has by requiring BOTH rerolls to Crit for it to count. I'm legitimately baffled as how anyone would need to consider whether the Benny is worth it, when it most certainly is.
                I did want to make it very tempting, but I think you're right, a bit too much sugar. I still want it to be tempting so now it just allows you to reroll twice but with the chance of a Critical Failure.

                Considering how 00 is literally neither a positive nor a negative, I'd just treat it the same as +- ... no further action.
                I like to see the mvDice as opening up opportunities to be taken and I like the idea of a blank slate that the 00 represents. You have an opportunity here that you can use to your advantage, but it's up to you to take it by pushing a bit harder, which is represented by spending the Benny. It only occurs 11% of the time so I'll see how it goes in the long term.


                Well, if your table finds enjoyment out of this, that's all that matters. But I might need to agree with gigacanuck that not many other Savages would find the same enjoyment. The lack of responses this thread has generated means they probably took their mother's advice and "said nothing at all."

                Cheers, and good luck.
                Yes, it does feel like I'm paddling against the current. But it's a big world and you never know, I might meet someone going in my direction.

                Thank you for all the feedback, it might not change my mind all the time, but I appreciate different points of view as it helps me think about things I normally wouldn't.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Wzrd View Post

                  It's a design hangover from when I was assigning the 9 different combinations. I just got used to thinking that way to make sure I covered them all. Totally redundant, so I have removed occurrences of it from the rules. Thanks for noticing.
                  Fair enough.
                  You're welcome!


                  I did want to make it very tempting, but I think you're right, a bit too much sugar. I still want it to be tempting so now it just allows you to reroll twice but with the chance of a Critical Failure.

                  I like to see the mvDice as opening up opportunities to be taken and I like the idea of a blank slate that the 00 represents. You have an opportunity here that you can use to your advantage, but it's up to you to take it by pushing a bit harder, which is represented by spending the Benny. It only occurs 11% of the time so I'll see how it goes in the long term.

                  The way I see it, from a design perspective, a 00 using fudge dice is the same as a standard (core) roll without fudge dice. It is the most neutral result you can get, so it probably should represent the baseline. The baseline in this case being: No further action. Ignore the mvDeck.

                  The "+-" result, on the other hand, represents more context, assuming the fudge dice carry such additional context into the game. Narratively speaking, something good happened, but something also occurred to offset it. This seems like a better opportunity to attach a mechanic.

                  As for the mechanic... Two rerolls (even with the normal rules for Crit Failure) is still very powerful. It's the equivalent of a core Benny with an Edge attached (i.e., Charismatic, et al). This is still very much a benefit that shouldn't require much deliberation on a player's part. You seem deadset on the two rerolls, so I'll work with you... perhaps the second reroll should cancel the first. In other words, you don't take the best three rolls, you take the best of the original or ONE of the rerolls. If a player decides to make the second reroll, they MUST use that as one of their options.

                  Pairing this particular mechanic to a "+-" result then makes cohesive sense. Something good happens, but something also offsets it. It's up to the luck of the dice to see which actually prevails.

                  _____

                  Also, I think you might want to check you math.
                  Above you said that a +- or -+ occurs 22% of the time and 00 occurs 11%. But those numbers seem wrong to me.
                  The chance of 00 occuring are the SAME as +- (or -+) because there is also the reverse 00 to consider. You can have 0102 or 0201. So if I got it right, the chance for either 00 or +- is about 17%.
                  Last edited by Deskepticon; 08-17-2021, 04:38 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Deskepticon View Post
                    The way I see it, from a design perspective, a 00...
                    I have been thinking about this as well. What's that saying, "less is more", and I'm going to modify the rules so that 00 and well as +- do nothing. That keeps the focus of this whole mechanic on the mvDeck. So far, with that change, it does feel right.

                    Now it's simply -- and -0 you lose momentum, +- and 00 nothing happens, ++ and +0 you gain momentum. Easy to remember and intuitive.

                    Also, I think you might want to check you math.
                    Above you said that a +- or -+ occurs 22% of the time and 00 occurs 11%. But those numbers seem wrong to me.
                    The chance of 00 occurring are the SAME as +- (or -+) because there is also the reverse 00 to consider. You can have 0102 or 0201. So if I got it right, the chance for either 00 or +- is about 17%.
                    Fate dice have 6 sides, so rolling them together would result in 6 x 6 = 36 combinations. Now lets do this the old fashion way, grab the dice in front of me and go through all the sides until all possible combinations have been written down. Keep the left dice still while I go through the 6 combinations of the right dice. Change the left dice to another side, go through the 6 combinations of the right dice, repeat 4 more times.

                    ++ ++ 0+ 0+ -+ -+
                    ++ ++ 0+ 0+ -+ -+
                    +0 +0 00 00 -0 -0
                    +0 +0 00 00 -0 -0
                    +- +- 0- 0- -- --
                    +- +- 0- 0- -- --


                    From that we can see that the smallest grouping we could have is 4. So we could summarize the above:

                    ++
                    +0
                    0+
                    +-

                    00
                    -+
                    -0
                    0-
                    --


                    So that's 9 combinations. Each combination has a 1 in 9 chance of occurring, so that's 11.1%.

                    So that means we get a nice bell curve:
                    • 11% chance to draw 2 cards.
                    • 22% chance to draw 1 card.
                    • 33% chance for nothing to happen.
                    • 22% chance to discard 1 card.
                    • 11% chance to discard 2 cards.

                    With the most recent change that means 33% of the time, there is nothing extra to do. Since discarding a card or two is fast, that takes away another 33%.

                    We are now left with 33% of the time there is something significant to do. As that could result in a bonus or a Benny, I'm thinking that outweighs the time spent. Plus sometimes the dice roll crazy and you get a few ++ and +0 in a row and the momentum just builds up and up. I'm hoping I can reflect that back into the narrative which should also add to the fun of the game.


                    Thanks again for the time spent discussing this. It's allowed me to reflect and streamline the mechanic to be more focused on what I was trying to achieve.

                    Comment


                    • Deskepticon
                      Deskepticon commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I see where I am wrong now about the "00" result.
                      Thanks for spelling it out to this derp.

                      I mentioned before that I really liked the concept of Momentum, but wasn't thrilled about the extra time it adds to dice resolution. The recent changes you made are closer to how I probably would have run it had I ever implemented it.

                      To be honest, I would probably streamline it more by having all players share one mvDeck. At the beginning of the session /scene, turn over one card for each player to setup a "starter deck." Each player then adds or discards from the same Deck. The GM gets their own Deck of a equal number (similar to distributing Bennies). Not only does this keep the card piles manageable, it allows players to potentially support one another.

                      That's just a thought... you don't need to entertain it if you don't want to.

                    • Wzrd
                      Wzrd commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Interesting concept, if I'm understanding it right each deck is limited to the initial draw and the players, and GM, can make educated decisions on which card to take since they can see the cards. It changes things up a bit, and those Jokers will cause havoc.
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