Contest Mechanic Oddity

From: Michael Ryan <mryan_at_...>
Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 16:04:28 -0400

While reading through the rules last night, I came across a feature of the contest mechanic that doesn't sit right. Any time that you have a tie of the success level (i.e. both the actor and the opponent succeed), it is statistically better to have the *lower* target number. The same holds true for the mastery special case for both the actor and the opponent failing.

The character with the rating of 12 stands a better chance of getting a success roll less than a success roll of one with a 16. If the latter character rolls a 13, 14 or 15, he *cannot* win if the former gets a success of any number. This completely slews the chance of a minor victory in favor of the lower-rated character. It doesn't feel right to penalize a character for being better.

I can understand the reasoning behind going with "the lower wins". It makes it consistent that you want to roll low. I considered, briefly, that it should be the higher number wins, but this then breaks the simple group contest. The best resolution to fix this, I think, is to instead of comparing the die roll itself, compare the differences between the die roll and the target number.


Michael Ryan, MCP, MCT
Micro Endeavors, Inc.

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