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(TFT) The Bell Curve Part Dos
Hmmm, it seems trying to explain this is getting tougher...
And I don't mean to offend anyone if this is all obvious.
Maybe this addresses your concern, or maybe not. One thing
to keep in mind is that using a weapon is a craft and isn't really just
bringing it up over your head and down, like chopping wood. One has to
feint, look for openings, keep the weapon moving, and know how to move to
get a "hit". I understand this organically because of years of fighting,
fencing, stick and knife work, etc. I also think I understand how to
represent this fairly well by using a bell curve. To hit well 90% of the
time is a LOT harder than hitting well 50% of the time. This is what the
bell curve is saying. This is what a higher DX stands for. To make gains
in skill in anything almost always is NOT a linear progression (flat roll,
D20, whatever), but a bell curve. This is life, this is the natural way of
things. It just is! Math understands this natural principle by using the
bell curve in all of its shapes and sizes.
From the graphs you can see that the increases "fall off",
that is, decrease, as you add more DX, or whatever, except with a single
die. The single die is what does not feel or act natural. And, of course,
to determine your odds of being successful, you have to "flip" the right
side of the graph "up" since you add the values (13 or less, 15 or less)
etc. So six-sided dice are plentiful, easy to add, and 3 of them give just
enough crits and variations in attributes to have a few really odd things
happen during the evening of play.
If you think of two people paired off trying to kick each
other maybe it will make some sense. In TFT, an "average" person is a 10.
Success is about 50%. with a practiced skill, saying Kicking (whatever).
Now we could say that the chance of landing a blow against a moving
non-agreeable opponent to be 30%, or 90%, or whatever you like, but pegging
it at the center of the curve and 50% seems reasonable and works rather
well. In my games, if someone wants to hit a restrained opponent, I almost
always will make the chance of an effective blow to be higher than the
average against an unwilling opponent, maybe even up to everything but an
automatic miss. The key is that you have to work for that hit with skill
and cunning, not just chop, chop.
If you want to be better than 50% with your skill, then you
have to add a point. Early on in the curve, you are adding a lot of % with
that one point. When I teach people how to kick, they improve rather
quickly from initially just hurting themselves and falling over, to actually
impacting their target and inflicting damage. Later we then work on kicking
a moving target, then a target that kicks back, then a target that counters
your kick and breaks your head on the concrete, so that you eventually
realize kicking someone who knows that they are doing is just asking to go
to the hospital.
I guess the "counter-force" you talk about is a
non-cooperative opponent, which takes skills to hit, or kick, in this case.
As an aside, I do see people who think because they can kick a bag in their
SuperHero workout class that they can kick a mugger; they are usually very
unpleasantly surprised when they find this is fundamentally not so, even
against a relatively untrained person.
Nevertheless, as a person trains more and more
progressively, the amount of improvement for time and energy invested starts
to drop off, very much like the bell curve. So work harder for that next
point, add it to your Kicking skill, and maybe you get a little better.
Keep training kicking and your gains will decrease until you really just
can't get much better, or you have died from old age. There is a natural
limit to most people's ability to improve what they do, and it graphs out as
a bell curve.
The same holds true for someone who hasn't kicked in a
while, but really knows how and when to, they might drop to an 8, 7, but the
decay will slow as
they get worse, as long as they can still kick.
TFT "gets" the bell curve very well and this is what makes
it work so very well. Even the experience points you need to have to be
able to add an attribute point to your character are a based on a bell
Why does it become that much harder in the upper register to
swing a sword
and connect with an opponent? That would imply that
somehow affected by a counter-force (which is clearly not
the case in TFT).
Where, then, is the bell curve application in swinging a
sword? Does a
higher DEX or wider range of success mean greater damage
"to-hit" roll is only obliquely tied to the resulting damage
(i.e., on a
result of "2" or "3"). That probability is affected purely
luck-of-the-dice, not proficiency.
Is my logic flawed?
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