Diceless

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SeaJay

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Excluding Amber, Everyway, and Active Exploits, are there any good diceless systems out there? Older or more recent.
 

Isator Levi

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I think Nobilis is pretty good. Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine is a related game; tightly built, but a bit dense (at least without some play examples to help clarify).
 

Gringnr

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Theatrix is a system you might look at. They produced a core book and a setting for Ironwood, D&D artist Bill Willingham's pornofantasy comic.

Might be cheating, but you could look at almost any LARP as well.
 

EmperorNorton

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I think Nobilis is pretty good. Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine is a related game; tightly built, but a bit dense (at least without some play examples to help clarify).
Chuubo's is that game that I've read, I enjoy a lot of the concepts, but it feels like it needs to have the perfect storm of the exact right players and the exact right GM for it and all be in the exact right mood.
 

Trippy

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Nobilis has been mentioned, but John Tyne’s Puppetland hasn’t yet. Castle Falkenstein used playing cards rather than dice too. Meta-RPGs like Fiasco are diceless too.

The various Mind’s Eye Theatre, and other Live Action systems are typically diceless (‘rock-paper-scissors’). The Storyteller system in it’s original form, and in V5, has diceless options of play. We did establish that although it wasn’t emphasized, the very old Marvel Super Heroes RPG, essentially also had diceless options in whether you needed to roll dice or not for a lot of the abilities.
 

Bill White

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Mortal Coil by Brennan Taylor of Galileo Games does urban fantasy with a diceless mechanic involving devoting tokens representing different sources of strength to various efforts. It allows characters with different power levels to interact on a more or less level playing field.
 

TristramEvans

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I tend to think of diceless as meaning "no randomizer", but if we take that description literally as to "anything besides dice", the Saga system of Dragonlance: The Fifth Age and Marvel Role-playing was pretty good, as was the Marvel Universe RPG system (desperately in need of a cleaned-up 2nd edition, but a very strong underlying premise that just wasn't presented well).
 

SeaJay

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I used to have Mortal Coil when it first came out. I think Wordplay uses a pool of d6s.

Has anyone played Active Exploits? It's been a while since I read it, but it was quite a lot of text if I recall correctly.
 

Gringnr

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Did the URL mean to point to a list of diceless RPGs? Only it seems to go to the front page only.
Yes. Are you on mobile? It seems that any dtrpg link defaults to the main page for me on mobile.
 

Gringnr

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Hm. The link works fine for me, but yeah, it's just dyrpg with "diceless" in the search field.
 

Sloth_in_a_bowl

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I wrote and used a system many years ago where the players each had a pool of cards so knew their 'dice rolls' but the exact target number was unknown but within a known range. So they could spend low and hope or spend higher and be sure.
It worked surprisingly well.
 

SeaJay

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I wrote and used a system many years ago where the players each had a pool of cards so knew their 'dice rolls' but the exact target number was unknown but within a known range. So they could spend low and hope or spend higher and be sure.
It worked surprisingly well.
That's interesting. Mind if I pinch it?
 

NinjaWeasel

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Lords of Gossamer
Wordplay
Freeform Universal (I have it, but have not read it yet.

As Iceman notes, Wordplay and Freeform Universal definitely both use dice. In fact Wordplay actually uses the concept of rolling big d6 dice pools in some of it's marketing.
 

NinjaWeasel

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I used to have Mortal Coil when it first came out. I think Wordplay uses a pool of d6s.

Has anyone played Active Exploits? It's been a while since I read it, but it was quite a lot of text if I recall correctly.
By coincidence, I've got a copy of Active Exploits beside me and you're right about it having a lot of text. A lot. The basics are fairly straightforward but there's a HUGE amount of options to play with. It is a little overwhelming.
 

Rogerdee

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As Iceman notes, Wordplay and Freeform Universal definitely both use dice. In fact Wordplay actually uses the concept of rolling big d6 dice pools in some of it's marketing.
My bad.
With that said, there is nothing stopping the person using any dice system, then setting the power levels and then dispensing with dice such that it runs narratively.
 

SeaJay

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By coincidence, I've got a copy of Active Exploits beside me and you're right about it having a lot of text. A lot. The basics are fairly straightforward but there's a HUGE amount of options to play with. It is a little overwhelming.
Yep, it's to an extent that I give AE a hard pass. A pity because what parts I did read, were interesting enough.
 

Sloth_in_a_bowl

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That's interesting. Mind if I pinch it?
Feel free, I have the original Doc's somewhere and will find and send you a copy.

The very basic rule was Stat + Skill + Card Vs Target
Stat and skill were valued 1 to 6
Each player had a card pool of 1 to 8 that was refreshed after a full day's rest or when the cards ran out.
The GM gave a target number and pulled a card in secret from a deck of jack's, queen's, kings. Jack reduced the target by 1, king increased the target by 1.

I would probably change a few things if I ran it now.
 
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NinjaWeasel

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My bad.
With that said, there is nothing stopping the person using any dice system, then setting the power levels and then dispensing with dice such that it runs narratively.
The latest edition of BESM has a section on running the game diceless. I think it might be in the Extras book rather than the Core book. I'm sure I've got a couple more games in my collection that do that but I'm surprised there aren't more games out there that do it. Especially with the increasing popularity of playing online. Diceless seems a good fit for that medium.
Yep, it's to an extent that I give AE a hard pass. A pity because what parts I did read, were interesting enough.
I really like Active Exploits. I mean, I've bought the game 3 times (lost a copy, sold the copy I replaced that with, and recently bought it again)! I agree that it's not the easiest read though. I think it helped in my case that I'd read a number of GenreDiversion games and Story Engine Plus. There's a number of shared concepts between them so some stuff already felt familiar and comfortable for me. Without that I can imagine it would be much harder to get through.

I'd love to see another revision of the rules with a few mechanical improvements, and some clearer explanations, and a restructure of the book. A few changes could make it a truly great game.
 

Rogerdee

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I have been thinking about this quite a lot.

So my idea is that if I was to run a normal SWADE game I would use Idiosyncratic powers to mimic abilities.

But then a lightbulb went off, and I thought why not mix Savage Worlds Supers (SWADE), with Lords of Gossamer? It would drive down the costs for chargen, and likely make things a whole lot easier - while keeping that LoG vibe.

May well give this a whirl at some point soon once I work out costs incorporation and stuff.
 

PolarBlues

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The only diceless game I ran other than Amber was a little ransom-ware game by Greg Stolze called "In Spaaace". It used a resource based system (called "Token Effort") in which in action resolution was resloved by secret auctions. It was clever, but I didn't enjoy the somewhat adversarial position the GM was placed in, having to bid against the players.

I also used to have a copy of Marvel Universe, the one that used "stones". It was an interesting system, but it just seemed too much work for the GM have keep track of all those resources.
 

Gringnr

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Theatrix is a rather interesting universal diceless system. It has a rudimentary dice mechanic attached for people who want it. I'll have to pull my copy out to tell you anything more about it.
 

AsenRG

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Wasn't there a Stone Age RPG where you draw stones from a bag for resolution?
 

Stumpydave

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I'm working on a diceless game which is really just number comparison. The tactics side comes from adding to that number from a pool, but the more you add the more you affect the world around you in a negative manner.

Does it work? No idea. Not playtested it yet.
 

TristramEvans

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Wasn't there a Stone Age RPG where you draw stones from a bag for resolution?

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Gringnr

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Nah, I seem to remember a game where you get differently-coloured rocks from a bag as a means of resolution. Did I dream it or what:shock:?
Puppetland? There was a game, IIRC where you played people in a nightmarish asylym, and picked colored marbles from a bag. Can't remember the name.
 
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