Revised Dice Mechanics

A post about Real20: The Game with Balls!

Previously I described die mechanics for Mojo and Hutzpah. After a first round of playtesting these mechanics have been tweaked a little and Hutzpah has been changed to Divine Favor.

Mojo worked very well in testing. It didn’t often result in a lot of extra successes, but it occasionally changed the situation quite dramatically and losing Mojo proved to be pretty devastating, which I think is good for the concept of this game. A few things about Mojo needed some work, however, so this is the present version of the rules I will use for Mojo.

Mojo is no longer directly linked to the new attribute “Divine Favor”. Mojo still affects Divine Favor, but when you get to 10 Mojo you do not increase Divine Favor as you did Hutzpah. Getting to 10 Mojo now does something else.

Mojo is ranked in points between 0-10. Every character has a starting threshold, which they will begin at and which effects them in several ways. Every point of Mojo a character gains above their starting threshold is temporary Mojo. Temporary Mojo goes away over time at the rate of 1 point per hour until you get back to your starting threshold. Every point of Mojo lost below the starting threshold is a -1 die penalty on all rolls. Thus a high threshold means you routinely have more Mojo to work with, but it also means you have more to lose if things go badly for you. The default starting threshold is 2. If a character gets their Mojo up to 10 in any scene they may opt to spend all of their Temporary Mojo to raise their threshold by 1 point. Once again, this offers the advantage of having more Mojo on hand all the time, but the danger of serious penalties if that Mojo is lost.

What I imagine this will accomplish in effect is that really high Mojo characters will be very dangerous, but also very sensitive to losing their Mojo. Once Hercules has been emasculated he is worse than your average warrior because his penalties are so high.

Divine Favor
I changed the name of this mechanic from Hutzpah for a couple of reasons. Since it is based on luck of the dice it doesn’t seem to represent actual effort or daring on the part of the character. Also, I think it is appropriate to represent the fact that heroes of legend are usually blessed by fortune in some way (though cursed in other ways).

Testing revealed a few interesting things about this mechanic. First, couples and threesomes are more common than the statistics would lead you to believe. Almost every roll had a couple or two, and every few rolls came up with a threesome. Foursome’s came up maybe 3 -4 times in the whole session and there were no orgies. What this meant is that people were able to double their rolls several times in the session. Everyone got to triple their roll at least once. No one got to quadruple or quintuple their roll, but in an ongoing campaign I’d expect a quadruple about every other session if the same patterns played out.

A few rules clarifications about Divine Favor.

Mojo dice do not count in terms of recording couples, threesomes, foursomes or orgies. Only use the normal die pool to check in these boxes.

Do however, add the Mojo you rolled into the total before multiplying the result by Divine Favor. Thus, if you rolled 6 successes normally and an additional 3 with Mojo you multiply 9 successes by whatever level of Divine Favor you are using.

You cannot use Divine Favor on any roll that you don’t risk Mojo on. The Gods only favor heroes who put their balls on the line. No guts, no glory. This also means that if you have lost all your Mojo then you can’t use Divine Favor at all!

One thought on “Revised Dice Mechanics

  1. I for one would welcome a good d20 horror game. We played Call of Cthulhu d20 last year and it was a bit weird. The Chaosium rules were a lot more harsh and you expected to die or go nuts every game or so and that was it. This had a lot of the same monsters and settings but you expected to level up and not die and not go (completely) crazy. I guess “half-assed” is a good word. Like they injected the D&D mentality into it and it didn't take.

    Not that I think it should all be death, insanity, and eternal damnation – but it would be good to play a horror game that knew where it was going.


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