Wrath & Glory Designer Diary – November 2017

Here’s the November Designer Diary, which is already starting to create a bit of buzz around the community! (Remember that you can get these as soon as they’re available if you subscribe to our mailing list!)

Wrath & Glory Designer Diary: Dice Mechanics

Greetings, Wrath & Glory fans! I’m very pleased to talk about one of the main features of our game: the dice system. When I first began work on the design for Wrath & Glory, I knew that I wanted something that would work well for an Imperial Guardsman facing down a Genstealer Cultist, and at the same time provide a framework for the Rogue Trader performing a delicate negotiation with an Eldar Farseer. I wanted a system that would be easy to learn and provide a good amount of depth without plunging into a well of complexity.

You may have seen some of the videos or heard some of the interviews where I’ve spoken about Wrath & Glory as a “d6 dice pool system.” And that is exactly what it is, inspired by some great examples of other systems from the past that I’ve enjoyed, by other elements of modern game design, and by my own tweaks and innovations.

The basics: to accomplish most tasks in Wrath & Glory, you assemble a dice pool of d6s (commonly adding an attribute and the appropriate skill) and make a roll. Any dice with a result of 1-3 are considered “failures,” any dice with a result of 4-5 count as one success (an “icon”) and dice with a result of 6 count as two successes (an “exalted icon”). You count up the icons you achieved on the roll and compare it to the test’s DN, or Difficulty Number, to determine if you passed or failed the test.

In this image, you can see that I rolled four failures, three icons, and one exalted icon. That’s a total of 5 icons (2 for the exalted icon from the dice result of 6, plus one each for the dice that made a result of 4 or 5). A standard test in Wrath & Glory has a DN of 3, so this roll would be a success for most rolls.

Remember that a result of a 6 is special – this is called an exalted icon, and counts for two regular icons. In Wrath & Glory, you can also “shift” your exalted icons (the dice that roll a 6) from the initial test to enhance the effect. You can gain more information, improve the quality of your success, or even speed up the time required to achieve the goal for which you rolled the test in the first place. Shifting dice from an attack roll grants you more dice for damage.

The Wrath Dice

For all of these images, you’ll note that one of the dice is a different colour. In Wrath & Glory, all tests include one dice that is somewhat special: this is called the Wrath dice. The Wrath dice is rolled just like a regular d6 in your dice pool, but the Wrath dice has special effects that occur if it rolls a result of a 1 or a 6. For these rolls, I used a red-coloured d6 to represent the Wrath Dice.

In this image, the Wrath dice has rolled a 1. This is known as a “complication,” and it means that something has happened during the test (regardless of whether the test succeeds or fails!) that creates a negative situation in the player character’s current scene. If this was a Persuasion test to impress an Imperial Governor, for example, the complication might mean that while your character made a good impression overall, the Governor’s most trusted aide harbours a grudge against outsiders. Complications are not meant to be punitive, but rather to create an interesting plot point.

In this next image, the Wrath dice has rolled a 6. Like other results of 6, this counts as an exalted icon and provides two icons towards the success of the test. Also like other results of 6, this exalted icon may be shifted to enhance the effects of the test. However, a Wrath dice result of 6 (again, independent of the test’s success or failure) is also a moment where the player characters shine, either in victory or defeat, and the group gains a point of a resource called Glory – which is something we will discuss at another time.

Now you’ve gotten a glimpse at the basics of the Wrath & Glory dice system. Keep an eye on the Ulisses North America website for more details about the game, and sign up for our newsletter to get this information early.

-Ross Watson, Product Line Manager

10 thoughts on “Wrath & Glory Designer Diary – November 2017”

  1. paul goldstone says:

    It could be interesting if the wrath die cancelled any dice result of the same number and if the number of dice cancelled greater than successes perhaps throw a complication.

    The idea that 33% of the time something food or bad may happen seems quite high to me.

  2. paul goldstone says:

    You could have a shiny moment if the wrath die doesn’t cause cancellations, though this would advocate small dice pools and not what you are looking for, unless the expectation that all looks will be 6dice minimum.

  3. Michael Pennington says:

    While I like the idea of dice pools and the Wrath die (just like the Ghost Dice from the old Ghostbusters RPG) I don’t think naming the successes “Icons” is really necessary. Simply using “successes” would be quicker and most people playing, especially those coming from Dark Heresy etc will already be familiar with it. It’s a clunky naming convention.

  4. Sean Donnelly says:

    I think the icons might actually refer to the dice themselves, such as… custom dice. Now before everyone and their dog crucifies me, check that the sky hasn’t fallen yet and read that I actually don’t mind custom dice.

  5. Daniel Tobin says:

    Yeah, I found the “Icon” name a bit wrong as well. Wraith ,glory, all good but perhaps reconsider the icon thing.

  6. Daniel Tobin says:

    Since you guys are now the digital distributor of the digital edition(s) of the prior edition(s) of the 40k RPG with respect, loyalty, and love for us long time fans (and to push sales for the digital versions on DriveThru!) would you consider releasing some sort of conversion guide for the earlier edition(s) into Wrath and Glory?

  7. Daniel says:

    Hi, i’m looking forward to see this game, i been playing all the roleplaying game warhammer 40k had. If you are planning to make this game using a tactical map for the combat, please consider adding the space a vehicle should use (In squares and all that). I wanted to ask too, are you planning on adding different races? or just humans?

    1. Eric Simon says:

      Although we can’t answer some questions specifically, be sure to check out our preview packet, Revelations. It has additional hints and suggestions of what’s to come…

  8. Edd says:

    Can’t quite overstate here how much I’m looking forward to this!

  9. Hans says:

    So are we talking standard traditional RPG task-based resolution? This steals one good idea from FFG’s systems, but it’s hard to judge it without a larger context for what play looks like and what the reward system is like and what the advancement system is like.

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