Success-Based Die Pools – Make Them More Swingy?

Success-Based Die Pools – Make Them More Swingy?

I’m currently messing with a mechanic which boils down to a simple success pool mechanic such as the one you would find in the original Storyteller system, i.e. roll Xd10 and count the results greater than or equal to a variable target number.

There are a bunch of wrinkles to do with the way I work my system, but the main issue I’m having is this: The basic mechanic is too predictable. Wherever you set the target number, by far the most likely results will be across only a couple of options with only a limited chance of getting outliers. The bell curve is very steep.

Now, I’m fine with that for most skill checks as I want to minimise the whiff factor in general play, but I want combat to be a bit less predictable so you can get the occasional upset between folks of disparate skill, and you don’t find people of similar skill locked into endless fights where they just match each other shot for shot.

Short of switching out the mechanic entirely though, I’m hard pressed to find something which flattens the curve a little. If anyone has any ideas, I’d be grateful!

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