While I’ve been (slowly) working on 4th edition, I’ve been questioning if there was another way to handle rolling for attributes. Potential players are often frightened off by the attribute table, even though I’ve never had a player struggle with it once in play. So I’ve wondered if there was a way to make it less intimidating.
I think I figured out a way to reduce intimidation and keep a lot of the resolution flavor. I may put this in an “Alternate” tool heading in the book. It seems rather obvious after figuring it out. The problem is that it turns everything into a dice pool which some players really don’t like.
As things are now in 4e, you roll against your attribute with a d20 and then you add a few d10s in for your skills and whatever situational modifiers you might have. These are called Boosts. In this alternate, everything is a Boost.
Using a table you reference your attribute number and it gives you a series of boosts to emulate the curve of successes you get in the current system. It would look something like this. . .
This would be a pain to expand into attributes over 20 though. I did this chart by roughly entering probabilities into a spreadsheet and saying “close enough”. Things like E-Suit strengths would make this really hard to have a complete list of the attribute levels.
These probabilities are overpowered because with Boosts, you can assign your dice to the Boosts you want. I’ve been trying to figure out the math of that manually but haven’t been able to. I might have to write a little program to handle that and figure out what the actual chances are for boosts. In any event, I don’t think I can increment the Boost increases any less. The values might have to stay the same for some attribute values which would be a bit of a bummer. Why increase an attribute from 2 to 3 if it gives you no real advantage.
The other problem with this is that Boosts aren’t supposed to have a zero value. They’re supposed to be 1-9 but this ignores that to get the probabilities closer.
At best this is a rough approximation but it’s an interesting concept.