[In the Lab] Dice Pool Action-Selection Mechanic for Dung & Dragons

dice
Sometimes I think of game mechanics in the abstract, without a theme in mind. Actually, it happens a lot. This time, I got to thinking about a role selection mechanic that was paired with a dice pool. For context, I'm referring to "action selection" games like Puerto Rico, Agricola or Citadels.

Say there are six actions, corresponding to each face of a six sided die. At the beginning of a round, a pool of dice are rolled. When you choose an action on your turn, that action might have a more potent effect if there are dice matching that result. So far, this turns out to be pretty much how Yspahan works.

Now I'm mulling a slight tweak, wherein that dice pool is not rolled at the beginning of the round. Rather, each player has one die with which they secretly choose their action. All players then reveal their selection at the same time. Again, those actions are augmented by the number of matching results. So, part of the game might be coercing other players to follow your lead. Heck, some actions might have diminishing returns if too many do so!

Turn order becomes an important consideration here. I think simply using a "first player" marker and clockwise rotation would be worthwhile. How do you get the marker? Perhaps that's one of the actions! So, if multiple players choose the same action, the player closest to the first marker goes first, perhaps earning a privilege for being first as in Puerto Rico.

As players earn new powers, one of them might be extra dice, so they might choose more than one action during their turn... or double, or triple the power of a single action.

Suspect this makes timing and planning a key part of gameplay, but it would take testing. Further, I am not sure what kind of theme this mechanic best fits.

Perhaps this would work in Dung & Dragons? If the theme is a co-op ranch where members place votes on which duties to perform around the ranch, I can see this fitting that theme well. Basically, you're a loosely collectivist commune. Coordinating your jobs, timing duties and planning ahead definitely fits. Hm!
Daniel Solis
Art Director by Day. Game Designer by Night.