This is an appendix to three articles discussing common dice-using mechanics used in tabletop RPGs. This simply is a brief overview of my opinions and some links to other web pages on dice probabilities.
My personal feeling is this: too many designers seem to decide on a dice mechanic based on what sounds neat, without looking at the actual distribution of results. I would prefer to have a process where the designer first considers roughly what the probabilities should come out to be. Some points to think about:
If you have even rough answers to these, then you can look for a dice mechanic which suits what you want to accomplish. For example, I personally dislike critical failures -- especially for skilled characters. I prefer that there not be a tail of low-probability bad results.