Main Logo

The Stuff I Got Wrong(Ish) About D20



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.


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...

What do you think of this article?

It ascended to heaven and walked with the gods.
It was very good.
It was pretty good.
It was okay.
It was a bit bad.
It was very bad.
It sucked, really, really badly.