Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Probabilities and Dice Rolls

Hey, everyone! It’s been a busy week here at Black Hat Writing. We’ve been working on a new website design and a quickstart guide, as well as getting some of our first Black Hat Society members!
Today’s post I’m going to talk a bit about probabilities and dice rolls. In Theatre Noir, what dice you are rolling is dependent upon what the Director assigns. You will either be rolling 2 d4s, d6s, d8s, d10s, d12s, or d20s, depending on the difficulty. The lower number on the 2 dice you are rolling, the easier and more likely an action is. If a task if difficult for your character to accomplish for in game reasons, the Director will assign 2 higher dice.

You are aiming to roll under or on your skill number. Success and failure all depends on how you roll and what are the skill numbers you are comparing them to. Skill numbers are set by one or a combination of stats on your character sheet. If you stay under your skill number, you succeed, with closer to your skill number being better. If you go over that number, you fail. For more on crit fails and success (link to that post)
How does this translate to probabilities?

Here's the probability that you will stay under a skill number at  2d4s difficulty 

At 2d6s

At 2d8s

At 2d10s

At 2d12s

At 2d20s


As you can see, the probability of getting below your skill number goes up the larger the dice become.

When some of our team first playtest Theatre Noir, we often found ourselves asking about skill numbers larger than the highest dice outcome. For example, what happens if you are rolling 2d4s but your skill number is 9? This is called skill overflow, and you would automatically succeed – you should still roll to see if you get a critical success! In skill overflow, you add the number over the highest outcome to the number you roll. 

 To figure out these probabilities, we used Anydice Check it out!


If you have any questions or would like to help us in any way, email us at support@blackhatwriting.com.

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