[Let’s Study: Yggdrasill] Part 2: The Game System

Posted: August 2, 2012 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Let's Study, Roleplaying Games, Yggdrasill

Today we’re taking a look at the mechanics that operate Yggdrasill. It’s a very good setting, now let’s see what’s going on under the hood.

Yggdrasill’s basic resolution system is fairly simple, and relies on the use of D10’s. The game recommends that the players each have around 5 to 10 dice so the game doesn’t slow down.

For a basic test, the player rolls a pool of d10’s equal to their score in the characteristic used for the action. He then keeps the results of two of the dice rolled (usually the highest) and adds them together.

10’s explode, meaning that if a die rolls a 10, then the player adds 10 to the total and gets a reroll, adding the result of that reroll to the total. Each time the player rolls a 10, it gets added to the total, making it possible for players to get very high values if they manage to roll several 10’s in a row.

The grand total for these dice is then added to the skill level of the skill required by the test. The final value is then compared to a Success Threshold set by the GM. If the roll matches or exceeds the Success Threshold, then the roll succeeds.

I’d like to segue here a bit to a mechanic involving Fate. If a hero is in a situation where any of his three Fate Runes (which are determined in character creation) are applicable, then he may add the results of up to Three of the dice rather than just two.

To determine the degrees of success, the total of the roll is compared to the Success Threshold. The greater the difference between the result and the Success Threshold, the greater the degree of success (or failure depending on whether or not the test was successful.)

Difficulty levels range from a success Threshold of 5 (very simple) to 19 (Difficult) and up to 49 (Divine). It’s also important to note that the GM may also be able to provide modifiers that can alter the values of the test to denote the circumstances of the roll.

In circumstances when no skill applies, then the character then makes a characteristic test where he rolls normally but add his characteristic value instead of the skill level.

Other rules permutations covered include opposed tests and extended tests.

Interestingly, there are also Critical successes and failures in the game. One can score a critical success by roling double the value of the success threshold, and a critical failure if the player rolls at least three “1”‘s.

Overall the dice mechanic seems sound. The “Keep two and add skills” dice mechanic is reminiscent of L5R, which isn’t a bad thing. Add similarities like exploding D10’s and I think many of the old Roll and Keep players will find it easy to adapt to this system.

There’s a certain elegance to having rules like these, and the cap on dice rolled is always nice. I’ve had some good experiences with Bucket of Dice systems like HERO and Exalted, but I still prefer to keep things flowing quickly to keep up the mood of the game from slowing down.

Tomorrow we’ll try our hand at building our very own Norseman with the Yggdrasill Character Creation rules!

  1. Would you mind if I asked for a quick look as to how this works for combat? If you have a whole blog post due about it, I’ll be there.

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