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Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Attribute Analysis rss

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Stefan Winter
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Now that we know the exact distribution of the dice we can analyse the four attributes.

Chances at succeding an attribute test are:

Attr - Successrate
1 - 11%
2 - 22%
3 - 53%
4 - 72%
5 - 92%


I assume the players will have to complete tasks which force them to test an attribute (therefore players will try to give this task to the most competent character) and the overlord plays negative cards on them (with the tendency to target the least competent character)

This brings us to the ultimate question:

Is it better to be min-maxed (1 and 5) or should evenly distributed attribute values be preferred?


[I hope this post sounds english^^]
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Chris J Davis
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It seems that the big jump in proficiency happens between skill level 2 and 3. In fact, so much so that the characters with attributes of 1-2 might as well be considered auto-fails.

I think I'm going to just use a standard D6 for my heroes to test their attributes with.
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Scott Lewis
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bleached_lizard wrote:
I think I'm going to just use a standard D6 for my heroes to test their attributes with.

Why? I have a feeling that could drastically change the balance of the attributes.
 
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Ken Marley
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The interesting thing will be on two hero games. If both heroes are two and below in some attribute then the OL can stock up on cards that attack say Might, if both heroes are two or less in Might.

With three or four heroes you are unlikely to have an attribute in which everyone is weak.
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Chris J Davis
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sigmazero13 wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
I think I'm going to just use a standard D6 for my heroes to test their attributes with.

Why? I have a feeling that could drastically change the balance of the attributes.


Because that's just how I roll. cool
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Stefan Winter
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youperguy wrote:
The interesting thing will be on two hero games. If both heroes are two and below in some attribute then the OL can stock up on cards that attack say Might, if both heroes are two or less in Might.

With three or four heroes you are unlikely to have an attribute in which everyone is weak.


But that will add to the narrative. The two mages will surely remember the boulder which took them 2 hours to push away
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Jesse W.
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Did any preview article say which dice you would roll for an attribute test? Or are you hypothesizing based on a similar concept in 1st edition?

(I honestly don't know. I may have missed where they said which dice, and I'm not familiar with 1st edition at all to know attribute tests there.
 
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Ken Marley
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BDSb wrote:
Did any preview article say which dice you would roll for an attribute test? Or are you hypothesizing based on a similar concept in 1st edition?

(I honestly don't know. I may have missed where they said which dice, and I'm not familiar with 1st edition at all to know attribute tests there.


Yes, it's one black and one grey. It is the preview on the character sheet when they introduce attributes.
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Chris J Davis
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BDSb wrote:
Did any preview article say which dice you would roll for an attribute test? Or are you hypothesizing based on a similar concept in 1st edition?

(I honestly don't know. I may have missed where they said which dice, and I'm not familiar with 1st edition at all to know attribute tests there.


It has been announced as a black and a grey die.
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Chris J Davis
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sigmazero13 wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
I think I'm going to just use a standard D6 for my heroes to test their attributes with.

Why? I have a feeling that could drastically change the balance of the attributes.


By the way, why do you think this? From the analysis above, it is obvious that there is a big jump between 2 and 3. All heroes (revealed so far) have exactly 11 points divided between their attributes, and there doesn't seem to be any weighting given to heroes who have fewer 3+ attributes.

Don't you think it's just more likely that FFG just didn't want to include yet another die in the game, and so decided to use the defence dice and just say to hell with the wonky power curve? Cos that's exactly how it seems to me. That's just what FFG do!
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Scott Lewis
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I think that jump is the key. If you more evenly distribute the chances of success, it makes the OL's cards much less interesting against heroes who are poor in those attributes.
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sigmazero13 wrote:
I think that jump is the key. If you more evenly distribute the chances of success, it makes the OL's cards much less interesting against heroes who are poor in those attributes.


I have no idea what you mean. As it is, the 1-2 attribute heroes have almost no chance of saving against a card that targets their weak attribute. Even as OL, I'd rather the chance of the roll being failed increase smoothly, rather than have a bunch of heroes who it's obvious are the ones who you should play the cards against, and another bunch of heroes who it's obvious you shouldn't play the cards against. It makes the decisions more interesting, IMO.

Basically, it seems that with this (wonky) power curve, it makes it kind of obvious that the OL should play his cards against attributes of 1-2 only, due to the gap between 2 and 3 being so big. There are still "circumstances" to consider, of course, but if you have a smooth line rather than a wonky curve, it makes the circumstances more important and the 2-3 "cut-off point" less important.
 
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To each his own, I suppose. "Smooth" changes in things like this are boring to me. Apparently you feel differently, which is why you are considering houseruling it before you've even played it
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sigmazero13 wrote:
To each his own, I suppose. "Smooth" changes in things like this are boring to me. Apparently you feel differently, which is why you are considering houseruling it before you've even played it


I'm sorry, have we not met before?

But don't you think that the largest gap between 2 and 3 introduces an element of "default obviousness" to how the OL should play his cards? If you have a smooth line, then no one "gap" is better or worse than another, so it all comes down to the specific number (rather than the specific "gap") and the circumstances.
 
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bleached_lizard wrote:
But don't you think that the largest gap between 2 and 3 introduces an element of "default obviousness" to how the OL should play his cards?

Most efficient, yes. But there are times as an OL that the risk would be worth it to play it elsewhere. I don't have an issue with non-even spacing.
 
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Stefan Winter
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Why do you think the curve is wonky?

From 2-5 it's nearly a linear 20% decrease.
Only for Attribute 1 there is 11% more than it should be... namely 0%

But honestly i think the whole attribute mechanic will not matter that much, that a pure linear d6 houserule would make the game unbalanced.



I'm thinking about an OL strategy. Buy all the cheap cards that let you redraw a card if it fails -> Always target Lvl 5 Character -> 92% this card becomes a pure redraw -> cycle through the deck faster -> abuse the OL deck in a "comboish" way
It's all hypothetical
 
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sigmazero13 wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
But don't you think that the largest gap between 2 and 3 introduces an element of "default obviousness" to how the OL should play his cards?

Most efficient, yes. But there are times as an OL that the risk would be worth it to play it elsewhere. I don't have an issue with non-even spacing.


Okay. So I'm going to introduce a D6 to eliminate the obviousness of when it is most efficient for the OL to play his cards.

I might not have an issue with the non-even spacing if there was a good reason for it, but in this case I'm pretty certain it's just because FFG wanted to keep the number of components down (probably in the name of streamlining). So I see it more as restoring the game to its proper intention by supplying my own components where FFG wouldn't.
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Fair enough. I don't like the house rule, but if you like it, house rule away.
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Nemeth wrote:
Now that we know the exact distribution of the dice we can analyse the four attributes.

Chances at succeding an attribute test are:

Attr - Successrate
1 - 11%
2 - 22%
3 - 53%
4 - 72%
5 - 92%

Nemeth wrote:
Why do you think the curve is wonky?

From 2-5 it's nearly a linear 20% decrease.

Unless your percentages from the OP are off, this is incorrect.
From 5 down to 3 it's nearly a linear 20% decrease; from 3 - 2 it is a 31% decrease; from 2 - 1 it is an 11% decrease.

This means that 5 >> 4 >> 3 >>> 2 > 1
A 2 is only slightly better than a 1, but a 3 is more than twice as good as a 2.
 
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Stefan Winter
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tuckerotl wrote:

Unless your percentages from the OP are off, this is incorrect.
From 5 down to 3 it's nearly a linear 20% decrease; from 3 - 2 it is a 31% decrease; from 2 - 1 it is an 11% decrease.


lol, 50 - 20 was to hard for me blush
 
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I would be hesitant to house rule this. There might be an underlie game balancing mechanic occurring here, much as in power dice distribution in 1e. At face value having 1 power die in all three abilities seems just as good as 3 dice in one ability, but as those who have played 1e know, that is not the case. Far better to specialize than be a generalist. And if you look at the character design, those with lower conquest totals often had distributed power dice.

2e might be the opposite case. A generalist, with say a 2,3,3,3 distribution seems a lot safer bet than a specialist with a 1,1,4,5 distribution. Knowing this the game designers might have balanced the heroes that way. Heroes with have better feats and combat stats might have a worse distribution of attributes.

By rolling a D6 this subtle difference is lost.
-James
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Though I can see that what you say is possible James, I really, really doubt it is the case. I think it is as Bleached_Lizard says, they just wanted to cut down on components and the defense dice happened to create a curve that was "close enough" to what they wanted. I find it incredibly unlikely that they built the defense dice to just "happen" to fit both the defensive scaling they wanted and the attribute.

I will play as per RAW at first (as I'm going to be trying everything at first, even the increasingly craptastic looking new LoS rules), but I think I may end up house ruling it to a D6 also; unless I find some seriously compelling evidence to make me feel like it needs to be such a huge jump from 2-3 (and such a puny one from 1-2).
 
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Kartigan wrote:
Though I can see that what you say is possible James, I really, really doubt it is the case. I think it is as Bleached_Lizard says, they just wanted to cut down on components and the defense dice happened to create a curve that was "close enough" to what they wanted. I find it incredibly unlikely that they built the defense dice to just "happen" to fit both the defensive scaling they wanted and the attribute.

I agree that they probably used it because it was close enough, but I think that if it was really not what they wanted, including a standard d6 would have been trivially cheap. Custom dice may cost more money, but d6s (especially in the quantities I'm sure FFG has access to) would probably be pennies to include.

Of course, that's just my guess.
 
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igfa_277 wrote:
I would be hesitant to house rule this. There might be an underlie game balancing mechanic occurring here, much as in power dice distribution in 1e. At face value having 1 power die in all three abilities seems just as good as 3 dice in one ability, but as those who have played 1e know, that is not the case. Far better to specialize than be a generalist. And if you look at the character design, those with lower conquest totals often had distributed power dice.

2e might be the opposite case. A generalist, with say a 2,3,3,3 distribution seems a lot safer bet than a specialist with a 1,1,4,5 distribution. Knowing this the game designers might have balanced the heroes that way. Heroes with have better feats and combat stats might have a worse distribution of attributes.

By rolling a D6 this subtle difference is lost.
-James


Descent is not a subtle game. FFG are not subtle game designers.
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