I am currently writing a blog post on a statistics blog based on alternative dice mechanics for DnD type games (basically anything where you roll a d20 and add a modifier). Specifically, I am looking at a circumstance where a character has to sneak past 3 guards using 3 different mechanics.
Long story short, dice mechanics make a big difference with a character needing a +27 modifier in one system to have the same odds of success as a +17 modifier in another. For anyone who plays these kinds of games, these results will look pretty dramatic. That goes from "there is probably a character in my party now who could be buffed enough for that" to "I may never play a character with a modifier that high". How do I convey this huge difference to the statisticians and data scientists who will be reading the blog who may not have that same perspective?
I was thinking about something like "in system A, a character with decent perception would have a reasonable chance of spotting the god of stealth sneaking around", but I was having trouble finding stats for gods. If this was for strength, an answer might be finding animals that exist in the real world like horses and bears with illustrative strength values (eg. 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, etc).
Some possible things that could help answer this question:
- Creatures that are also common in pop culture that have stealth values at appropiate intervals (eg. 5, 10, 15, 20, 25).
- Spells or effects that are understandable outside RPGs (like invisibility) that give modifiers of similar sizes.
- Characters from pop culture that a system has given a character sheet with similar values.
- Things that you could do that would reduce a modifier by a given amount (eg. it would be easier to sneak by while shouting the guards' names in system A than making the check normally in system B).
I am open to other ideas, as well, but the crux is: How do I contextualize stealth modifiers so they will be understandable to people who don't play role playing games? References to 3.5e or Pathfinder would be preferred since those are the systems I know best, but other systems like d20 Modern would be acceptable as well so long as they have a similar "roll a d20 +modifier" mechanic. 5e would not be applicable since that system uses passive perception where the perceiver doesn't roll or rolls with advantage for active perception from multiple individuals, which is a different mechanic.