Comments on ConsensusFantasy

# 15 Comments. # I couldn't confirm looking online that the Engle Matrix Game system is under some kind of Free Culture License but saw that bunch of people have written games using the system. So author likely okay with use of the system if not blatantly copying his rules (plus you are releasing them for free) or maybe the rules are simple enough that they don't (feel they) warrant copyright protection?

Probably good idea to check with him though ( ?)

-- TrevorLDavis 2018-03-15 16:49 UTC

As I said, I'm definitely going to contact him and ask permission. His final post on his now-defunct blog implies he's liberating his work, and he has said similar things before elsewhere. I just need to sync up with him formally to make sure he's OK with some kind of Creative Commons license. See

Thanks for the Facebook link!

-- RonHaleEvans 2018-03-15 17:07 UTC

I'm happy to say Chris Engle has agreed to release his Matrix Game material under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license. I'm going to create a Matrix Games Wiki where it can be shared. I hope there will be some fruitful exchange between the PP Wiki and the MG Wiki, and that Consensus Fantasy will be some of the first of it.

-- RonHaleEvans 2018-04-30 03:29 UTC

Saw that in the original Matrix rules "Stupid" arguments automatically fail (even if one rolls a 6) - in your version are "Stupid" arguments just not allowed at all or are they attainable with an 'A' roll?

I'd like to see a concrete example resolving four competing arguments where each player rolled one of: 'NA', 'NN', 'AA', 'AN' (plus is another round of rolling dice needed for the last two players [who initially rolled 'AA' and 'AN'] to see which argument fully succeeds?) to fully see what your special new dice rules mean i.e. if only one argument can ever succeed what does it mean for one of the failures to have extra failure?

-- TrevorLDavis 2018-05-11 05:32 UTC

I thought I had some text in there like "If an argument will always fail or always succeed, don't roll for it" but I see I didn't transcribe that from my notes yet. As for the various kinds of critical roll, I'll give examples soon. Good catch. :)

-- RonHaleEvans 2018-05-11 18:09 UTC

OK, I went ahead and made an example (on paper) for the special rolls, and then I went back to your question and realized you were asking about competing arguments. I hadn't thought about that, but the cleanest way to do it IMHO is not to use special rolls at all during a dice rolling contest. Probably true for conflict as well.

By the way, these "special new dice rolls" are not that new. Lots of RPGs use something similar. They are only new to Matrix Games.

-- RonHaleEvans 2018-05-12 05:27 UTC

I had seen a similar mechanic in "Powered by the Apocalypse" games (i.e. success mixed with failure for certain dice roll combinations) as a way to add extra drama to the story but there are no competing dice rolls in that system (very much a light-weight story-driven system). It wasn't clear to me how it should work with four competing "special" dice rolls ala Matrix. Not having special features for competing rolls makes things clearer.

You might want to remove the text saying that an 'A' is an automatic success and a 'N' is an automatic failure since it makes grokking the competing roll success procedure more complicated to understand. As I understand it an initial 'A' isn't an automatic success over a '5' (assuming '5' is a success for that player) and an initial 'N' could end up winning over a '5' and an 'A' if you have to start rolling over from scratch when there was no unique success that round (i.e. the other players then rolled an 'N' so there was no unique success meaning everyone gets to re-roll from the beginning)?

-- TrevorLDavis 2018-05-14 17:59 UTC

I know in the d20 system (i.e. DnD 3.0-3.5 and Pathfinder) a 1 was an automatic failure and a 20 was an automatic success but it was always a single player rolling against a "Difficulty Class" target number...

-- TrevorLDavis 2018-05-14 18:08 UTC

Trevor, I think you're right. I'll work on it later. Even without the complications of dice rolling contests, etc., it's redundant to say that 'A' is an automatic success and 'N' is an automatic failure. It's true, but it merely follows from the other rules. It's not an extra rule.

-- RonHaleEvans 2018-05-14 21:08 UTC

Instead of Wodehouse, use The Heist, or alternatively, Team of Specialists on a Mission. Examples in movies include Solo, The Fast and The Furious franchise, Snatch, Inception, Ocean's 11. On TV, includes Leverage, the A-Team, Mission:Impossible, also things can go Terribly Wrong. e.g. The Usual Suspects, Reservoir Dogs, the heist scene in The Dark Knight, or Die Hard (from Hans Gruber's point of view)

Arguments are between the Specialist, and a player playing the Specialized. e.g. The Safecracker argues with the Safe. (Safe: "Yes you are so good that you did know that I am only one of 3 safes of my manufacture in the whole world, but you didn't know my current owner used secret military technology to modify me")

-- Chaz 2018-06-12 18:19 UTC

That's a pretty good idea, Chaz, but I haven't watched a lot of heist films, so I'd probably bungle it even worse than Wodehouse. Doesn't matter. I'm pretty sure I've got a third scenario now that can show what this game can do. I'll add it soon. Maybe YOU can do the heist scenario. :)

-- RonHaleEvans 2018-06-12 18:43 UTC

Because there has been a lot of confusion about percentile dice after I added them (and the standard d6) to Consensus Fantasy recently, and because CF is a matrix game played with a piecepack, I think I'm going to move all the special dice stuff to the Matrix Games Wiki. This would include percentile, vanilla d6, maybe d20 for D&D fans, and even exotic kinds of randomizer that aren't dice at all.

I'll create a page called something like Other Dice and link to it from CF and back. Anyone care? Tx.

-- RonHaleEvans 2020-03-15 21:28 UTC

I think either way is fine (keep it here or move it). The other thing I noticed that you may or may not want to change is that the percentile numbers in the table aren't the closest percentile approximates to the piecepack/traditional rolls (i.e. you have 15% instead of 17% (16.66... rounded to nearest percentile)). In particular if some players are using standard dice and others are using percentile dice (because there are only so many dice at the table) than certain players will have slight edges in certain situations.

-- TrevorLDavis 2020-03-15 22:00 UTC

I know. I can divide 2 by 3. But which are easier to remember, 67 and 33 or 70 and 30? If the players are using different dice, someone is going to have an edge even if the table reads 67 and 33 -- and I can simply recommend that they not use different kinds of dice.

-- RonHaleEvans 2020-03-15 23:16 UTC

Part of the issue above is that the CR rules are meant to be used in a number of different environments, only in some of which will players have access to physical percentile dice and lookup tables. I have successfully played this game at night, in dark rooms, for example. Therefore, the less players have to remember, the more successful their games will usually be. I am considering rounding the numbers even further, from 17 to 20, for example. This would be more in keeping with matrix games as they're played in the UK.

-- RonHaleEvans 2020-12-26 07:40 UTC

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