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Re: (TFT) Bell Curve

Quoting Gavin@TheFantasyQuest.com:
Granted, I agree that degrees of skill and learning become less and less by
degree; that the more one learns, the less there is to learn; that
eventually it comes down to refinement. I completely get all of that.

I've found exactly the opposite. The more you learn, the more there is to learn.

I have played TFT as long a most of you others, and I just don't see why
"chance to hit" should be weighted toward the middle.  I still feel that
using 3d6 is an out-dated concept that we (TFT'ers, that is) defend doggedly
using the "Bell Curve Argument" because it's the only way to preserve our
hallowed Gama Mater.

Chance to hit is not weighted toward the middle. Chance to hit goes up as DX goes up. Yes, the rate of change changes through the range, from slow to fast to slow again. Don't confuse someone's chance to hit with the distribution of DX's across a population.
What would really help me is examples 'in life' of how this applies.  Not in
learning, but in usage.

Sure, I'll give it a shot. I'll even put it in the context of martial arts (of which swordsmanship is one). The first thing to understand is that TFT doesn't necessarily scale very well. More dice tends to skew things, so we'll keep this within the 3 dice (normal) or 4 dice (against someone who's defending, etc.)

In my experience, someone who has no knowledge of combat necessarily has a low DX (for our purposes). As they gain experience and knowledge, it begins to rise. At some point, they have enough of a clue that the knowlege and skill starts coming faster and faster (exactly when that happens depends on the individual and how hard they work), for the same learning effort. Then, as they attain great skill, their apparent increases in skill begin to slow down. Really, there's not that much difference between the greats at the top end. Of course, some end their learning at various points along the way. So in that way, the bell curve models how people seem to learn physical skills. Someone with a DX of 3 puts in some time learning, and gets a DX of 4. Now, that's a net gain of 4X to hit (1 chance vs. 4 chances [disregarding auto-miss, etc]), but out of 216 possible rools that isn't much of an increase. Someone with a DX of 10 puts in the same amount of learning time, and gets a DX of 11. They get a jump from 50% to something like 67%, because they're actually learning more in the same amount of time. And at the top end, going from 17 to 18 only adds one more chance (from 215 to 216), not a big jump, because practically, that extra point means less at the top end.
Neil Gilmore
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