Advanced Dice Pools

These Gimmicks illustrate several different variations on the standard Dice Pool for Complications which players may find more accurately reflect a given situation.

If there are multiple characters in a Complication the standard system of combining them into homogenous sides might not provide the level of detail your group is looking for.  If you’d like more granularity over which characters succeed and which fail without leaving it to the narration to decide you may find some of these Gimmicks useful.

Any player can propose one of these choices as for any Rules Gimmick and, if not successfully Challenged, it becomes the way this Complication will be resolved. Players are free (and encouraged) to use these choices as suggestions and come up with their own variations if they desire.

Standard Pool:

This is the system described in the Core Rules, included here for completeness.  All of the Complication pools are counted together as a single side.  And all of the Target Pools are counted together as a single side for purposes of determining which side wins.

All of the Pools on the same side win or lose together.  Each player then spends the Coins from their own Pool. All Winning Pools narrate in order from most to least Coins before any of the losing Pools which then narrate in order from most to least Coins. Ties are handled in clockwise order from the Originator.

This method works well in an abstract fashion for most Complications. Combat or other confrontations between a group of protagonists each with their own Pool against a number of opponents rolled in the aggregate is handled particularly well.

Independent Target Pools:

Like the Standard method, all Complication Pools are counted together as a single side.  The various Target Pools are not combined together, however, as a single side.  Each Target Pool opposes the Complication Side separately.

Each Target Pool rolls one at a time, and all Complication Pools (the same number of dice, with the exception of bought dice that only apply against limited Targets) are re-rolled against each one. There is a separate Winner and Loser determined for each match up and all Free Coins are spent before rolling for the next Target Pool. Essentially, there is a separate Complication for each Target. Target Pools in this method can either all be built first before any are resolved.  Or they can be built one at a time in whatever order is appropriate. This depends on what is appropriate for the nature of the Complication.

The multiple Pools can be resolved in any order the players choose (often determined by which character goes first). If disagreements arise, Pools with the most Dice are resolved first, and in the event that this is tied, closest to the left of the Originator goes first.

Targets who roll first can use their bonus Coins to Buy Dice for Pools that haven’t rolled yet if it can be justified how such assistance is possible.

This method works well for situations where the characters are confronted with a hazard and each character will make it or not on his own. Scaling a wall is an example of a hazard where each Target’s Dice Pool could be built separately, one after another. Surviving a bomb explosion is an example where each Target’s Dice Pool should be built at the same time.

Note:  This method is essentially the same as originating a series of Standard Complications against each Target separately, except that the Complication Pools only need to be built once.   It allows you to have a Complication without needing to spend massive Coins to create an obstacle tough enough to challenge a large number of characters.

Split Allocation Pool:

This method is very similar to Independent Target Pools above. However, the Complication Pool is not re-rolled for each Target. Instead all of the Pools are rolled at the same time.  The Originator then takes the Successes rolled on the Complication Side and allocates them against each of the Target Pools in whatever manner desired. Each Target Pool will then Win or Lose based on how it compares to the Successes the Originator allocated.

This method is generally much quicker than Independent Pools and gives largely the same type of results (each Target can Win or Lose independently of the others). However, it gives the Originator much more control over which Targets Win or Lose which may or may not be an appealing feature to a given play group.

—This method is one of my personal favorites.   Ralph.

Individual Pools:

This method is very similar to Independent Pools except there is a separate Complication Pool facing each Target. All Targets make their own roll opposed by their own Complication Pool. Many times this can be combined with the Split Allocation Pool where some Targets are faced with a separate Complication Pool and some gang up on another Complication Pool.

Resolution order is determined as for Independent Pools and bonus Coins in one Pool can be used to purchase additional dice into another Pool.

This method is suggested only for situations like a climactic combat where each hero is facing off against a separate villain

Note:  this method is very similar to running a series of different Standard Complications simultaneously.

All or None Pool:

All Target Pools make their own roll at the same time, and all Complication Pools are treated like a single side. The worst Target Pool result is the only one which is compared to the Complication Pool and all Target Pools are considered to have Won or Lost based on that worst Pool’s result.

Each Pool calculates its bonus Coins based on its own pool using the overall winner or loser status.

This type of Complication is appropriate for situations such as when characters are attempting to hide or sneak or are in disguise as a group and a slip up from any one of them will give them away.

Best Effort Pool:

This method is essentially the reverse of the All or None Pool.  All Target Pools make their own roll at the same time, and all Complication Pools are treated like a single side.  The best Target Pool result is the only one which is compared to the Complication Pool and all Target Pools are considered to have Won or Lost based on that best Pool’s result

Each Pool calculates its bonus Coins based on its own pool using the overall winner or loser status.

This type of Complication is appropriate for situations where multiple characters are cooperating, and due to the shear number of involved Targets the Target pool would be exceptionally large and almost certainly overwhelm the Complication Pool.  This method can be an alternative to the Originator having to find extreme ways to enlarge the Complication Pool in order to make it competitive.

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