I've been spending some time programming over the last few days, delving into Android development as a way to teach myself Java. As my first project I'm building a dice roller. Originally I was going to use the same text descriptions for rolls that I use on my web based dice roller, but after implementing them I decided I could do better. I'm trying to cover as many rolling mechanics as possible, so I thought I would throw out the roll definitions here and see what other folks thought.
Traditional dice: XdY
Roll X dice with Y sides, sum their values. Y can also be F, indicating Fudge dice, or %, shorthand for d100.
Dice pool: XpY
Roll X dice with Y sides, treating each die as an individual result. As with traditional dice, Y can be F or %.
These can be appended to the base descriptors above. N below is a numeric value.
- +-N - A numeric modifier to the roll. The value is added to or subtracted from the final total for traditional dice, or applied to each die in a dice pool.
- EN - Exploding dice. Any dice roll greater than or equal to N generates another die roll. In traditional rolls the result is added to the total. In a dice pool it is added to the original exploding die's result.
- LN - Drop the lowest N rolls. The classic example is D&D character generation using the roll four six-sided and drop the lowest method, which would be written as: 4d6L1.
- HN - Drop the highest N rolls. Not sure if any game would make use of this. I guess you could make some very lame D&D characters with 4d6H1.
- SN - Count successes. For traditional dice, a total result greater than or equal to N is a success. For a dice pool each die greater than or equal to N is a success.
- FN - Count failures. For traditional dice, a total result less than or equal to N is a failure. For a dice pool each die less than or equal to N is a failure.
Some things I think I'm missing, but I'm not sure if they're useful.
- Imploding dice - rolls below a certain value generate an additional roll that's subtracted from the first.
- Savage Worlds - Wild Dice. I don't play Savage Worlds, can someone throw me a clue?
- Exploding dice that don't continue to explode.
I'm sure there are a bunch of methods I've forgotten or ignored. Anyone know of a concise list of RPG dice mechanics published anywhere?