Sunday, May 6, 2012

Percentile Dice Abuse

A little pet peeve of mine:  the over-use and abuse of percentile dice for results generation.

Mirror image, a second level magic user spell in ADnD, contains a system for random determination of the number of mirror images that appear when the spell is cast.  From one to four mirror images appear, depending on the result of a percentile dice throw.  A roll of 1-25 results in one image; 26-50 creates two; 51-75 summons three; and 76-100 invokes four.

Clearly, a d4 is equally suitable, and more appropriate in this circumstance.  What am I missing here?  Why bother using percentile dice for this spell?  I can see using percentile dice if, for example, you added your character's level to the roll, thus having a higher chance of more mirror images as you increase in level.  Otherwise, the use of percentiles in this instance just seems like overkill.

5 comments:

Desert Scribe said...

The spell description does say "add 1 to the resulting score for each level of experience of the magic-user."

I agree with your point, though. I've seen other cases where rules say to role percentiles when you could instead roll a d20, d10, or d4.

Aaron E. Steele said...

LOL! I clearly can't read, or somehow, for all these years, I've subconciously skipped that description, instead crediting myself with the idea of adding one for each level. Thanks for pointing out my selective blindness!

Jim said...

Even so, I think using a d20 + Level with the appropriate proportions would be a better way of doing this. :) YMMV. Personal opinion, I think in the early days folks were enamored of the percentile mechanic, so they used it a lot. :)

SAROE said...

Percentile dice ROLL?

D4s....skip, flop, skitter? Well, they don't roll that's for sure.

Aaron E. Steele said...

Jim said...
Even so, I think using a d20 + Level with the appropriate proportions would be a better way of doing this. :) YMMV. Personal opinion, I think in the early days folks were enamored of the percentile mechanic, so they used it a lot. :)

I agree, a d20 would have been a better choice.