Attempt to correct the whiff factor: A ToHit Chart

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Hyarion
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Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:45 pm

So there I was, sitting at my desk, and I says to myself "Self, what to do about the perceived whiff factor?" And it seems like a solution might be to return to the wargaming roots and introduce a ToHit chart.

In the linked google sheet, is a full 1-100 chart and a summary that goes by increments of 5 for readability. Values are a result of the formula WSa / (WSa+WSd). Using this method, rolling an attack is not as simple as just rolling under your WS, but cross referencing the Attacker's WS with the Defender's WS and rolling under the appropriate value.

This raises a few questions:
1) How does my number distribution look? I picked something that looks right to me, but I'd love to have some discussion/comments about it.

2) How does this change parrying? Makes it too powerful/easy? Not powerful enough?


https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing
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Bitsa
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Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:51 am

Is this just the tohit roll target, or does this effectively also include a parry roll for the defender?

The most recent idea I saw that I liked was using the combat bonuses from Dark Heresy 2. It's virtually the same identical system but the bonuses for some actions changed.

Standard attack gets +10% (swift attack is unchanged at +0%)
Aim is +10% for a half action but there's also a full action aim for +20%, and aim stacks with the standard attack bonus
Charge is +20% instead of +10%
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Hyarion
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Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:19 am

My chart is just to hit. It does not take into account parrying (see question 2 above), but that will come later.
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Bitsa
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Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:28 am

Well, I think it probably doubles-up on the defender's ability.
The defender's WS affects the attacker's ability to hit (in either direction) AND the defender gets to parry.

Just for me, I feel like if you were to use a table like this you should remove parry/dodge, but then that opens up a whole new can of worms...
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Hyarion
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Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:56 am

Do you have any reasons *why* Dodging/Parry should be removed from the game if I introduced a ToHit table?

Think about where this is coming from, from a WFB perspective, even there you get to roll to Hit, then you roll to wound, then you roll an armor save (if any), and a ward save (if you have one). While I completely understand if that's not a direction you want to take your game in, I think there's plenty of precedent for an idea of multiple rolls/saves/chances for failure/success. Especially when we've flattened out the probability curve like this. What I'm not sure of is if a Parry should be another roll on the table (because Math is nice, it will always be the inverse percentage from the attacker's roll) or a straight WS test on the defender's WS, or something else.
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Bitsa
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Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:37 am

Well, as you asked: Because the defender's WS has already had one opportunity to affect the outcome, parry gives it a second.
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Hyarion
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Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:09 pm

I'm just a bit confused because until WSa+WSd >100 then the defender's WS has *not* had a chance to affect the outcome and all we've done is increased the Attacker's odds. After that point, yes, it is a proportional decrease, but that influence on the attacker is more than what you would get by the RAW.

If WSa+WSd <100, then your parry attempt has better odds than RAW.
If WSa+WSd >100, then you are borrowing %'s from your (still limited to one) parry attempt to influence each incoming attack.

I think that sounds fair, does it not?.
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CapnZapp
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Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:18 am

For which edition is this material?
Bitsa
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Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:30 am

Hyarion wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:09 pm
I'm just a bit confused because until WSa+WSd >100 then the defender's WS has *not* had a chance to affect the outcome and all we've done is increased the Attacker's odds. After that point, yes, it is a proportional decrease, but that influence on the attacker is more than what you would get by the RAW.

If WSa+WSd <100, then your parry attempt has better odds than RAW.
If WSa+WSd >100, then you are borrowing %'s from your (still limited to one) parry attempt to influence each incoming attack.

I think that sounds fair, does it not?.

I don't know, it's subjective I guess.
It hinges on what the goals are a I suppose - depends which envelopes are the ones you're targeting and what you're trying to do to them.1
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Hyarion
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Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:57 am

CapnZapp,

Really it could be for any edition. I made it edition agnostic on purpose.
It's just a tool to help normalize probabilities across different skill levels. I had two main goals in mind when creating it:
A) Help reduce the whiff factor of low XP characters while still making higher scores beneficial.
B) Reduce the 'expertise' of extremely advanced characters against other extremely advanced characters.

And I hope I accomplished that (I think I did).

I didn't include numbers higher than 100, even though 4th edition can theoretically go over that limit, because I think it's just so rare to find in practice. In that situation, I would just roll as if your WS was 100 on the table.
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makrellen
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Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:16 pm

So while I really like the idea (there is something beautiful in a symmetric chart ;-) ) I think there is a big assumption that is not being adressed in what you are trying to achieve.

In a wargame with two players opposing each other it is important to balance attacker and defender capability - otherwise you would quickly loose interest if only your opponents rolls mattered in a fight.

But in a roleplaying game that is not true - the fun factor at the table does not depend on whether your NPC opponents get a fair chance to defend themselves. The only reason that we strive for balance in fights is to maintain some kind of realism. It is entirely possible to have fun fights where the chance of hitting someone does not depend on the opponents ability to defend themselves (surprise! that is pretty much how 1st ed did it!).

In fact this is one of the things that I have come to find that 4th ed does really, really poorly - making every roll into an opposed roll. In reality players don't care what the GM rolls - they care about the outcome of their own roll.

So while your objective is honorable I think that it doesn't belong in a roleplaying game.
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Hyarion
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Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:05 pm

Thanks Makrellen!

I'm not sure I understand all of your reasoning, but I do appreciate the response.
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makrellen
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Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:54 pm

Hyarion wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:05 pm
Thanks Makrellen!

I'm not sure I understand all of your reasoning, but I do appreciate the response.
Have you tried any Powered by the Apocalypse game? Like Dungeon World perhaps? I think the main thing to take away from any PbtA game is that roleplaying can be great even if it is only the players throwing dice. NPC's don't need to operate on the same scale as the PC's to be engaging to encounter.

So I guess what I am saying is that is it going to be more fun to have to reference a chart to find out what to roll against every time? Or could this be achieved in other ways?

Personally I would rather that combat didn't focus too much on the NPC side of things - but I totally understand the beauty in the math behind ;)
Graak
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Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:21 am

How much I would like a statistical analysis for 4th edition opposed rolls distribution VS your table, in this moment :)

I second Bitsa in his idea that the key is making situational modifiers more interesting, statistically significative. This way you make tactical choice more meaningful while keeping away with an electric pole the abstract hunt for the bonus metagame of 4th edition,keeping the bonuses close tied to the fiction of a given combat.

Edit: autocorrector fix and clarity
CapnZapp
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Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:56 am

Hyarion wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:57 am
CapnZapp,

Really it could be for any edition. I made it edition agnostic on purpose.
It's just a tool to help normalize probabilities across different skill levels. I had two main goals in mind when creating it:
A) Help reduce the whiff factor of low XP characters while still making higher scores beneficial.
B) Reduce the 'expertise' of extremely advanced characters against other extremely advanced characters.

And I hope I accomplished that (I think I did).

I didn't include numbers higher than 100, even though 4th edition can theoretically go over that limit, because I think it's just so rare to find in practice. In that situation, I would just roll as if your WS was 100 on the table.
Warhammer has used three completely different combat resolution mechanics over the years (1/2E, 3E and 4E), and I can't imagine your material being applicable to all three at the same time.

For instance, the attack and the parry/dodge rolls are opposed in 4E but separate in 1/2E. The 2E whiff factor is gone in 4E. Two equally advanced 4E characters duelling have exactly the same odds as two equally inexperienced characters (disregarding crits/fumbles, the impact of talents, and of course the snowball effect of Advantage).

And 3E doesn't use percentage dice at all.

So sorry, I still don't understand. (If you have 1st or 2nd edition in mind, why not say so? :) )
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