When do you roll dice?
Thursday, May 13, 2010I was at a party recently, chatting with some gamers. They were hardcore World of Darkness players (plus a smattering of D&D3). The conversation veered into RPG theory and game design and it was pretty interesting hearing their perspective, having almost no knowledge of games outside those two.
At one point, I asked one of them this question: "You know Vampire right? You know the game books backwards and forwards. So, how do you know when to roll the dice? What's the actual rule for that?"
They were entirely stumped. No one knew what the books said about that. Same for D&D3. "When the GM says so," was all we could think of, but everyone agreed the book probably said something about it somewhere.
Of course, that lead to them asking me how you know when to roll dice "in one of those indie games." So I told them the different ways from Primetime Adventures, Sorcerer, Agon, Burning Wheel, Polaris, Apocalypse World, etc. Their eyes got a little big. They nodded along. Asked follow-up questions. It was a good conversation.
Maybe give it a try next time you're talking games with someone. The "when to roll dice" question has a lot of interesting layers to it.
Labels: rpg theory