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If you like noodling about dice probabilities for #TTRPG design and don't already know about AnyDice, this thread is for you!

AnyDice lets you plug in single or multiple dice with modifiers and produces a probability distribution for the results.

anydice.com
You can also link to the results of any roll. Here's d10+d8, which I'm going to use in a sec to talk about wandering monsters.

anydice.com/program/13c7d
I'm not mathematically inclined (good at quick arithmetic but not much else).

I'm also not primarily a game designer. I dabble.

Despite that, I get a ton of use out of this simple tool.

For example: wandering monster tables, or random encounter tables if you prefer.
(I LOVE wandering monster tables!)
Why is d10+d8 such a fun roll for wandering monster tables?

1. The "plateau" for rolling 9-11. Put a monster at 9-11 and you'll see it 30% of the time. That's often enough that this monster defines that table, and by extension themes the region, terrain, locale, etc.
2. The extreme low and high ends. A 1.25% chance is a great place to stick wild-ass, dangerous as fuck monsters. Here be dragons.

Or time-traveling liches. (No, autocorrect, NOT "lunches.") Or mirror-universe versions of the PCs.

Won't happen often, fun when it does.
3. Just off the plateau, 7-8 and 12-13 give you about a 16% chance (each). That's two slots for monsters that will significantly flavor the table.

Alternately, want a second defining monster? Put it on both of those sets of outcomes for a 32% chance.
4. Minimal work.

Assuming you have an oddball at either end, a defining monster at 9-11, and two monsters at 7-8 and 12-13, that's 5 monsters.

Even if you do 1/outcome for the rest, that's only 8 more. Combine a couple slots and you need even fewer.
That's not a ton of work to populate, and it also forces you to pick only the most iconic encounters because you don't get that many.

Seeing the distribution on AnyDice makes this stuff easy to think about and gives you a clear path for making meaningful choices.
And of course it's not at all limited to designing encounter tables! That's just something I enjoy doing, and I like using AnyDice to help me make it easier.

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