Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Who Rolls The Dice?

There have been a few posts about the place recently [here are two: Tenkar's Tavern and Raven Crowking's Nest] that have discussed dice rolling and the temptation to 'fudge'. 

Tenkar writes: "By fudging the rolls, you are moving from RPG to Storytelling. [...] That to me is the issue - are you playing a game or a looking for a storytelling experience?" And I pretty much agree with this. As a GM, I have less fun - in retrospect at least - when I have succumbed to the temptation to fudge the dice and ensure that a particular outcome was arrived at. Even if the players do not know it, I have diminished the 'game' when I 'fudge'. 

To help me resist the temptation to 'fudge', like many I roll my GM dice in the open. Where possible, I tell the players what I am rolling for and what the different results will mean - so long as to do so would not reveal a 'secret'. But lately, I've been thinking of surrendering the dice. No, I'm not taking up a diceless system. But when a player can be given the full details of the roll without revealing any secrets, why not let the players do all the rolling? Let the players roll the dice for the monsters that are attacking their PCs, for instance. 

There are still a few people with a sense of humour in the Imperium

Why? On the most basic level, because people like rolling dice. More, it will defeat much of the remaining temptation to 'fudge'. And last, and most, it will diminish any sense that the GM-player relationship is adversarial - that I, as the GM, am rolling against them. My dice are rolled to administer the world. The players' hands and dice are responsible for adjudicating the outcomes of [almost] all the risks facing their characters.

Well, we will see next time we play. 

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