Saturday, February 3, 2018

Crazy d20 swing in Frostgrave. Musings on a house rule

I'm gearing up to try a variant Frostgrave: Star Wars campaign with my friend Jim, and I'm thinking about how crazy the d20 swing is in that game. Lots of my hired muscle in the regular fantasy version were killed by it without firing a shot as my friend Jeff, who often has a horse-shoe embedded in him, would keep rolling 20s while my poor shlub would often roll 10 to 12.. 20 minus 12 is 8 points of damage, which means death.

I don't want similar discouragement and am mulling over people's 3d6 and 2d10 house rules. I went over to and did a probability calculation. As you can see below, mathematically, there is as much chance as rolling a 1 as a 20 on a d20, at 5% each.. For a 3d6, most rolls will fall between 10 and 11 at 12.5% with it petering out at a 0.46% chance to roll an 18..

For a 2d10 roll, an"11" roll is the highest at 10%, but there is still a slightly better chance to get the higher end die roll than a 3d6, with a 1% chance to roll a 20.

This means that there will be more damage using a 2d10 roll than a 3d6 one, but not by much.

Since most minis have armour of 10 to 12, rolling around there at 11 for both 3d6 and 2d10 would mean more misses and no damage, or very little damage. This means that switching to either will change the nature of the game, lengthening it with slug matches that will be unresolved for several turns. 

If I do switch to a house rule after consulting with friends, I would lean toward the 2d10 change. A less elegant solution, bearing in mind that for Star Wars, there will be more ranged combat up to the max range of 24 inches, would be split roll types. A modified house rule could be d20 for HTH and 2d10 for ranged shots.

I don't know....


A BGG user notes that he uses d12+d8 for an even flatter distribution.. Which is intriguing.


  1. I like the d12 + d8 option with that flatter distribution as well as the fact that it only eliminates the "1" result from the mix. I agree that the d20 is far too swingy and would lead to much frustration.