alternate dice

  • 10 Replies
alternate dice
« on: January 09, 2013, 12:45:03 PM »

just got Dungeon world having had AW for a while and not really getting it. Having r
read guide to DW, it all makes sense now.

My group and i have a thing for using all the dice, so just 2d6 would kind of bug us.

I thought about doing 1d6+another dice depending on +/-
-1 would be d4, 0 = d6, +1 = d8, +2 = d10, +3 = d12

doing the number the ranges are obviously wider with bigger dice but the average still falls on the same number and the probability of hitting 7+ or 10+ stays pretty much the same.

Although d12+d6 hits higher than 2d6+3, i can't see any reason why that matters as the average is 10 either way.

Anyone see any reasons why this wouldn't work - i fugure i haven't read the rules well enough to be sure

(not really interested in wether this makes sense - purely the mechanics - game-breaking or not)



Re: alternate dice
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2013, 08:05:06 PM »
It's not about the average, though.  Let's look at a 2d6+1 vs 1d6+1d8:

with 2d6:

28% chance of 6- (miss)
44% chance of 7-9 (weak hit)
28% chance of 10+ (strong hit)

vs 1d8+1d6

31% chance of 6- (miss)
38% chance of 7-9 (weak hit)
31% chance of 10+ (strong hit)

As you can see, what this does is increase the chance of a miss or solid hit, but  at the expense of a weak hit.  The effect is even more pronounced at the extremes:

2d6 + 3
8% chance of 6- (miss)
33% chance of 7-9 (weak hit)
58% chance of 10+ (strong hit)

21% chance of 6- (miss)
25% chance of 7-9 (weak hit)
54% chance of 10+ (strong hit)

72% chance of 6- (miss)
25% chance of 7-9 (weak hit)
3% chance of 10+ (strong hit)

75% chance of 6- (miss)
25% chance of 7-9 (weak hit)
0% chance of 10+ (strong hit)

I think Vx looked at probabilities pretty carefully when he designed the system.  The weak hits are usually the most interesting results, giving us both player success and interesting consequences, and the change you propose makes them more rare.  It also makes misses more common in general.  If doing either of these things was part of your goal, then more power to you.  But if you wanted to simply provide a more interesting dice mechanic while maintaining similar results, then your proposal doesn't do that.

Re: alternate dice
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2013, 11:16:06 PM »
I did the same math and came to the conclusion that three dice of different types give nice odds (and increase chances of a partial hit).

I came up with a simple game to test the concept:

I think it's a good idea, but needs to be implemented carefully.

Re: alternate dice
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2013, 12:28:21 AM »
That is a kick-ass hack.

And yeah, the more dice you roll, the more results will clump toward the average. So as long as the average doesn't veer too far away from 7-9, you're good. So that 2d6 + 1d4 roll (which averages 9.5, as compared to the 2d6+3 and 1d6+1d12 rolls that I broke down above, both of which average 10) looks like this:

14% chance of 6- (miss)
36% chance of 7-9 (weak hit)
50% chance of 10+ (strong hit)

Whereas 3d6 or 1d4+1d6+1d8 (which both average 10.5) look like this:

10% chance of 6- (miss)
28% chance of 7-9 (weak hit)
62% chance of 10+ (strong hit)

(The probabilities aren't exactly the same.  But they're within a percent of each other)

Re: alternate dice
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2013, 10:18:23 AM »
Not quite.

I'm not rolling three dice together and adding them:

I'm rolling three (or more) dice and adding together the two best results.

So d6+d6+d4 is, for example:

10+ 21%
7-9 51%
6-  28%

Re: alternate dice
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2013, 06:30:38 PM »
Thanks for input, i did probabilities on paper late at night.

That Bureau hack is awesome. Shades of cortex plus, love it!

Question - how to use that dice system with a standard AW game?

Re: alternate dice
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2013, 09:35:27 PM »
I don't know just yet. Maybe something like this:

Each time you roll the dice, ask three questions. For each answer, take that die.

You get one die from the MC, one from your character, and one from the group.

1. MC, how tough is my opposition? (MC answers.)

* Beyond you. d4
* Challenging. d6 (default: pick this one almost always)
* Pathetic or faltering. d8

2. Am I [hard/cool/etc] enough for this challenge? (You answer.)

* Stat is negative. No dice.
* Stat=0. d4
* Stat+1. d6
* Stat+2. d8
* Stat+3. d10

3. Is your character in a position to meet this challenge? (Answer as a group.)

* No. You're totally unprepared, unequipped, or at some painful disadvantage. No dice.
* Yes. You have the basics necessary to meet the challenge. d4
* Yes, and. Yes, and you also have some advantage beyond the usual (you have JUST the perfect tool for the job, or you've taken the time to prepare or position yourself unusually well). d6
* Yes, completely. Yes, and you have made sure everything is perfectly in place specifically for this action. d8

Roll all the dice together and count the total of the highest two.

Example 1:

Keeler goes aggro on Dremmer, after bashing in Dremmer's buddy's head with a hammer.

Keeler's player gets a d6 from the MC. (Maybe if she had previously seized by force and chosen to "dismay or frighten" Dremmer, she'd get a d8.)

Keeler's hard+1, so she gets a d6 for that.

Keeler's got what she needs in this situation (a weapon to threaten Dremmer), and a little more: she's holding a hammer covered in Dremmer's buddy's blood and grey matter, and poor Dremmer's just put two and two together. She gets a d6 here too.

So, Keeler rolls d6+d6+d6. (Odds somewhere between rolling at +1 and +2.)

Example 2:

Later, she tries to seduce some weird mindfuck called Blindblue.

We've established that Blindblue isn't interested in physical love, taking pleasure directly from the psychic maelstrom somehow. Keeler gets a d4 from the MC.

Keeler's not terribly hot (hot=0), so she gets a second d4.

Keeler's got what she needs to seduce someone (she's wearing some decent clothes, and has a chance to spend some time with Blindblue one-on-one), but nothing special beyond that. She gets a third d4.

Her odds this time are pretty lousy: d4+d4+d4. (Odds are almost exactly like rolling at -1, except with no chance of a 10+ at all.) That's about as bad as it can get with these dice rules. But she could improve her odds by finding the right circumstances or preparing for this encounter in some way (how? maybe some weird psychic business - I don't know).

Maybe if she could get all the circumstances set up just perfect to seduce this weirdo, she'd roll d4+d4+d8 instead, which is similar to rolling at +1 or so in regular AW.

Example 3:

Keeler has been captured and tied to a chair, but she's managed to stand up and to slip one of her arms out of the ropes tying her down. She goes aggro on the dude guarding her.

She gets a d6 from the MC. (The dude is just a regular dude, of course.)

She gets a d6 for her hard+1.

She gets no dice for circumstances, because her circumstances are pretty bad: she's not really in a position to even make this move, hardly even that.

So she rolls d6+d6 (like rolling 2d6+0 in AW).

Finally, any move that gives a +1forward should be handled in one of two ways. If it establishes you as having some kind of advantage (which most of them do), that'll affect the group's choice of the third die. If it's a purely mechanical/meta thing, the +1forward allows you to roll an extra d4 instead.

This is fun because it makes misses unlikely, but still reserves a good chance of a partial hit instead of making skilled characters almost always roll 10+.


I don't know if this is an improvement over the standard rules: is the extra complication worth it?

But the odds are nice for the possible dice combinations. Bad combinations are still a little more favorable than rolling at -2; and yet even with a +3 stat (called a d10 stat in this version) your odds aren't quite as good as in standard AW, keeping more interesting results. Lots of partial hits at any level rolled.

These rules will encourage your players to prepare much more for moves, position themselves, gather the right tools, etc.

That could be an advantage of disadvantage.

(If you consider it a disadvantage, of course, you could change the third criteria to be something else.)

I also like that it makes it easy to create other traits, and use them when necessary. (Like Dogs traits.)

ETA: For certain genres, it could be interesting to add an "completely impossible" category to the first question, for facing that which you shouldn't be able to face. In that case, you do not get a die from the MC at all.

In some heroic D&D-type genre, you might have a situation where you have higher stats (up to d12, maybe) but you often face such "impossible" dangers.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 02:49:20 AM by Paul T. »

Re: alternate dice
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2013, 01:38:15 PM »
This is Great! Yes, it is more complex, but thanks for giving me the option. i just wondered what was possible.

Re: alternate dice
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2013, 03:22:36 PM »

It's not quite as complex as it looks on paper: usually, you'll just grab the die for your stat, and the MC will pass you a d6. The only question is the third die (which will usually be a d4).

But it is an extra step. The question becomes whether the extra step adds something worthwhile to the game or not. I'd have to try it to be sure, I think.

Re: alternate dice
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2013, 10:01:38 AM »
I like, in that example there, that if you are completely unprepared and aren't [stat] enough, you're essentially just asking "may I have my hard move, please?" Really encourages preparation in areas where you're less capable.

Re: alternate dice
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2013, 06:15:26 PM »
Under normal rules, that would go like this:

"How can you make that move?"

You need to position yourself to make the move first.