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## Re: [Forge-main] Dice and the bell curve

 From: Ricardo Gladwell Subject: Re: [Forge-main] Dice and the bell curve Date: 04 Nov 2002 12:08:55 +0000

```On Sun, 2002-11-03 at 19:26, Enrique Perez wrote:
> I agree that this is unrealistic, real life results generally have a gaussian
> 'bell curve'
> distribution. To simulate with dice you have to had die rolls together, the
> more die rolls the
> smoother the distribution. On the other hand the more die rolls the more
> adding you have.
> Therefore I suggest that for unopposed die rols we use two dice added
> together. For opposed die
> rolls, when you have your skill plus a die roll versus the opponent's skill
> plus a die roll; you
> have essentially one die minus another die, which has a distribution
> equivalent to two dice added
> together.

Statistically, the bell curve is one of the best models of real-life
probability distributions. As Enrique suggests, however, this is
sacrificed by the added complexity of additional dice rolls. Ideally, I
would like to keep dice rolls to a minimum, and have one at most.

Plenty of other roleplaying games have single die rolls. For example,
d20 only uses 1d20 (when they could so easily have changed this to
2d10). The reason they use it, and the reason I would use it, is that
the added 'realism' is unnecessary in most RPGs, where reality is often
sacrificed for heroic super-reality.

So, we either sacrifice bell-curve distributions for simplicity and
stick with the 1d10 or we change the scale so all traits are 0-10 and
all difficulties are in the 1-20 range, and roll 2d10 to determine
results.

Perhaps the trick here is not to have a difficulty, but always have
opposed rolls. For example, you are always fighting against something
even if it is yourself. How this would work I have no idea: perhaps
characters would have negative traits in addition to positive traits:
forgetfullness, for example, which must be rolled against whenever
attempting to recall facts or use knowledge based skills?

> I agree heartily with this point, I personally have some polyhedral dice;
> but, I always seem to
> pick up more six sided dice and even end up giving those away. Often when I
> game a few people will

I agree here: d6 are the most common. My only problem is that they don't
produce an intuitive range of results like d10, which is why I wanted to
use 1d10. Perhaps would should put this to the vote?

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