Feedback Request: Danger, Hardship, & Isolation Dice

I’m still working feverishly on getting the third public playtest of Hexingtide out by the end of the year (a few days left to do!).

As part of that, I’m looking for specific feedback from those who have playtested the game!

I introduced the three dice attributes – the Perils of Danger, Hardship, and Isolation – to do two things:

  1. Provide additional mechanical distinctiveness in what’s a fairly rules-lite system (v0.1 had players roll a d10 for everything), and
  2. Make character attributes deeply tied to the monster theme (i.e. more than D&D’s six stats etc.).

However, intuiting the differences between Danger, Hardship, and Isolation has been a consistent issue. I’m concerned it may be a bit too hipster-ish, – even with additional clarification provided.

“Rebranding” the three Perils to a more clinical, traditional attributes (e.g. World of Darkness’ Physical, Social, Mental or D&D’s STR, INT, CHA) isn’t something I’m interested in. I want to keep character stats very thematic.

🌶️ MY QUESTION and spicy idea:

What if I condense the three Perils into a single die value that measure’s a character’s non-humanity? D6 and D8 are closer to the teeming masses, while the D10 and D12 represent the strange and alien.

I think this approach has five clear benefits:

  1. Still allow for some mechanical differentiation – I’m not removing a dice attribute altogether
  2. Is a clearer concept for players to understand and answer: overall, how monstrous or not is my character?
  3. Speeds up game play: GMs don’t have to decide if a proposed action is Danger, Hardship, or Isolation (and the horse-trading I’ve seen go along with that). Likewise, players only ever have to worry about rolling a single die type.
  4. Takes the game a step back towards a more minimalist model.
  5. Models the genre tropes even more: the more monstrous a character, the more effective they will be in action and investigation (i.e. Powers), BUT the more likely they will be to have their monstrous troubles erupt into chaos around them (i.e. Portents – something that should be more frequently called for as I’ve come to better understand how the game best works).

An example: Hellboy would be up there as a d10 or d12, while his BPRD human minders – even with strange gifts themselves – would more likely be at a d6.

What do you think? Message me on the usual platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Mastadon, DIscord) and let me know!

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