I have two opposite players in my table, they are friends, they enjoy much of the same thing, they game well together, but whenever they pick up the dice, things go south fast for one and heavenly well for the other. Sounds unlikely right? Ina recent game one of my friends was GMing, we were all playing newly awakened mages in a Mage game.
During our training, he informed us, we would make different tests and he would have the results stored, he recorded the amount of successes from each player and made some kickstarter-like rewards that were unlocked the higher our number of successes. I don’t have the exact numbers (though he has them in excel) but it was something like this:
- Standard Success Rate in NWoD ruleset: 30% (7-10 on a d10)
- Lucky Guy success rate: 60%
- Player A: 35%
- Player B: 33%
- Me (my rolls are like proof of statistics): 30%
- Unlucky Guy: 20%
Seems unlikely but I have gamed with the lucky guy for about 15 years now, and with the unlucky guy for around 10, and they are always on that, enough that whenever we need a high group roll we have the guy for it, and the other guy wants to play some system that do not roll dice.
It is nice to have failure as part of the game, hell, with these pool of players I am assured to try failure as an element of moving the game forward, what is not fun is to be the guy that always rolls worse than the average. As a result I am considering a rule for my next game.
I want to try Dungeon World, and in that game I will be using quite a few Indie game elements, the game already has them built-in, mind you, but I will also borrow the entire idea that one roll for a given situation is enough, if the situation changes then we go from there if the roll doesn’t get past it, we just don’t roll again, you did well up until there, now things are different (this is from Burning Wheel). Even though I might not end up using it, the thing is already cooking up in my brain, whether it will come out or not will depend on how frustrated the unlucky player will be with his failures.
What I am thinking is actually quite simple: After two failures in a row you get the power to reroll until the end of the session. When you first fail on a test you can reroll the dice, you must keep the new result, even if it is a failure.
If it comes up too often or very soon in sessions I might change it a bit, to make a failure pool: whenever someone in the group fails add 1 to the pool. Whenever a player fails a test he can offer the GM 2 from the pool to reroll the dice.