#RPGaDay 2016 - Day 1: How Do You Roll?


It is August the 1st, and the beginning of another #RPGaDay! This will be my first go-around with this, so bear with me. Today, I will be talking about rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling.

"Your Bizkit is Limp, sir!"

When one thinks "rolling" in the context of an RPG, it tends to evoke images of dice rolling across a tabletop. That sound of a d20 hitting the table as been scientifically proven to elicit feelings of calm and dread.

Is any of that true? Beats the hell out of me. But it sounded good, didn't it?

"Entire platforms have been launched from that notion."

Day 1 of RPG A Day is all about how you roll at the table and believe-you-me, there is more than one. As the hobby has grown (and technology with it), the options for players and GMs has gone above and beyond the realm of just chucking dice and hoping for the best.

Dice Apps: If you want something in life? There's an app for that. Want a pizza? There's an app. Want movie tickets? There is an app. Want to know if you have everything you need to make a good cocktail? There is an app for that too. So it's no surprise that there is an app out there for those who don't want to put the effort into actually rolling their dice.

Actually, more than one. There are dozens of dice rolling apps available in just about every app store known to humanity. Such is the boon of having a hobby frequented by those of a tech-savvy background. Dice apps are great tools if you want your dice generated without any of that noise or math slowing you down. It can really speed up gameplay, especially if you find yourself rolling several dice at once (cough-WIZARD-cough).

I personally find this method impersonal, but that is just the classicist in me. I love the sound of dice, the anticipation of watching the roll, never knowing what side might pop up. Will fate caress you like a lover in the night or backhand you like a pimp waitin' for his money?

"Don't you be holdin' out on me, bitch!"

Still, I do find myself drawn to the apps when I need to roll a lot of dice in a short period of time. This is usually for spells and traps when I am a GM, or nova effects when I am a player.

Going Diceless: I will be honest, I had never heard of a diceless RPG, or at least, I didn't think that I had. I did a little research and came upon a surprising number of systems that shun the dice entirely. Fate of the Norns, Amber, and Penny Arcade's Thornwatch are just a few that "roll" unconventionally. Cards, runes, points, and even colorful descriptions stand in as a substitute for our polyhedron overlords.

Though it isn't my preferred method, it has peaked my interest. With Gen Con fast approaching, I may have to avail myself of some of the diceless joys that await me in those hallowed halls.

 "Everything is better with Vikings."

Dice: The original, and my personal favorite method of rolling, dice are as much a staple in RPGs as stats and character sheets. There is something about the look, feel and--dare I say it--smell of a new set of sexy dice that entice the senses and get my blood pumping in anticipation for the moment when I can roll that next critical hit.

"All natural."

Dice aren't just tools either. In some cases, they represent the very identity of a game. D20's are best associated with games like D&D and Pathfinder, a pile of d10 brings old school White Wolf to mind, and those d6's... well, any runner will tell you what those are for

"And I run, I run so far away!"

And that, my friends, is how I roll. How do you roll? Are you all about the apps, or perhaps a fan of the diceless? Or are you like me, in love with those little polyhedral weapons of torment and bliss? Let me know in the comments.

"YOU... SHALL NOT... PASS... That ability check."

Roll well, my friends
+Ed The Bard 

I also want to extend my thanks to the folks over at the RPGBrigade for getting the ball rolling on #RPGaDay. Go check them out on their facebook page, and don't forget to register for BrigadeCon, a fully online role-playing convention that works alongside the the Child's Play Charity!

Would you like to support the bard in another way, and still get some pretty cool stuff out of it? Kick in the door to the Open Gaming Store. They have a mountain of affordable aids to help you be all the player or Game Master you can be. Just tell them Ed The Bard sent you.

Looking for an article? Just want to browse the archives? Wander over to my Master List, a directory of every article I've ever written, right here.

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