No Dice?

I was asking around about what I could write about, and my group suggested the pros and cons of virtual vs real dice.

I don’t have an opinion there. I don’t get the idea of luck in dice, or the apparent joy or frustration of threatening them or punishing them… it leaves me assuming people are wasting good thinking time.

I did once float a few of mine in water to find out how uneven they were. It was an experiment I did with a friend. Beyond that, though, they’re just random number generators.

For me, what has personality is the sets of dice. The colours of them are highly associated with the characters I use them for. (Sometimes I grab a different set when I need to, sometimes I use, but in general, I have a set for each character.) When I’m playing Berra Humakti, I use a sober green set that in no way suit her personality. When I’m rolling them, or when they are on the table in sight, I find it easier to think about the things she might roll on, and her personality is easier to grab at. When I’m Jorrim Half-ear, I have an earthy squirly gold-brown-blue set, which remind me of earthquakes and the Shaker Temple, one of his main loyalties.

More generally, I use the sets of dice to keep track as a GM. The blue ones for Orlanthi, green ones for Ernaldans, the black ones for the toughest boss with a selection of grey sets of different sorts for her underlings… I can roll an entire combat round in one go, and read off the dice as I get to them in order.

If I’ve got a tip with dice, it’s not about whether any particular method of rolling is better, but that you can roll everything at once and only use the rolls that matter. If you hit and do 8 damage but your opponent parries, it’s not a problem to have rolled the damage – you just pick up the dice for the next bit.

Sometimes I roll a lot of trollkin dice and then have to randomly select which ones die before they get to hit the characters. On those days, I just slump off and plot my revenge.

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