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June 22, 2010, 00:07   #6
Tiburon Silverflame
Swordsman

Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 405
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Zikke Maybe the variance is part of the balance on the spell? Making it a bit unpredictable makes it a bit less uber.
It doesn't matter from a balance perspective. The spell has to be balanced based on the average damage it does, and 1d150 and 3d50 basically have the same mean (the latter is, yes, 1 point higher, but that's irrelevant.)

Note that 3d50 is still wildly swingy. The variance for NdS == N * (S^2-1)/12; the standard deviation is the square root. Given the size of S, we can basically drop the -1, and say the standard dev == (sqrt(N) * S) / sqrt(12) ). For 1d150, the standard deviation is simply 150/sqrt(12), or about 45. For 3d50, it's sqrt(3) *50 / sqrt(12) or 1.7 * 50 / 3.4...or about 25.

And note that this also means you're much less likely to get a really *good* roll. A good roll may well be more useful than a bad roll is damaging.

And IMO, the balance is fundamentally the fact that the damage is so low. Fine, it's hitting a boatload of critters...but you have to hit them over, and over, and over...or their natural healing will kick in to some degree.