Conan which is best: more dice or better odds?

Cifer

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#11
In general, this depends on the system.
More dice is easier since there's less problems with bonus stacking apart from the player's hand size - you can always give more dice, but once you're at rolling 1+, you're somewhat at a limit.

Players with WoD experince will also tell you that past a certiant point adding more dice will make you more ikely to fail (due to detrementral effects of rolling 1)
Depends on the difficulty, the pool size and the edition's botch mechanics - this usually shouldn't happen except for border cases.
 

Myridian

Be Just and Fear Not
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#12
Adding and subtracting dice in pools is preferable (to me) For WoD and Shadowrun, having the static #s allowed me to ink the dice so the successes can be tallied quickly. Moving target numbers up and down isn't _bad_ per se, it just isn't as visceral as adding another die.
And _never_ do both.
 

ThornyJohn

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#13
Let's take a really basic example: Your d6 dice roll a failure on 1-3 and a success on 4-6 (50% chance of success per die). Making an assumption that you are very likely to get one success for every four dice rolled (I know it's a 93.75% chance of success and not 100%, but it's a high enough chance to say it's a reasonable enough certainty for the purposes of this example) dropping the target number from 4 down to 3 successes means you just awarded the player a +4 dice bonus. Could you make the argument that +3 dice bonus at 87.5% chance of success or even +2 dice at a 75% chance to succeed is good enough? Sure, but even then, it's still more dice than a single bonus to the TN.

TL;DR: Giving bonuses to the TN is much better for the player than adding dice to their roll.
 

Knaight

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#15
Let's take a really basic example: Your d6 dice roll a failure on 1-3 and a success on 4-6 (50% chance of success per die). Making an assumption that you are very likely to get one success for every four dice rolled (I know it's a 93.75% chance of success and not 100%, but it's a high enough chance to say it's a reasonable enough certainty for the purposes of this example) dropping the target number from 4 down to 3 successes means you just awarded the player a +4 dice bonus. Could you make the argument that +3 dice bonus at 87.5% chance of success or even +2 dice at a 75% chance to succeed is good enough? Sure, but even then, it's still more dice than a single bonus to the TN.

TL;DR: Giving bonuses to the TN is much better for the player than adding dice to their roll.
That doesn't quite work out the way you're looking at it here. Using your basic example with 4 dice you average 2 successes before the change, and 8/3 successes (2.67ish) after the change. That's equivalent to adding 4/3 (1.33ish) dice, not 4 dice. Of course, if we're looking at specific numbers of successes needed that can get messier.
 

ThornyJohn

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#16
That doesn't quite work out the way you're looking at it here. Using your basic example with 4 dice you average 2 successes before the change, and 8/3 successes (2.67ish) after the change. That's equivalent to adding 4/3 (1.33ish) dice, not 4 dice. Of course, if we're looking at specific numbers of successes needed that can get messier.
I forgot to clearly state an assumption I made, which was that I wasn't working the numbers based on averages but on near certain success. At that point, assuming that over 90% is "near certain success," you need 4 dice to get at least a 90% chance to roll a single success. if you raise the number of successes required from 1 to 2, then you need 8 dice to have a better than 90% chance to roll 2 successes. That's where my +4 dice number comes from; it's not an average, it's a high-certainty value. I think I muddied things up by then talking about 3 and 4 successes, which I really meant "giving the player the equivalent bonus of 1 success is tantamount to giving them +4 dice" (but if you're talking about averages then yes, it's somewhere slightly south of 2 dice worth of bonus). Here's my Anydice program to support the numbers.

I believe the conclusion is still valid: getting a bonus of 1 success is worth more than getting an extra die to roll, at least in this example, rolling 50/50 dice.
 

Alban

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#17
I forgot to clearly state an assumption I made, which was that I wasn't working the numbers based on averages but on near certain success. At that point, assuming that over 90% is "near certain success," you need 4 dice to get at least a 90% chance to roll a single success. if you raise the number of successes required from 1 to 2, then you need 8 dice to have a better than 90% chance to roll 2 successes. That's where my +4 dice number comes from; it's not an average, it's a high-certainty value. I think I muddied things up by then talking about 3 and 4 successes, which I really meant "giving the player the equivalent bonus of 1 success is tantamount to giving them +4 dice" (but if you're talking about averages then yes, it's somewhere slightly south of 2 dice worth of bonus). Here's my Anydice program to support the numbers.

I believe the conclusion is still valid: getting a bonus of 1 success is worth more than getting an extra die to roll, at least in this example, rolling 50/50 dice.
I think that's a good assumption, as averages alone can be misleading.
For instance, rolling X dice and counting even results as successes give the same averages as Exalted's version of Storyteller, but the odds of success are very different.
 

Knaight

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Validated User
#18
I forgot to clearly state an assumption I made, which was that I wasn't working the numbers based on averages but on near certain success. At that point, assuming that over 90% is "near certain success," you need 4 dice to get at least a 90% chance to roll a single success. if you raise the number of successes required from 1 to 2, then you need 8 dice to have a better than 90% chance to roll 2 successes. That's where my +4 dice number comes from; it's not an average, it's a high-certainty value. I think I muddied things up by then talking about 3 and 4 successes, which I really meant "giving the player the equivalent bonus of 1 success is tantamount to giving them +4 dice" (but if you're talking about averages then yes, it's somewhere slightly south of 2 dice worth of bonus). Here's my Anydice program to support the numbers.

I believe the conclusion is still valid: getting a bonus of 1 success is worth more than getting an extra die to roll, at least in this example, rolling 50/50 dice.
This metric pretty heavily favors long tailed distributions though - and even there, that +4 dice is dubious. +4 dice keeps a greater than 90% success rate for 2 successes, and at 3 successes it drops to 85.55%, still high, as opposed to 59.26%. Similarly one could look at a different metric - chance of getting very high results, for those long shot rolls, at which point you start seeing the opposite effect. 4d{0,1,1} has worse chances than 6d{0,1} for literally every result except for getting 1 instead of 0, and that one result where it's stronger it's up by a whole 0.33 percentile. Effectively the 0-2 result curves (for greater than) are pretty identical, but from 3 onward two extra dice are worth significantly more.
 
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