There are many things I like about Ars Magica. One I don't is simple vs. Stress die. With a simple die, the result is 1-10, with a 1 being the worst result, and a 0 being the best (a 10). With a stress die, best and worst are inverted. The result is usually 2-9, with 1 being (possibly but not always) the best result and 0 (now 0 instead of 10) being the worst.

In my first combat, at a dramatically important moment, a grog acting as vanguard for a group of archers rolled a 1. He was momentarily worried, until he realized this was a stress-die situation, making a 1 a good thing. Then, excited, he rerolled and got a 2. So his final result was only a 4. Not exactly the "critical success" he was expecting.

I prefer that the dice be more consistent. I have proposed to my troupe the following variant, and they have agreed, but I'm curious what more experienced players and storyguides think:

With a stress die, 2-9 are just that. 1 is a potential botch. Roll the botch dice, and if any come up a 1, you have botched. If not, the result is calculated as if you have rolled a 1. 0 is a potential great success. Roll again and double the result. If 0 again, roll again and quadruple, etc. If the final result of this re-roll is less than 10, treat the result as if you rolled 10.

This keeps the stress die on a more or less 1-10 range, while still allowing for the occasional dramatic success or failure. I think this change will make dice slightly more important, but not enough to really worry me. Botches will be just as likely, but a potential botch that does not do so will be slightly less detrimental, and great successes will be slightly better, as they will always be at least 10.

Thoughts?