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RE: (TFT) The Bell Curve Part Dos


I've been looking into a new "old" game. TSR came out with a
role-playing game for Conan type adventures. It used a percentile check
for a graded resolution. Here's the chart:

In this system, your basically in the 0 column and based on
modifications like skill level, defense capabilities of your opponent,
armor, etc... you shift columns +/-. White result is failure, green is
minor success, yellow success, orange is a major success and red is
heroic success. Anyway, does this graduated increase in proficiency on
this chart help in the discussion? I'm NOT a statistics guy at all. I'm
just throwing something out there.

BTW, I really like this resolution system.


On Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at  2:13 PM, Kirk Woller wrote:

> 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.B  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.B  One has to
feint, look for openings, keep the weapon moving, and know how to move
get a "hit".B  I understand this organically because of years of
fencing, stick and knife work, etc.B  I also think I understand how to
represent this fairly well by using a bell curve.B  To hit well 90% of
time is a LOT harder than hitting well 50% of the time.B  This is what
bell curve is saying.B  This is what a higher DX stands for.B  To make
in skill in anything almost always is NOT a linear progression (flat
D20, whatever), but a bell curve.B  This is life, this is the natural way
things.B  It just is!B  Math understands this natural principle by using
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.B  The single die is what does not feel or act natural.B  And, of
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.B  So six-sided dice are plentiful, easy to add, and 3 of them give
enough crits and variations in attributes to have a few really odd
happen during the evening of play.B 

		If you think of two people paired off trying to kick each
other maybe it will make some sense.B  In TFT, an "average" person is a
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
it at the center of the curve and 50% seems reasonable and works rather
well.B  In my games, if someone wants to hit a restrained opponent, I
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
automatic miss.B  The key is that you have to work for that hit with
and cunning, not just chop, chop.

		If you want to be better than 50% with your skill, then you
have to add a point.B  Early on in the curve, you are adding a lot of %
that one point.B  When I teach people how to kick, they improve rather
quickly from initially just hurting themselves and falling over, to
impacting their target and inflicting damage.B  Later we then work on
a moving target, then a target that kicks back, then a target that
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
to the hospital.B 

		I guess the "counter-force" you talk about is a
non-cooperative opponent, which takes skills to hit, or kick, in this
As an aside, I do see people who think because they can kick a bag in
SuperHero workout class that they can kick a mugger; they are usually
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
to drop off, very much like the bell curve.B  So work harder for that
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.B  There is a
limit to most people's ability to improve what they do, and it graphs
out as
a bell curve.B B 

		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
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.B  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?B  That would imply that
"chance-to-hit" is
		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?B  Does a
		higher DEX or wider range of success mean greater damage
potential?B  The
		"to-hit" roll is only obliquely tied to the resulting damage
(i.e., on a
		result of "2" or "3").B  That probability is affected purely
by the
		luck-of-the-dice, not proficiency.

		Is my logic flawed?

	Gavin Gossett

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