Roll20 uses cookies to improve your experience on our site. Cookies enable you to enjoy certain features, social sharing functionality, and tailor message and display ads to your interests on our site and others. They also help us understand how our site is being used. By continuing to use our site, you consent to our use of cookies. Update your cookie preferences .
Advertisement Create a free account

Using Dice Pools on Roll20: Rollable Tables and/or Macros?

Sheet Author
Hi folks, There's been a bit of discussion about dice pools on the forums before. The general consensus seems to be "use rollable tables", however, to me its not clear how this would work in practice. Here's my efforts so far, they're not enough, if the community could help me finish it, then, well we'd have a nice solution for games that use Dice Pools. First, the system I'm creating this for is Cortex Plus (the new Firefly RPG). In this system Dice Pools are built from 2 player attributes (in Roll 20 Char Sheet terminology) as well as arbitrary things in play. These arbitrary items in play are generally temporary conditions (called complications or assets in Cortex Plus), and don't belong in the character sheet. Successes are determined by keeping X number of dice from the roll, where X is usually 2, but other factors can change X before and after the roll. Here's a draft of the roll20 tabletop I'm designing for the campaign. You'll see these arbitrary conditions on the yellow post-it notes, with a die value adjacent to them indicating the die that is to be add to the pool. Note that the yellow die are NOT rollable tables, they are just simple tokens indicating whether the condition is a 1d6, 1d8, etc. ( larger version ) 1. Manual /roll command The simplest way to do this of course is just type out the roll command every time: /roll {1d6[Physical]+1d6[Brawling] + 1d8[Browncoat]}k2 This has four drawbacks that make it unusable in a game: It's slow It's error prone It's not connected to the character attributes It's very difficult for non-techy players who aren't used to open-curly-brace-then-open-bracket.... syntax 2. Macro w/ Rollable Query A step forward is to use a macro with several queries: /roll {?{d4s|0}d4+?{d6s|0}d6+?{d8s|0}d8+?{d10s|0}d10+?{d12s|0}d12}k2 This prompts the player to enter the number of d4, d6, d8, d10, and d12. This is much simpler than the manually entering it, but we lose the information regarding what each dice was for. Moreover, it can be a bit annoying clicking through all those popup boxes, and it also isn't connected to character attributes. 3. Rollable Table Tokens Moving on to Rollable Tables, if you create a rollable table for each die (d4 - d12 in my case), then position the die tokens on the table, the players can Shift+click/dreag, Right click, Multi-sided > Random side. This has the advantage of being interactive. We could have a bunch of dice on the table, then when making a pool, drag the necessary dice into the "rolling spot" and roll them. Once again, this method isn't connected to character sheet attributes. However, you can add a nameplate to the dice indicating what they represent, which is really cool! But this isn't so useful in practice, because when you roll them, the results in chat don't include the name of the die. Other disadvantages to this method are: the shift+click + right-click + context menu is quite clunky making rollable tables for dice is incredibly tedious results logged to chat don't include the "keep only 2" requirement 4. Other Methods.. maybe w/ the API ? I'm not a Mentor, so I'm not sure what is possible yet, though I am a coder, so I imagine something like this should be. It would be cool if we could build up the dice pool by clicking attributes on the char sheet and the conditions on the table. For example, we could click "Add Physical" to dice pool, then "Add Gun Asset" to dice pool. In this case the macros would just be concatenating a /roll command like that listed in #1. Would that be possible with the API? Would you have to create a "Add X" macro for every character attribute, or can you create macros programmatically? I welcome suggestions and other ideas about this topic.
Sheet Author
API Scripter
#2 would be the ideal for a campaign without API access. As far as the API goes, you could certainly build something, but the user interface you're envisioning is not possible: the API cannot detect mouse clicks. The events the API can react to are: Sandbox ready (the first person enters the campaign ever, the first person enters the campaign since the sandbox last shut down, or the sandbox is reset) Message sent to chat Object created Object changed Object deleted

Edited 1399069980
I run cortex classic (looking forward to the new system) on my Serenity campaign. Could you have the attributes rolls set up in a macro like [[d@{agility}+d@{alertness} (I dont know the actual attributes in C+) +?{dice amount}d?{dice size})]] Or would that not work? And how is the new system?
I am also wondering about implementing dice pools on Roll20. I just signed up as a mentor and have been preparing a campaign to play-test my home-brew d8 dice pool based game system. It also uses a Trait+Skill format for the dice pools with circumstances adding or subtracting dice here and there based on circumstance. However, this only ever happens before a roll, so basic things have been rather easy to program with Macros in the standard Die Roll interface. My problems arise when it comes to challenges. In my game, whenever there is a challenge (combat, chase, debate, stealth vs. search, etc.), both opponents roll their dice pools simultaneously and compare successes to determine victory. Opponents successes cancel each other out until only one opponent's successes remain. This not only determines who wins the challenge, but the margin by which the victor wins determines how many of his/her special abilities can be activated as a result. That last part I don't expect to be able to program. I'm just wondering how much of my game's challenge system could possibly be automated here on Roll20.
Funky, I offered a few suggestions in your forum post to the effect of pulling the dice pool numbers from the roller's character sheet and their opponent to compare the two. Not the same experience as two people rolling and comparing, but technically works. (not very fun for the opponent) <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>...