You Gotta Roll With It…

You must never question the wisdom of the Die. His ways are inscrutable. He leads you by the hand into an abyss and, lo, it is a fertile plain. You stagger beneath the burden he places upon you and, behold, you soar.

- From ‘The Book of the Die’, Quoted in The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart

If you are reading this, spend your time playing RPG games and have never read The Dice Man, then I strongly advise you buy or borrow a copy of it.

It deals with that which every gamer seems to treasure above all other RPG paraphernalia and what exactly you can do with them. Although, while gamers generally live or die by the roll of a dice in-game, Rhinehart’s book is a fictional account of a man who decides to live his entire life by the roll of 2d6.

Of course, when we play, we don’t decide all actions though dice rolls – that would lead to a boring game, unless it was done purely for laughs with suitably ridiculous options. The idea has potential, but if all decisions in a game came down to random chance, then you might as well just remove the human element all together and program a random number generator with a plot.

That’s not to say that a player in a mischievous mood couldn’t absolutely infuriate the GM by role-playing a character who uses dice to make decisions.

Has anyone tried this? Or any other form of diced based decision making in or out of games?

2 thoughts on “You Gotta Roll With It…

  1. anonymous

    I used this sort of mechanic once as a GM: one of my players had taken a disadvantage “unlucky”, for which the rules were fairly vague. So I decided that anytime something popped into my head that might be considered unlucky for him, I would roll a die and on a 1, it would happen. After continuously rolling the die the entire evening (I have a wicked imagination), only a couple unlucky events occurred, but it resulted in one of the most hilarious sessions I have ever participated in.

    Reply

Leave a Reply