We’re back today with another couple of questions about Reign 2. This time, we’ll talk a little about the structure of play, and the system that powers Reign, the One Roll Engine.
The basic premise of Reign sounds cool. Tell me a little more about what you can do with the system?
It presumes you have a “company”—some organization of followers and property that the PCs govern. It can clash with enemy groups in a way that a rag-tag team of heroes just can’t, though the actions of the players’ characters usually offer big boosts (or penalties) to company rolls. If you take a whole adventure to set up your roll to change hearts and minds in a rival country, you’re far more likely to succeed. On the other hand, it also lets you play the kind of game you want by offloading some tasks onto your underlings. For example: Imagine a game with elements of investigation and elements of big hairy fights. One group that lives for detective work could do all their own spying, then have a mighty army for their company. Once they know where and what the enemies are, they just write a memo to the generals and have a lovely dinner on the back deck. A different group might LOVE the combat elements but find the spy stuff confusing or tedious. They could build a company that’s full of spies and diplomats, and use them to ferret out the secrets, which they then dispatch personally.
What are the real basics of the One Roll Engine?
You roll a pool of ten sided dice and look for matches. If you’re trying something simple and straightforward, any pair (or set of three, or more) gets it done. With four dice, you have a 50/50 chance.
But the neat part is that you can pull more information out of a single roll, because every successful set has two pieces of information embedded in it—how many dice turned up in the set, and what the number is that they matched on. We call this “height” and “width.” If you get three nines, the width is three and the height is nine.
It’s a bit like poker. A pair of tens beats a pair of eights, but three deuces beats any pair. In REIGN, however, height and width can mean different things. Sometimes you want a wide set, sometimes you want a high set. Would you rather do a lot of damage to a target’s leg, or a little bit to its unprotected head? The engine makes those sorts of decisions quick, easy and intuitive.
It’s particularly efficient for fantasy combat. You roll one set of dice and it tells you (1) whether you hit or missed, (2) how quickly you acted, (3) how hard your shot was and (4) where you hit the enemy. That’s why it’s called the One Roll Engine.
Reign 2 will begin funding on Kickstarter on July 18th. Watch www.atomicovermind.com for more updates as we head toward the project’s beginning!