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Re: [FateRPG] Fudge Dice, an alternative

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  • Darren Hill
    On Tue, 01 Aug 2006 16:08:36 +0200, Mike Holmes ... I can t remember the name of it either, but it s at the heart of what makes people gamblers. Among the
    Message 1 of 22 , Aug 1, 2006
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      On Tue, 01 Aug 2006 16:08:36 +0200, Mike Holmes
      <mike_c_holmes@...> wrote:

      >
      >> From: "James Husum" <james.husum@...>
      >>
      >> Greetings,
      >>
      >> I'm not a professional statistician nor do I play one on TV, but I can
      >> tell
      >> you from gaming experience that no matter how statistically probable or
      >> improbable a roll is, the dice will conspire to cause your character the
      >> most trouble possible. :-)
      >
      > There's a phenomenon (and damned if I can ever remember the name of it)
      > that
      > basically points out that humans tend to observe outliers as common,
      > because
      > normal results simply are unremarkable. So players always remember when
      > the
      > dice screwed them, or that really good roll, but they forget the many
      > normal
      > rolls in between, making the wild results seem more common than they are.


      I can't remember the name of it either, but it's at the heart of what
      makes people gamblers.
      Among the players I know are a physicist and an engineer, and it's funny
      to hear them espousing their rationalist, skeptical views outside of play,
      and turn into superstititious worshippers of the dice gods as soon as play
      begins. (And really, how many people haven't changed their dice at least
      once during a session?)

      In other words, I agree with Mike completely. If you're rolling dice in
      situations that of (simulated!) danger and stress, then some of the time,
      those rolls will fail, and bad things happen. Looking back on it, you'll
      remember those times more than the times where nothing much happened, and
      you might come to the conclusion that "the dice will conspire to cause
      your character the
      most trouble possible." But that's not really happening.

      Darren
    • Mike Holmes
      ... There s a phenomenon (and damned if I can ever remember the name of it) that basically points out that humans tend to observe outliers as common, because
      Message 2 of 22 , Aug 1, 2006
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        >From: "James Husum" <james.husum@...>
        >
        >Greetings,
        >
        >I'm not a professional statistician nor do I play one on TV, but I can tell
        >you from gaming experience that no matter how statistically probable or
        >improbable a roll is, the dice will conspire to cause your character the
        >most trouble possible. :-)

        There's a phenomenon (and damned if I can ever remember the name of it) that
        basically points out that humans tend to observe outliers as common, because
        normal results simply are unremarkable. So players always remember when the
        dice screwed them, or that really good roll, but they forget the many normal
        rolls in between, making the wild results seem more common than they are.

        Or, again, your dice are actually skewed. But you're not asking me to
        believe that your dice are possessed by the gods of gaming to produce
        certain results are you? I know some gamers who actually have this
        superstition. If you observe gaming obsjectively, however, dice act just
        like they're supposed to.

        Now, I don't disagree that this sort of human nature shouldn't be taken into
        account in coming up with dice conventions for RPGs. But what I would say is
        that relying on it to produce results in play that won't come up on the
        notion that dice will somehow surprise us and do things that the math
        doesn't predict - well that's bad game design.

        Mike
      • Mike Holmes
        ... Yep, in addition to noting outliers, there are other psychological studies that say that people tend to remember negative reinforcement more than positive
        Message 3 of 22 , Aug 1, 2006
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          >From: "Darren Hill" <rpglists@...>
          >
          >Looking back on it, you'll
          >remember those times more than the times where nothing much happened, and
          >you might come to the conclusion that "the dice will conspire to cause
          >your character the most trouble possible." But that's not really happening.

          Yep, in addition to noting outliers, there are other psychological studies
          that say that people tend to remember negative reinforcement more than
          positive reinforcement. So not only to people remember the outiers, but the
          negative outliers.

          What's fascinating, however, is that behaviorally, people respond to
          positive reinforcement more than negative. Again, this explains gambling.
          People recall mostly getting hosed, but they still come back for more and
          more despite the fact that mostly gamblers come out behind (which is how
          casino's make their money). Despite recalling the dice hosing them, players
          come back again and again to play RPGs.

          Anyhow, the point is that people's perceptions don't always correspond with
          their behaviour.This is why everyone says, "Damn gapers' block!" when seeing
          traffic slow down to look at an accident, but do it themselves, too (amongst
          other reasons), for instance. And why modeling your system to be
          "open-ended" might not be the good idea it seems at first.

          Mike
        • Mark Causey
          ... I seem to remember it being called positive and negative end-heuristics but can t find anything to back that up on the internet.
          Message 4 of 22 , Aug 1, 2006
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            > There's a phenomenon (and damned if I can ever remember the name of it) that
            > basically points out that humans tend to observe outliers as common, because
            > normal results simply are unremarkable.

            I seem to remember it being called positive and negative
            end-heuristics but can't find anything to back that up on the
            internet.

            <MC3>
          • Bill Burdick
            And sometimes one s model of what s going on seems to be right but is actually totally on the wrong track, particularly with emergent systems like traffic.
            Message 5 of 22 , Aug 1, 2006
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              And sometimes one's model of what's going on seems to be right but is
              actually totally on the wrong track, particularly with emergent
              systems like traffic. "Gaper's blocks" are a good example of this.
              Any time the space b/w a car and the one in front of it significantly
              decreases in heavy traffic, a slow-down will propagate backwards
              through traffic like a compression wave. The heavier the traffic, the
              longer the wave lives and the slower it propagates (you can mess with
              a traffic simulation to see how changing the parameters affects the
              system).

              The driver ahead of you has to slow down in order to preserve the
              space in front of them, but it sure feels like they're doing it to
              spite you! One gaper can start a compression wave and make it seem
              like everyone behind them is a gaper.


              Bill



              --- In FateRPG@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Holmes" <mike_c_holmes@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > >From: "Darren Hill" <rpglists@...>
              > >
              > >Looking back on it, you'll
              > >remember those times more than the times where nothing much
              happened, and
              > >you might come to the conclusion that "the dice will conspire to cause
              > >your character the most trouble possible." But that's not really
              happening.
              >
              > Yep, in addition to noting outliers, there are other psychological
              studies
              > that say that people tend to remember negative reinforcement more than
              > positive reinforcement. So not only to people remember the outiers,
              but the
              > negative outliers.
              >
              > What's fascinating, however, is that behaviorally, people respond to
              > positive reinforcement more than negative. Again, this explains
              gambling.
              > People recall mostly getting hosed, but they still come back for
              more and
              > more despite the fact that mostly gamblers come out behind (which is
              how
              > casino's make their money). Despite recalling the dice hosing them,
              players
              > come back again and again to play RPGs.
              >
              > Anyhow, the point is that people's perceptions don't always
              correspond with
              > their behaviour.This is why everyone says, "Damn gapers' block!"
              when seeing
              > traffic slow down to look at an accident, but do it themselves, too
              (amongst
              > other reasons), for instance. And why modeling your system to be
              > "open-ended" might not be the good idea it seems at first.
              >
              > Mike
              >
            • Mike Holmes
              ... Sure. But not my wife, for one. She s just a hypocrite. :-) Yes, however, there are lots of problems with perception and behavior, and what works with all
              Message 6 of 22 , Aug 1, 2006
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                >From: "Bill Burdick" <bill.burdick@...>
                >
                >One gaper can start a compression wave and make it seem
                >like everyone behind them is a gaper.

                Sure.

                But not my wife, for one. She's just a hypocrite. :-)

                Yes, however, there are lots of problems with perception and behavior, and
                what works with all of these things in terms of game mechanics is never as
                straightforward as it seems.

                In any case, playtesting is the best way to discern if things are working.
                And, to get back OT a little, I note that Fred and Rob have been doing a
                good job of this. I'm sure that their tweaks to the FATE system for SOTC are
                going to work very well.

                Mike
              • Adaen of Bridgewater
                ... I ... added burden ... 3 plus ... that they ... irritates them. ... system the ... want ... die when 4+ or 4- is rolled. If that die continues the
                Message 7 of 22 , Aug 1, 2006
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                  --- In FateRPG@yahoogroups.com, Matt Whiteacre <mwhite@...> wrote:
                  >
                  <snip> I
                  > have no problem letting people roll only 4dF if they think the
                  added burden
                  > of rolling 3d6 plus a wild d6 (yes, the total dice pool is still 4,
                  3 plus
                  > a wild die). However most people that I play with like the idea
                  that they
                  > can roll really well, and an arbitrary cap on the potential
                  irritates them.
                  >
                  > I don't expect to have every jump on board and say what a great
                  system the
                  > wild die system is, I just offer it as a system for those of us who
                  want
                  > the possible open ended result. <snip>

                  --->Another possibility for an open ended system is to roll another
                  die when 4+ or 4- is rolled. If that die continues the run, then
                  another die is rolled, and another, etc. until the run is broken.
                  This steals from the 4+/4- probabilities (1/3 of it actually). If my
                  math is correct, the likelihood of a die result outside the -4 to +4
                  range is ~0.82% (which is stolen from the 4+ and 4- likelihoods).
                  this is pretty rare, but not out of the question. Any thoughts on
                  this as an alternative? It may have been presented elsewhere (even in
                  FUDGE proper), so I apologize if this if old hat.

                  -Adaen of Bridgewater
                • Darren Hill
                  On Wed, 02 Aug 2006 01:03:07 +0200, Mike Holmes ... Yes, they have :) Over on the fudge list, several variants of this approach have been used. I remember the
                  Message 8 of 22 , Aug 1, 2006
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                    On Wed, 02 Aug 2006 01:03:07 +0200, Mike Holmes
                    <mike_c_holmes@...> wrote:

                    >
                    >> From: "Adaen of Bridgewater" <adaen@...>
                    >>
                    >> --->Another possibility for an open ended system is to roll another
                    >> die when 4+ or 4- is rolled. If that die continues the run, then
                    >> another die is rolled, and another, etc. until the run is broken.
                    >
                    > Funny, but I was thinking of coming up with something like this. I just
                    > had
                    > no idea how easy it would be.
                    >
                    > Yeah, sombody has to have thought of this before. Gotta be.

                    Yes, they have :)
                    Over on the fudge list, several variants of this approach have been used.
                    I remember the one above, and another with takes it to a fundamental level
                    (and I mention this definitely not as a recommendation, but just as an
                    example of interesting craziness):
                    Roll 1dF: if you get a + or -, roll again. If the result is the same as
                    that initially rolled, add and roll again. Continue until you roll
                    something other than the initial roll/

                    So, if your first roll is a +, you roll again. Lets say you roll another
                    +. Your total is now +2, and you roll again. You're next roll is a -, so
                    you stop there, and your total is +2.
                    In theory, you could get 10 or more +'s (or -'s) but it's not very likely.
                    But IIRC, the odds in the +4 to -4 range isn't drastically different from
                    the normal fudge dice system.

                    Darren
                  • Mike Holmes
                    ... Funny, but I was thinking of coming up with something like this. I just had no idea how easy it would be. Yeah, sombody has to have thought of this before.
                    Message 9 of 22 , Aug 1, 2006
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                      >From: "Adaen of Bridgewater" <adaen@...>
                      >
                      >--->Another possibility for an open ended system is to roll another
                      >die when 4+ or 4- is rolled. If that die continues the run, then
                      >another die is rolled, and another, etc. until the run is broken.

                      Funny, but I was thinking of coming up with something like this. I just had
                      no idea how easy it would be.

                      Yeah, sombody has to have thought of this before. Gotta be.

                      Mike
                    • James Husum
                      Greetings, True, I do remember the times when the dice seem to roll bad better because they cause the most interesting turns in the story (at least if the GM
                      Message 10 of 22 , Aug 1, 2006
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                        Greetings,

                        True, I do remember the times when the dice seem to 'roll bad' better because they cause the most interesting turns in the story (at least if the GM is any good.)

                        There was one campaign I was involved in that used critical failure tables. It seemed that every time it came down to the mage needing to throw a spell to save himself or the party, he'd end up getting a critical failure. The GM interpreted these as extreme critical failures reulting in earthquakes, floods, and very large explosions. :-)

                        Are there Dice Gods controlling the fate (no pun intended) of the rolls? No. But the game effects sure are more memorable when the rolls hit an extreme.

                        On 8/1/06, Mike Holmes <mike_c_holmes@...> wrote:


                        >From: "James Husum" <james.husum@...>


                        >
                        >Greetings,
                        >
                        >I'm not a professional statistician nor do I play one on TV, but I can tell
                        >you from gaming experience that no matter how statistically probable or
                        >improbable a roll is, the dice will conspire to cause your character the
                        >most trouble possible. :-)

                        There's a phenomenon (and damned if I can ever remember the name of it) that
                        basically points out that humans tend to observe outliers as common, because
                        normal results simply are unremarkable. So players always remember when the
                        dice screwed them, or that really good roll, but they forget the many normal
                        rolls in between, making the wild results seem more common than they are.

                        Or, again, your dice are actually skewed. But you're not asking me to
                        believe that your dice are possessed by the gods of gaming to produce
                        certain results are you? I know some gamers who actually have this
                        superstition. If you observe gaming obsjectively, however, dice act just
                        like they're supposed to.

                        Now, I don't disagree that this sort of human nature shouldn't be taken into
                        account in coming up with dice conventions for RPGs. But what I would say is
                        that relying on it to produce results in play that won't come up on the
                        notion that dice will somehow surprise us and do things that the math
                        doesn't predict - well that's bad game design.

                        Mike

                        _
                        ._,___



                        --
                        James Husum
                        The Quixote Project - one guy's quest to make the world a better place - http://www.thequixoteproject.org/
                        Brainsludge - all the shtuff running around my brain - http://www.brainsludge.com/
                        Interested in Science Fiction TV? I need your input! - http://www.scifitvfans.com/polls/
                        Currently reading: Mind Hacks by Tom Stafford and Matt Webb
                      • Thomas Cackler
                        ... Proverbs 16:33 might argue otherwise (http://tinyurl.com/zva2g). =) Overall, I m a fan of exploding dice. They certainly add an air of uncertainty to
                        Message 11 of 22 , Aug 1, 2006
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                          > Are there Dice Gods controlling the fate (no pun intended) of the rolls?

                          Proverbs 16:33 might argue otherwise (http://tinyurl.com/zva2g). =)

                          Overall, I'm a fan of 'exploding' dice. They certainly add an air of
                          uncertainty to the game. Of course, that would mean actually running
                          a game...

                          I'll go back to lurking now.

                          Thomas
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