WOIN Explanation of math in WOIN + issues with alternate rolling methods


First Post
Hello there,

i'm reading up on WOIN, and i am trying to understand the math behind the system.
I am basing my math on these premises:

1) A starting grade 5 character with a dice pool of 5d6 will succeed on a Difficult [16] check about half the time.

2) Each benchmark represents a roughly 50/50 chance of success for a given dice pool size. Each successive benchmark represents one extra die in the dice pool.

I am considering using the alternate rules on the SRD, to have a success on 4+ on each die rolled.
However, the probabilities don't match at all, and i don't understand what is supposed to be correct, or if there other considerations that i am missing.

Let's start with 1)
A 5d6 roll has a around a 70% chance of success (5d6 >= 16). Is this correct? If so, why was 50% indicated in the manual?

If we move the test higher or lower, as 2) says, the more you go "up" the less chance of success you have (for example: 10d6 vs 37, going up by five grades, is supposed to be same chance as 5d6 vs 16. However, success is now 39%) and the more you go "down", the more chance of success you have. Why is this? Is it because of skills that are supposed to fill the gap later in the game?

Also, alternate rolling methods don't seem to work correctly (or i'm missing something).

For example, 5d6 vs 16 (the standard difficult check) should be equal to 3 successes on "4+" rolling method.
However, success chance on 5d6 vs 16 is 70%, and 3 successes on 5d6 (4+, calculated as [count {4,5,6} in 5d6] >= 3 in anydice) is 50%. Shouldn't they be the same?
This continues as you go lower on the scale, especially if you try harder or lower rolls than the benchmark.

For example, a Strenous test with a 5d6 pool has a 3% chance of success in the standard system, but a 19% chance in the 4+ system, which requires 4 successes?. Shouldn't the 4+ system require 5 succeses instead, for a 3% chance, which is equal to the standard system?
Is there a reason for this? I fear the game balance will be completely changed by changing roll system, while i thought they could be interchangable or at least similar.

Concluding, i am asking:

1) is the "Roll 4+" system balanced correctly? Is there a specific reason behind the number of succeses required not matching the default system?
2) is the game correctly balanced around the default system? If so, why is 50% indicated in the manual, instead of 70%?
3) should i rebalance the "Roll 4+" difficulty numbers to match the default system, or vice versa? Where is the expected balance point of the game?

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Well, that was fun
Staff member
So, here goes!

1) No, absolutely not. Those alternative rolling methods are purely experimental. They're in the Draft Rules Document and definitely need playtesting. They're there for those who are interested in such things, but they're not solid enough for actual use. That was more just me playing around with some ideas. Think of it as a concept piece.

2) It's "about" 50%, but that's just a very rough GM guideline for setting DCs; it certainly goes above and below that figure. When it comes down to it, you can set the DC at anything you want, depending on how difficult you want the task to be. 5d5 rolls 18 on average (5 x 3.5), not 16, but it's close enough. 10d6 rolls 35 on average, not 37, but again it's close enough.

3) If you want to tweak the alternate rolling methods, go right ahead! That'll be useful information; it's not something that I've looked at in quite a while myself.

The way I sometimes set DCs in my own game is I decide how hard I want it to be on a scale of 1-5, and then I multiply that by the dice pool that the player is rolling. So if I want it to be really hard, I'd use 5, and multiply their dice pool by 5 (so if they're rolling 5d6, I'd set it at 25 -- as I said, that's for something pretty damn hard). 3 is a moderate challenge, 2 is easy, 1 is obviously auto success.

However, that's kinda cheating, because it's scaling tasks according to what the PC is rolling; while I'm a bit naughty and do that in my own games, I wouldn't set it as the official rule, as aesthetically prefer that a challenge has a set DC, rather than magically scaling to the ability of the person who attempts it.


Another thing to remember is that in WOIN there are a lot of combat decisions that can add and subtract dice. If your core attack is 5d6, you should not assume that you're going to be rolling 5d6 for every attack. in some cases you may be rolling less in order to gain some benefit, and if you're facing a really tough villain, you and your party should be figuring out how to get one or more combatants rolling 6d6 or 7d6 using various tricks, support maneuvers, and so on.

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