07 May 2010

Rolling dice

In “Playing with the Sword-and-Board Fighter”, Trollsmyth wrote:

The other issue is something I’ve been harping on lately: when you’re rolling the dice, you’re not playing the game. Dice rolls are what happens when the game stops and we wait to see what sort of curveball randomness is going to throw us. People think dice rolls are the game because that’s mostly what we see in the books. But games are about making choices, not rolling dice; the game of craps is in the betting; rolling of the dice only tells you who won.

From “If the thief is rolling the dice he is already dead” over at the Ode to Black Dougal:

If the thief-player is using his head, the find traps ability becomes the last resort—the “holy crap I hope this saves me”—dice roll that a saving throw represents. If the player describes what precautions he is taking and how he is protecting himself, the percentage roll to find traps becomes an after-thought except in the more devious of circumstances.

I usually don’t get a lot of satisfaction out of succeeding at a die roll. Even if I role-played the action. I get satisfaction out of succeeding based on my decisions. (Sometimes from failing based on my decisions.) Oh, sure. I like rolling dice when the time comes. Yet, I generally want to avoid die rolls. When I can’t, I want to do everything I can to tilt the odds in my favor first.

1 comment:

Matthew James Stanham said...

I see thief abilities more as a "free pass" than a last resort. the thief rolls to find traps before the party investigates, or rolls to move silently when the party is already moving stealthily. Some thief abilities are more "last resort", but most are "first resort" obstacle bypasses.