quirky probability?

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Red Mercy
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quirky probability?

#1 Postby Red Mercy » Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:53 pm

Hey, folks. During my latest hunt for ideas for my latest dungeon, I happened across a couple of things that calculate, or otherwise show, probability for certain die types to hit certain target numbers, and I've noticed that a very few numbers are actually easier for a lower die type to hit: for instance a target number 12 seems to be easier to hit with a d10 than a d12. The same seems to apply to a TN of eight being slightly easier with a d6 as opposed to a d8. Or something like that. If this is true -- I was wondering about throwing in some simple house rule adjustments to compensate, such as saying that when rolling a d12 against a TN12, that die aces on a roll of both 11 and 12. Only thing is, myself being arithmatically challenged, I'm certain something like that has unforseen consequences I'm not considering. Does anyone else have suggestions for dealing with this quirk?

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Re: quirky probability?

#2 Postby Clint » Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:22 pm

Red Mercy wrote:Does anyone else have suggestions for dealing with this quirk?

Ignore it. Seriously, it does not affect game play in reality because the system as a whole compensates for it.

First off, the absolute most extreme example of this "quirk" results in only a 2.08% difference at one specific TN. That's the most extreme difference, and most of the time, the difference is less than a single percentage point.

Secondly, there is never a single level of success in SW. There is always at least a success (the base TN) and a superior success from a raise (4 points higher than the TN). Thus, even a minor advantage at one specific TN doesn't counter the major advantage the higher die type has at the other TN (4 points higher or lower).

Thirdly, there are situations (such as critical failures and some other effects) that are dependent on rolling a 1 on the Trait die. Since this is exactly the same odds as rolling an ace on the same die (which is the only way for the "quirk" to manifest), the odds are directly proportional of increasing the chance of rolling a 1 versus an increased difference in the odds. For instance, the most extreme example mentioned above is for an Extra rolling a d4 and needing exactly a 6. He has a 2.08% better chance of hitting that TN over a d6... but he has a 25% chance of rolling a 1 that the d6 only has a 16.67% chance of (and to bring in the second point, the d6 has almost twice the chance of getting a raise, TN 10, over the d4).

Fourthly, remember that this is a specific die type trying to hit one specific number that isn't ever the base TN for SW (4). So the actual instances in game of that particular die type having to roll to get that specific result are pretty rare in and of themselves.

And as a final addendum, I'd point out that this is even less prevalent in Wild Cards as they get a d6 Wild Die to roll in addition to their normal Trait die, taking the better of the two... which ends up reducing the difference in the odds even more.

All in all, it's an extremely minor effect that hardly ever comes up and is pretty much far outweighed by the positive effects of the higher die type even if it does.

Again I'd say, just ignore; it doesn't affect the game, and it's already been compensated for in other effects.
Clint Black
Savage Worlds Core Rules Brand Manager


Red Mercy
Posts: 177
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2006 3:23 am

#3 Postby Red Mercy » Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:05 am

Thanks for the advice. That's what I was hoping to hear :)

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#4 Postby screenmonkey » Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:56 am

That's one well phrased counter point Clint :eek:

Methinks someone has brought this point up before. :wink: :lol:

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