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Ben Woerner
Ben Woerner's picture
No more Reverse Engineering Needed Now

What do you all think? :D

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Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture

Great production value, @BenWoerner, and a quick turn around too. smiley

Great Lord Chthulhu the 7th could learn a thing or two on hitting deadlines in stride from you.

TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

Joachim Deneuve...
Joachim Deneuve du Surlign's picture

When I have time, I'm going to revisit my Reverse Engineering thread and see what I got right :)

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
You all are killing me. You gave me just enough time to try something recklessly foolish for Origins.
Doctor
Doctor's picture

It is... not without significant problems. Working up a full post after a complete and thorough read-through.

“Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.”
- H.L. Mencken

Mental-Mouse
Mental-Mouse's picture

D: Curses, the removal of the old Glamour for the less awesome Knights of Avalon!

It Vexes me so!

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
OK, I am not seeing what changed in the dueling rules. Anybody have thoughts on that?
Joachim Deneuve...
Joachim Deneuve du Surlign's picture

There's quite a bit of change, but it's subtle.

Duelling maneouvers aren't things that you can only use in a duel, they are things that you can do during an action sequence, so you could be in a duel with a villain, while your allies are looting the room behind you.

Slash and Parry now always cost 1 raise to use, but deal/prevent damage equal to your Weaponry.  This is pretty major, because it means that starting duellists are putting out damage at a rate almost 3 times as fast as non-duellists.

The sequence of actions has changed.  It used to be that you determined the order and then stuck to that order throughout the round.  Now, you work out who has the most raises after every action, and that person acts next.  This potentially means that someone who rolled well can take advantage of going first and second and third.

Also, you now require to spend an extra raise to do an action that doesn't correspond to the dice pool (Approach) you used.

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
Got it, thanks. I can see that working. Just have to see how that works in fights where there is no duel and somebody wants to use it.
Ben Woerner
Ben Woerner's picture

It's basically, like all the other actions scenes, but you have access to more mechanical things you can do during the sequence that multiply your effect. 

I'm playing a Duelist in our current game and my actions don't take any longer than anyone else's as we go around the table, but my effects are pretty spectacular. :)

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
That's cool to hear. It will be interesting to me to see in the long term if the Duelist options are balanced enough with other things that we don't just see tables of everyone playing duelists. Old edition sort of started with everybody wanting a swordsman but then after about 2 years of play people branched out.
Joachim Deneuve...
Joachim Deneuve du Surlign's picture

Consider that Duelist is a 5-point advantage.  The other 5-point advantages all get to be 3 if you're the right nationality.  So effectively, the closest comparison would be to the various backgrounds that let you get those and a 2-pointer.

 

eg Cossack:  Spend a HP to add your Brawn or Resolve (I'd guess 4 or 5) to every dice in a feat of strength.  and 

Take a dramatic wound to defeat an entire Brute squad 

 

That seems equivalent in a different sphere.

Salty Dog
Salty Dog's picture

Overall I like what I've seen, with the new rules for Glamour being the only thing that prompted a largely negative reaction from me. Being the embodiment of a legend is conceptually great, but characters should have the option to be the embodiment of one of the legends of the isles rather than the Avalons-only club provided. Even the name bothers me. Legends of the Triple Kingdom or Glamour would sit better.

I had my heart set on playing a wandering Inish Glamour Mage this go-round (pretty much the Knight Errant background), but there's no way he's going to be the embodiment of an Avalonian knight.

No. Just no. An Inish glamour mage should be embodying 7th Sea versions of characters from the Ulster or Fenian Cycle, not the Knights of the Round Table.

Hopefully there will be more options in Nations of Theah, Volume 1 when it's released. I already spoke to my GM about it and he said we'll have to home rule this one in the meantime.

Additionally, the text states a character is the only living embodiment of their knight. Does this mean NPCs with Glamour will have their own embodiments so as not to take up the 'slots' that players could potentially occupy?

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
OK, everybody go look at the Advantage "inspire generosity" on page 149. We are never, ever running a quest for an item adventure again. Need the Queen's jewels, go spend a hero point on a handmaiden. Need the treasure map from a sea dog, spend a hero point on the cabin boy. I going to abuse the hell out of this advantage.
BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Umm...I think you should reconsider your plans. I think you are taking liberties with that Advantage no GM would really allow. Both of your examples would quickly lead to Corruption rolls as the handmaiden was executed, the cabin boy keel-hauled. I mean, you COULD do this, but any GM is going to make you pay for it all the same. Did you read that Brotherhood of the Coast charter? I expect the Sea Dogs have a lot of Favor in the bank. No, I think this will be much more helpful when you want something that your wealth score doesn't cover. Beyond that, it's either a fast track to villainy or a lot of trouble for you and your group.

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
It all depends on just how good the player is. You give this to an experienced and skilled player at a table with a modestly skilled GM and it's going to break plots. I have played with many GMs that would not know how to keep this in check. As for Corruption, you avoid that by subverting the adventure plot to rescue the target from the flogging or execution.
BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Sure, but that gets in the way of your personal story and makes advancement more difficult.  

Crap!  I meant to confront the duke for my next story step but we had to spend all our time this session saving that cabin boy that Steve conned into giving that treasure map to.  Dammit, Steve!

Bradley
Bradley's picture

Reading through the rules, I think the examples given of play are the single biggest thing that makes me like the Roll and Raise system. The rules are fairly light and allow a lot of flexibility and they make it clear that the GM does not always need to be explicit about consequences since sometimes the consequence is not achieving the objective. This also allows a GM to add in Consequences part way through a round.

I like the rules, I like the Die Kruezers (Sorry for mispelling. I am tired and don't have the name handy) in this edition, and agree that the only thing I am a bit saddened by in the core rules is the change of glamour. Mechanically, it is fine. It is the thematic side that I feel is a bit too constricting for some ideas I had inolving the first edition version that are currently unavalable.

I am greatly intrigued by the new Necromantic sorcery and could see some very interesting stories come from such a character.

I am excited to see what shows up in the next book. I am also going to thoroughly read through the nation sections of 2e, add in some things from 1e that shouldn't be too changed from the various nation books, and get a campaign started.

I will probably revive the Delving in thread and go through the process of making 2e characters. Mostly to use as NPCs.

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
Just call them DK. (It also stands for "don't knock" for when they barge into a stronghold by force). And as always, if you want suggestions or advice, we are here to help you make it awesome.
James Stephens
James Stephens's picture

heh. Sat down and made a character the first night after I got it.  Guess what.  John was pretty close.  fifteen minutes.  Much preferred to the hour and a half that the last pathfinder game I just started took.

 

Doctor
Doctor's picture

@Ben Woerner

I love you guys. I really do. I am saying this out of love. Go back and look at the math. Almost all of it. I know John hates crunch and the "illusion of game balance," but... please.

The Duelist

The textbook example is the Dueling Styles and manuevers in combination. Let's take a minimum attribute duelist (2 Finesse, 2 Wits) with Ambrogia and run her through her damage output progressions. For reference, the most likely number of successes is 1/2 total dice (~45%-55% of the time), with (1/2 total dice) - 1 to be the next most probable outcome (~25%-35% of the time). Odds of greater than 1/2 total dice peek at around 15% for (1/2 total dice)+1 but diminish dramatically beyond that, to the chances of (total dice) approaching those of mauled by a polar bear and a brown bear on the same day.

Weaponry Rating

Total Pool

Likely Successes

Damage

Non-Duelist Pool Needed

1

5

2

2

4 - 5

2

6

3

4

8

3

7

3

5

10

4

8

4

7

N/A

5

9

4

8

N/A

By Weaponry Rank 3, a minimum Attribute Duelist using Slash and spending remaining raises to damage (per page 180) does as much damage as a Finesse 5, Weaponry 5 non-duelist, the highest ratings presently allowed in game.  Assuming the Duelist devoted even a modicum of her creation points to the associated stats, pools and outputs spike. At Finesse 3, Wits 3, Weaponry 2, my expected damage output is 5, and matches that of the 5/5 non-Duelist. At creation, the Duelist can easily outstrip the possible abilities of any conceiveable non-Duelist build... Except for one...

Doc Holliday

"I've got two guns, one for each of you..."

With the rules as written, I cannot find any reference to drawing an additional weapon bearing any mechanical cost. In fact, on page 183, it is very strongly implied that drawing and attacking can be accomplished in the same action. I know this seems "too crunchy" for a rules light system, but let's look at how this will play out at my gaming table.

Player: Okay since everyone else is playing a Duelist, I think I'll play a pistol weilding pirate. I even have this cool picture of one! [shows picture]

Me: Kudos for doing the research, that's Blackbeard. Very period approriate, very accurate as far as what's available and what a pirate would have. Good choice: it's kind of a classic archetype, so no complaints here.  

Player: Well, I think he knew more about pirating than me, so I'll stick with the same gear load out as him. Minus the slow match, that's a little much for me. 

Me: He did know a thing or two about the business...

Later that game session...

Me: Alright, so it looks like only you rolled well on your action... you have Finesse 3, Aim 3, and got three raises. The Villain and everyone else got one. He snarls: "You lowly flea-bitten cur, I'll -"

Player: I shoot him in the face. Thrice.

Me: Hm? 

Player: Yeah [flips through rulebook] I spend one raise to wound him on three, drop holster that pistol, draw my new one, spend another raise to shoot him on two... then it looks like I go first on one, so I'll holster that pistol and draw my third to shoot him one more time...

Me: [Checks rules] Uh... okay... so... yeah... the villain takes three Wounds... and three Dramatic Wounds... so... I guess if someone else pokes him with a stick... he's helpless.

Player: Man! I can't wait until I have a big enoug pool to use all five of these pistols!

At this point, someone is going to comment "well just don't allow that!" to which I reply "on what grounds?" The players have a reasonable expectation that if they follow the rules, their plans should work. I have never had success simply ruling by GM fiat, there needs to be a logic to it and "that's broken" is only reasonable if other things aren't broken. In the end, I could house rule it, but now I am spending time trying to figure out rules that I could be spending on making my story better. This is, I think, the opposite intention of a narrative system.

 

There are plenty of other examples, those two just jumped out as the most obvious.

“Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.”
- H.L. Mencken

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
The GM has a solution for that. It's my new hole card.
Alfredo Tarancón
Alfredo Tarancón's picture

How is that your players have so little raises? Im guessing that's just for the sake of making a quick example, but according to my experience with the quickstart, it seems like an unlikely amount. 

How is that the GM never stated any consequences or oportunitties? Are they playing in an empty room, matrix style? 

How is that the Gmd didn't use any danger point, specially when it seems that they are just in a empty room? with a guy with one of the most dangerous weapons in the sea?

Also, if the Villain got just one Raise and the GM didnt spend any danger point to counteract that poor roll, probably its not a very strong/relevant villain, and then it's ok, you got the Villain quickly. Can we now try to learn who is the real Red John?

Also, how is that the Hero went first on the third round, when Villains always decide on a tie? he decided to just stand there and get shot again?



 

Doctor
Doctor's picture

"Also, how is that the Hero went first on the third round, when Villains always decide on a tie? he decided to just stand there and get shot again?"

He attacks. So be it, he even hits, however, unless I am missing something, nothing he can do removes the remaining raise held by the player. So fine, he attacks, hits, then is shot in the face; the getting shot in the face part happens without regard to his action. 

"How is that your players have so little raises? Im guessing that's just for the sake of making a quick example, but according to my experience with the quickstart, it seems like an unlikely amount." 

I can build you a grid, but it's a massive pain. To simplify, go to Anydice.com and enter "output 6d10"

The math is exceedingly ugly after that, so it's easiest to just look at it this way. Any roll valued in the 30's must be at least one raise, could be two raises, could be three raises, and cannot be four raises. You can extrapolate from there. The outcome of 3 raises or less is actually the overwhelmingly likely amount.

I am still chugging away at the combinitronics of just how many possible combitantions of dice yeild a given result and how many of those yeild a given number of successes but it is, suffice it to say, no fun at all. 

“Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.”
- H.L. Mencken

Alfredo Tarancón
Alfredo Tarancón's picture

Let me say it in another way. As you said, this is a narrative system, and that's exactly what's missing from your example, and what the rules are for. Nothing happens in a vacuum. The consequences and opportunities are there to balance this kind of things, to make sure that you introduce elements in your story that make it interesting, and full of details. Rolls and Raises are supossed to work together with them. 

Both your Hero and your Villain are acting like they are in an arcade machine. I hit, you hit. But there's no context, no details, and this is very important in this game. 

Where are they? are they alone? There's nobody else, just the 3 heroes and the villain? are they in a room? Why shoot back the Hero, or attack him, when you can shoot at a chandelier to fall on top of the Heroes, creating a complication? Or start a fire? or take un innocent hostage? Or make like a hundred more intelligent things that just stand there getting shot.

Context, details, and change.

The rules are there to help you add them. The danger pool lets you, as Dm, make certain situations more complicated, or give some extra boost to the Villains when needed. The villain has Strengh, yes, but also has advantages, abilities that can make the difference. It's  the Big bad of the campaign, or just a Villain of the week? Why is he there, what the reason, the objective?

I mentioned Red John because the scene reminded me a lot to the first showdown with Red John in the Mentalist. Here we have the Big Bad, and he lets himself be caught in a situation where ha can get shoot on the spot. Except... that wasn't exactly what happened. Your setup does't make sense from the fiction point of view, unless it's part of something else... You know, the story. 

 

 

Heng benjamin
Heng benjamin's picture
I have another exemple: 3 finesse, 2 wits, 3 weaponry... and ambrogia. So the character got 4 raises without flair or whatever. Slash : 3 dmg Feint : 1 dmg Slash: 4 dmg Lunge :4 dmg That's 3 dramatic wounds. Or 12 brutes (vs 3 for the gunslinger). Each round. No limited ammo, no reload. The 3/3 leegstra dude will do only 9 dmg (but once again, that's every round, against relentless waves of ennemies). Firearms are really good, but their firing rate keep them in line I suppose
Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
As the guy that went and did the rolling when the quickstart showed up, I can say that if you are rolling 6 dice (which is a reasonable assumption for a starting character) you are looking at 3 raises.
Alfredo Tarancón
Alfredo Tarancón's picture

And probably more, if they use Flair and help each other. In one of the quickstart games I run Aleksei helped Domenica to cross the hall on fire using Performance and Hero Points.They danced their way trought the fire, dodging the falling debris like if they were dancing in a ball. Got them 2 extra dice for Flair (first time they used the skill, and in such a cool way) and Domenica actually got also 3 extra Dice thanks to Aleksei spending a Hero Point to help her...

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
And at that point, you are no longer rolling 6 dice. The point being made is that as the rule stands, you can unleash a fatal or near fatal volley of shots into one target in a single sequence. And if a player can, so can the bad guy. For the point of example, we are ignoring what else might be going on in the scene. Maybe both opponents had 6 raises and spent 3 on other issues. Maybe the bad guy is spending his to wreck the rest of the party and foolishly ignores the guy with guns. For the example, that doesn't matter. The only thing adding actions the example does is make it worse. Case in point, a villain with enough dice cab potentially have 5 raises to spend. That's 4 shots to render you helpless and a declaration of Murder at the end of the sequence. That isn't going to be fun for anybody.
Alfredo Tarancón
Alfredo Tarancón's picture

My point is that you can't ignore what else is going on in the scene. Consequences are used to balance the scales,wheter Villain or Hero. You've to be creative with your raises, create opportunities, make it more difficult for the hero/villain, apply pressure, use flair... There're a few things going on at the same time, and it doesn't make sense to just base your gameplay in using your raises to attack. Because the point of the system it to make you add details and expand the Fiction. 

Joachim Deneuve...
Joachim Deneuve du Surlign's picture

If it isn't fun for anybody, why would anybody do it?  That's a serious question.  Everyone involved is wanting to play the game to have fun, presumably, so why would the situation occur?  It may be that this is more likely to arise in unusually large games which I am not as familiar with for 7th Sea.

I'll also agree somewhat with Alfredo.  Other things will be happening, but in a slightly different way.  In this scene, we have a combat, where the Duelist PC gets a higher share of the action.  In that scene, it's a masked ball and the Friend at Court PC gets more screentime.  In this other scene, we're involved in a battle of wits and the Spark of Genius PC is at the forefront.

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Wait.  Did I miss something?  What exactly are you talking about?  A villain with a brace of pistols?  I need to know before I explain why you are wrong.  cheeky

Otherwise, I think the key is in your last sentence: "That isn't going to be fun for anybody." So don't do it, Mr. GM.

I'm guessing this example also assumes that the rest of the group is just standing around doing nothing, no one is spending HP to activate the Villain's Hubris, no one is doing something to pants or disarm the villain?  They just let him open up on one of their companions and put him in the ground?  

Doctor
Doctor's picture

Let's suppose, for the moment, that I completely cede your point about "other things going on in the scene."

At this point we must assume  those things are distributed either equally across all participants in the scene, or unequally. If they are distributed equally, then the argument fails to hold water. If the duelist and ll Duce (1 guy, 6 guns) have the advantage in a vacuum, they also have the advantage with all other things being equal. If the other necessities are distributed unequally, the distribution is either random or non-random. If the distribution is random, then on a long enough time line, any situations which act against the duelist and the shooter will average out with situations which act in their favor. Thus the average over time will be "unbalanced"  with occasional instances of "balanced" and "exceptionally unbalanced" in roughly equal proportion.

At last we arrive at a situation in which your argument holds perfectly true. If the other necessities are distributed unequally and in a non-random fashion, the mechanical problems cited above are corrected for. However, this requires the GM to constantly and relentlessly place higher burdens and obligations on these characters. The GM is now forced into an essentially antagonistic relationship with certain characters if she wants to maintain balance; constantly in search of ways to cancel out the mathematical advantages they have over the others. Of course, a GM could just abandon game balance, but this only shifts the frustration. Instead of some players feeling oppressed, others feel useless. A fine set of choices...

Or...

We could just fix the math. The problem with math is that it's real. It actually works over a large enough sample  and 7th Sea is most certainly going to have a large enough sample. The answer cannot simply be to dismiss the math because "other things will be happening." Those other things cannot happen the same way forever (at least not if the game is going to be any fun) and so we are condemned to forever solve a systemic problem with an ad hoc solution.

A clever GM can do this, and even do it well. My point is that she shouldn't have to.

“Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.”
- H.L. Mencken

Marc Hameleers
Marc Hameleers's picture
Yes, a duelist rocks. But with 5 points of advantages turned elsewhere, that courtier is going to rock the ballroom. And that is also part of the balancing.
Alfredo Tarancón
Alfredo Tarancón's picture

Marc is right there, too. The duelist are very good at what they do, and other characters will be very good at their own specialities, putting the duelist to shame. 

I don't want to play Street Fighter II The Renaissance Alpha. I want to play a rolepaying game where things happen, an story unfolds, and things keep moving forward. This is not a game for long fight scenes, and the system reflects that. The fights have to be quick, original, daring and look cool as hell. 

So yeah, If I have a Hero with 2 guns, and a Villain Duelist, or the other way around, without no interference by anything, by anybody, and whose only intent is to defeat the other one by hitting between themselves as hard as they can, yeah, probably the outcome is gonna be something like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3I_Ds2ytz4o
 

Yeah, you're right. And more or less the same would happen with a Duelist facing a non-duelist. And that's ok, because we now have an epic moment that the player is gonna be speaking about for a long time. Indy there finishes the sword quicly because he's really busy trying to do something else way more relevant that a cool sword fight. 

You're suposed to be telling a story, and use the rules as tools for that. That's the real point of this kind of rules. Not simulate a fight, but to help you narrate a fun and dinamic one. 

When I'm adding consequences, and make obstacles, and handle the possible oportnities that my players have. I'm not fighting against them, I'm working with them to telll a cool story. 

Probably the math is broken for the intent you have for them. But they work just fine for the intent they were developed for, telling a story. And the rolls, the raises, the flair, the pressure, the hubris, everyhting works together with that same objective, telling a story, not just stage a cool fight.

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture

And that story works for you.  But there are many, many players out there who do not comprehend that style of play and are only worried about inflicting maximum damage every single time they take an action.  this is a VERY common default in play style.  For them, that IS the fun way to play.

 

Now with that being said, we can argue for the next 6 years about this same issue because every poster wants to change the parameters if the situation and add their own twist but that is not helping the discussion in any way, shape or form.  The original point was purely the mechanics of the dice and the results of the ONLY special weapon damage rule in the game.  If you add flair and first use in the scene dice, it just adds more actions to shoot more shots with (if you choose that option)  or it burns those actions for the other things going on in the scene leaving you with three actions to burn through.  

But now, I get to end the arguement by pointing out what has been overlooked in the use of raises.  The ruling about using a raise to do something ONCE in the sequence.  You use a raise to stab someone, you can spend three at that time to increase damage but you can't go back and repeat that action.  Same as opting to spend only one raise to negate a  2 wound consequence.  Once that choice is made, you cannot go back and spare yourself the second wound consequence effect.  That should apply here as well except then we get stuck with heroes only being able to attack a target once each round with their sword as well.  

 

So which option works best for this?  Force the player to spread out their targets?   accept that there are multiple things happening when you declare your one attack for the sequence and just pile all the damage into one segment?  watch a hero flounder when they pile 3 raises into their sole attack that the duelist villain ripostes?  

I have no answer, we will need to hear back from a playtester or two on that.

Heng benjamin
Heng benjamin's picture

You use a raise to stab someone, you can spend three at that time to increase damage but you can't go back and repeat that action

 

It seems to me that this is no longer possible (at least, not using duelist maneuver) or Lunge is just an "all in slash".

Alfredo Tarancón
Alfredo Tarancón's picture

Yeah, In  the end it's a question of approach to the way each one plays. The kind of players you mention are out there, yeah, and frankly I think this is not the game for them. Maybe the setting, but not the game. It's written with a very different mindset. This game is closer to Octane than it's to d20. And that's not for everybody.
 

But now, I get to end the arguement by pointing out what has been overlooked in the use of raises.  The ruling about using a raise to do something ONCE in the sequence.  You use a raise to stab someone, you can spend three at that time to increase damage but you can't go back and repeat that action.  Same as opting to spend only one raise to negate a  2 wound consequence.  Once that choice is made, you cannot go back and spare yourself the second wound consequence effect.  That should apply here as well except then we get stuck with heroes only being able to attack a target once each round with their sword as well. 

Not sure about this. You're not going back to modify a previous action, you're doing a new action. No reason for it to not be the same. I think that rules is more about making sure that you dont try to go back and fix a mistake. after the fact. "Damn, I should have used all my raises in that previous attack...


That being said, I will leave aside my "fiction first" ramblings and let you discuss the maths at your leisure. Go nuts. :P


 

Doctor
Doctor's picture

And at last we reach the crux of the argument.

 Alfredo clearly sides with John Wick on the issue while I side with Rob Justice.

I think Alfredo also quite properly sees himself out of the conversation with  "I will leave aside my "fiction first" ramblings and let you discuss the maths at your leisure." He does not see the math interfering with his fun.

 I want to stress that I have a great deal of respect for Alfredo's ability to defend his position; he has done so remarkably well and without allowing the conversation to devolve. This is why I find this forum so pleasant. 

In truth, I do not actually think Alfredo is "wrong." The issue here is that we can both be right. I can be in favor of Science without being against Art. He can be in favor of Art without being against Science. What we're both actually saying is "the most important thing is to have fun." My argument is that in these two cases, the mechanics are sufficiently off to interfere with my fun. 

None of this is why I originally posted this.

I originally posted this because I wanted to draw attention to something glaring.

The Math

I do not think JWP has really drilled into the numbers.

I don't say this because I think I am smarter than they are or they are awful people or they don't care. I am saying because the dice mechanic is either impossible or nearly impossible to model efficiently. Now I know John has worked in IT, so maybe he's built a program to solve it, but if he has, he will likely be busy for a long time with offers in that field, as it will have solved a 'non-trivial' problem in computer science.

As best I can tell, if you accurately want to model 6d10 using say, Anydice, you need something like 38 million operations. And that's without any of the Rank bonus variations. If you can figure out how to model 10d10 without breaking things, you're a better man than I.

The other way to model it is to build a table by hand. To do this you would create a results spread for every possible dice pool (2d10 to 10d10) then, for each individual result (2-20,10-100) calculate all possible combinations of dice facings that yield a that result. Then, once you have all the possible combinations that could give you, for example, a 29 on 6d10, you would need to determine the percentages of those which yield 1 success or 2. At that point, you can throw all those percentages into a pot and cook up an accurate curve. Off the top of my head, I think 10d10 has 10^10 possible combinations to calculate across all the results (could be wrong, could be 10!, which is only 3,628,800). Either way, getting an accurate mathematical model  is a massive, massive pain.

Modeling the Rank bonuses gets so complicated as to be a fool's errand. The folks at Google might be up to the task, and I'd love to see a AlphaSwashbuckler which could accurately predict which die in a roll is tactically optimal to reroll for every given dice-facing combination (hint: it's not necessarily the lowest).

Too Long, Did Not Read Your Math Stuff Version

The math is really, really hard (or more specifically, time consuming).

And This All Means... 

The outcomes of manipulations to the system (like Duelists) are somewhat unpredictable.

This doesn't mean anyone is a bad game designer or a bad person or anything of the sort; the dice mechanic is incredibly interesting.

What it does mean is that it is very hard to figure out precisely what one die is really worth to an outcome, or a static +2, or other permutations. You can have a decent guess, but you never really know. This in turn means every now and then, an otherwise well thought out concept is going to come out incredibly broken.

As someone who's worked with a variety of systems, I can say without pause that game balance is hard, maybe the hardest thing in system design. While it may be nearly impossible to get perfectly right, it is not impossible to get it "close enough" either. 

In a system without precise mathematical models, the only answer is to playtest it into the ground, which takes time. I'd honestly rather see this game in the lab for a little longer while someone tries to level the Duelist school (which can utterly destroy and shame a non-duelist at least once every action round if done right) and any of the other 5 Point Advantages, ALL of which include the phrase "Spend a Hero Point" along with the powerful effect. 

I don't need or want perfect. That's unreasonable. I want "close enough" that I as GM do not have to design every session around preventing the duelist from outshining everyone else while giving the pirate a bit of combat. I think it's reasonable to ask that, in a system "all about the fiction," the system is balanced enough to stay out of the way. Mechanics don't get in the way of storytelling, broken mechanics get in the way of storytelling. 

“Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.”
- H.L. Mencken

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