John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane

  • Mood:
  • Music:

Diceless HEX

Wrapped up the Sunday gaming session of Hollow Earth Expedition (HEX) about an hour ago. There was something that occurred in this session with spross and Tammy Powers (she of no LJ account (hint, hint!)) that I thought I should comment on.

The Hollow Earth Expedition (HEX) rpg uses a dice mechanic that is truly simple. A character's Skill Rating is equal to the sum of the Attribute and the Skill Level. This is the number of dice that a player rolls. So, for example, a character with a Dexterity of 3 and Athletics Skill at 4 would roll 7 dice. These can be any type of dice, since the game takes the number of even values that one rolled and this is the number of successes I achieve. Thus, if the player were using 2 ten-sided dice, 3 six-sided dice, a twenty-sided die, and a twelve-sided die, and rolled 4, 7, 2, 3, 5, 16, and 8, respectively, he would have 4 successes, one for each of the even rolls. The game company has also produced some nifty Ubiquity dice, which reduce the number of dice that a person needs to roll. Furthermore, the game uses an Average Skill Rating as well, which in the case of our character with Athletics, would be written as "(3+)". This means that when Taking the Average, the player rolls a single die, a success indicating that he averages 4 successes, and a failure that he averaged only 3 successes.

Now, to the point... In my experience, players *love* to roll dice when they are playing an rpg of any type. This doesn't mean that they should sacrifice roleplaying for roll-playing by any means, but it just means that dice rolling is one of the tactile elements that players love, and it gives them some of that element of chance to succeed at a task with their characters, which is what the dice roll mechanics are really all about.

I like to roll dice myself, both as a player and a GM, but with HEX I adopted the method that Jeff Combos, the designer of the game, uses all the time - I don't roll the dice for non-player characters, and creatures and beasties, I Take the Average. This speeds up the game rather nicely, makes things run smoother, and allows me as GM to concentrate on the story itself (rather than the mechanics). I've been doing this with the Friday night gaming group since the second scenario I ran of HEX back in October or November of last year, but today was the first time that I've done that with my players in the Sunday group.

Both spross and Tammy loved it, as they found the game went faster (particularly combat) and smoother, but you know what? I couldn't help but look longingly at the tube of Ubiquity dice sitting in my game box, and *wanting*, *yearning*, to ROLL THE DICE myself! I'm going to miss rolling the dice in HEX now that I've taken this approach to the Sunday group as well, so it comes down to one thing... I'm going to have to convince one of my gamers or more to run the game! hehehe
Tags: hollow earth expedition, rpg chat

  • Books Read in November, 2023

    The start of a new month. Thus, as is my standard usage of my blog space at or near the beginning of the month, I present the listing of my November,…

  • Getting Ready for Friday Night Gaming

    It's been a very odd, non-typical weather day here in Ottawa to start the month of December. Today has had some dark, gloomy moments punctuated by…

  • Start of December, A New Month

    It's December 1st. A new month. Thank Goddess. Once more, November is a month that I'm happy to see the back end of, and I suspect pretty much…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened