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So far all the bell curve seems to do is reduce the "swinginess" you get with a flat d20. Critical hits are somewhat less common, for example. Although I haven't had much time to playtest it, I haven't yet seen much difference in the end result of combats (for example)

A note for readers who aren't into statistics, you have the bell curve issue any time you roll multiple dice and add the results: 2d6, 3d6, 2D10, etc. That is where you have a 5% chance of rolling any given number on a D20, the chance of rolling a specific number on multiple dice varies with the number — you have a greater chance of rolling a number in the middle of the range than you do numbers at either end of the range.

Marcelo Paschoalin

What about the bell curve? It's a lot flatter around the center (9-11), so that may impact things (positive or not, it depends on the expectations).


Marcelo: I thought about 2d6, but the person who made the request really wants 3d6. That worked out better anyway as I decided to try using the fail/partial success/full success die mechanic from Dungeon World. However, D&D-like games need to vary the success chance with the level of the character. Rolling 2d6 and adding something like half the level rounded down did not work well as 2d6 rolls didn't have enough "room" for an addition +1 to +5 modifier. With 3d6, it seems to be working fine.


Andreas: I'm planning a blog post on the 3e house rules — or at least those I know.

Marcelo Paschoalin

Why using 3d6?
Also, remember Epées et Sorcellerie? It's basically OD&D with 2d6 and works really well.

Andreas Davour

Good to hear from you again, and I hope you both find your feet in Ohio. Sounds like a good start with two games!

I'm curious about the details regarding those house rules for the 3rd ed game.