Mental Maths

mica
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Mental Maths

Postby mica » Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:05 am

We have a novice player and beer player. They are very used to just stating that they want to do and chucking a dice and seeing if it is a success. This is fine for many other game systems where dice result are a direct add-on or a skill check but Torg takes it a lot further. Are they going to use a card or two, use a possibility and don’t forget all those situational modifiers etc.
This can easily bog things down especially if they see a low roll, then start totalling everything up, then decide its possibility time then have to re-total everything a second time, then decide hero card etc.
This has resulted in a couple of the players stating that the game is unnecessarily clunky.

I have been considering a dry-wipe board (laminated table with individual player stats) so at the start of a combat, players can note the villain stats in the blanks on the table and get net results. This should save time recalculating everything every time. I’m seeing this as a short-term training tool for getting into the habit of calculating net result before chucking a dice.

How do your players handle the mental maths?

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Count Thalim
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Re: Mental Maths

Postby Count Thalim » Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:25 am

Most of mine are fine, but I do have one intermittent player who struggles with the system. Normally on adding the skill to the roll and then comparing that to the chart or similar.
It's usually pretty obvious when she does it and the other players are quick to assist. Thankfully she has no problems with that.

Do your fights tend to only have one villain at a time?
Just thinking about your table if you have 2 different villains, say a mob and a stormer, each with Melee, unarmed, trick, maneuver, etc...
It might speed it up during the fight, but would it slow it down too much at the start.

I've never had a problem, but then I have been told off as a player in games like Champions before for calculating odds and required target numbers on the fly. Similarly my main issue with Fate is that the variable element is too simple.
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fougerec
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Re: Mental Maths

Postby fougerec » Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:38 am

The biggest thing for players to remember is that the die roll is not modified by cards or modifiers.

The rest of the math I do and just tell the player so they only need to calculate their total.

"The target is large and vulnerable, you're all out Attacking so you're at +8"

"You're concentrating on a spell and using Magistar to cast two more spells. You're at -4."

I found are first few sessions rougher as people are used to modifying the die roll. 14 games in and it's smooth as can be.

mica
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Re: Mental Maths

Postby mica » Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:49 am

I was thinking of a table with a few villain columns (say, base, other, net) so they can adjust the other on as and when. Prob no need for them to religiously fill in all the stats - if they have naff Trick and wouldn't use it for example... Maybe have Gospog 1st planting already in.

But you can see them - I rolled a 6, so that is a -4 and my Taunt is 9, so that's now a 5 but they have an 8 so that's not great. I will use a possibility. So that's a 15 which is now a 21 which is a +8 so, I was on 5 so now that's a 13, oh wait, I need to start again. That's a 9+8 which is a 17 but they have 8 which means 9. Damn could have got an outstanding, ah I have a drama card, so now that's a 6 which is a 10 so a definite outstanding. Ah, rats, I forgot I was muti-targeting two so another -2, right where was I up to...

Compared to:
Net -1. Roll 6 so clearly failed. Use poss for total roll 21 so +8, new total 7, sod it, go for the hero...

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PrinceEarwig
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Re: Mental Maths

Postby PrinceEarwig » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:12 am

I tend to get all the modifiers applied and out of the way before the roll, so they have their modified skill and the target they need.
This way they only need to worry about what bonus number they need to get in order to:
a: Hit with a standard success
b: Hit with a good success
c: Hit with an outstanding success

So all you multi action penalties and the like get dealt with before the bonus number calculation.
If your modified skill is a 10 and you need to hit a DC 12, then you know that you're going to need a bonus number of at least 2 (or 7 or 12)
If your modified skill is a 15 and you need to hit a DC 12 then you know you need -3 or better

With your bonus number chart you can then clearly see what you need to roll on the dice in order to succeed or to succeed really well.

YMMV but it's worked pretty well in my games so far.

fougerec
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Re: Mental Maths

Postby fougerec » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:37 am

mica wrote:I was thinking of a table with a few villain columns (say, base, other, net) so they can adjust the other on as and when. Prob no need for them to religiously fill in all the stats - if they have naff Trick and wouldn't use it for example... Maybe have Gospog 1st planting already in.

But you can see them - I rolled a 6, so that is a -4 and my Taunt is 9, so that's now a 5 but they have an 8 so that's not great. I will use a possibility. So that's a 15 which is now a 21 which is a +8 so, I was on 5 so now that's a 13, oh wait, I need to start again. That's a 9+8 which is a 17 but they have 8 which means 9. Damn could have got an outstanding, ah I have a drama card, so now that's a 6 which is a 10 so a definite outstanding. Ah, rats, I forgot I was muti-targeting two so another -2, right where was I up to...

Compared to:
Net -1. Roll 6 so clearly failed. Use poss for total roll 21 so +8, new total 7, sod it, go for the hero...


Not sure why but that reads as way more complex that it actually is.

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Kuildeous
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Re: Mental Maths

Postby Kuildeous » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:10 am

I agree with adding all modifiers before rolling the dice. Then after seeing the final value, the players can choose to play cards. No sense rolling that -2, calculating the modifiers, then rerolling to get +8 and redo all those calculations.

If you're technologically savvy, you could write a program where you plug in the important numbers as they come up. Maybe even have checkboxes for possible modifiers to act as a shortcut. If you want to get fancy, you could have the current skill total and then the minimum skill total they could get if they spent a Possibility and got a minimum of 10 (offer not valid in conjunction with certain cosm and destiny cards). Then display this on a laptop—bonus points if you have a projector or can cast it on a television.

Hmm, I wonder if I could do this in Excel/Google Docs. That could be fun.
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Gargoyle
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Re: Mental Maths

Postby Gargoyle » Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:33 am

Lately we handle it using pencil and paper. They've started to line up Glories, and taken to writing their work out like you would in math class.

IMO it's not a problem, but I still dislike looking up a number on the bonus chart, I feel it's a speed bump and easily the one thing I really dislike about Torg. If I can get the money together I'm going to have a custom die made up that has the numbers on the bonus chart instead of 1-20. Rerolls are an issue, but I've got some ideas on how to manage that, and even if I have to go put a 10 and 20 on the same die and consult the bonus chart for those rolls it will save us lots of time 90% of the time when there wouldn't be a reroll anyway.
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fougerec
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Re: Mental Maths

Postby fougerec » Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:55 am

Six of 1, 1/2 dozen of the other.

I run Torg, the characters need to roll the die and consult the chart on the bottom of their character sheet.
I run D&D, characters roll the die and need to consult their sheet for their bonus/proficiency and whether or not they have advantage.

Personally I don't find it any more difficult than other games of the same/similar complexity.

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Gargoyle
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Re: Mental Maths

Postby Gargoyle » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:28 am

fougerec wrote:Six of 1, 1/2 dozen of the other.

I run Torg, the characters need to roll the die and consult the chart on the bottom of their character sheet.
I run D&D, characters roll the die and need to consult their sheet for their bonus/proficiency and whether or not they have advantage.

Personally I don't find it any more difficult than other games of the same/similar complexity.


Yeah, but with Torg you also have to consult your sheet to see your skill adds and perks to see if you're favored, etc. But I wasn't trying to make a comparison, Torg > all, IMO. :) It's just this one thing that bothers me about the game.
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