## Wednesday, February 22, 2023

### Failure track analysis

The Delve expansion for Ironsworn describes an optional mechanic that rewards players for their rolls that result in a miss. Every time they miss, they add 1 tick (or 3 ticks if the roll was a progress roll, but I'll completely ignore these for this analysis) to a failure track. Every 4 ticks constitute a full mark and the failure track can have up to 10 marks. Once the track has 6 marks (in other words after 24 miss-rolls) the player can choose to "learn from their mistakes". This move is resolved by a roll and resets the fail track to zero ticks again. The resolution is a simple progress roll against the fail track where a strong hit awards 3 XP, a weak hit awards 2XP and a fail rewards 1XP. Additionally a strong hit will let the player discard an asset for more XP (which I will ignore for this analysis) and a weak hit will narratively force the player to learn the wrong lesson from their failures which is in my opinion a hefty penalty if role-played correctly.

I did a small analysis of the 5 different points when a player can trigger the "learn from your mistakes" move:

Learn from your mistakes when you have this many marksMiss-rolls to gain 1XPMiss-rolls to have to learn the wrong lesson
61296
712.73175
813.33355.6
913.85900
1014.294000

Triggering the "learn from your mistakes" move as frequently as possible gives more XP overall but the difference is minor: less than 20% extra XP compared to waiting for a full failure trackbefore you trigger. At the same time frequent triggers will result in a 4066% increase in how often you'll be learning the wrong lesson compared to waiting for a full failure track before triggering!

If someone wants to verify the code that produced the above table, I wrote it on a casio fx-3650P II just for fun so I can't exactly upload the code but here's a rough dump:

For 6->M To 10:
0->X:
0->Y:
1->A:
Lbl 1:
1->B:
Lbl 2:
(M>A)+(M>B)+1+X->X:
(M<=A)+(M<=B)=2=>Y+1->Y:
B+1->B:
B<=10=>Goto 2:
A+1->A:
A<=10=>Goto 1:
M[output triangle symbol]
M*400/X[output triangle symbol]
M*400*Y[output triangle symbol]
Next