This is a mechanic to be used in a possible WiP (about which I shall post more if it comes to anything). I wanted a range of outcomes whose probability distribution would be affected by how brave the character wished to be, with braver declarations giving more likelihood of extreme outcomes in either good or bad directions. And I wanted it to be very very simple and quick.
So this idea is based around the well-known tendency of larger handfuls of dice to give ‘middling’ results more often. Players have four bravery options: cautious (roll 6d6), moderately brave (3d6), very brave (2d6) or recklessly brave (1d6).
For ease of comparing the difference – you can see that if you were to multiply their results by 1, 2, 3 and 6 respectively, everyone would end up with a number from 6 to 36 with a mean of 21: but the standard deviations of the expected distributions of results would be 4 for the 6d6 people, 6 for 2*3d6, 7 for 3*2d6 and 10 for 6*1d6.
(Brief pause while I find a decent table plugin for WordPress.)
(I’m going to try Tablepress. Looks pretty good so far.)
|Bravery||Disastrous misfortune||Misfortune||Steady performance||Significant heroism||Extraordinary heroism|
You can see that there’s not really a huge difference between the 2d6 and 3d6 options, but yet I expect most players will agonize over picking one or other of those.
This lookup-table setup gives me the option of skewing probabilities towards more favourable outcomes (for the more cautious bravery levels) if I want to lighten the overall set of results: which might be useful. (Or vice versa, of course 😉