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Old 03-08-2018, 09:30 AM   #1
Jackal
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: New England
Default Parabolic Curves & Funky Dice?

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 http://anydice.com 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?
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bell curve, dice, funky dice, odds, parabolic curve

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