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Old 08-26-2019, 11:50 PM   #91
maximara's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Sumter, SC
Default Re: Translating the concept of HP from D&D (and the like) to GURPS

Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
This ultimately comes down to the difference between using 3d6 and 1d20 for resolution (you’ll get no argument from me there, 3d6 is better), and all I was trying to do was refute the idea that d20 characters must have laughably low skill compared to GURPS characters. I feel I’ve done well enough at this goal. Yes, d20 has serious issues, and I feel GURPS is overall a far better system (particularly in that it gives you so many more options, in combat and elsewhere).
The sad thing is "Same dice, different odds" (Dragon #94; Feb 1985) pointed out a key problem with all single die systems. "Figure 1a plots the roll of a single die. This is a flat, or linear, distribution: each result has the same chance of occurring. Figure 1b, on the other hand, represents a bell-curve distribution: when several dice are rolled, each result no longer has the same chance of occurring."

"The extraordinary event must be, by definition, rare. Low-probability events can be found in Figures 1b and 1c, where the height of the curve is low: the long tails on both sides of the bell curve, and the long tail on the high (right) end of the asymmetric curve. Both curves have a long right tail; in game terms, this means high damage with a low probability."

But realize when we are: 1985. A year before GURPS.

The problem with the article is it didn't really hit the d20 problem on the head and went a little too much into the mathematics. It should have extolled the advantages of a bell curve with regards to combat but it went off into the tangent of divided die rolls (created by dividing the result of one roll by another roll) with regards to damage which wasn't on anybody's radar that I knew of.

Dragon magazine is full of stuff like that. Potentially good ideas that go off into dead ends because the author lost focus or wandered off on some tangent that was so minor that it was about as useful to the general playing community as an ice maker in Antartica. Every so often you run into a few rubies and diamonds but you have to go through a lot of crud to find them.

Last edited by maximara; 08-26-2019 at 11:59 PM.
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