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Do you prefer rolling dice for a sure thing? For the impossible?

Do you prefer to roll for sure things?

  • I prefer to roll in all cases regardless if my character would auto-succeed or auto-fail.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I prefer to roll regardless unless it's blinding obvious, like throwing a mountain.

    Votes: 3 13.0%
  • I prefer to roll even when my character would auto-succeed, but not when they would auto-fail

    Votes: 1 4.3%
  • I prefer to roll even when my character will always fail, but not when they would auto-succeed.

    Votes: 1 4.3%
  • Other (explained below).

    Votes: 7 30.4%
  • I would never roll if the outcome isn't uncertain.

    Votes: 11 47.8%

  • Total voters
    23

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Usually, as a DM, I won't call for a roll if success is reasonably certain. But sometimes, when something is a near-certain failure, I have no issues letting the player roll just for fun. If they roll a 20 then we have to come up with a way to explain how it was pulled off. It can be fun exercise in creativity, even if it is a cartoonish, beer-and-pretzle way of playing.
 

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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I mostly DM, so I'm viewing it from that perspective.

My favorite time to roll is when there is absolutely no reason to. I'll roll a die (sometime a LOT of dice) and look at the results, furrow my brow for a second as if I'm looking at the number, and then whisper under my voice, "Oh ... jeez."

If a player asks me why I was rolling, I put on a fake sincere smile and say, "Don't worry about it. It's nothing. Just ... um ... yeah. deep breath I mean, I'm sure it will be okay. So, what are you doing now?"
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I mostly DM, so I'm viewing it from that perspective.

My favorite time to roll is when there is absolutely no reason to. I'll roll a die (sometime a LOT of dice) and look at the results, furrow my brow for a second as if I'm looking at the number, and then whisper under my voice, "Oh ... jeez."

If a player asks me why I was rolling, I put on a fake sincere smile and say, "Don't worry about it. It's nothing. Just ... um ... yeah. deep breath I mean, I'm sure it will be okay. So, what are you doing now?"
This is the way.
 

the Jester

Legend
Pointless rolls are pointless. As a player, if the dm calls for a roll and I fail despite rolling a natural 20, that's not fun, that's just frustrating. Likewise, if I succeed despite rolling a natural 1, why bother? Note that I'm not talking about things like opposed grapples and whatnot, but rather set DCs.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
As a player, if the dm calls for a roll and I fail despite rolling a natural 20, that's not fun, that's just frustrating. Likewise, if I succeed despite rolling a natural 1, why bother? Note that I'm not talking about things like opposed grapples and whatnot, but rather set DCs.

I know it's not what you meant, but whenever players say this, what I inevitably end up hearing is "If I roll a 20 on a search check, the DM needs to invent something for me to find." It calls up an old, old argument I had with a player, years ago...

This player interrupted me while I was trying to describe the contents of a room, declared he was rolling a Perception check to search the first thing I mentioned, and rolled really low...like a 3 or something. So he quickly declared he was using a Luck point, and rolled again...and this time he rolled pretty high, like a 19. When I told him that he found nothing interesting (because there was nothing interesting for him to find), he got mad at me for "making him" waste a Luck point. To his mind, good rolls should always be rewarded--and in this case it should have been doubly rewarded because that good roll had come at the cost of a limited resource. He honestly believed that I should have modified the map on the fly and placed a secret door, a trap, or a treasure in the room, just because he rolled high.

It turned into a massive argument, and I had to stop the game so everyone could cool down. (Seriously. This, of all things.) And ever since then, the convention is that players do not announce their rolls...ever. They describe their character's actions, and then I will call for the dice roll that is needed. And I made it clear that I will always call for a dice roll, even if the rolls won't matter, because rolling the die completes the action. That d20 rolling across the table simulates the characters' eyes moving across the room, or their fingers across the padlock.

Anyway. I know that this isn't at all what you were talking about in your comment, @the Jester . I just can't help but remember that terrible argument every time someone talks about pointless dice rolls. It was a bad time.
 
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MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I know it's not what you meant, but whenever players say this, what I inevitably end up hearing is "If I roll a 20 on a search check, the DM needs to invent something for me to find." It calls up an old, old argument I had with a player, years ago...

This player interrupted me while I was trying to describe the contents of a room, declared he was rolling a Perception check to search the first thing I mentioned, and rolled really low...like a 3 or something. So he quickly declared he was using a Luck point, and rolled again...and this time he rolled pretty high, like a 19. When I told him that he found nothing interesting (because there was nothing interesting for him to find), he got mad at me for "making him" waste a Luck point. To his mind, good rolls should always be rewarded--and in this case it should have been doubly rewarded because that good roll had come at the cost of a limited resource. He honestly believed that I should have modified the map and placed a secret door, a trap, or a treasure in the room, just because he rolled high.

It turned into a massive argument, and I had to stop the game so everyone could cool down. (Seriously. This, of all things.) And ever since then, I have instituted the rule that players do not announce their rolls...ever. They describe their character's actions, and I will call for the dice roll that is needed. And I made it clear that I will always call for a dice roll, even if the rolls won't matter, because rolling the die completes the action. That d20 rolling across the table simulates the characters' eyes moving across the room, or their fingers across the padlock.

Anyway. I know that this isn't at all what you were talking about in your comment, @the Jester . I just can't help but remember that terrible argument every time someone talks about pointless dice rolls. It was a bad time.
Ick.

I'm at the age where if I have to make up rules to prevent players from throwing tantrums, I find different players. I don't mind being challenged and having heated debates. I actually enjoy a bit of rule lawyering, but if you are describing that scenerio accurately, that player just seems a bit unhinged and not someone I'd enjoy playing with.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Ick.

I'm at the age where if I have to make up rules to prevent players from throwing tantrums, I find different players. I don't mind being challenged and having heated debates. I actually enjoy a bit of rule lawyering, but if you are describing that scenerio accurately, that player just seems a bit unhinged and not someone I'd enjoy playing with.
Yeah, agree on all points...although it was more a matter of etiquette than a "rule."

As for that player, it was a bit of a self-correcting problem: he eventually stopped coming to our gaming sessions because he didn't like my style of play. (And hey, fair enough. I can't be all things to all people.) But the dice etiquette stuck.
 
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I prefer to roll when any of the following are true:
  • The roll determines success or failure
  • The roll determines the presence/absence of complication factors
  • the roll determines how long it takes in a situation where time matters
  • the rules dictate a roll
  • the quality of success or quality of failure matters (eg: if there is a benefit to crit success and a basic success is automatic, I still want to roll for the crit chance.)
 

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