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Subject: Reroll Mechanic help rss

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Jason Kotzur-Yang
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I’m developing a custom dice game called Ragnarol, and am having some trouble with my reroll mechanic. The game is Viking-themed and though it can can accommodate many players, all battles happen between two players. If any player rolls an Odin’s eye symbol they get to reroll that dice and one other dice of their choosing (their own or an opponent’s). And that works fine, but it gets a bit complicated when you have multiple eye results. For two eyes, I have players pair the eyes and just reroll the eyes (so you reroll the dice with the eye but no other dice). For three or more eyes, you pair the eyes, starting with one from each side and proceed until there’s one or no eyes left. The leftover eye gets treated as normal. If you happen to roll an eye in any of your rerolls, you just roll that eye again.
This works okay, but it actually gets a bit too much like work, especially the rerolling of rolled eyes. I’ve had a few playtesters bring it up, so I want to make it more fun and simple, whilst preserving strategic choices and making sure the player always feel good when rolling an eye. Solutions that limit player choice, or make an eye result less powerful are not ideal. I should also note that player’s get to choose how many warriors go on a battle, so the more warriors they choose the more eyes they are likely to get.

d10-1Eyes simply cancel each other out (not good, as it punishes player for using more warriors)
d10-2Rolling up, each new Eye lets you reroll as normal (not good as it can devolve into playing with one’s self while the opponent watches, and could discourage using eyes to reroll opponents dice)
d10-3After the first reroll, Eyes count as snakes (not great but actually okay, as it’s a bit push your luck)
d10-4Eye matching doesn’t cross the battle line, you only match with your own (again, playing with yourself)
d10-5Same as 4, plus double Eyes lets you change the dice to whatever you want (not thematic)

I break down the points a little more thoroughly here but does anyone have any better ideas?
 
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Jay K
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I think letting the player choose the result if multiple eyes are rolled is most simple. So if roll an eye and follow that roll with another eye you choose the result of the second eye die rolled, even if it is the other player whom you have made re-roll his die. if you roll two eyes you choose the result of one of the 2 eye results and discard the other die to help balance things out.

I always find it helps to keep the options simple. If you keep rerolling eyes you could get into quite a confusing scenario otherwise.

Hope that helps.
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chadgar24
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can you have another die? A special one that has all axes and sheilds. I am thinking any eyes that cancel out (you and other player each roll one) have no effect, but if you have one or more eyes than your opponent you get to roll this special die for each one.
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Cameron McKenzie
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Eyes should only cancel opponent's eyes, not your own. That resolves point #1.
If you don't want people to be rerolling dice all day, just say that the player who still has eyes remaining after the canceling gets to reroll all of his eyes but just one more die, no matter how many eyes he is rerolling.
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Olivier D.
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The rerolls are always going to be either your worst die, or your opponent's best, right? If that's the case, the choice doesn't really belong to the player.

How about:
- have a gods' favor die (with no eye and higher than normal stats). Roll it either at the start of the fight, or at the end (depending on how much you want eyes to be a gamble).
- for each eye, players (order to be determined) either pick to reroll the eye and their lowest die, or keep the eye. re-rolled eyes are not re-rolled again.
- all eyes are worth the same as the favor die (in effect, opposed eyes cancel each other). Or, have the favor die be really big, and give this bonus to the side with the most eyes.


This way, the eyes don't turn the fight into a rerolling fest, yet give you a choice about what you want to do with them.
Of course, this also introduces new things in your concept, so you might not want this much interference. Just throwing ideas, here.
 
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David SL
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It sounds like an awesome game, and a similar idea to one I'm working on (similar in that you challenge another player and roll dice, though that's as far as it goes, I assure you!). I'll echo the sentiments to 'keep it simple', because in all honesty my favourite games are the ones that I don't have to keep checking rules for. Since this is a dice-based game, it should remain fairly simple at least when the dice come into play.

Look at King of Tokyo (or King of the dice games, as it can be known) - very, very basic.

Firstly, is it THAT important that the eyes allow you to roll another dice as well as that one? I get the idea that the eye is a reward for you and a curse for your opponent (should you choose to reroll his or her dice), but perhaps break away from that idea for the sake of simplicity, because it's causing problems. If you roll an eye, you get to re-roll that dice. JUST that dice. It's simple, it makes sense, and there's no argument or confusion. If you really want to keep the mechanic that you can reroll another dice or one of your opponent's dice, then make it a reward for rolling two or more dice, and make it a tactical decision, as in they can choose how they want to 'spend' those eyes - rerolling one for themselves and one of their opponents, for example (or more depending on how many they have). This gives the idea that the eyes are 'power' that you can choose to use in any way based on the more you have. One eye will always give you a free reroll, but any more are up to you.

I do have one more idea, but it deviates away from yours quite a bit, but it keeps with the theme. How about any rolled eyes can, if the player doesn't wish to reroll them, be 'stored' until the next roll, adding addition dice or rerolls to the next turn. If additional dice, the benefits are obvious, if additional rerolls (say each eye counts as one dice reroll regardless of the results) then it becomes more tactical.

To break my lengthy reply into ideas:

1. If one eye is rolled, the player can reroll that dice for themselves. If the second roll is also an eye, then that player can choose the result. (Again, giving the idea of 'power')
2. If two or more eyes are rolled, that player can choose how to spend the second (and so on) eye. They MUST reroll one eye result for themselves, but any additional results can be spent on either rerolling their own dice, or one or more of their opponent's dice. If any eye results are rolled a second time, the player may choose the results (or the opponent takes one damage?)
3. Any eyes rolled can, if not rerolled, be 'stored' until the player's next turn, and add either an additional dice to their next go (for each eye rolled), or a free reroll of ANY dice results in the next go (if desired).

This is a very circular pattern, but the definitive 'second eye results lead to choosing the result' ends the pattern of repetition.
 
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dennis bennett
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I really don't see the issue with the original rule (re-rolling the eye +1 more die, either your own or that of an opponent).
there migth be the od chance where you start generating more and more eyes, but that shouldn't happen much.

Did ALL playtesters complain about it or just a few? Ask the ones that didn't complain how they liked it. You might be missing out on the positive feedback.

One thing you could do is give the eye (or also the loki/snake) a conditional optional score (to promote NOT rerolling it).
eye = if you rolled only axes, the eye counts as an additional axe.
something like that
snake = a "fail" if you roll only 1 but maybe something more powerful if you roll 2 or 3 snakes?

DON'T make the eye a simple "reroll only this die" as that would make the whole die a simple D5, which seems pointless...
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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I'd say that if both players roll eyes, your eyes should pair up with enemy eyes, and the paired dice should be removed from the pool: they're not rerolled, they can't be rerolled by other dice, they're just gone. For example, if you roll 3 eyes and I roll 5 eyes, then your 3 eyes annihilate 3 of my eyes, leaving me with 2 eyes and you with zero.

This will leave at most 1 player with eyes remaining, and in roughly-evenly-matched rolls should usually leave only a small number of eyes, even if there are a lot of dice involved.

After that, you may be able to simply say that every eye gives your original benefit of rerolling itself plus one die of the owner's choice. (All dice must be rerolled at the same time, after which there's another phase of your eyes and your opponent's eyes pairing up and removing each other from the pool.) If that's still too much rerolling, you could say that:

- Each eye counts as a ____ plus lets you reroll one other die, but is not itself rerolled. If there are no non-eyes left to reroll, tough luck.
- Any die that is rerolled becomes locked and cannot be rerolled again, no matter how many eyes you have (if the reroll is an eye, it can reroll something else but not itself--this makes rerolls less powerful than initial rolls, so encourages rerolling enemy dice)
- Every 3 eyes (or so) count as any symbol of your choice; only the leftovers are used for rerolls
- After the first reroll, eyes count as something else (you already suggested this one)
 
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David SL
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dennisthebadger wrote:
DON'T make the eye a simple "reroll only this die" as that would make the whole die a simple D5, which seems pointless...

Not if you treat the eyes as a power which stacks to give more bonuses if rerolled or more than one is rolled. If the eye is rolled, it just gives a simple reroll, which is fair enough. It's a simple mechanic and it's already a well-established rule in dice games. However, the twist is if you roll another eye on the second roll, you have the power to change the result to whatever you require. It's a power, essentially, hinged on luck. If you roll more than one eye that power stacks but in another way - you get (at least) one reroll which, again, could turn out to be another eye, and you get one or more other dice with which you can do as you like (reroll your own, reroll the opponent's, or 'store' for use later). It actually keeps with the theme, it's simple, and if I say so myself, it's a rather elegant way of doing things.
 
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dennis bennett
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DavidSL wrote:
dennisthebadger wrote:
DON'T make the eye a simple "reroll only this die" as that would make the whole die a simple D5, which seems pointless...

Not if you treat the eyes as a power which stacks to give more bonuses if rerolled or more than one is rolled. If the eye is rolled, it just gives a simple reroll, which is fair enough. It's a simple mechanic and it's already a well-established rule in dice games. However, the twist is if you roll another eye on the second roll, you have the power to change the result to whatever you require. It's a power, essentially, hinged on luck. If you roll more than one eye that power stacks but in another way - you get (at least) one reroll which, again, could turn out to be another eye, and you get one or more other dice with which you can do as you like (reroll your own, reroll the opponent's, or 'store' for use later). It actually keeps with the theme, it's simple, and if I say so myself, it's a rather elegant way of doing things.

To me that doesn't sound terribly elegant.
It sounds like a awkward way to give players a 1/36 chance of choosing whatever face they want, and having to roll twice to do so.
 
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John Breckenridge
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Maybe the simplest answer would be to let let an eye allow the player to have only one die get re-rolled, so if you choose to make your opponent reroll a die, you're still stuck with an eye that doesn't help with anything on one of your dice.
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Jeremy Lennert
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jbrecken wrote:
Maybe the simplest answer would be to let let an eye allow the player to have only one die get re-rolled, so if you choose to make your opponent reroll a die, you're still stuck with an eye that doesn't help with anything on one of your dice.
Under your proposal, can you spend an eye to reroll itself? Doing so would have an expected value of the average of all die faces. Rerolling another die has an expected value of the average of all die faces minus its current value. Therefore, unless one of the die results has negative value, using the eye to reroll itself will probably always have the best expected value of all reroll options.
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Jason Kotzur-Yang
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mildaene wrote:
The rerolls are always going to be either your worst die, or your opponent's best, right? If that's the case, the choice doesn't really belong to the player.

Choosing between your worst die and your opponent's best is still a choice. It's not a simple numerical system so there's some subtlety to what you choose. I'm not quite ready to add another dice yet, but I think the eyes all be worthing the same thing is interesting. Perhaps the player with the most eyes gets to pick what they're worth.

dennisthebadger wrote:

Did ALL playtesters complain about it or just a few? Ask the ones that didn't complain how they liked it. You might be missing out on the positive feedback.
...
One thing you could do is give the eye (or also the loki/snake) a conditional optional score (to promote NOT rerolling it).
...
DON'T make the eye a simple "reroll only this die" as that would make the whole die a simple D5, which seems pointless...

Not all playtesters but enough for me to revisit it. The optional score is an interesting idea but it messes with another element that I'm messing around with at the moment that lets you do the same thing but with a cost.

DavidSL wrote:
dennisthebadger wrote:
DON'T make the eye a simple "reroll only this die" as that would make the whole die a simple D5, which seems pointless...

Not if you treat the eyes as a power which stacks to give more bonuses if rerolled or more than one is rolled. If the eye is rolled, it just gives a simple reroll, which is fair enough.

I'm afraid I'm with Dennis on this one, that doesn't sound terribly elegant or simple.

Antistone wrote:
I'd say that if both players roll eyes, your eyes should pair up with enemy eyes, and the paired dice should be removed from the pool: they're not rerolled, they can't be rerolled by other dice, they're just gone. For example, if you roll 3 eyes and I roll 5 eyes, then your 3 eyes annihilate 3 of my eyes, leaving me with 2 eyes and you with zero...
- Each eye counts as a ____ plus lets you reroll one other die, but is not itself rerolled. If there are no non-eyes left to reroll, tough luck.

I'm still pretty attached to the one eye being special, and two eyes being less good. The chances of rolling 5 are pretty low, chances are 1-3 eyes will turn up. Could say eyes across battle lines cancel out, then if you have 1 eye use as normal, if you have more than 1, pair up.

The 2nd suggestion is feasible too, the only real problem being that when you're matching up symbols, you just have to keep it your head that the eyes mean something else.

jbrecken wrote:
Maybe the simplest answer would be to let let an eye allow the player to have only one die get re-rolled, so if you choose to make your opponent reroll a die, you're still stuck with an eye that doesn't help with anything on one of your dice.

That's the simplest answer but actually makes the eye very weak. The majority of the results are equal to 1 strength, with there being a 1/6 chance of there being 2 strength. If you get an eye, then you're essentially 1 strength down (since the eye doesn't count), and you'd need to turn a blank result into a 2 strength result to make the eye to work out as being equal to 1 strength result, but you're likely just going to get 1 strength, so you might as well just rolled that to start with.

---------------------------

Got some really good ideas. I'm going to do up a list and compare them, then test out the viable ones. I'm thinking the simplest and most thematic result might be:
If there is 1 eye rolled, you get to reroll that dice and other dice or your choice
If there is more than 1 eye rolled, reroll all the eyes
You could then apply the same logic tree to the results, or simply say any rerolled eyes don't count.

It's simple but only allows player choice with a single eye, which might be okay.

 
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Yao-ban Chan
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How wedded are you to the eye being a reroll mechanic? The thing, which I remarked upon when I played it, is that everything seems to end up as single axes, and having a reroll mechanic just makes more things end up as single axes. So there's not a lot of variance in the rolls.

I think you should have more variance (although you might disagree); being a light dice game, it allows for more stories of outrageous luck or comebacks. So what I would suggest is that the eye has a separate effect that doesn't involve re-rolling; maybe (off the top of my head) having at least one eye doubles the number of your axes. It doesn't even need to be an axe-number-modifier; perhaps an eye allows the attacker to sneak past the guards (rob stores directly).
 
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Jason Kotzur-Yang
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Pretty wedded

I'm actually leaning away from too much variance, trying too avoid a situation where you lose out early due to a bad roll and have no way to come back. I would like to introduce more of a push-your-luck element, though. How about this?
- When you roll a single eye, you MAY reroll that warrior and any number of other warriors that you choose (so if you know you don't have enough to win, you can choose to reroll axes in the hope that they'll go to a double-axe)
- If you roll more than one eye, you just reroll the eyes
- Any eyes on the 2nd roll, count as snakes
(In the Paths and Glory addition, you can trade unused eyes for Glory)

Choosing to reroll an opponent's axe becomes a more valid but risky choice, it'll have 1/3 chance of being worth nothing, but a 1/6 chance of being being better.

(We did have a thief character that could rob stores directly, but found that he was the least fun and unique out of all the warriors)
 
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James Hutchings
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You can halve the number of rerolls by saying that an Eye results in another dice being rerolled, but not the dice showing the Eye.
 
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Olivier D.
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Might also be viable :
- each eye lets you pick and reroll any non-eye die (yours/opponent's). The eye then takes the value of the re-rolled die. Treat re-rolled eyes as snakes.

(I'm didn't really get the way dice score at the end, but gut feeling says this could lead to interesting choices. This doesn't punish a player for rolling more than 1 eye though)
 
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chadgar24
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how about: Compare eyes, if you have more eyes than your opponent you can add that many to your stores at the end of the turn.

 
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David SL
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My idea may not be particularly elegant, I was just being defensive!

That said, I'd argue that taking away the 'roll 1 extra dice as well as the eye' would make things so much better. What possible reason is there for rerolling the extra dice? What if the players have the results they want except for that one eye? Personally I'd feel like this is a pointless tacked-on mechanic without any real reason.

Rerolling that 1 eye result keeps it simple. I really can't see why you'd offer the reroll of another dice for no reason. Assuming players have at least 4 dice each(?) then there would seem to be a fairly high chance of them rolling at least 1 eye. Allowing rerolls is always a great addition to dice games, but when you feel obligated to roll not one, but two dice for every eye result, it might become a bit tedious, especially if eyes come up often. From the sounds of it you want the eyes to be a reward for players, but not TOO much of a reward.

'Reroll any eye result once. If another eye is rolled, it stays as it is.' - This is the simplest idea, but really adds the danger of eyes being unwanted. It's a difficult balance.
'Reroll any eye result once. If another eye is rolled, the player may choose the result.' - This is the one I suggested, but on reflection perhaps makes the eye TOO powerful.
'Any eye results can be spent to 'power up' the next turn, or rerolled on this turn.' - Could you treat eye results as 'boosts' perhaps, say a guaranteed attack result for each eye on the players next turn?

The more you delve into the mechanic the more tempting it is to come up with 'clever' ideas, but I'm just overcomplicating things. I still like my 'power stacking' idea, but apparently I'm alone on this one! ninja

One last thought: How about taking away the reroll idea completely? The eye result could perhaps reward the player with a token of some sort, which can be saved and spent later in the game - sort of like 'karma' tokens (Talisman?) that you can spend at any time for a reroll, or a defense, or something like this?
 
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