Talk to me about One Roll Engine for conflict resolution

edited March 2008 in Play Advice
Hi guys and girls, I wonder if you could help me consider this. Let me try to explain.

I think the One Roll Engine has got potential - there's some cool games for it already, of which I know Reign and Monsters and Other Childish Things - but apart from the very cool possibilities of reading lots of information about a situation into a single die roll, the system is based on hard and fast task resolution as we know it. And

The thing is, task resolution makes me suicidal, literally, I really can't stand it, I would rather not go back to it to play these games if there's another way. Would it work more or less from the box applying, say, intent and conflict resolution fx. TSOY style to ORE in practical play? Or is it simply crazy talk?

(I'm not at the moment interested why task resolution is great or whatever, so please don't tell me that mkay?)



  • edited March 2008
    Wow, I am right here with you. The past two days I've been thinking about trying this same thing, but haven't put much thought into how to do it.

    I guess you could say TSOY style, I'd say HeroQuest style. You roll an opposed roll, maybe the environment has a default of 5 dice of resistence. Maybe it gobbles dice, maybe you have to beat the width and height. Not sure. Really tough stuff might have two wiggle dice, or you know, whatever. With the caveat, I like the ability to Bring Down the Pain.

    The thing I'm trying to tinker with is how to prevent something like having 5 Hard Dice instead of 10 regular dice (same price) totally dominating. Or something like that. There's probably a few ways to game the dice pools.

    Edit: I want to add, I love ORe so hard, especially Wild Talents. It's in my top 5 of systems. But... the task resolution, having to deal with balance, the lack of a really strong mechanic for driving characters and story, depending on my mood, at least one of those has me hesitate in reaching for the book. But it's so elegant and has such great ideas.
  • Now you're talking :D

    When I mentioned TSOY I didn't actually think of BDTP, only the 'normal' IIEE procedure that's very apparent in the Solar System. I don't know HQ, but I could have said Sorcerer as well, and in fact Burning Wheel/Empires.
  • Well, there's dynamic contests -- widest set finishes first, highest set wins the contest. Basically a conflict resolution mechanism.

    Page 9 in the Nemesis PDF I've got (free download from here).
  • Thx, Dana. I've got the Nemesis rules, but Dynamic Contests are present in Reign as well. In Monsters... resolution is actually broadly called "Conflict". While I think neither of these are conflict resolution per se, I can see they could be used for that. It's still al very task sounding to me in the examples from Reign: two characters competing to impress a stranger (why? is my normal question to get to the the actual intent of the situation), or two advisors trying to sway a king's opinions.

    That was actually what I had in mind: simply get to the player's intent - what is her character's goal - and then how she imagines the character accomplishing it.

    Anyone here actually playing with ORE and have experiences they can share? Dana, you've played Nemesis?
  • I've been running a Reign campaign that's about eight sessions in now, and I've been handling the use of the dice per the Burning Wheels style, which is:

    1) Establish the intent
    2) Establish the in character task that is being performed to achieve the intent

    The first sets up what is at stake on the roll, and the second is a guideline to what skill will be used to make the roll, and what kewl powers apply to the situation. I also keep "Let it Ride" in mind, if the character is sneaking through the garden of the evil duke, one stealth roll carries the day, it's not roll until failure, or roll until success.

    I think pretty much any "task resolution" system can be conflictified in this way.
  • Wilhelm, that makes a lot of sense to me, and that was precisely what I had in mind. Have you written up any actual play anywhere, perhaps? And how does it impact the rest of the system, are you still using damage, initiative, hit location etc. as written?

    And do you negotiate the intended outcomes after a conflict, using the dice roll as an indicator? Or does that more happen before the roll when setting up what's at stake?
  • Yes, we use combat exactly as written, although I do make sure that we go through a TSOY/Sorcerer like "free and clear" declaration of actions before any dice hit the table. Then everybody rolls simultaneously and actions are resolved in the order dictated by the dice. Another thing I've found really helpful for combat is to handle subsequent rounds by delta... I say "anybody want to change their action(s)?", and if nobody does, we immediately reroll. Otherwise we go back to free and clear. It makes combat move very smoothly and quickly.

    I try to be good about establishing general outcomes before dice are rolled. If the player is successful, I use the roll as a modifier when describing the actual result, so a 2x1 will get the intent, but typically with a complication, a 2x5 will get the desired result in a solid way, and a 2x10 gets an unexpected benefit. I wish ORE did more to mechanically tie quality of success to the height of the roll outside combat, but you do what you can :)
  • I incorporated one of those in my multi-game hack. The underlying dice mechanic is one-roll, but the conflict resolution is set-based raising and seeing as per Dogs in the Vineyards, with consequences for seeing with inferior sets and giving if you have no sets. Each time you use a set, you remove one die and re-roll the rest of that set. Of course that hack includes resource-based abilities so, you geta base pool + what you spend, and you can spend more to add in during the conflict. And "fallout" ablated a specific resource for each type of conflict.

    But I could see adjucating a fall-out pool for different conflict types: social, physical, mental (spiritual too?). Consider setting up a table like in the random character creation - sets cause bad things, but singletons give you "experience" outcomes. The hit location rules seem a good place to start from that perspective.

    Hope that helps,

    - Mendel S.
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