D&D 5E *Finally* read playtest 2 - 2d10 time!

heptat

Explorer
Finally read (but not yet played) the playtest 2 materials...and I very much like it. As soon as I am able I'll be starting a campaign with it - there's definitely enough of a core system here to get underway with (my games always involve a lot of rules improvisation anyway, and my players enjoy this style).

It reminds me a lot of BECMI. A *lot*. And I suspect I may be one of these "old" fellas they are trying to entice back – I completely skipped 4e, 3.5e and almost but not quite 3.0e.

I'll be swapping out d20 for 2d10 - I just much prefer the bell curve. For advantage - 3d10 take highest 2. For disadvantage - 3d10 take lowest 2. Probably critical hits on 19 or 20, critical misses on 2 or 3. I've had a good look at the probabilities (thanks anydice.com) for these and they seem quite reasonable (to my mind - that is, they make things harder, but not too hard).

Yeah, I'm excited by this...and hopefully playtest 3 isn't too far away either!
 

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Rhenny

Adventurer
Using 2d10 instead of d20 is an interesting idea. Then, most of the time, the results of rolls will fall between 8 and 12, making more predictable results.

Does that diminish the excitment level for players? Does it make the game move more fluidly? Does it make the crit success or crit failure more exciting?

I'd like to investigate.

Cheers.
 

Another possibility is one pioneered, so far as I know, by M&M 2e: Roll 3d20, and take the middle value. Then advantage would have you take the highest, and disadvantage the lowest. (If two dice are tied, that counts as the middle value.)

Crits then are two or more 20's - about one chance in 138.
 

BobTheNob

First Post
Ironically, you mention 2d10 having a bell curve.

There has been ALOT of threads which have discussed 1d20, and that when you start thinking of it in terms of improvement and what a +X represents at the high and low ends of the probability spectrum, it turns out that d20 actually has a hideous bell curve.

when you take that into account and integrate that way 2d10 models its actually a counter curve to the 1d20 model. Utimately, 2d10 would actually have a reduced curve.

But that just splitting hairs. Roll on 2d10, I think you are on to a winner of an idea.
 

heptat

Explorer
Ironically, you mention 2d10 having a bell curve.

There has been ALOT of threads which have discussed 1d20, and that when you start thinking of it in terms of improvement and what a +X represents at the high and low ends of the probability spectrum, it turns out that d20 actually has a hideous bell curve.

This is intriguing...can you please explain what you mean by a "hideous" bell curve? Curious! :)

when you take that into account and integrate that way 2d10 models its actually a counter curve to the 1d20 model. Utimately, 2d10 would actually have a reduced curve.

But that just splitting hairs. Roll on 2d10, I think you are on to a winner of an idea.

I wouldn't call it a "winner" and I'm not necessarily advocating it for others, but I know it will work with my group - they won't bat an eyelid if I swap out d20 for 2d10. Only one person in my group has actually played much D&D in recent, and he's all for it. We've agreed to wait for playtest 3...definitely looking forward to playing some D&D again!
 

BobTheNob

First Post
This is intriguing...can you please explain what you mean by a "hideous" bell curve? Curious! :)

You have to think in terms of how a bonus IMRPOVES you odds instead of how it changes them.

Imagine this, You need an 11 to hit. Thats a 50% chance he misses

Now, you attack get s bless spell granting him a +1 to hit. But think of it in terms of the chance you miss reducing from 50% to 45%, whilst the change is 5%, the IMPROVEMENT in probability is actually 11% (((50/45)-1)*100).

Take the same +1 Bonus where you need a 3 to hit (10% chance of missing). Your chance to miss is changed from 10% to 5%, which is a change of 5. However, the IMPROVEMENT in odds is 100%!!! Your chance of hitting has doubled.

If you graph improvement from flat gain in a flat range probability model, it curves to infinity at either end.
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
Another possibility is one pioneered, so far as I know, by M&M 2e: Roll 3d20, and take the middle value. Then advantage would have you take the highest, and disadvantage the lowest. (If two dice are tied, that counts as the middle value.)

Crits then are two or more 20's - about one chance in 138.

Another interesting idea. Unfortunately, I'm not sure the official D&DNext will give us either the 2d10 option or the 3d20 option since roll d20 is iconic D&D.

These are interesting variants that I'd like to try out anyway.
 

heptat

Explorer
Another possibility is one pioneered, so far as I know, by M&M 2e: Roll 3d20, and take the middle value. Then advantage would have you take the highest, and disadvantage the lowest. (If two dice are tied, that counts as the middle value.)

Crits then are two or more 20's - about one chance in 138.

Yeah, I had a look at the probabilities of 3d20 as well and they match close enough with 2d10.

The problem comes when you have advantage/disadvantage. If you use, as you say, 3d20 and take the *highest* (for advantage) then that's much better than the RaW 2d20 and take the highest.

I toyed with 4d20 take the second highest for advantage, and second lowest for disadvantage...but it seems a bit too unwieldy.
 

slobster

Hero
One of those simple things that I somehow never thought of. I'll have to try it out some day, sounds cool!

Makes it really important to get your attack stat up high enough to hit that sweet spot. I wonder how it it will mesh with bounded accuracy. It seems like monster defenses and PC attack bonuses will stay in that sweet spot for a long time, but monsters that have just a little higher defenses (maybe 6 levels higher?) will rapidly become very hard to hit, making them truly powerful foes to be feared . . . until you become legendary yourself!

When you run the playtest, though, the monsters aren't going to hit your PCs at all. People have been complaining that they miss a lot when rolling d20s, I imagine your PCs will be able to stroll through a kobold warren with their eyes closed and come out without a scratch! ;)
 

heptat

Explorer
When you run the playtest, though, the monsters aren't going to hit your PCs at all. People have been complaining that they miss a lot when rolling d20s, I imagine your PCs will be able to stroll through a kobold warren with their eyes closed and come out without a scratch! ;)

Very good point - we'll see how it goes. I'll start off running it as written, and then see if tweaking is required...thanks :cool:
 

slobster

Hero
Very good point - we'll see how it goes. I'll start off running it as written, and then see if tweaking is required...thanks :cool:

You know I actually thought the attacks were much too low at first, but I sort of came around when I realized how epic and high stakes it was for the PCs to fight off wave after wave of enemy forces, where a string of really good rolls could bring a PC down, but they fought and won despite the risk.

Basically I had a sweet encounter with a lot of enemies that made us feel really heroic and BA.

It'll obviously be different with the different dice scheme, maybe it will tip past some imaginary line that separates "heroic" from "walk in the park". However it goes, I'd be interested to hear about it!
 

Yeah, I had a look at the probabilities of 3d20 as well and they match close enough with 2d10.

2d10 is a triangular distribution, 3d20 is a parabolic one, bizarrely enough.

The problem comes when you have advantage/disadvantage. If you use, as you say, 3d20 and take the *highest* (for advantage) then that's much better than the RaW 2d20 and take the highest.

It's better, certainly, but not hugely so. If it's a concern, then if you know you have dis/advantage, just roll two dice instead of three.
 


slobo777

First Post
I'll be swapping out d20 for 2d10

What this will do to attacks IMO.

It will have a minor impact on attacks by PCs. A few, with high attack bonuses, will hit more often.

It will have a major impact on attacks by monsters. The D&D Next balances monsters out versus PCs by giving them low chances to hit, at least at low levels. Using 2d10 will, on average halve their chances to hit.

I am actually in a position to run a full Monte Carlo simulation a bunch of Dwarf fighters facing a small range of enemies (Fire Beetles, Bugbears, Hobgoblins and Ogres) on a very simple day's adventure (say 10,000 times) using D20 and 2D10 for comparison if you like?
 


slobo777

First Post
Using 2d10 would IMO have a much more positive impact on skill rolls and checks where a difference in bonus should make a difference (arm wrestle using Str, or any skilled job where it seems silly that an untalented person might still get 25% success rate).
 

heptat

Explorer
What this will do to attacks IMO.

It will have a minor impact on attacks by PCs. A few, with high attack bonuses, will hit more often.

It will have a major impact on attacks by monsters. The D&D Next balances monsters out versus PCs by giving them low chances to hit, at least at low levels. Using 2d10 will, on average halve their chances to hit.

I am actually in a position to run a full Monte Carlo simulation a bunch of Dwarf fighters facing a small range of enemies (Fire Beetles, Bugbears, Hobgoblins and Ogres) on a very simple day's adventure (say 10,000 times) using D20 and 2D10 for comparison if you like?

Definitely do it! Thanks...so maybe the solution is keep d20 for combat and just use 2d10 for skills.
 

Mishihari Lord

First Post
I would like to hear about how this works out in play for you, OP. Theorizing is great, but you can't be sure you've captured all the impacts until you've tried it in actual play.

I'm a big fan of bell-curve (okay, triangle, whatever) skill rolls. Every time this topic comes up I seem to hear complaints about opaque probabilities and varying impact of bonuses. Meh, GURPS has been doing this for ages and it's fine. I expect that switching to bell curves when the designers have used flat curves for the design is going to have interesting results though.
 

heptat

Explorer
I would like to hear about how this works out in play for you, OP. Theorizing is great, but you can't be sure you've captured all the impacts until you've tried it in actual play.

I'm a big fan of bell-curve (okay, triangle, whatever) skill rolls. Every time this topic comes up I seem to hear complaints about opaque probabilities and varying impact of bonuses. Meh, GURPS has been doing this for ages and it's fine. I expect that switching to bell curves when the designers have used flat curves for the design is going to have interesting results though.

You're definitely correct, and as one posted said earlier, it would be really interesting for them to *design* it in and offer it as an option (obviously it won't happen).

Will post about how it goes (a couple of weeks away though unfortunately) - probably try a few variations and see what we like. I am conscious that the feedback for playtest 2 has been that monsters are too weak...
 

slobo777

First Post
I expect that switching to bell curves when the designers have used flat curves for the design is going to have interesting results though.

A bell-curve distribution used for action resolution emphasises distance from the average value. In a game designed to take account of this, low modifiers from -2 to +2 become more important. High modifiers become more like auto-success and auto-fail.

IMO the skill system benefits from this.

Taking some of the Dex check examples from the playtest material, let's see how Klumpy The Clumsy (Dex = 8, no training), Agile Eddie (Dex = 16, no training) and Catwoman (Dex=18, trained in "Acrobatics" - yes I know we don't have that in the playtest . . .) do in terms of chances to achieve things:

A Moderate Check (DC 13): Impress onlookers with an acrobatic performance

Using 1d20, Klumpy has 35% chance of succes, Eddie 55% chance of succes, and Catwoman at +7 has 75% chance of success.

Using 2d10, Klumpy 22%, Eddie 56%, Catwoman 86%.


A Hard Check (DC 16): Cross a Wildly Swaying Rope Bridge

Using 1d20, Klumpy 20%, Eddie 40%, Catwoman 60%.

Using 2d10, Klumpy 7%, Eddie 29%, Catwoman 65%.


A Very Hard Check (DC 19): Somersault over a creature of the same size

Using 1d20, Klumpy 5%, Eddie 25%, Catwoman 45%.

Using 2d10, Klumpy 1%, Eddie 11%, Catwoman 37%.
 

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