Friday, January 22, 2016

Discussion: How Would You Rather Roll?

Just a simple question for today.

Would you rather roll on the extreme edges - albeit in balance - where 90% of your rolls are either Critical Successes or Critical Failures, or would you rather roll on the average part of the bell curve where 90% of your rolls are about what you'd expect and you don't fail too much, but you also don't really have many epic successes?

Thinking about it, I'm not sure I can place it. The rush of the "Always a Critical, success or failure" could make for some amazing times and character moments, but the swings of soul crushing victory or defeat could also prove too much. I mean, we're not saying you win 90% of the time, just that 90% of the time whatever happens is epic.

Actually, with that in mind, I think I could get more out of a character who rolled average without many, if any, big successes or failures. Instead of it becoming a story of the lucky booming elite, it could be one of perseverence, careful planning, and doing everything possible to ensure that an average result is enough for success. I think it could add a fun layer of strategy to a character that otherwise may not be present.

How about you?


  1. Easy answer for me. I don't particularly care for criticals. Criticals make me feel somehow less competent. That goes critical success as well as failure. Its like this, how skilled am I really if I can suddenly accomplish something THAT much better.

  2. If a roll is always a crit, it's no longer special to roll a critical hit, and the awesome becomes mediocre. Like when you're playing an online game and you manage to dish out your highest possible amount of damage, and then an expansion rolls out and these shiny numbers in the hundreds or thousands become millions, and there's just so much spam the numbers essentially become meaningless. Same happens when you swap out the mediocre hits for always crits. If 90% of your rolls are mediocre, it makes the perfect roll on the perfect moment all the better.

    On the other hand, if your rolls tend to be mediocre, you can always add an item or spell or token, doesn't matter what exactly as long as it's extremely limited (only useable once, or on one day, for a set amount of time, etc) that does add a critical effect (either fail or success). The other way around, adding a mediocre roll when you really can't afford to roll a critical fail just doesn't have the same impact.