I'm going to hammer out a tabletop system - I plan to run a game in it during the upcoming school year. It will be a redux of my Bastard Jedi game, based in a universe vaguely similar to Star Wars.
But I'm redesigning it to (A) have a decent combat system, (B) use multimaps and (C) not be quite so irritating.
One of the things I'm going to do is drop the idea of dice. Instead, I'm going to use cards. Here's my basic idea for how any given challenge would go:
A player is dealt five cards, face down. He can simply reveal his cards. A joker counts as two points, a face card as one point. Any given card has a 3/13 chance of being a face card and a 1/26 chance of being a joker, so the average card is worth 4/13 points, or a 30% chance. This means that a player will, using this system, generally have a point or two out of five cards.
However, your skill rating will allow you to count numbers equal or below it as points, as well. So if you have a skill of five (very high), you'll also count ace - 5 as points, raising your chances to 9/13, or an average of three or four points per set of five cards.
To add some depth, there are three other things you can do.
1) You can "concentrate". Each round you spend concentrating allows you to reveal a card and choose either to keep it or trade it in for another random card (which is face-down, allowing you to concentrate and reveal/exchange it). If you draw a joker while concentrating, it counts as a blip in the Force, and you instantly reveal and apply all your hidden cards and the joker. The joker still counts as two points, so this isn't really bad.
2) You can put oomph into it. Oomph can be put in at the beginning, or added later. This allows you to draw more cards based on the level of the emotion you're using and how attuned you are, whichever is least.
For example, if you try to do something while angry, you draw extra cards for being angry. If you're only a little peeved, you get one card. If you're trying to kill someone out of anger, you get four cards... if you are at level four anger. Otherwise, you technically max out at whatever your current level is.
These cards are instantly revealed and cannot be traded. Otherwise, they are exactly like the normal cards. A joker counts as two points and moves your emotion level up a notch, permanently. So, if you have level two anger and draw the joker, you now have level three anger.
This makes using emotions very powerful AND self-adjusting. Because of the way the universe works, you can use emotion for a big boost even in things totally unrelated to the Force.
3) Assists. With the help of a useful assistant, you get an extra card. For a great assistant, you gain two extra cards. (They cannot do anything besides assist you, of course.)
Anyhow, that's how you rack up points. But this game isn't simply about racking up successes, and many times a fight will be between two force users. In this case, everything is done as per normal, but each player chooses a side - light or dark. They may both choose light, or they can go one light, one dark, or whatever. If they use an emotion to gain extra cards, they have to choose that side, obviously.
When cards are revealed, all cards bearing the color you didn't choose (red is light side, black is dark side) are given to your opponent. You keep jokers.
What this means is that, unless you concentrate for several rounds and carefully weed out black or red cards, you're likely to give half your cards to your enemy. The end result in this kind of match is that skill is far more important than emotion in a jedi-jedi match, whereas emotion is very important in an uncontested match. There's some in-game reasons for this.
But a clever jedi can swing the balance in his favor using a few simple tricks.
You can choose not to use all your base five cards to do something. Instead, you can choose to use any number and simply hold on to the others. These others include revealed cards.
Lets say Anne is trying to sense whether there's another Force user in the city. She concentrates and reveals a king of hearts - worth a point! Obviously a keeper. However, instead of using that card to help her find another Force user, she pulls it aside and stores it. Then she uses the remaining four cards to find a Force user.
From then on, she only gets dealt four cards, but she can play the king of hearts whenever she wants to. This is useful because she knows it is a light-side point, no matter what her skill and opposition. Of course, every time she withholds it, she is working less effectively than she could be.
Places where the Force is strong in a given emotion do not split cards evenly red-black. An opposed check instead splits the suits 3-1. Dark siders using the right emotion lose only hearts to enemies, while light siders and other dark emotions still split evenly. A light sider using the right emotion loses only spades.
The inverse is also true: if you use the exact opposite emotion (such as trying to be harmonious in a long-angry environment) you lose all but hearts, or all but spades. But your points count double. This isn't quite enough to even it out statistically, but it does give you a fighting chance. This is also the only way to break (temporarily or permanently) the emotional charge of the Force - by using the opposite emotion and a specific Force power.
By choosing where they fight carefully, or by charging an area with their preferred emotion, Force users can make almost impossible stands by forcing their enemy to fork over half their cards while keeping 75% of their own cards.
Anyhow, those are my thoughts on the randomizing system. I might talk more about other stuff later, but I'd be happy to hear your thoughts on this.