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    Default The 2d10 Variant.

    In part of my ongoing after to rebalance 3.5 d&d, I have introduced the following variant into my own system:

    The 2d10 Variant:

    -Whenever you would normally roll a d20 for task-resolution purposes, instead roll 2d10. -If you get a result of 20, roll a d20 to confirm your critical normally.
    -If you get a result of 2, roll a d20 to confirm your critical failure. If your roll fails to make the DC required for success, you critically fail.
    -If you roll a 1 on a critical failure confirmation, you catastrophically fail and your DM is encouraged to invent an extremely bad result of your attempted action. For instance, if you catastrophically fail an attack roll, you could instead roll to attack your ally, who would be denied his Dex bonus to AC against your attack, and the resulting confusion would cause you both to provoke an Attack-of-Opportunity.
    -Any reference to consequences to “rolling a 1” on a d20 instead refer to “confirming a critical failure”.

    If you use this variant, you will also want to change the critical values on weapons as follows:

    20/x2 -> 20/x3.5 (calculate as if x4, but deal only half damage on the final ‘hit’)
    19-20/x2 -> 19-20/x3
    18-20/x2-> 18-20/x2
    20/x3 -> 20/x5
    20/x4 -> 20/x6

    -Criticals now are significantly nastier, but also have drastically less likelihood of occurring.
    -Factors such as keen or Improved Critical still work as-written.
    -Critical-dependant abilities such as Flamming Burst deal more damage as indicated by the increased critical multiplier.
    -Vorpal now is only +4 market price modifier.


    I dislike the amount of luck inherent in the d20, and feel it also spawns problems with how often people can really screw-up or fantastically succeed. Yes, these things do happen, but it's not 5% of the time, it's like 0.5% of the time. My system more accurately reflects this.

    Also, this indirectly nerfs casters and buffs martial classes because its 1) easier to roll average to above-average on a save and thus not tank a save-or-screwed. And 2) You are more likely to roll average and hit on your attacks, making your combat options much more consistantly effective.


    Please do note that in part of my work I have done extensive spell patching and moderately extensive class work as well.

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    Default Re: The 2d10 Variant.

    Well, it's pretty strangein a sense: you are using 2d10 to substitute the d20 roll right? Then why you have to use the d20 again in some rolls? Just use the 2d10 to confirm the critical.

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    Default Re: The 2d10 Variant.

    Just use the 2d10 to confirm the critical.
    Because the d20 has a much flatter probability distribution. Rolling 2d10 to confirm crits would result in very few crits indeed.

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    Default Re: The 2d10 Variant.

    This makes it very unlikely that you'll be able to hit high AC enemies or make difficult saving throws. The chance of passing a saving throw that would normally require you to roll an 18, 19, or 20 on a d20 is 15%. The same chance on 2d10 is 6%, worse than half. Same thing with hitting opponents and making skill checks. You'd have to seriously up the CR of enemies with very high ACs or difficult saving throws, or edit them, or not use them.

    Another example: If you would normally need a 20 to hit an ac 50 monster, that is 5% chance of success. If you roll 2d10, you only have a 1% chance to hit the same monster.
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    Default Re: The 2d10 Variant.

    Quite correct. On the plus side, you get much more reliable results against easy saving throws or low-AC targets. A lot of the balancing would need to be reworked, but as a basic roll mechanic, there's something to to be said for its realism.

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    Default Re: The 2d10 Variant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaurd Juris View Post
    This makes it very unlikely that you'll be able to hit high AC enemies or make difficult saving throws. The chance of passing a saving throw that would normally require you to roll an 18, 19, or 20 on a d20 is 15%. The same chance on 2d10 is 6%, worse than half. Same thing with hitting opponents and making skill checks. You'd have to seriously up the CR of enemies with very high ACs or difficult saving throws, or edit them, or not use them.

    Another example: If you would normally need a 20 to hit an ac 50 monster, that is 5% chance of success. If you roll 2d10, you only have a 1% chance to hit the same monster.
    So its harder to get a "hail marry"? So what?

    Look at it the other way, where its easy to roll poorly and miss an average DC or AC under the d20 system. Essentially, this system makes peope who are good at things more consistantly good at them and people that are poor at things less likely to get 'lucky'.

    Also, what if the monster rolls a 20 and crits the PC? And then the PCs roll <10, with a 1 in there, and don't touch the monster. That may be unlikely, but extremely possible under the d20 system. It is much, much less likely under my variant.

    Finally, bosses with hard ACs and DCs are indeed harder because its harder to 'get lucky' vs them. Personally, I think this adds realism to the game and makes it generally funner as you can rely on your PCs abilities more regularly but at the same time you should fear an enemy's abilities if he's too tough for you to handle.


    As for using a d20 to confirm crits, that is there because I A) wanted to keep the d20 in the game somewhere and B) Crits are more 'lucky' then normal activities, so having something without a bell curve seemed more appropriate.

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    Default Re: The 2d10 Variant.

    Why not just roll a d20 like normal for rolls, but upon a 1 or 20 roll a d% to confirm critical success/failure and just place the % chance of success very low?
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    Default Re: The 2d10 Variant.

    Quote Originally Posted by arkanis View Post
    Why not just roll a d20 like normal for rolls, but upon a 1 or 20 roll a d% to confirm critical success/failure and just place the % chance of success very low?
    Because, for one that is actually harder to balance then what I have done.

    For another, its not just about reducing criticals and critical failures, its about using a bell curve to reduce the element of luck in general. Not only is this more realistic, but it makes for far better gameplay IMO.

    I would much rather lose a fight because I was outmatched then because I got consistantly unlucky. I certinally wouldn't want said luck to play a major role in almost anything I did to the point where my own abilities are minor until mid-levels.

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    Default Re: The 2d10 Variant.

    There is of course the 3d6 variant in Unearthed Arcana. I assume the OP has read it?
    That variant doesn't suggest that criticals' multipliers are changed at all, just the threat ranges.

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    Default Re: The 2d10 Variant.

    I don't think I'm really understanding the system behind your crit modifications. I think I get why you want them, however, the numbers you change them to just seem arbitrary. Also, what happens with a feat like Improved Critical or the Keen weapon ability?

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    Default Re: The 2d10 Variant.

    I had created a different 2d10 variant for my own campaign, and in my opinion, it is far superior to the 3d6 because...
    A) Luck DOES play some part. Getting average, average, average reduces it to no luck at all, which isn't fun at all.
    B) You need less modifications - mine made truly critical success and failure an almost-never (If you get a 20, roll 1d2/flip a coin. 1 or tails, it's a critical failure. 2 or heads, critical success.) and I actually didn't change the criticals at all; they simply ended up marginalized. If you use the 3.5 and such non-stacking rules for critical improvements, it works.

    True criticals became very rare, but I added a few feats allowing extra dice for beating an AC by such-and-such amount to simulate 'lesser' criticals. This one looks more balanced, but also more complex, which isn't something needed in DnD... I would reccomend dumping the critical multiplier changes, and maybe simply add one to all critical ranges. (20 becomes 19-20, 19-20 becomes 18-20, 18-20 becomes 17-20..) Since this is reducing luck, that seems reasonable. Yes?

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    Default Re: The 2d10 Variant.

    I would much rather lose a fight because I was outmatched then because I got consistantly unlucky. I certinally wouldn't want said luck to play a major role in almost anything I did to the point where my own abilities are minor until mid-levels.
    In that case, you may wish to roll different dice depending on the base skill in question. e.g:

    1-4 ranks: 2d4
    5-6 ranks: 2d6
    7-8 ranks: 2d8, etc...

    For criticals, I always favoured the notion that, if you hit at all, just roll to hit again, at a -4 penalty (modified by 'threat range'.) Repeat as neccesary, doubling damage each time. That'll cut them Hit Points down to size...
    For another, its not just about reducing criticals and critical failures, its about using a bell curve to reduce the element of luck in general. Not only is this more realistic, but it makes for far better gameplay IMO.
    As has been mentioned, a certain amount of luck IS realistic, but strictly speaking 2 dice don't give a bell curve so much as a pyramid.

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    Default Re: The 2d10 Variant.

    Actually it appears to be a lot less realistic. Consider the fact that in "real" life a standard civilian can kill the most trained soldier pretty easily if he gets a good blow to the head. One bullet can end it all regardless of someone's skill.

    If anything, reducing the luck modification makes it LESS realistic, though more fair (which we all know life isn't).

    That 3d6 variant is very odd. At least it uses more common dice.
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    Default Re: The 2d10 Variant.

    Quote Originally Posted by darthmario View Post
    I don't think I'm really understanding the system behind your crit modifications. I think I get why you want them, however, the numbers you change them to just seem arbitrary. Also, what happens with a feat like Improved Critical or the Keen weapon ability?
    The values are directly related to how relatively likely the new criticals are to occur. 18 is considerably closer to the "pyramid" then 19, or 20. I don't have the %ages anymore, but someone graphed it for me once and that (as well as logic) is where I got my information.

    True criticals became very rare, but I added a few feats allowing extra dice for beating an AC by such-and-such amount to simulate 'lesser' criticals. This one looks more balanced, but also more complex, which isn't something needed in DnD... I would reccomend dumping the critical multiplier changes, and maybe simply add one to all critical ranges. (20 becomes 19-20, 19-20 becomes 18-20, 18-20 becomes 17-20..) Since this is reducing luck, that seems reasonable. Yes?
    The problem with this is that it interacts in odds ways with Keen and Improved Critical (which I allow to stack). 17-20 becomes 13-20, and then 9-20, which is totally unreasonable.

    I like the roll to confirm the failure system because it keeps it relative to the PC's skill and also maintains the precendent set. Essentially, although its luck whether the confirm roll is called for, it is the PC's skill that primarily determines whether he ACTUALLY critically fails or succeeds.

    In that case, you may wish to roll different dice depending on the base skill in question. e.g:

    1-4 ranks: 2d4
    5-6 ranks: 2d6
    7-8 ranks: 2d8, etc...

    For criticals, I always favoured the notion that, if you hit at all, just roll to hit again, at a -4 penalty (modified by 'threat range'.) Repeat as neccesary, doubling damage each time. That'll cut them Hit Points down to size...
    I don't understand your first suggestion, aside from that it would be far more complicated and ackward that what I am currently doing. Skill ranks are already taken into account in the modifier on the roll, having them also apply to how the roll is made is convoluted and a major balance issue.

    For the second, that seems a very overpowered way of doing things that also completely ignores the differences in crit range and modifier in different weapons. Not only are those important aspects of balancing various weapons against each-other, but they also help differentiate the weapons a bit. Think about all the 1d8 and 1d10 weapons that would be made much more mechanically similar under this system. I happen to like assymetry.

    I don't like ethier of your suggestions, at all.

    As has been mentioned, a certain amount of luck IS realistic, but strictly speaking 2 dice don't give a bell curve so much as a pyramid.
    Sure, and a certain element of luck still exists under my system. I'm not suggesting that everyone just "takes 10" all the time, and not roll for success resolution at all. I'm merely introducing a rolling mechanic that changes the equation a bit and IMO makes the game more consistant and in general funner.
    Last edited by Kizara; 2008-03-01 at 06:18 PM.

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    Default Re: The 2d10 Variant.

    I don't understand your first suggestion, aside from that it would be far more complicated and ackward that what I am currently doing. Skill ranks are already taken into account in the modifier on the roll, having them also apply to how the roll is made is convoluted and a major balance issue.
    Your complaint was that personal skill is insignificant next to the roll itself until mid levels, which is entirely true, but stems from the average roll made on the dice (11 or 10.5,) being much larger than your skill modifier, and has nothing to do with the probability distribution. If you want to fix that, you need to scale the average roll made, not how frequently that particular number comes up.
    For the second, that seems a very overpowered way of doing things that also completely ignores the differences in crit range and modifier in different weapons.
    I always considered this to be an overcomplication of the system, but as for being overpowered? Look, realistically speaking, if someone stabs you in the heart, you are dead, regardless of these so-called 'hit points' that high-level characters lug around. Think of it as a built in Massive Damage system.

    If you want to incorporate different crit multipliers, simply apply it to the first crit confirmation. (Of course, a system of Dodge/Parry skills would probably be needed to balance things out properly.)
    Think about all the 1d8 and 1d10 weapons that would be made much more mechanically similar under this system.
    Good.
    Oh- another suggestion- apply strength bonus to damage rolls only, but allow margin of success on your attack roll to boost damage instead. Apply dex bonus to all attack rolls, but cap maximum dexterity by damage die in a fashion similar to armour caps. This forces players to trade off between high-damage, low-to-hit weapons (like greatswords,) or low-damage, high-to-hit weapons (like rapiers.)

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    Default Re: The 2d10 Variant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alfryd View Post
    Your complaint was that personal skill is insignificant next to the roll itself until mid levels, which is entirely true, but stems from the average roll made on the dice (11 or 10.5,) being much larger than your skill modifier, and has nothing to do with the probability distribution. If you want to fix that, you need to scale the average roll made, not how frequently that particular number comes up.
    Partially true. If the probability of getting 9-13 is much higher then, say, a 2 or 18 then the chances of your character making that DC 20 check are considerably more dependant on his abilities. 11 is only more 'average' on a d20 because there are more numbers 'close' to it (10,9,8/12,13,14) as opposed to a 20 (19,18,17).


    I always considered this to be an overcomplication of the system, but as for being overpowered? Look, realistically speaking, if someone stabs you in the heart, you are dead, regardless of these so-called 'hit points' that high-level characters lug around. Think of it as a built in Massive Damage system.
    You just admitted that it is overpowered but (in your opinion) more realistic. You are basically saying that you feel everyone should just be doing more damage, for the heck of it and that the HP-system shouldn't be used. That hardly refutes my point, and in fact demonstrates the lack of viability of your suggestion. (it doesnt work with the current system, which you seem to dislike)

    If you want to incorporate different crit multipliers, simply apply it to the first crit confirmation. (Of course, a system of Dodge/Parry skills would probably be needed to balance things out properly.)
    Great, lets totally overly complicate the system and make combat reliant on a series of tables and 4+ rolls to figure out a simple attack. I bet that sounds like fun to you, but its laughable to me.

    Good.
    Oh- another suggestion- apply strength bonus to damage rolls only, but allow margin of success on your attack roll to boost damage instead. Apply dex bonus to all attack rolls, but cap maximum dexterity by damage die in a fashion similar to armour caps. This forces players to trade off between high-damage, low-to-hit weapons (like greatswords,) or low-damage, high-to-hit weapons (like rapiers.)
    Sorry, guess we weren't done, we needed more tables and overcomplication. Let's remove one element of simulation which is straightforward and internally-consistant and introduce like 5 that aren't?

    I don't know what RPG you are trying to play, but its far-and-away not 3.5 D&D. It's a bit closer to 2ed AD&D (you should go play that).


    My intention with this variant is to change a fundamental mechanic to a very-slightly more complicated one in order to reduce luck, increase realisim (both in gameplay and in the system in general), and generally improve the fun of those playing my games.
    As opposed to completely destroying the game with unwieldy mechanics that are not internally-consistant.
    Last edited by Kizara; 2008-03-02 at 11:46 PM.

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    Default Re: The 2d10 Variant.

    Oh- another suggestion- apply strength bonus to damage rolls only, but allow margin of success on your attack roll to boost damage instead. Apply dex bonus to all attack rolls, but cap maximum dexterity by damage die in a fashion similar to armour caps. This forces players to trade off between high-damage, low-to-hit weapons (like greatswords,) or low-damage, high-to-hit weapons (like rapiers.)
    Actually, this suggestion isn't so bad. But I'll agree, all the others were.
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    Default Re: The 2d10 Variant.

    If the probability of getting 9-13 is much higher then, say, a 2 or 18 then the chances of your character making that DC 20 check are considerably more dependant on his abilities.
    Yes, but I don't see what this has to with levelling. Since 'average' DCs are fixed at skill rank +10, luck is exactly as much a factor at level 40 as at level 4.
    You just admitted that it is overpowered but (in your opinion) more realistic. You are basically saying that you feel everyone should just be doing more damage, for the heck of it...
    Not so- as mentioned, dodge/parry/block would/could by used to compensate.
    I don't know what RPG you are trying to play, but its far-and-away not 3.5 D&D. It's a bit closer to 2ed AD&D (you should go play that).
    Yeah, been there.
    Great, lets totally overly complicate the system and make combat reliant on a series of tables and 4+ rolls to figure out a simple attack.
    I don't see what's especially complicated about opposed skill checks, but bear in mind that extra rolls would only crop up on occasions when you hit (which would be correspondingly rarer, due to dodge/parry,) or when confirming crits (and each confirmation is successively less likely to happen.)

    I suppose you could call my suggestions inconsistent, but that's only because I'm not close to done yet. I certainly think that Hit Points, on balance, are an excresence that should be excised with all haste, but at least this kind of system puts melee characters on a par with primary casters when it comes to sheer damage capacity. Didn't think of that, huh?

    What I find laughable personally is that- while his may have escaped you- when it comes to fixing balance and realism in D&D, adding 2d10 mechanics is waaaay down the list.

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    Default Re: The 2d10 Variant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alfryd View Post

    What I find laughable personally is that- while his may have escaped you- when it comes to fixing balance and realism in D&D, adding 2d10 mechanics is waaaay down the list.
    "Please do note that in part of my work I have done extensive spell patching and moderately extensive class work as well." (In my OP)

    I assure you this is part of a larger effort, and one of many steps I am taking to improve my game.

    but at least this kind of system puts melee characters on a par with primary casters when it comes to sheer damage capacity. Didn't think of that, huh?
    Sure I did. For one, that benefit is not wroth bogging down the system in (4? 5?) layers of complexity.

    For another, you then screw them over with MAD cause you need dex to hit in melee, as well as ranged. Also, you now overpower Dex as a stat.

    Finally, did you consider that monsters generally have much higher attack bonuses and damage, but far less attacks then a party? Thus, under your system they would get many more attacks and deal much more damage, essentially screwing over a CR-appropriate encounter.

    Of course, you could rework the entire CR system of every monster, and also re-calculate/rework every entry to function with the new (complicated and likely confusing) combat system. No thanks.
    Last edited by Kizara; 2008-03-03 at 04:25 PM.

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    Default Re: The 2d10 Variant.

    Sure I did. For one, that benefit is not wroth bogging down the system in (4? 5?) layers of complexity.
    As I clarified, there is no such overwhelming burden. It's basically an opposed skill check. I assure you that GURPS gets along just fine with fewer rules than D&D.
    For another, you then screw them over with MAD cause you need dex to hit in melee, as well as ranged. Also, you now overpower Dex as a stat.
    Actually, the existing guidelines for race bonuses state that Strength is worth about 33% more than Dex, so that's not such a problem. Besides, you can compensate by removing Dex bonus to AC, as you now have a Dodge skill which serves much the same purpose as touch AC, and Strength can be used to govern the effectiveness of many ranged weapons.
    Of course, you could rework the entire CR system of every monster, and also re-calculate/rework every entry to function with the new (complicated and likely confusing) combat system. No thanks.
    If you don't want to go to that much trouble, fine, but don't call the idea laughable in principle simply because it's incompatible with large amounts of pre-existing crap.
    "Please do note that in part of my work I have done extensive spell patching and moderately extensive class work as well." (In my OP)

    I assure you this is part of a larger effort, and one of many steps I am taking to improve my game.
    Wonderful. Let's hear it then.

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    Default Re: The 2d10 Variant.

    What you are talking about is probability. Yet nobody is using math.

    *sigh*

    So, a simple way to break down a given random number generator is mean and standard deviation. If you then do a CDF (cumulative distribution function) of the results, translated based on mean and scaled based on standard deviation, the graphs look quite similar. :) The differences mainly occur at the far end (at the < 5% of events scale).

    The standard deviation of a 1dX is sqrt((X^2-1)/12).

    The standard deviation of YdX is sqrt(Y * (X^2-1)/12 )

    So we have:
    E(1d20) = 10.5
    E(2d10) = 11
    SD(1d20) =~ 5.77
    SD(2d10) =~ 4.06

    The lower SD on 2d10 is an expression of the "tighter" distribution.

    The rough conversion between (1d20+N) to (2d10+M) is:
    (N - 10.5) = 1.4*(M-11)

    (1.4 is 5.77/4.06).

    Do you want modifiers to the d20 and difficulty to be roughly 1.4 times as important? Because you did that, regardless of your goal one way or other.

    ...

    So that describes what happens most of the time. The next problem is dealing with the "tails".

    The critical distribution above:
    20/x2 -> 20/x3.5 (calculate as if x4, but deal only half damage on the final ‘hit’)
    19-20/x2 -> 19-20/x3
    18-20/x2-> 18-20/x2
    20/x3 -> 20/x5
    20/x4 -> 20/x6
    is very different than the standard D&D criticals.

    P(2d10 >= 20) = 0.01
    P(2d10 >= 19) = 0.03
    P(2d10 >= 18) = 0.06
    P(2d10 >= 17) = 0.10
    P(2d10 >= 16) = 0.15
    P(2d10 >= 15) = 0.21
    P(2d10 >= 14) = 0.28
    P(2d10 >= 13) = 0.36
    P(2d10 >= 12) = 0.45
    For (21-C) >= 12, we get:
    P(2d10 >= 21-C) = (C+1)*(C)/200

    In comparison, the P(1d20 >= (21-C)) = C/20

    The ratio works out to be:
    P(1d20 >= (21-C)) / P(2d10 >= (21-C)) = 10/(C+1)

    That is the ratio of 1d20 crit chance to 2d10 crit chance. Notice how it is rather large -- at C=1 (ie, 20s only), you need crits to be 5 times larger to be just as good!

    However, we need to balance both keen/imp crit and normal. Given the shape of the curve, I'd recommend that keen/imp crit should do something slightly different.

    I'd vote for "increase crit multiplier by A, and increase crit width by B".

    Using that, we can now figure out what has to happen to the base crit multiplier for keen weapons to be about as good and base weapons to be about as good, on the average. (they will probably have a worse variance).

    Also, should we change the baseline crits? I'm thinking "yes".

    Because 20x2 under d20 has to become 20x6 under 2d10 to be just as good. And 20x4? 20x16! That's getting silly.

    First proposal:
    20x2 (+5%) -> 19x3 (+6%)
    20x3 (+10%) -> 19x5 (+12%)
    20x4 (+15%) -> 18x4 (+18%)
    19x2 (+10%) -> 18x3 (+12%)
    18x2 (+15%) -> 16x2 (+15%)

    That follows the general rule that "crits are larger and less common".

    Now, let's try the "width boosted by 1" version of keen:
    K20x2 (+10%) -> 18x3 (+12%)
    K20x3 (+20%) -> 18x5 (+24%)
    K20x4 (+30%) -> 17x4 (+30%)
    K19x2 (+20%) -> 17x3 (+20%)
    K18x2 (+30%) -> 15x2 (+21%)
    Hmm. Works well, except for the keen scimitar. What if we special case that?
    K20x2 (+10%) -> 18x3 (+12%)
    K20x3 (+20%) -> 18x5 (+24%)
    K20x4 (+30%) -> 17x4 (+30%)
    K19x2 (+20%) -> 17x3 (+20%)
    K18x2 (+30%) -> 16x3 (+30%)

    There, it works reasonably well!

    So, here is a model:
    Code:
    Old     Standard        Keen
    20x2    19x3            18x3
    20x3    19x5            18x5
    20x4    18x4            17x4
    19x2    18x3            17x3
    18x2    16x2            16x3
    Ie, keen adds 1 to the width of your crits, unless your weapon is an x2 weapon. In that case, it instead boosts your crit damage multiplier by 1.

    ...

    Note that 'rolling to confirm on a 1d20' is both ugly and not required. Just roll 2d10 to confirm as well, it is cleaner.

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    Default Re: The 2d10 Variant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alfryd View Post
    If you don't want to go to that much trouble, fine, but don't call the idea laughable in principle simply because it's incompatible with large amounts of pre-existing crap.

    Wonderful. Let's hear it then.
    I think that is the cause of our disagreement. I am suggesting we use different tires, you want a completely different type of vehicle.

    As for my other changes, my Tome of House Rules is currently 27 pages long (generously spaced but only 12 font mostly). Anything in particular you would like to see? More skill changes perhaps? (you liked my language system in the other thread)


    Yakk:

    There is a REASON I didn't put all that math in my OP. :) Such is not my strong point.

    "Do you want modifiers to the d20 and difficulty to be roughly 1.4 times as important? Because you did that, regardless of your goal one way or other."

    While exactly 1.4x wasn't my specific intention, the general idea was. I am fine with that.


    As for the rest of your math, I don't have the motivation to break open my Math 30 text to try to understand and proofread what you did, but I appreciate the idea.

    I understand that I am somewhat marginalizing criticals, and that is partly intentional. I am trying to give a 'nood' to them regardless, to not completely shaft that element of the system.

    I don't want to discount what seems to be a extremely good critique of my proposal, but I simply don't have a good enough command of math to fully appreciate what you are saying, and simply seeing your conclusions isn't good enough for me to change my system.

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    Default Re: The 2d10 Variant.

    What you with criticals is utterly random.

    Before, weapons gave up a bunch of damage in order to get each additional crit pip, and keen/improved critical where somewhat balanced based on being used on the better weapons.

    Your changes:
    Code:
    Before   Before keen After         After keen
    20x2 5%  19x2 10%    20/x3.5 3.5%  19/x3.5 10.5%
    19x2 10% 17x2 20%    19x3 6%       17x3 20%
    18x2 15% 15x2 30%    18x2 10%      15x2 21%
    20x3 10% 19x3 20%    20x5 4%       19x5 12%
    20x4 15% 19x4 30%    20x6 5%       19x6 15%
    (The percent values above is a rough indicator of the boost to damage.)

    Nearly randomly reorder what the values of the crit ranges are. If you are doing this, you might as well completely throw out the D&D 3.5e weapon tables, because any semblance of balance is gone.

    And that 3.5 multiplier? That's just ugly.

    Take a look at the 19x2 and 18x2 rows above. Under standard d20, 18x2 is better at generating critical damage than 19x2 -- quite rightly! Compare the scimitar to the longsword: they are similar weapons, except the scimitar loses a die size, and goes from 19x2 to 18x2. That boost to crits is supposed to be worth something.

    Yet under your system? The difference between a keen 19x2 and a keen 18x2 is 1%!

    In effect: you should first figure out what effects you want to change in your system. Decide "I want crits to be less important" or "I want the difference between crit multipliers to increase with non-keen weapons, and stay about the same when they are keen", and then tweak the mechanics.

    It appears you are simply tweaking mechanics, and then accepting whatever random side effects fall out. That is a bad way to tweak a game system.

    Find out what properties of the game system you want to change, and then figure out how to change the rules of the game system to get those property changes. Don't change the rules for the sake of changing the rules.

    So, honestly, before: did you intend to decrease the impact of crits? Did you intend to make a long sword average boost to damage from crits be indistinguishable from the scimitar after you keen both? Did you intend to nerf the 20x3, 20x4 weapons significantly in average damage delt? Did you consider the keen scimitar to be too good?

    All of these things you have done -- and it appears they are just happening as side effects of rule changes, as opposed to pre-meditated goals that you aimed to change rules in order to produce.

    ...

    So what is the table at the end of my post? It is an attempt to produce a critical table that gives the same average boost to damage as the d20 critical tables. Ie: if your goal is to not change the relative quality of weapons, then that is the sort of table you want to use.

    I'm advising you to take that approach -- compensate for changes done by default, and only after consideration change them.

    ...

    Oh, as a rather neat side: if you also change D&D to a contest based game (ie, each side rolls 2d10 plus modifiers, instead of one side rolling and the other side providing the target), then this exactly compensates for the decrease in SD!

    Ie,
    1d20+ATK vs 10+DEF
    is nearly identical to
    2d10+ATK vs 2d10+DEF
    in terms of the probability impact of having a +1 or -1 edge against the opponent. :)

    The only significant differences are in the low-probability zone -- ie, out among the +/- 10 edge to one side or the other area, in which d20 often just gives up and says "you have a 5% chance to win".

    Doing
    1d20+ATK vs 1d20+DEF
    has effect of making modifiers 1.4 times less important (or 70% as important), if you want to go the other way. This "flattens" the level curve somewhat, and might single-handedly reign in "save or die" spells.

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    Default Re: The 2d10 Variant.

    First off, thank you for taking the time and having the patience to help me with this. I would really love for this to be more sound on the probabilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk View Post
    What you with criticals is utterly random.

    Before, weapons gave up a bunch of damage in order to get each additional crit pip, and keen/improved critical where somewhat balanced based on being used on the better weapons.

    Your changes:
    Code:
    Before   Before keen After         After keen
    20x2 5%  19x2 10%    20/x3.5 3.5%  19/x3.5 10.5%
    19x2 10% 17x2 20%    19x3 6%       17x3 20%
    18x2 15% 15x2 30%    18x2 10%      15x2 21%
    20x3 10% 19x3 20%    20x5 4%       19x5 12%
    20x4 15% 19x4 30%    20x6 5%       19x6 15%
    (The percent values above is a rough indicator of the boost to damage.)

    Nearly randomly reorder what the values of the crit ranges are. If you are doing this, you might as well completely throw out the D&D 3.5e weapon tables, because any semblance of balance is gone.

    And that 3.5 multiplier? That's just ugly.

    Take a look at the 19x2 and 18x2 rows above. Under standard d20, 18x2 is better at generating critical damage than 19x2 -- quite rightly! Compare the scimitar to the longsword: they are similar weapons, except the scimitar loses a die size, and goes from 19x2 to 18x2. That boost to crits is supposed to be worth something.

    Yet under your system? The difference between a keen 19x2 and a keen 18x2 is 1%!
    Alright, let's see if I'm following you:

    1) Looking at your original table, I think you can see my intent. Without adding another level of complexity, the average expected damage boost is somewhat comparable both pre-and-post keen to the d20 values. However, you have made a point about how it breaks down at the 20/x3 and 20/x4 values. The 3.5x mod on the 20/x2 is because monsters often have that for their crit chance, and their burst damage potential is the most problematic.

    2) What if you took into account keen and improved crit stacking? That is why the 18-20/x2 is not increased, because I was thinking that 12 is a lot closer to the 'pyramid' then, say, 15 is.

    In effect: you should first figure out what effects you want to change in your system. Decide "I want crits to be less important" or "I want the difference between crit multipliers to increase with non-keen weapons, and stay about the same when they are keen", and then tweak the mechanics.

    It appears you are simply tweaking mechanics, and then accepting whatever random side effects fall out. That is a bad way to tweak a game system.

    Find out what properties of the game system you want to change, and then figure out how to change the rules of the game system to get those property changes. Don't change the rules for the sake of changing the rules.
    Actually, the "accepting" factor comes from a lack of ability to better account for probability, not a lack of caring. I accepted that I couldn't do better, essentially.

    First, the main point is to cause the general distribution change, favoring mid values over extremes. This has been addressed and we agree on it (I think).

    Second, I want to make criticals and threat ranges to be somewhat like they were before, but favoring those that take pains to improve their threat range and perhaps marginalizing others. Essentially, what you suggested is more-or-less accurate.


    So, honestly, before: did you intend to decrease the impact of crits? Did you intend to make a long sword average boost to damage from crits be indistinguishable from the scimitar after you keen both? Did you intend to nerf the 20x3, 20x4 weapons significantly in average damage delt? Did you consider the keen scimitar to be too good?

    All of these things you have done -- and it appears they are just happening as side effects of rule changes, as opposed to pre-meditated goals that you aimed to change rules in order to produce.
    1) Yes, to an extent.
    2) No, I was attempting to take into account the stacking effect of keen and improved crit giving the scimitar a much greater chance to crit.
    3) No, but I am wary of making the modifier on them so obscene that if they ever crit its an auto-kill. Also, with x3 vs x4, if they have like x16 or x20 mods, it doesn't matter, its going to kill anything outright. Furthermore, that is seriously silly (as you stated).
    4) See above thoughts on the scimitar. In essence, sort of, but I was seeing something you weren't taking into account.
    5) I hope you understand my goals and the reasoning behind my changes now. I may not have done such perfectly, but I assure you it was with the intention of creating a dynamic and effective change.


    ...
    So what is the table at the end of my post? It is an attempt to produce a critical table that gives the same average boost to damage as the d20 critical tables. Ie: if your goal is to not change the relative quality of weapons, then that is the sort of table you want to use.

    I'm advising you to take that approach -- compensate for changes done by default, and only after consideration change them.
    So, would you consider remaking that suggestion with the concept of keen and improved crit stacking in mind? Also, I want to avoid any additional layers of complexity if I can. It's a fundamental rolling mechanic, I don't want to make it convoluted.

    ...
    Oh, as a rather neat side: if you also change D&D to a contest based game (ie, each side rolls 2d10 plus modifiers, instead of one side rolling and the other side providing the target), then this exactly compensates for the decrease in SD!

    Ie,
    1d20+ATK vs 10+DEF
    is nearly identical to
    2d10+ATK vs 2d10+DEF
    in terms of the probability impact of having a +1 or -1 edge against the opponent. :)

    The only significant differences are in the low-probability zone -- ie, out among the +/- 10 edge to one side or the other area, in which d20 often just gives up and says "you have a 5% chance to win".
    Too much math for me to really get what you are saying, but good to know! I certinally would like my system (your remake of my system, whatever :) ) to be sound enough to be used in this fashion, especially since opposed rolls (such as skill checks) do this.

    Doing
    1d20+ATK vs 1d20+DEF
    has effect of making modifiers 1.4 times less important (or 70% as important), if you want to go the other way. This "flattens" the level curve somewhat, and might single-handedly reign in "save or die" spells.
    That is one of the primary intentions of the 2d10 change, as I say in my OP.

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    Default Re: The 2d10 Variant.

    I kinda like it. Not only for the nastier-but-rarer-crits, but for getting "averag-er" results. That adds more weight on the skill modifiers.

    what do I mean ? Well with two dice, there are more ways to roll an 11 then there are to roll a 3. Therefore 11 will come up more often (the closer to 10.5 you are the greater the odds). On a d20, the chance of any number is the same.

    That means to pass a DC 15 skill check, you cant just put 1 point in the skill and succed 25% of the time, you will succeed much less. But on the other hand, the more skill you have the chance to succeed that check grows faster then with a d20 since the chances of rolling 2-5 are much lower with two d10.

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