It irks me when I see effects that apply the 9again quality with fluff to suggest that this is a significant bonus. 9again is equivalent to +11% more successes, which is almost always worth less than a single die on average. It's hardly worth anything.
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9Again Overestimated
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The value of Xagain bonuses is dependent on your dice pool. 9again is worth more than +1 dice to roll starting at a dice pool of 9. 8again is worth more than +1 dice to roll starting at a dice pool of 4.
So "almost always worth less" depends drastically on how often you can get dice pools in the 9+ range. Is 9again great in combat where that's probably going to be rare? Nope. But getting 9again in combat is pretty easy and not painted as being that big a deal. But that's because combat is a situation were your base dice pool is almost always going to be penalized to something lower.
If you're focusing on a Skill where you generally get to roll your full base dice pool and likely can put in more bonuses from equipment and such than you'll face penalties, getting in the 9+ range isn't as hard, so 9again becomes a bigger deal.
The value of Xagain is also relevant to whether or not the number of successes you're trying to get is a bigger deal than successes vs. failure. If all that matters to the roll is pass/fail, more dice is always the better choice because that increases the odds of pass; which Xagain boosts don't. Xagain essentially increases variance so if you're trying to an above average number of successes on the roll for some reason, 9again has the advantage of increasing the likelihood of hitting bigger even if on average it doesn't roll that much better.
And of course, beyond all the math, there's the issue of personal bias regarding how the fluff is worded.
9again is a bonus. It only helps you roll more successes. If you had to chose between not having it and having it, you'd always take having it. That it might not be as valuable as some other possible bonus doesn't mean it isn't significant and worth grabbing if you can. Where the fluff "overstates" the value of that bonus is going to be situational at best.
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I'd like to see Heavy Arms's math on that, because it takes a 13 dice pool to actually increase the likely average successes by a full number. With 8again that number drops to 9. Honestly, 9again is only worth it as a rider effect on another minor merit or power to make it worth taking. 9again isn't even worth a single dot merit. 8again would probably be worth 1 dot on its own.
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Originally posted by Yawgmoth View PostI'd like to see Heavy Arms's math on that, because it takes a 13 dice pool to actually increase the likely average successes by a full number.
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I always view stuff like that in the 'fluff' sense: hey, cool, I get an advantage if I do things this way!
Maybe it's the crunchy gamer in me, but bonuses = fun. The mood of the dice is way more important than most bonuses anyway, so no point in getting worked up about the statistical variance. It doesn't matter what you should have rolled, it matters what you did roll. I've seen people on multiple occasions (ok, one guy. He's a freak.) roll exceptionals on chance dies, I've seen people fail on a roll of 23 dice (and if you count extended rolls, I believe the record for our group is something in the 30s).
I mean, it's not like it really matters, unless you're going for minmaxing or similar optimisation anyway, right? That's just my view, though.Last edited by Allan53; 12222013, 09:32 PM.
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Originally posted by Yawgmoth View PostI'd like to see Heavy Arms's math on that, because it takes a 13 dice pool to actually increase the likely average successes by a full number. With 8again that number drops to 9. Honestly, 9again is only worth it as a rider effect on another minor merit or power to make it worth taking. 9again isn't even worth a single dot merit. 8again would probably be worth 1 dot on its own.
[0.3] + [0.3 X (0.1^1)] + [0.3 X (0.1^2)] + [0.3 X (0.1^3)] +......
0.333333.......
or
a + ar^1 + ar^2 + ar^3 +......
Thus we can use "a/(1r)" giving us the probability of the average successes per die, which can be expressed as fractions:
Chance Die without 10 again: (1/10)
Chance Die 10 again: (1/9)
Without 10 again: (3/10)
10 again: (3/9) or (1/3)
9 again: (3/8)
8 again: (3/7)
Rote Action:
Chance Die without 10 again: (9/50)
Chance Die 10 again: (1/5)
without 10 again: (51/100)
10 again: (51/90) or (17/30)
9 again: (51/80)
8 again: (51/70)
Dicepool; Average successes with 10 again
1: 8/24
2: 16/24
3: 24/24
4: 32/24
5: 40/24
6: 48/24
7: 56/24
8: 64/24
9: 72/24
10: 80/24
11: 88/24
12: 96/24
Dicepool; Average successes with 9 again
1: 9/24
2: 18/24
3: 27/24
4: 36/24
5: 45/24
6: 54/24
7: 63/24
8: 72/24
9: 81/24
10: 90/24
11: 99/24
Dicepool; Average successes with 10 again
1: 7/21
2: 14/21
3: 21/21
4: 28/21
5: 35/21
6: 42/21
7: 49/21
Dicepool; Average successes with 8 again
1: 9/21
2: 18/21
3: 27/21
4: 36/21
5: 45/21
6: 54/21
7: 63/21
One system oddity is that you're more likely to get a dramatic failure on a chance die with rote action than you are to on a normal chance die, nearly double in fact.
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Here's what I mean when I say 9again is overestimated. The Hunter: The Vigil book says that instead of gaining +3 dice for using a point of Willpower, you can choose to get 9again instead. This is a phenomenally horrible choice. Your dice pool would have to be at least TWENTY SEVEN just to break even on average! Even with 8again you'd need a dice pool of 11 or more to break even. This rule was obviously written by people who do not understand the mathematics behind the game's systems. (Incidentally, this is why the 5th dot of the Professional Training merit is not overpowered)Last edited by Strill; 01042014, 07:40 AM.
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Originally posted by NineDaysDead View PostOne system oddity is that you're more likely to get a dramatic failure on a chance die with rote action than you are to on a normal chance die, nearly double in fact.
The Rote Action rules clearly state that you only reroll if you get a 10 on the initial roll, once you've exhausted rerolling the 10. The odds of dramatic failure on the chance die stay at 10%: rolling 1 on the initial roll.
Originally posted by Strill View PostHere's what I mean when I say 9again is overestimated. The Hunter: The Vigil book says that instead of gaining +3 dice for using a point of Willpower, you can choose to get 9again instead. This is a phenomenally horrible choice. Your dice pool would have to be at least TWENTY SEVEN just to break even on average! Even with 8again you'd need a dice pool of 11 or more to break even. This rule was obviously written by people who do not understand the mathematics behind the game's systems. (Incidentally, this is why the 5th dot of the Professional Training merit is not overpowered)
But that's a fairly rare mistake. 9again is usually much easier to get than that, and rarely comes at the explicit sacrifice of +3 dice. You need a very large dicepool to even consider it, and it would still only be worth it below 28 dice if you needed more than average +1 successes anyway (which is a pretty insane situation where you need 911 successes on a single roll that badly).
Of course, getting 28+ dice on a roll isn't exactly impossible in the nWOD system either. Even for mortals without any stronger power than teamwork.
As well, the books are written by humans, who make mistakes. A person that writes a mathematically unsound rule (and an optional one at that, you never have to take that choice) is not inherently bad at math. It just means they made a mistake. If you were to label every RPG writer that's ever made a mechanical mistake "obviously [a person] who [does] not understand the mechanics." then every RPG designer is an incompetent boob and you should just give up on the hobby.
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We did clean this up a bit in GMC. There are a few times 9again and 8again come up, but they're rarely made as either/or choices with dice modifications.
For whatever it's worth, Hunter's Willpower rule got a pretty significant overhaul in Mortal Remains. There are definitely different scenarios where different choices can be better. But here's what I went with:
Risking Willpower
Within this update, risking Willpower works slightly different. You still may only risk Willpower once per scene. If the action fails, it’s automatically a dramatic failure. However, this does not give a Beat. Instead, it gives two Practical Beats (see p. XX). A successful action offers one Practical Beat (see p. XX), does not remove the Willpower point, and indeed refreshes one of the character’s spent Willpower –not to exceed their maximum dots. You can risk Willpower to choose from two of the following advantages:
• Add three dice to your dicepool.
• Your roll achieves exceptional success on three successes instead of five. Or, for a combat action, add one lethal (or bashing) damage to a successful attack.
• Roll with the 9again quality on your roll. If you already have 9again, roll with 8again. You cannot choose this option if you already have 8again.
• Remove the 10again quality from any contested roll s against your action.
David A Hill Jr
Freelance Writer
Independent Game Designer
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Originally posted by Heavy Arms View PostOf course, getting 28+ dice on a roll isn't exactly impossible in the nWOD system either. Even for mortals without any stronger power than teamwork.
As well, the books are written by humans, who make mistakes. A person that writes a mathematically unsound rule (and an optional one at that, you never have to take that choice) is not inherently bad at math. It just means they made a mistake. If you were to label every RPG writer that's ever made a mechanical mistake "obviously [a person] who [does] not understand the mechanics." then every RPG designer is an incompetent boob and you should just give up on the hobby.
In the vast majority of situations, dice pools don't go beyond 10, 15 at the most. You've gotta have a seriously minmaxed player to ever reach 20 dice, nevertheless 28. However, the book flatout says that 9again is better than +3 if you're relying on multiple successes and have a dice pool high enough to guarantee success. This is something that will not be true for the vast majority of games.
Originally posted by MachineIV View Post• Roll with the 9again quality on your roll. If you already have 9again, roll with 8again. You cannot choose this option if you already have 8again.
• Remove the 10again quality from any contested roll s against your action.Last edited by Strill; 01042014, 01:32 PM.
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Originally posted by Strill View PostIt irks me when I see effects that apply the 9again quality with fluff to suggest that this is a significant bonusLast edited by nofather; 01042014, 01:53 PM.
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Originally posted by Strill View PostOnly in Mage games with uncapped dice bonuses from spells have I seen dice pools that high.
What you have and have not seen has nothing to do with what you can do with the system.
Take, for example, a mortal expert sniper. So we've got 16 dice just form Att+Skill+Weapon. FS: Sniping lets him up that to 23 and reduce most penalties to zero. His equally awesomely expert spotter then gets 14 dice to help out, probably with 9again but that doesn't matter; the average teamwork bonus to the shooter will still be ~5. Boom 28 dice.
Of course, not using FS: Sniping 5 and reducing back down to 23 dice would also be mathematically stupid, but the point stands that 28 dice is not out of human range. The the sniper is easily going to have 9again on top of all of that without the Hunter WP option as well, but that's also not a knock against how high you can go.
Or for a slightly less "extreme" example:
Two skilled scientists (lets say the lead with 8 base dice and the second with 7) with a team of 10 less skill assistants (5 dice each) in a well founded and outfitted lab (+3 dice). An average teamwork roll is going to generate 41 dice for the roll.
Teamwork. It's a rocking thing. Especially in HtV where you can get access to teamwork that doesn't have everyone using the same Att+Skill combo.
So yeah, just because you haven't seen it, doesn't mean it is out of bounds.
I never said they were an incompetent boob. I said they're someone who doesn't understand the mathematics behind the game's systems.
You're still using a single mistake as evidence of absolute lack of understanding.
However, the book flatout says that 9again is better than +3 if you're relying on multiple successes and have a dice pool high enough to guarantee success. This is something that will not be true for the vast majority of games.
If you're choosing two options from the list then I guess it's not a big deal that all of these options are so weak, but it still strikes me as a noob trap to include +3 Dice with them when it will, except in very very obscure scenarios, be a musthave choice.
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Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
And?
What you have and have not seen has nothing to do with what you can do with the system.
Take, for example, a mortal expert sniper. So we've got 16 dice just form Att+Skill+Weapon. FS: Sniping lets him up that to 23 and reduce most penalties to zero. His equally awesomely expert spotter then gets 14 dice to help out, probably with 9again but that doesn't matter; the average teamwork bonus to the shooter will still be ~5. Boom 28 dice.
Of course, not using FS: Sniping 5 and reducing back down to 23 dice would also be mathematically stupid, but the point stands that 28 dice is not out of human range. The the sniper is easily going to have 9again on top of all of that without the Hunter WP option as well, but that's also not a knock against how high you can go.
Or for a slightly less "extreme" example:
Two skilled scientists (lets say the lead with 8 base dice and the second with 7) with a team of 10 less skill assistants (5 dice each) in a well founded and outfitted lab (+3 dice). An average teamwork roll is going to generate 41 dice for the roll.
Teamwork. It's a rocking thing. Especially in HtV where you can get access to teamwork that doesn't have everyone using the same Att+Skill combo.
So yeah, just because you haven't seen it, doesn't mean it is out of bounds.
You're grasping at straws. I can guarantee you that these examples were not what the book's author had in mind when they wrote that rule, and making rules specifically to accommodate scenarios this rare is just cluttering the game with unnecessary rules.
Originally posted by Heavy Arms View PostActually it is true in theory. You're using average successes as why 9again is worth less than +X dice. You're not looking at the odds of getting above average successes. I admit this is much harder to calculate, but it is fairly simple to get the basics behind it.
What, exactly, is weak about reducing exceptional success to 3
the ability to upgrade 9again to 8again (9again is really easy to get without this), or the ability to remove 10again from your opponent in a contested roll?Last edited by Strill; 01052014, 04:41 AM.
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