Resolution Systems: Sweet Spots

Ideal resolution systems for RPGs ought to have a large “sweet spot”. What’s a sweet spot?

Well, if you use 3d6 (the way GURPS and Hero System do) then your “sweet spot” is the range of “difficulties” represented by having to roll 8 or less to 13 or less… The probability curve is very narrow, which means that in GURPS the range of human capability ends up being pretty narrowly defined (a character with an ability score of 9 is pathetic, while 15 is awesome). In Hero System almost anything you want to do is trivial or impossible.

The ideal system would be exponential in generating probable outcomes, something along the following lines: if score A opposes score B and they are equal, A has a 50% chance of prevailing. For every point by which A exceeds B, the chance of failure is reduced by 5%. For every point by which B exceeds A, the chance of success is reduced by 5%.

Well that’s RuneQuest opposed resolution, right? NO! RuneQuest success chance goes 50%, 55%, 60%, etc. I’m talking about 100 – 0.5 * 0.95^n where n is A-B. In other words, if A exceeds B by 100, going to 101 reduces the chance of failure by a further 5%.

Of course this is a pain in the neck for dice-based games, but it works jim dandy for computers šŸ™‚

What Iā€™m Up To

I’m currently working on enhancements to One Two Red Blue’s “Manager | Builder | Stage” toolset. This is a multimedia presentation system used by most of our clients. It’s written using a lethal combination of Macromedia Director, Flash, and RealBasic.

I’m also working on a new game with Andrew Barry (http://www.barrysoftware.com/) creator of RealBasic and Spotlight Debugger (among other things) and co-creator [with yours truly] of Prince of Destruction and the MARS engine that powered it.

Some people occasionally ask me what if anything I’ve done with ForeSight lately. The answer is *not much*. If I update it, I will probably make it a “D20 System” — I think it would be nice to have a D20 game with a resolution system that works properly…

It Begins…

First of all, I discovered this service* because I was searching for information on old friends I hadn’t heard from in ages. I discovered the link to Blogger.com on Wesley Phoa’s blog. No link! Use google.com šŸ˜‰

Why would anyone want to read this? No idea.

Note: * this blog was originally hosted on blogspot, but moved to my own server in 2007 because I prefer to own my own data and also prefer WordPress’s functionality, user interface, and customization options.