View Full Version : I'm just wondering....

2009-06-01, 02:08 AM
I'm just wondering but which ways do you playgrounders prefer for determining results in an rpg game? Fort example do you prefer D&D's simple single die roll to hit something, or Exalted's massive dice pools?

Personally for me there is just something that attracts me to rolling a bunch of shiny dice :smallbiggrin:.

So whats you're preferred method(s) and if you don't mind why?

2009-06-01, 02:15 AM
I like rolling lots of dice, but it does get rather unwieldy at higher/more optimized levels of play.

2009-06-01, 03:47 AM
Single dice or bell curve rolls. Die pools - especially WW-style - are the (mathematically opaque) work of the devil. :smallamused:

Mystic Muse
2009-06-01, 04:10 AM
single. I like efficiency in most things,D&D is one of them and rolling massive amounts of dice is extremely INefficient

2009-06-01, 04:11 AM
I don't mind dice pools, but there's one type I really enjoy - the Riddle of Steel's combat dice pools, where you actually use the same pool for an entire round, expending dice on actions. It's a great tactical element, especially when you start feinting. The results are the usual "every die over X is a success, number of successes matters" deal.

Mostly, though, I like 2d6 or 3d6, because of the bell curve. This way, characters with low or moderate skill are greatly affected by modifiers - they have a harder time performing difficult tasks - but characters with high skills are much more resistant to modifiers for difficult tasks or conditions. In GURPS, for instance, you don't get the "well your skill is average so you have a 50/50 chance of actually succeeding at this routine roll" idiocy of % and one-die systems. Other two- and three-die combinations (2d10, 3d8, whatever) are fine too.

One of my absolute favorite games, RuneQuest, uses percentile dice, but that has so many quirks (shared by all BRP games) it's ridiculous. The games work fine, but it's just inane that beginning characters have maybe a 30-50 % chance of succeeding at tasks - why would they even try? (It's worse in the old editions, where you needed to use a skill to get an experience tick and have a chance to increase it. Characters never used their low skills - because they were almost sure to fail - and thus never developed them. The Mongoose edition is also the first one to include bonuses and penalties to rolls for task difficulty, which are just absolutely necessary.)

Single dice can be fine, too - especially if the system has no difficulty modifiers for rolls. Nice and simple.

2009-06-01, 06:35 AM
I like being able to grab a whole fistful of dice when I really *mean* something. The Pool and Don't Rest Your Head fill this nicely - the more dice you gamble the more you stand to lose, but when you really want something to turn out nicely you have a great big dice pool you can pick up and roll.

2009-06-01, 04:57 PM
There's just something satisfying about rolling more dice than you can hold in your hand (assuming normal-size dice).

2009-06-01, 05:41 PM
It depends on my mood.

When I want 'realism', I tend towards bell curves which means multiple dice.
When I want 'simplicity', I tend towards single rolls.
When I'm bored, I tend towards 'surprise me'.

That last one confuses people a bit. I like running into new mechanics, or new implementations of old mechanics. Like 'Roll a bunch of die, and the number of pairs you roll are successes, while every single number without a pair is a failure!' When a system pulls playing cards into the mix, or blind draws of coloured stones from a bag.

Of course, I did specify that I liked this when I was bored. Which means the story/combat/whatever isn't entertaining me. That's not to say that it's the story/combat/whatever isn't entertaining to somebody, just not to me at that moment. As I said, it's a mood thing. I'm moody. :smallbiggrin:

2009-06-01, 06:07 PM
I prefer random with some dice, but not as crazy as WH40k with up to 100 dice at a time for a unit of termagaunts. :smallfurious:

Your hands are only so big and dice cups/buckets for that many dice are an ear sore.

If it is more than a handful it is too many.

2009-06-01, 06:22 PM
I once played a game called Everway where, rather than with dice rolls, actions were determined by the GM drawing a tarot card and interpreting the result based on the meaning of the card.

It was an interesting system. Heavily story-based.

2009-06-01, 06:28 PM
In general I'd say I prefer rolling a single die - or a pair for a percentile. I do appreciate the ability to take 10 or take 20 in D&D 3rd edition onwards so you won't unfairly fail something that should be routine.

2009-06-01, 06:32 PM
Small numbers of dice. One of the things I disliked about Champions was rolling big numbers of dice, and having to count them all twice. Tedious.

2009-06-01, 06:32 PM
Generally I prefer the bell curve (eg 3dg)

2009-06-01, 07:03 PM
I don't really mind too much. I prefer the WoD system, but that's more the games involved than strictly the dice mechanics.

One thing I don't like is big numbers, either in bonuses or in dice pools. Once the bonus gets larger than the dice, challanges start falling into the "autofail" or "autosuccess" territory, and rolling 20+ dice pools just take forever to count up. Not that adding +150 or rolling 50d6 is a bad thing on occasion, but having to do it EVERY TIME is rather wearing.