# The D20 needs to go for this system to function

### General Discussion

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The math is just too tight for a linear randomizer like any single die. If the check strays out of needing a number between 9 and 13 (50% +/- 10%)either success becomes to rare or critical successes become too common. Drop the number you need to roll to 7 and you critically succeed as often as you fail. Conversely increase the number needed to 15 and you critically fail as often as you succeed. Those numbers are only 2 to outside the workable range.

One solution is to use dice that work on a bell curve rather than a line. the obvious solution is to use 2d10. This closely mimics the number range of the d20 (2-20 vice 1-20) and so will require the least tweaking of the basic system.

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thorin001 wrote:

The math is just too tight for a linear randomizer like any single die. If the check strays out of needing a number between 9 and 13 (50% +/- 10%)either success becomes to rare or critical successes become too common. Drop the number you need to roll to 7 and you critically succeed as often as you fail. Conversely increase the number needed to 15 and you critically fail as often as you succeed. Those numbers are only 2 to outside the workable range.

One solution is to use dice that work on a bell curve rather than a line. the obvious solution is to use 2d10. This closely mimics the number range of the d20 (2-20 vice 1-20) and so will require the least tweaking of the basic system.

I mean yeah, this is kinda the whole point of the new crit system and number balancing. The math is kept tight enough to where crit success/failure doesn't often exceed 10-15% for level appropriate tasks of fitting difficulty. Working above or below your grade or applying buffs/debuffs or other modifiers is -supposed- to reward you with jumps in critical success or failure because it's hard to bump to those point unless you're facing something noticeably above or below where you stand.

Among other things it's made fighting mooks a lot of fun for my groub because they're able to hit often with their first attacks and consistently with their second, with crits (And crit fails against spells) coming up more often than they would against tougher foes. It helps hammer in the gap between strength by level and make modifiers really matter a lot more than in 1E.

I wholeheartedly agree with using 2d10 for checks. It keeps crits from occurring too often, and it makes checks way more consistent, meaning your bonuses matter more, so it promotes specialization.

However, I don't think Paizo would go so far as to get rid of the 1d20. It just seems too radical and might alienate a lot of their customer base.

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With tight math and 2d10, the game might get kinda deterministic. Part of the charm of the d20 is the swinginess.

I wonder what d12+d8 curve looks like...

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d12+d8, i.e. the AD&D 2e encounter table. It looks like a mountain with the peak chopped off. 9-12 have the same chance of occurring, 8/96 = 1/12 or 8.333 %.

2d10 is a mountain without the peak chopped off. You need 3 dice for a recognisable bell curve.

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Honestly, for any other RPG, something other than d20 might be ok with me, but to me, while I have few sacred cows I'm intent on keeping, the notion of the d20 is one of the few that I find still compelling for Pathfinder. It's just so key to the notion of pretty much every aspect of the game, that moving away from it just feels wrong. I absolutely love many 3d6 or other systems, but for Pathfinder to diverge from the d20 system, I don't feel like it would add anything to my enjoyment, and would probably take away from that, to the point that I'd rather just keep the d20 way of doing things

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You know their is extreme opinions out there and then their is the one that wants to remove d20's from a d20 game.

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d20 math is ok, challenge lvl in most encounters is not - so the often crits are not needed and looks overpowered.

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Vidmaster7 wrote:
You know their is extreme opinions out there and then their is the one that wants to remove d20's from a d20 game.

Totally agree here, getting rid of the d20 roll is just plain heresy to me.

That said, they do have a point that PF2e's crit rules pretty much have to use 2d10 or some other combination of multiple dice to work. It just is fundamentally at odds with the d20 system.

Thus the reasonable and sane answer should be highly obvious. Kill the +/-10 rule. If you want an auto-crit on a high enough roll, it would have to require a success by 20 to keep the d20 system functional.

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Or just make it so that critical successes and failures aren't too drastic. Critical hits don't need to double damage. Critically failing to aid someone doesn't need to hurt them. (Critically failing Aid Another could lower your AC by 2. Critically failing at first aid could waste a healer's kit.)

to follow matthew's line of thinking.

Critical hits could just do the critical effects. It could add as little as an extra die.

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I'd remove ability scores before you could pry the d20's from my cold dead hands.

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Personally, I think we should use 1d2+1d4+1d6+1d8, which still has a max of 20 and...

Yeah, okay, silliness aside, I think the crit rate is fine, and crits are a bit too deadly. I oppose any idea of dropping the d20 outright.

More dice manipulation effects would be cool though. Meta, but cool.

As for making them less deadly? Not doubling dice, only doubling dice, max damage, crit effects instead of extra damage, even just multiplying the final damage by 1.5 instead of the current system. I've heard lots of reasonable ideas. The better recovery system we should be getting today might also help.

I think paizo shoulnd't be so scared to move a d12 to 2d6 or 3d6 you just need a little clarifying to let people know when it says +1 die its +1 whatever the base damage is so +1 die for 2d6 would be 2d6.

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I want a d666 system.

Lausth wrote:
I want a d666 system.

I approve. but only if a little chant accompanies every roll.

Also don't let the 80's find out they have given us enough trouble with D&D and satan.

3d6 with +/-5 for critical success/failure.

if you need 11 to hit, 16+ is little below 5% chance.

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There's a Bell Curve Rolls variant in the 3rd Ed UA:

2d6 with base DC of 7 would also work.

with +5 DC for crit would give little under 3% chance for crit when you aim for "natural 12"

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Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Just so long as they don't move to inventing their own weird dice with something other than numbers.

Now that there are lots of companies out there making all sorts of elegant and attractive dice, its annoying when games are designed so you can only use the manufacturer's custom symbol ones

Mechanically, you're absolutely correct. GURPS,for instance, functions quite well with 3d6.

The problem is that the d20 has become iconic. Maybe roll 3d20 and take the middle? But it wouldn't be very satisfying to roll a natural 20 just to take the middle result.

If this was in the cards at all it would have been in the first version of the playtest. Changing at this point would totally invalidate the playtest data so far and would pretty much require pushing back the release date.

I ran a Mutants and Masterminds campaign using 2d10 and I quite liked it. But it substantially changes the way the game plays. It isn't a minor tweak to throw in late in the process

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Actually I think crit chance needs to be decoupled or more loosely coupled with hit chance.

The lack of a confirmation roll means that there is a significantly higher chance to crit, coupled with the +/-10 shenanigans, means they cannot give you a significantly higher chance to hit monster AC without also increasing your chance to crit. This means, that until we have better support systems in place for casting and inflicting penalties, we are held into a tighter hit chance that has to hover between 40-65% chance to hit, or our crit chance also jumps.

I'm a big fan of 3d6, where lowest is 3 and highest is 18, but Paul is right that any dice changes would make the current playtest data difficult to use.

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Lausth wrote:
I want a d666 system.

In Nomine had that; since there were special results for rolling 3 '6's or 3 '1's I actually had players wanting to roll dice for random things just to see what would happen if there was a Divine (or Infernal) intervention when they were, say, placing a takeout order.

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To me the game should be designed around the d20 roll, and not vice-versa.

It may be completely irrational, and while I can't argue with your math, I would be more akin to liking the suggestions of toning down the Critical effects/benefits instead of swapping to a 2d10.

Also, realistically, I don't see the removal of the d20 happening. It's basically a staple of table top gaming and removing it just feels wrong to me.

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Syndrous wrote:

The lack of a confirmation roll means that there is a significantly higher chance to crit, coupled with the +/-10 shenanigans, means they cannot give you a significantly higher chance to hit monster AC without also increasing your chance to crit.

While I agree with this I think that it is worth pointing out that crits are also somewhat less, uh, crippling than in PF1.

In PF1 a crit by a major damage dealer generally finished off its opponent. Heck, crits by charging cavaliers or the like often killed their opponent in a single shot. That is less true in PF2 where everybody has lots and lots more hit points. It is almost expected that a boss will take at least one crit in a fight.

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pauljathome wrote:
Syndrous wrote:

The lack of a confirmation roll means that there is a significantly higher chance to crit, coupled with the +/-10 shenanigans, means they cannot give you a significantly higher chance to hit monster AC without also increasing your chance to crit.

While I agree with this I think that it is worth pointing out that crits are also somewhat less, uh, crippling than in PF1.

In PF1 a crit by a major damage dealer generally finished off its opponent. Heck, crits by charging cavaliers or the like often killed their opponent in a single shot. That is less true in PF2 where everybody has lots and lots more hit points. It is almost expected that a boss will take at least one crit in a fight.

I disagree on the lack of impact from critical hits. Fatal, Deadly and the critical specializations make up for the lack of pure awesomeness in the damage department. Paizo doesn't care about letting us one shot enemies, criticals appear to have been rerolled to make them interesting.

I will agree that they are somewhat weak right now, critical specializations that is, but they have potential. Three of them knock you prone (-2 ac, - 2 attack rolls, +1 ac vs ranged), one makes you flat footed, one pins you in place, one enfeebles you, slows you, knocks you back, moves you 5 feet or causes persistent bleeding. Those are not useless effects, and while they don't necessarily end the combat, they are significant boosts.

I like riders over pure damage numbers.

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the more i see people complain about what makes this a D&D inspired game the less i care about the opinions of the "play-testers"

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They borrowed the proficiency system from a game that had you roll 2d6 for skill checks (Stars Without Number).

Tight math doesn't work with a d20 because of the randomness of the distribution. You need a large sample size to notice a 10-15% difference in success rate and you just don't get to roll the die enough times to balance things out.

It also makes complex skill checks unreliable. With a success rate at 80% (higher than you can actually achieve in PF2) you only have a 51.2% chance of succeeding on three consecutive attempts.

The math doesn't work

JulianW wrote:

Just so long as they don't move to inventing their own weird dice with something other than numbers.

Now that there are lots of companies out there making all sorts of elegant and attractive dice, its annoying when games are designed so you can only use the manufacturer's custom symbol ones

Yeah, that is a definite reason for why I will never touch Stars Wars: Edge of the Empire?

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Midnightoker wrote:

To me the game should be designed around the d20 roll, and not vice-versa.

The problem is that the game is designed as though you're rolling 3d6 or 2d10 - the smaller numbers don't have much impact on 1d20.

1d20 requires larger bonuses, hence the huge skill bonuses you could get in PF1.

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Midnightoker wrote:

To me the game should be designed around the d20 roll, and not vice-versa.

It may be completely irrational, and while I can't argue with your math, I would be more akin to liking the suggestions of toning down the Critical effects/benefits instead of swapping to a 2d10.

Yes, I am still not really digging the 4-tiers of success deal, bit of a time-sink (basic math can be deceptively difficult for some, during play/combat), and critical hits can have problems, damage spikes, rolling less than a normal hit (5th Ed dropped the ball a tad on both of those). I am surprised they have doubled down on crits/fumbles.

I think the best critical hit rules are in 4th Ed: max damage.

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Robert Bunker wrote:

The problem is that the game is designed as though you're rolling 3d6 or 2d10 - the smaller numbers don't have much impact on 1d20.

1d20 requires larger bonuses, hence the huge skill bonuses you could get in PF1.

Again, I think the design should be tailored to the d20. If the system fails to work effectively with the d20, then the fault is the system.

If I said I wanted a car that was fun to drive, and you said "well have I got the car for you! It's got all this neat stuff, but it's on 2 wheels!", then I would say "that's not really a car though, that's a motorcycle..."

Nothing against motorcycles (or games that don't use d20) but quite frankly not using a d20 is the same as not having 4 wheels on a car.

If you're not designing something to be on four wheels, then you're not designing a car, at least not really.

I currently don't have a problem with the system as is in terms of 4 tiers and the distribution, so "luck of the die" playing a huge factor is no consequence to me.

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Obviously, the advantage of a d20 is that there are 20 different possible results for a given roll. Because nobody wants to learn 20 different levels of success, the best use of a high number like this would be to allow different success rates within the same format e.g. sometimes you need a 12+, sometimes you need a 4+, sometimes you need a 20. I'm not sure PF2 does this well, it almost seems like you could replace the d20 with 1d4 mapped to the tiers of success and it wouldn't massively affect gameplay.

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New idea:
20 and 1 mean you always Succeed/Fail.
19-20 and 1-2 are Crit Success/Fail (if you hit/miss) only if succeeding/failing by 10+.
(this number range could potentially be increased by specific Crit mechanic abilities)
If you succeed/fail by 10+ on any other die roll, you roll a 50/50 check to see if it is crit or not.

This will have same flat "curve" in regards to simple success/failure as now,
but Crit Success/Failure will be less prevalent, although high level attacker outclassing target still increases it.

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Quandary wrote:

New idea:

20 and 1 mean you always Succeed/Fail.
19-20 and 1-2 are Crit Success/Fail (if you hit/miss) only if succeeding/failing by 10+.
(this number range could potentially be increased by specific Crit mechanic abilities)
If you succeed/fail by 10+ on any other die roll, you roll a 50/50 check to see if it is crit or not.

This will have same flat "curve" in regards to simple success/failure as now,
but Crit Success/Failure will be less prevalent, although high level attacker outclassing target still increases it.

It's a bit unrefined in terms of ease of use, but it does accomplish the goal.

Simply adding confirmation rolls to anything that isn't a 20/1 could be a simpler answer (first roll has to be +10/-10, second roll can just be success/failure)

That would do a lot for normalizing the critical successes/failures.

Plus it's twice as much d20 rolling, which is a lot of fun (also means the more potent you are at something, the more likely you will be to confirm that critical success)

Vidmaster7 wrote:
I think paizo shoulnd't be so scared to move a d12 to 2d6 or 3d6 you just need a little clarifying to let people know when it says +1 die its +1 whatever the base damage is so +1 die for 2d6 would be 2d6.

On paper that sounds nice but I like seeing more d10/12 weapons as opposed y 1E and more importantly this is exactly how we got those ridiculous threads claiming that Greatswords only add 1d6 per iteration of vital Strike and on the other side arguments that mythic vital Strike multiplied your damage by an extra 2 times per iteration of vital Strike.

Like seriously, I think the fact that we got that nonsense in 1e despite the very clear meaning of things is a decent explanation as to why we don't have 2dx weapons anymore. XP

Also 2dx weapons inherently hold to their average more consistently which I wasn't a huge fan of but opinions may vary.

Midnightoker wrote:
Plus it's twice as much d20 rolling, which is a lot of fun (also means the more potent you are at something, the more likely you will be to confirm that critical success)

I don't really get this mindset (neither with the notion of secret rolls, where some GMs have players roll and write down their results, rather than just having the GM roll). What is it about rolling that is fun? To me, rolling is a neutral activity, required for the game to function, and if I never rolled another die, and some sort of virtual tabletop was created, that handled all rolls or whatever without me having to make macros, or whatever, I don't think I'd really miss anything.

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I'm going to move my Starfinder group to 2d10 as the run of bad rolls they've had combined with the tight math of the system just makes everyone sad. 2,3,and 4 will be fumbles and 18,19,20 will be crits.

We'll see how it goes!

Midnightoker wrote:
Quandary wrote:
New idea:

It's a bit unrefined in terms of ease of use, but it does accomplish the goal.

Simply adding confirmation rolls to anything that isn't a 20/1 could be a simpler answer

Confirmation rolls (using attack vs AC) were obvious alternative, I just thought I would throw this out there since it is less of a change to existing P2E statistics... And has advantages in terms of not needing to track different attack bonuses & do math for each roll. Specific mechanics could always modify this Flat Check to Confirm Crits.

Tholomyes wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
Plus it's twice as much d20 rolling, which is a lot of fun (also means the more potent you are at something, the more likely you will be to confirm that critical success)
I don't really get this mindset (neither with the notion of secret rolls, where some GMs have players roll and write down their results, rather than just having the GM roll). What is it about rolling that is fun? To me, rolling is a neutral activity, required for the game to function, and if I never rolled another die, and some sort of virtual tabletop was created, that handled all rolls or whatever without me having to make macros, or whatever, I don't think I'd really miss anything...

I am with you on secret rolls (or pre-rolled results) in general (not that specific checks may not actually need to be secret), but I think it's disingenuous to deny any enjoyment to rolls, the fact is it is quite common to enjoy games of chance and it increases the drama of the moment.

Azih wrote:

I'm going to move my Starfinder group to 2d10 as the run of bad rolls they've had combined with the tight math of the system just makes everyone sad. 2,3,and 4 will be fumbles and 18,19,20 will be crits.

We'll see how it goes!

For what it's worth, I had better luck with only 2,3 and 17,18 being special. Admittedly that was in a game where improved critical was a thing

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3D6 is a great idea. I think the D20 is much too swingy for the new system and 3D6 as a replacement would help fix that.

Now if only I could get my group to test this...

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If you're attempting something difficult, you might need to roll a 15 to succeed. On a d20, that's a 30% chance. On 3d6, it's 9%.

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Edge93 wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I think paizo shoulnd't be so scared to move a d12 to 2d6 or 3d6 you just need a little clarifying to let people know when it says +1 die its +1 whatever the base damage is so +1 die for 2d6 would be 2d6.

On paper that sounds nice but I like seeing more d10/12 weapons as opposed y 1E and more importantly this is exactly how we got those ridiculous threads claiming that Greatswords only add 1d6 per iteration of vital Strike and on the other side arguments that mythic vital Strike multiplied your damage by an extra 2 times per iteration of vital Strike.

Like seriously, I think the fact that we got that nonsense in 1e despite the very clear meaning of things is a decent explanation as to why we don't have 2dx weapons anymore. XP

Also 2dx weapons inherently hold to their average more consistently which I wasn't a huge fan of but opinions may vary.

A good point but I don't personally like the idea of catering to people who can't figure out basic concepts. Let them get confused I say!

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Matthew Downie wrote:
If you're attempting something difficult, you might need to roll a 15 to succeed. On a d20, that's a 30% chance. On 3d6, it's 9%.

Then you flank, attack from elevation, throw sand in the eyes, lie, cheat, bribe, steal better equipement, use help, use any trick in the book.

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Starfinder Superscriber

You guys are inventing GURPS.

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Heh.

Ironically, rolling a d4 for success levels, with confirmation rolls needed for crit success/failure, mimics PF2E very very well. With that, you would get

6.25% crit fails
43.75% fails
43.75% successes
6.25% crit successes

I think I would use 2d12 rather than 2d10, mainly so I actually can get 20 different values, a bit more variance, but nothing as bad as a d20. Of course, being a uniform distribution, nothing CAN have more variance than a d20...

rknop wrote:
You guys are inventing GURPS.