Help Reading Dice Pools

Fauchard1520

Explorer
The answer to this question might be, "Dude, just read your dice like a normal person." But I'm an Exalted player, and rolling 40d10 isn't that unusual. Combat is long enough without the hunting and pecking of finding 6-9s, 10s, and 1s buried in the general herd. I talk about my struggles a little bit beneath the comic over here, but I could use a hand from the hivemind.

Are there any tips or tricks for reading large dice pools quickly?
 

DMMike

Game Masticator
Are there any tips or tricks for reading large dice pools quickly?
Yeah: don't.

The average result of a d10 is 5.5. That times 40 is 220. I personally guarantee that your rolled results don't vary more than 20 points from that.
 

Len

Prodigal Member
For Shadowrun, I have a set of d6's with the pips on the 2, 3, 4 sides coloured in with a matching Sharpie marker. It's a huge help.
 

Jer

Adventurer
The average result of a d10 is 5.5. That times 40 is 220. I personally guarantee that your rolled results don't vary more than 20 points from that.
The problem isn't a dice pool where you compute a total - if that's the case you take the average as you say, or maybe average all but 3-4 of the dice and roll them so that you can have the thrill of getting some randomness in the mix.

The problem is with a dice pool where you care about the numbers, not the total. In Exalted, for example, you don't care about the total, you care about the number of dice that roll 7 or higher - each die that is a 7 or higher is a "success". And you care about the number of 10s on top of that because 10s count for 2 successes instead of 1. And you might care about the number of 1s that show up because if you get no successes at all and roll at least one 1, then you botch (though if you somehow manage that on 40 dice then you are having a real bad day).

Can't use the average expected value of the total here because nobody cares about the total. If you want to go that route you're talking auto-successes rather than averages.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
Man, I thought 12d6 EBs in Champions were a drag.

Champions (well, Hero System now) you needed to count them two ways. Total them up, and also "count body", which was 0 on a single pip, 1 on two-five pips, and 2 on six pips.

But you got to be quick. Group up in factors of 10 then add the remainder to sum quickly. And start with Body equal to the number of dice, and just +/-1 for 1s and 6s.

40d10 just seems like a poor design. Both for the time spent to do it "right', but also because with that many dice the number of successes is going to vary only little from the average the majority of the time, so there's no need for r faux random number generator. Especially a slow one.
 

Derren

Adventurer
For counting successes just get a marker and colour all numbers above the threshold in a bright, easily recognizable colour.
 

DMMike

Game Masticator
The problem is with a dice pool where you care about the numbers, not the total. In Exalted, for example, you don't care about the total, you care about the number of dice that roll 7 or higher - each die that is a 7 or higher is a "success". And you care about the number of 10s on top of that because 10s count for 2 successes instead of 1. And you might care about the number of 1s that show up because if you get no successes at all and roll at least one 1, then you botch (though if you somehow manage that on 40 dice then you are having a real bad day).
Oh, well then I'm with [MENTION=20564]Blue[/MENTION]: that's just poor design. The game isn't scaling well when you're spending your time reading dice instead of role-playing.

But since that doesn't solve OP's problem...

Still: don't. :)

Since you have to beat a number of successes (guessing here), divide that number by 10. 4. 2. Whatever gets you closer to a number of dice you're comfortable counting, and preferably results in an integer. Divide the number of dice you're allowed to roll by that same number, round up since your GM is a nice guy, and have at it.
 

aramis erak

Explorer
The answer to this question might be, "Dude, just read your dice like a normal person." But I'm an Exalted player, and rolling 40d10 isn't that unusual. Combat is long enough without the hunting and pecking of finding 6-9s, 10s, and 1s buried in the general herd. I talk about my struggles a little bit beneath the comic over here, but I could use a hand from the hivemind.

Are there any tips or tricks for reading large dice pools quickly?
Given the nature of Storyteller system...

Filling the numbers with different colors is likely the best bet.
 

Imaculata

Adventurer
I had to roll 16d6 during our last session. What I tend to do is make pairs of 10's. It makes the counting a bit easier.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
Cool. Non sarcastically, I'm sure that was agreat boon for you becaue otherwise 40 dice is a pain to calculate.

However, my statement stands that some people may not want to deface 40 dice.

What was linked are blank dice with no numbers, so they would only be good for this game or others with the exact same success mechanic. They aren't Prime eligible so with shipping it's about $8 ($4.20+$3.70) for the pack of 10, or $32 for the forty needed.
 

Xaelvaen

Explorer
There's some discussion/prototypes out there of Dice Face Recognition Software - could always go that route if you don't want to lose the tangibility of rolling dice. Should count/calculate instantly, assuming the program adjusted appropriately.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
You can also programm an app for your phone which detects dice and counts how many were successes.
Now that's a great solution.

I wonder, are people ready for a game where rolling resolution is purely by a free app, that can be of arbitrary complexity like video games because people don't have to do it? (As long as the input and output are straightforward.)
 

aramis erak

Explorer
I had to roll 16d6 during our last session. What I tend to do is make pairs of 10's. It makes the counting a bit easier.
It's important to note that "dice pool" has two, fundamentally different, meanings.

Meaning 1: roll the pool, total.
Meaning 2: roll the pool, count the number of dice which individually meet a given criteria.

Various mechanics: Symbolic dice (FFG, WEG d6 Batman), N+ by difficulty (GDW Space 1889; WWG Vampire 1E), N- (Modiphius 2d20; Deep7 Arrowflight 1E), Highest unmatched (I forget which one used this), number unmatched (JWP Orkworld - weapon penetration vs armor), Number of matching (another small press I can't recall the title), Highest single die (DP9 Silhouette), Sum Highest X of Y (L5R 1E-4E)... Chosen X of Y symbollic (L5R 5E), N dice by difficulty for under some TN...

The only thing consistent about "dice pool" as a descriptor is that the number of dice is variable by some aspect of play.
 

Fauchard1520

Explorer
There's some discussion/prototypes out there of Dice Face Recognition Software - could always go that route if you don't want to lose the tangibility of rolling dice. Should count/calculate instantly, assuming the program adjusted appropriately.
Any links? This is intriguing.
 

DMMike

Game Masticator
I wonder, are people ready for a game where rolling resolution is purely by a free app, that can be of arbitrary complexity like video games because people don't have to do it? (As long as the input and output are straightforward.)
I was pondering a similar question: are people ready for the dice recognition software that [MENTION=6681906]Xaelvaen[/MENTION] mentioned? I mean, the founding Dungeon Masters would roll in their graves at the privacy issues involved in the DM's die rolls being known, if only to a computer. But players seem to think it's cool, like they have and never will have anything to hide. :)
 

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