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Spying Tweak using D20 system
12-27-2015, 02:47 AM
Post: #1
Spying Tweak using D20 system
I haven’t experienced the horrors that some players describe, with spies dominating the game and making it no fun. Spying wasn’t a major factor in any of the league games I played. However, I have been able to play around with the current build, and I agree that spying could be beneficially tweaked, if not in this version, then in SO2.

In particular, the mechanic that basically requires SCIF to spy seems broken. Add SCIF, spying works. Take it away, and good luck getting one positive hit.

I did have 3 positive spy events in one turn against me. That sucked, and I wonder, if you are charismatic and have a positive hit, do you get 2 bonus hits (versus individually rolling for a successful event)? If so, that should be changed.

I’ve been playing 5th edition DND recently, and really like the mechanic for advantage and disadvantage, along with the D20 roll and difficulty class.

What if spying adopted a D20 system? A roll of a 1 would always miss. A roll of a 20 would always hit. If you were charismatic, you would have advantage (roll two D20, take the highest roll). If you were repulsive, you would have disadvantage (roll two D20, take the lowest) to offensive spying, nothing to defensive.

For difficulty, you could factor in spies and tech. Maybe 10 would be the default difficulty to start. A roll of 10 or higher is a positive spy event.

Cloaking could subtract 5 to from the difficulty of spying
Colony Security 1 would add 3 to the roll
Colony Security 2 would add 5 to the roll
SCIF could add to contact rating. I don’t like the “amazing” rating, would rather see
Contact rating could add or subtract to the difficulty rating. I forget the exact values, but
Feeble: +10 difficulty (so a positive hit would only be on a 20).
Amazing: -3 difficulty.
Spread the numbers out in-between for the rest.

And for the number of spies, maybe have it be a ratio or something.
For example,
If you have 10 spies for every 1 of your opponent, you get -10 to the difficulty. This would discourage building 1000 spies (the fall-off curve with the ratio versus the cost of building and maintain that many). But you would want to have at least 10 defensive spies to lower the threat of attack. 30 spies are quite a few, but with only a +3 bonus, not a massive advantage.

Leader X could lift spying up one notch (from repulsive to normal – no disadvantage – from normal to charismatic – advantage – no bonus for charismatic). And maybe -1 to difficulty?

Some examples:
1. Early game, feeble contact rating between both parties, 2 spies each. Each player puts one on offense. One player is charismatic, the other is repulsive. No X or other tech.
Difficulty 10 starting, +10 for feeble range, base difficulty 20. 1:1 ratio for spies so no bonus. Charismatic player rolls 2D20, roll of 20 would be positive. Repulsive player rolls 2D20, both would have to roll 20 to be positive.

2. Same game, both players have 10 spies on offense, 2 spies on defense. Add -5 to the difficulty. Charismatic player hits fairly frequently (2 chances to get a 15 or higher), repulsive doesn’t. Repulsive would need to switch to defensive spying.

3. Later game, 30 spies for charismatic on offense, has cloaking, SCIF ship close to opponent for amazing contact, and X. Target has colony security 2 and 15 defensive spies. +2 bonus for spies, +3 for contact rating, +5 for cloaking, -5 for colony security, +1 for X. Base difficulty 10 -2 -5 -3 +5 -1 = 4. Pretty much a guaranteed hit for charismatic, but not so for repulsive. Now switch the defensive spies to 30 and offensive to 15. 10 +2 -5 -3 +5 -1 = 8. Now destroy the SCIF. 10 +2 -5 +5 -1 = 11.

You get the idea, and the numbers can be tweaked.
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