Steve Jackson Games Forums Parabolic Curves & Funky Dice?
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 03-08-2018, 09:30 AM #1 Jackal   Join Date: Mar 2018 Location: New England 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?
 03-08-2018, 09:35 AM #2 Andrew Hackard Munchkin Line Editor     Join Date: Aug 2004 Location: Austin, TX Re: Parabolic Curves & Funky Dice? Moved thread because it's not a specific TFT question. __________________ Andrew Hackard || Munchkin Line Editor, Steve Jackson Games Twitter: @SJGames || Facebook: SJ Games and Munchkin || Medium: @SJGames Instagram: @stevejacksongames || YouTube: Steve Jackson Games New Munchkin player? Visit our Munchkin 101 forum!
03-08-2018, 11:02 AM   #3
JLV

Join Date: Nov 2010
Re: Parabolic Curves & Funky Dice?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Jackal 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?
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...).

03-09-2018, 08:13 PM   #4
Jackal

Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: New England
Re: Parabolic Curves & Funky Dice?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by JLV 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...).
Cool cool. I will look those up. Thanks for the tip.

And yes, I can see how it would help with bloat -- but as I've alluded in other threads, I don't think there's a solution to that without separating Attributes from Pools -- but that is waaay off topic so I'll leave it at that.

Thanks again.

- Jack

 Tags bell curve, dice, funky dice, odds, parabolic curve

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