Greywander

2018-09-03, 02:29 AM

I've been thinking about making a hack of the 5e rules, and one of the modifications I'm considering is a change to the core d20 mechanic. What I want to do is give the players more freedom over their dice rolls and create more tactical choices over how they roll their dice.

Under the system I'm considering, the default or standard roll would be 2d10. This skews moderately toward the average, and makes it impossible to roll a natural 1 while still being possible to roll a natural 20. The average roll is 11.

Players could also choose to roll cautiously, which would be a roll of 3d6. This skews heavily toward the average, and makes it impossible to roll a natural 1 or 2, but also to roll a 19 or 20. The average roll is 10.5.

Finally, they could roll recklessly, using the classic 1d20. All outcomes are equally likely, and the full range of values from 1 to 20 is available. The average roll is 10.5.

The more I think about it, though, the less use I see for the "standard" roll. Mathematically speaking, you'd always want to roll either 1d20 or 3d6. If your average roll is enough to succeed on a roll, then roll cautiously. If an average roll is insufficient, roll recklessly. The "standard" roll has an average roll that is 0.5 higher than the other two, but I don't know that that would justify keeping it around. The only reason I can think of to make a standard roll is if you don't know if an average roll will succeed or not.

One thing I'm noticing is the treatment of 1s, 2s, 19s, and 20s. A cautious roll removes the possibility of getting any of those values, while a standard roll only removes the 1. I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to incorporate those values into a critical failure/success system, and if that would be sufficient to justify the existence of a 2d10 roll option. If rolling a 1 was really bad (like, "your weapon breaks," or, "you injure yourself"), it might justify rolling 2d10 instead of 1d20 just to avoid rolling 1s.

Edit: I forgot to mention how this system would most likely interact with the advantage/disadvantage system of 5e. Probably the way I'd do it is that you roll one extra die and take the highest/lowest dice of the correct amount. For example, making a cautious roll with disadvantage would roll 4d6 and take the lowest 3. This means that rolling cautiously would inhibit the effects of (dis)advantage, while rolling recklessly would amplify it.

Under the system I'm considering, the default or standard roll would be 2d10. This skews moderately toward the average, and makes it impossible to roll a natural 1 while still being possible to roll a natural 20. The average roll is 11.

Players could also choose to roll cautiously, which would be a roll of 3d6. This skews heavily toward the average, and makes it impossible to roll a natural 1 or 2, but also to roll a 19 or 20. The average roll is 10.5.

Finally, they could roll recklessly, using the classic 1d20. All outcomes are equally likely, and the full range of values from 1 to 20 is available. The average roll is 10.5.

The more I think about it, though, the less use I see for the "standard" roll. Mathematically speaking, you'd always want to roll either 1d20 or 3d6. If your average roll is enough to succeed on a roll, then roll cautiously. If an average roll is insufficient, roll recklessly. The "standard" roll has an average roll that is 0.5 higher than the other two, but I don't know that that would justify keeping it around. The only reason I can think of to make a standard roll is if you don't know if an average roll will succeed or not.

One thing I'm noticing is the treatment of 1s, 2s, 19s, and 20s. A cautious roll removes the possibility of getting any of those values, while a standard roll only removes the 1. I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to incorporate those values into a critical failure/success system, and if that would be sufficient to justify the existence of a 2d10 roll option. If rolling a 1 was really bad (like, "your weapon breaks," or, "you injure yourself"), it might justify rolling 2d10 instead of 1d20 just to avoid rolling 1s.

Edit: I forgot to mention how this system would most likely interact with the advantage/disadvantage system of 5e. Probably the way I'd do it is that you roll one extra die and take the highest/lowest dice of the correct amount. For example, making a cautious roll with disadvantage would roll 4d6 and take the lowest 3. This means that rolling cautiously would inhibit the effects of (dis)advantage, while rolling recklessly would amplify it.