Substituting +4

Everything to do with the Codex Rules, a FAQ, New Rules, Explanations of concepts etc.

Substituting +4

Postby neverfox » Sat May 05, 2012 12:15 am

Under the rules for the Martial Pool (pg 11), it says:
If you prefer not to use the Martial Pool, you can substitute a +4 To Hit bonus for each Free Dice or Extra Dice recommended for a Martial Feat or a Counterattack.

1. Is this meant to apply at other times as well, in the course of normal MP use? For example, if I have 3 dice, can I choose instead to roll 1d20 with +8 to hit instead of max(3d20)?
2. Even if it is limited to the situations mentioned, it seems broken because no one who had a clear idea of the roll distribution would ever choose to do anything other than substitute +4. A quick demonstration on Anydice confirms this:

output [highest 1 of 3d(d20)] (which simulates taking the highest d20 roll of 3 dice) gives an average roll of 15.49 +/- 3.87

output d20+8 gives an average roll of 18.50 +/- 5.77

You can see these results here.

The same relationship holds for any number of MP dice and substitutions because the increment added to the average by each extra dice is < 4, as shown here.

Am I missing something? I'm new to the Codex but this seemed pretty unambiguous to me. As a GM, I'd have to drop that option and force MP use, if I'm right about this.

The only thing I can think of is that I'm not taking the damage aspect into it with regard to critical hits. It's possible that this swings things in favor of the MP. I'll have to do some more programming on Anydice to investigate this. I'll report back with what I find.
neverfox
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 12:01 am

Re: Substituting +4

Postby neverfox » Sat May 05, 2012 12:38 am

Okay, criticals seem to change things.

Attacking from reach with a katana (+3, assuming no other bonuses) and 2 MP dice gives an average damage against defense 15 of 5.61. Taking the substitution option allows for only normal crits and an average damage of 4.5. Thoughts?
neverfox
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 12:01 am

Re: Substituting +4

Postby Galloglaich » Fri May 11, 2012 4:07 pm

The Free Dice pretty sharply increase your chances of a critical hit, and very sharply reduce your chances for a fumble. I don't remember what the exact percentages are but there is an old thread on that here somewhere where we did all the math. If you are using the (recommended) dynamic criticals rule, the effect is multiplied even further (i.e. average damage goes up).

Bu you will not, ultimately, find an exact match. It's only an approximation.

Also, extra dice have more of an incremental effect, again depending on if you are using the dynamic criticals rule. But the biggest statistical jump was from that one extra die and IIRC it increased the odds about +4.

So I'd say 1 free dice =+4, 2 dice = +5, 3 dice = +6 and 4 dice = +7 as a very rough guess. However I think this is on that old thread somewhere.

I recommend trying the martial pool out, it may seem like a bit of a stretch for people used to typical DnD, but it's an easier fit than you might expect. I and others here can walk you through anything you get stuck on trying to implement it. It speeds combat up a lot to ditch a lot of that arithmetic and the players seem to really like having more options for movement, attack vs. defense and so on.

G
Galloglaich
 
Posts: 2010
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 5:30 pm

Re: Substituting +4

Postby neverfox » Fri May 11, 2012 4:25 pm

Thanks for the offer of help. I pretty quickly realized that my initial confusion was due to simply not considering the differences in the way criticals are handled. I'm certainly going to move forward with trying the martial pool (in Pathfinder no less) but I'm on the fence about the dynamic critical rule. I'll probably try it but it certainly seems intense.

One thing I was considering independently of the CM was using 3d20 (take the middle) because I tend to prefer bell curves. I even considered 3d6 or a full d6 pool like WES d6 but ultimately didn't want to deal with too many changes at once. At least with 3d20 you get a 1-20 range.
neverfox
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 12:01 am

Re: Substituting +4

Postby Galloglaich » Fri May 11, 2012 10:00 pm

Yeah that is exactly what led me to doing the modified dice pool. About 5 o 6 years ago I had a pretty good campaign going with a good group of people, a relative rarity in my recent life. We were using a very early version of what later became the codex rules but with no dice pool. Most of the people in my game group were non-gamers, and I was a little bit amused to note one day that this one particular guy had purchased a set of really nice dice to use while playing. He wasn't the type of guy to buy RPG dice, in fact he'd been reluctant to even try playing, so it was pretty funny.

But that night the guy was having really bad dice-luck, and he got so frustrated that he threw his fancy new dice out the window into my yard. Also amusing. But it was the dreaded flat-curve that was messing with this guy, and he was complaining "I'm supposed to be good at xyz, how I could bungle it so frequently." Good question.

I also had a little bit of experience with dice-pool games like Shadowrun and Savage Worlds, and an obscure one called Dying Earth. I liked the speed of the dice pool but as a game designer I didn't like the narrow range of values, partially because it would make it harder to distinguish various weapons. But a whole lot of D20's is a little hard to instantly evaluate the way you normally do with a dice pool. So I came up with the weird modified dice pool ("Martial Pool") that we use.

It's worked out really well, so well in fact I'm really surprised more games don't use this particular type of dice pool. No flat curve, unless they want to 'push their luck'. Fast, easy to make tactical decisions (by using or with-holding dice), and it gives the players a chance to control their own destiny a little, which they like. They get less angry if they get burned while taking what they know is a serious risk, than if they were expecting a routine dice check or playing it safe. And by making the combat Feats add 'Free Dice' it is a very nice way to change the game situationally.


Dynamic Criticals is very 'harsh' but it's fun and still not likely to kill-off players unless you also use the hit-point ceiling. Even then, if they have armor and a little bit of common sense (i.e. they are capable of not always attacking everything in sight) then it's still pretty rare. Experienced gamers have a harder time learning this, but they still do eventually, and they learn to exploit all the quirks of their characters which give them those 'Free Dice' whenever they can. The group I ran my Baltic campaign through were all jaded, experienced gamers but they ended up getting very good at this. One of the cool things about Codex is it lets you min-max without derailing the game, to the contrary it kind of helps, because it's all historically based and works the way the system is supposed to work.

I also in my own campaign borrowed an idea from Shadowrun and gave them a few bennies for each game, which they could also spend for another one-off Free Dice before an important die roll.

G
Galloglaich
 
Posts: 2010
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 5:30 pm

Re: Substituting +4

Postby neverfox » Sat May 12, 2012 2:02 am

What I was considering with the d6 system was to turn every d20+x into a d6 progression: d20 = 3d6, d20+1 = 3d6+1, d20+2 = 3d6+2, d20+4 = 4d6 etc. That is the modifiers become +1, +2, +1d6 and repeat. It could get complex but it would fit in pretty seamlessly for the most part. You could even make the MP work with it. For example, if all your modifiers to attack amount to +6, then your MP would be made up of 1 to 4 4d6+2 "dice". You could also borrow the wound system with opposed endurance rolls to replace HP entirely.
neverfox
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 12:01 am

Re: Substituting +4

Postby Galloglaich » Sat May 12, 2012 10:44 am

I'd be interested to see what you came up with, sounds cool. Let us know how that develops if you do play around with that especially if you playtest it.

G
Galloglaich
 
Posts: 2010
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 5:30 pm

Re: Substituting +4

Postby Galloglaich » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:44 pm

Apparently 5th Edition DnD is using a roll many, keep one mechannic like the Codex does, which I can't decide if it's good news or bad news (good news in that it's a good mechanic, bad news in that they are stealing my idea!)

But there is an interesting statistical analysis of comparing die roll bonuses with the effects of roll many, keep one here

http://critical-hits.com/2012/06/11/dd- ... %BB+RPG%29

G
Galloglaich
 
Posts: 2010
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 5:30 pm


Return to Codex Martialis Rules

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron