Master Mines

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An Odds Question

So I’m diving into a coins driven resolution mechanic. The maximum number of pennies UnderWorld uses is five and I’d like to go higher than that and maybe also use nickels and dimes (possibly quarters), but they did have a nifty little table breaking down the odds of throwing coins:


I can’t figure out what formula they’re using. I’ll more than likely need more than five coins so I need to know what the odds are. Then I need to figure out how nickels and dimes factor in. Let me know if you’ve got some spare time to help a brotha out


January 28, 2008 - Posted by | Kingdom of Nothing


  1. A very lazy overview suggests that the numbers are right. Where you can add interesting (and mathematically complex) stuff would be playing with the order of the flips mattering.

    As far as other coins go, I can think of a pretty easy way to work that: nickels are 2 successes, dimes are 3 successes, and quarters are 4 successes.

    Comment by robertbohl | January 28, 2008 | Reply

  2. Uhm…wow that was a lot easier than what I was thinking about. I was going to go with something like: the difficulty is 30 cents. throw your coins in and count them up.

    I also had an idea where you could buy nickels for three cents…making it possible to get a higher number but with worse odds. I think for the sake of simplicity (always a plus when dealing with this stuff) I’ll go with your idea

    Comment by jhimmelman | January 28, 2008 | Reply

  3. like I sent to the KoN group, I like having to get a money value (via getting heads) rather than tracking successes for conflicts. as it stands now your system is not a successes tracking system (its pass/fail). I think you should preserve that. And you already have a difficulty system, which ca act as a value meter.

    Its frustrating to get three “successes” but not succeed! However, we have all reached into out pocket and come up short.


    Comment by jasonlor | January 28, 2008 | Reply

  4. This is what jason sent to the KoN group:

    The Coin and Cup resolution mechanic I think is a great idea. I
    thought about it on the way home and here was my initial thoughts:

    Let the players choose to add Hope or Despair to the Cup. Hope
    provides Nickels and Despair Dimes. Winning with Despair should add
    incremental power to the Echoes for all the players. Winning with Hope
    should add incremental power to the ummm… good things (what are they
    called?). Is there a system for this? If not, then maybe Hope or
    Despair should incrementally increase (?) with each win.

    The players then could add in other Traits:
    The Right Skill: Nickel or Dime for a Skill
    The Right Tool: Nickel or Dime for the Right Tool (maybe dimes if it
    is a Rag-Penny?)
    Spiking the Pot: N/D for each point of Survival or Lucidity they
    spend (maybe dimes if using Hope and Nickels if using Despair?).
    Spare Change: N/Ds from other Players (spent) as help.

    Easy: 10c
    Epic: 50c

    Give out experience as Pennies:
    Spend Pennies for Refresh Scenes 3/4/5c(?) to gain back Lucidity or
    ? Spend 2/3/5c to add a N/D/Q to the cup during conflicts
    ? Spend 2c during a conflict -> one goes into the Cup, the
    other to the GM. If the penny comes up Heads, then the Survival/
    Lucidity used to Spike the Cup and given as Spare change is kept…

    With Coins the success rate should be 50% right? Should be easy math…

    Comment by jhimmelman | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  5. I find the probability curves of most d2 dice pool mechanics to be way too steep and strange for my liking. That’s why I recommended summing the values of the coins that were heads. That’s a lot more to play with and it offers a lot of cool tinkering opportunities.

    Comment by adamdray | January 30, 2008 | Reply

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