The Core Worlds
Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Gaming

FATE dice rolling methods

January 31, 2010

I own a couple of games based on the FATE system (which is, in turn, based on the FUDGE system), and there are a couple of different approaches for rolling dice that appear in them.

The classic system is 4dF. A dF is a FUDGE die and has six faces representing the numbers -1, 0 and 1 twice over. It is a d3-2.

Starblazer Adventures uses a different approach and rolls d6-d6. This has the advantage that you don’t need to run out and buy dice that are so specialised that your friendly neighourhood gaming store doesn’t sell them.

This morning I decided to invest a few minutes into doing some analysis and comparison of the two systems (no doubt duplicating other people’s work, but entertaining myself in the process).

I generated all possible results that each of the two systems could provide, and converted them into percentages and then charted them.

dice prob

Total4dF4dF %d6 – d6d6 – d6 %

There isn’t much to choose between the results, although the FUDGE dice give slightly less variance and are more likely to hit closer to zero.