WoD Math Stuff

Originally posted 2016-11-06 12:00:23.

Since these come up repeatedly for everyone, I’m gonna take this article and explain a bit about the different words you’re going to hear.

First two: Successes and Botches. Yes, there are going to be “blanks” as well, but Successes and Botches are HUGELY important for the entire game.

See, successes are just how they sound: GOOD. But you know if you botch something, you are gonna do some pretty serious failing. (this is the one I’m most worried about doing too often and the group will likely kick me out – they won’t in all actuality, I don’t think… but I might yell Montana if I botch a stealth roll.) Botches make things go from really amazing YAY we’re winning, to HOW did I miss that 100 foot giant air bag below me and now I’m a road pancake?

D10 – stands for  ‘ten-sided die’ *decahedron* (though if you want to split hairs, it’s technically a a pentagonal deltohedron because of it’s shape, but I’m just being an ubernerd about this)

The d10 has 10 numbers written on the faces, with 0 representing 10. Multiple dice are connoted by an additional number prefixing the D. So rolling five 10-sided dice would be noted by writing 5d10. Confused? Don’t be. It’s pretty simple.

A lot of the time, the GM (Trey) is going to mention something like, “Dex plus brawl, diff 7”.
That is Dexterity plus Brawl abilities, with a Difficulty level of 7 to succeed.

So I’ll be getting into detail at some point soonishly about prepping your sheets and stuff, but for now, let’s assume we all have a Dexterity of 3 and a Brawl of 2.

You have a total of 5d10 (3dex+2brawl) – and you have to have 7 or higher.
In the way that Geeks GM plays, 10s are re-rolled (counted as a success unless it is matched with a 1 – a botch – in which case it is cancelled out).

I’m gonna play this one out on an online roller website, because I was very silly and gave my DnD dice away in 2003 and haven’t had need of any since. Yes. Over 13 years since I held them in my hands, and over 20 since I really last played a solid DnD game. The pain is still fresh, don’t mock me! I NEED to RPG!!!!!!

Sorry, moving on. For this one, I’m just using a simple Google searched one: https://www.wizards.com/dnd/dice/dice.htm (I’m not even sure I’m going to use it the way they intend, because it’s a DnD one and I’m gonna use the +7 as my difficulty.

First Roll of 5: 6,8,7,2,10,+7 (I’ll even show you the screenshots as I go. I have no reason to cheat, as I think that’s just shitty to do.

So far, I have 3 successes showing. 2 and 6 are not going to count, but they aren’t botches (1’s) so I can re-roll that 10 (one die this time) and I’ll have my final result.
Second roll of only 1 now: 10,+7 (This adds another success but I get to go to roll again! YAY!)
Currently: 4 successes

Third roll of only 1 still: 5,+7 – No more successes.


My attack would be 4, so if the enemy rolled more successes than me, I wouldn’t do as much damage to them as I would if they rolled less. If they botch however, that is a pretty decent roll, and I could likely do some pretty serious damage to them.
Five or more successes is classed as a critical hit (in DnD it is anyway), and unless it’s checked or exceeded by the enemy (or whatever it is that the character is rolling against), anything over 5 successes is pretty much an instant kill or perfect attack/unlock/bottle chugged, etc.

Here are some other ones she’s likely to mention:
Dex(terity) + Wits (sometimes she call’s simply “roll initiative”, and from what I’ve seen, is a HUGE advantage in fights). Successes give upper hand advantage and sometimes strategic weakness information about the enemy. Botching this means the exact opposite, and your enemy might be able to not only anticipate your every move, but prepare for a counterstrike to inflict more damage.
Dex(terity) + Brawl/Firearms – Successes help hit your target better/faster/stronger. Botching means you’re likely to hit a team member instead of an enemy.
Dex(terity) + Athletics/Brawl – Successes give you the ability to avoid the attack (with greater success comes greater avoidance). Botching this means you’re probably going to get hit pretty hard, if not killed or maimed.

She’s gonna mention more, but I think you have the idea.

One last thing I want to add about remembering about the roll:

Successes save lives (of companions and NPCs who are allied.

Botching leaves scars, ouchies, and all kinds of “remember when” stories for after the recovering has happened.

Being brave is a noble idea, but don’t save a roll in order to later try to do something epic to assist someone… Sam tried that in one round, and nearly became a thermite taco with extra lizard.


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Sera Hicks
Creative Journey Leader, Intern Supervisor, Admin, Writer at Geeks and Geeklets
Geeky Hobbit-loving Whovian. Lover of chocolate, cats, and crafty things. Writer, Creative Journey Leader. It has to be better tomorrow.