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Old 03-08-2018, 11:02 AM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Far northern California
Default Re: Parabolic Curves & Funky Dice?

Originally Posted by Jackal View Post
Idle curiosity:

Has anyone else played around with alternatives to bell curves? That is, replacing Xd6 as a roll mechanism?

(No, I'm not suggesting TFT replace Xd6. At least not yet, lol)

We ended up using 2@3d20 and were very happy with the results. (Translation: roll 3d20 and use the middle value rolled.)

Plug that formula into and then compare it to 3d6. You'll see something cool: a parabolic curve instead of a bell curve.

Why the heck did we bother? And why use parabolic? Can't we leave well-enough alone?

Smoother curve. Modifiers shift the odds less dramatically across the range.

Broader range. Full 1-20 instead of 3-18 makes for more results and easier OSR scenario conversion.

Funky dice!! OK, totally stole this from DCC RPG: way better "advantage/disadvantage" mechanic: 4d6 becomes 2@3d24. 5d6 becomes 2@3d30. You can even model, "Uber surfing, dude: roll 2@3d16 vs. DX to totally crush that wave!"

Wicked fun: after the initial "Huh?" factor, players LOVE it. More dice to roll! Weird dice to roll! Extra moment of excitement! It's like a mini-game where you try to be the first to scan the die and pick the middle one. Silly, but I suspect it acts as an intermittent reinforcer.

Thoughts? Crickets?
Ty Beard has. He replaced the XD6 system with a flat D20 roll. He wrote several extensive comments over on the "The Fantasy Trip" thread on this subject, along with a couple of other comments on various other rules-centric threads. Well worth reading if you have the time to look them up.

Personally, I don't agree with doing that for TFT -- one of the things that makes TFT work as well as it does as a game is the bell-curve results -- but I can see why people might like to do so. Ty's system also has the benefit of flattening the Attribute Bloat curve somewhat (though the problem still lurks out there in the distance...).
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