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The Stuff I Got Wrong(Ish) About D20

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Last issue I did an article entitled " The Bit That I Don't Like About D20". In this article, I explained that I don't like the flat probability curve given by a single dice, and prefer instead the bell-curve you get when using multiple dice (say 3D6).

I illustrated my point using a hypothetical case involving people white-water canoeing down a river. The example used two task-resolution methods, one using 3D6, and one using a D20.

The D20 mechanism used in the example was supposed to be the one used in the actual D20 system.

It wasn't quite.

Oops.

Since we published Issue 8, a number of people have written to me to point out that I made a fuckup on the rules. I suppose I ought to thank them at this point.

Thank you.

In my example, a 1 counted as a critical failure, and a 20 counted as a critical success.

However, in the D20 system this rule only applies to combat. It does *not* apply to non-combat rolls.

Having admitted my screw up, could I just say two things in my defence:

a) It doesn't actually change the merits of a flat curve verses a bell curve, and the article still does a valid job of explaining that.

b) It was Mark and Bog Boy, who claim to know rules and shit, who told me that 1 and 20 were criticals on all rules, so blame them.

Oh, and apparently I also totally fucked up the GURPS-like 3D6 method as well, but fewer people cared about that.

I think I'll shut up now...


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