I am an old cWod player who just bought Vampire V20. I was surprised to see that V20 kept the old dice system instead of using the new one.

As a reminder :

In oWoD, the Storyteller sets the difficulty for each roll depending on the circumstances, with the default being a difficulty of 6. A success is a roll of that difficulty or higher (6 or above, on most rolls). A roll of 1 is called a botch. If any number of 1's are rolled, they cancel out a single success. No more than one success can be cancelled out in this way, so critical failures (A botch with zero successes) are relatively rare. The net number of successes determines how well you succeed, with one success meaning that you are barely able and a greater number indicating better achievement. When you get zero net successes (if you get no successes or if your 1s cancel out your successes, or if you get at least one success and more ones than successes), you fail the roll. When you get zero successes and at least one 1, you botch-- a critical and spectacular failure. If you have a specialty in either your attribute or ability that is relevant on the roll, you may reroll all 10s to gain extra successes, and rolls of 1 on these rerolls do not count.

In nWoD, a success is an 8, 9, or 10, and 10s explode. A critical success is made when you get five or more successes. Instead of altering the target number of the roll, difficulty and circumstances increase or reduce the number of dice in the pool. When your dice pool is reduced to zero or less, you get a chance die. You roll the die normally, but only succeed on a ten (which still explodes) and if you get a one you get a critical failure. All other rolls are called simple failures.

Do you know if it is possible to play V20 with the new dice system ? I mean only replacing the dynamic difficulty system (which is statisticly flawed) by the fixed difficulty one (difficulty is expressed by adding or removing dices and not by changing the 7+ rule).

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm surprised you were surprised. V20 was very much a test case to see whether new oWoD content would still find an audience. It was developed as a nostalgia product, a capstone to the line and a comprehensive resource. Changing as much as they did was radical; adding a "new" resolution system would have been a basically new line. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Jan 4, 2015 at 15:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not all oWoD titles used the variable target numbers; several used a required number of successes instead. \$\endgroup\$
    – aramis
    Jan 5, 2015 at 4:29

1 Answer 1


You can, but it requires work.

  1. The variable-difficulty-variable-successes method gives a range of potential outcomes (botch, failure, partial success, full success, critical success) that has finer resolution than the one-difficulty-single-success method. You'll need to see whether things like disciplines need to be adjusted to account for those changes.

  2. If you go to the nWoD resolution method, you'll want to bring along the Willpower-is-three-more-dice rather than Willpower-is-an-automatic-success, since it doesn't make sense otherwise. (It's worth noting that nWoD's math presumes that you'll get a success for around each three dice in your pool, where oWoD figures on 2.) Since 8+ is harder than 6+, you'll need to figure out a way to replenish Willpower faster -- nWoD uses the Virtues and Vices for that.

  3. Having opposition reflected by dice pool subtraction rubs some players the wrong way. They feel weird knowing the precise Resistances of their opponents or not having the option to "roll to dodge." It's an emotional reaction, but it's there.

If you'd like help with this, there's a translation guide that you can get fairly cheaply.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Regarding issue #1, there are many Disciplines and a few other actions where the number of successes rolled determines a specific numerical result, such as Thaumaturgy ritual's effects lasting (Successes) hours. Also, there's a great reference paper that shows a breakdown of the probability differences here: sites.google.com/site/hofetherspace \$\endgroup\$
    – Jessa
    Jan 4, 2015 at 20:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also one thing is problematic there in addition to the mentioned ones......owod had QUITE a few abilities that gave automatic successes....where one has to consider what to do there with them. \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Sep 5, 2015 at 6:39

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