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Author Topic: [Sorcerer] Selection of dice type  (Read 2021 times)
Finarvyn
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« on: January 28, 2009, 07:26:39 PM »

Apologies in advance if this should be placed in “Actual Play” but I thought since it was Sorcerer-specific it should go here instead.

I've been thinking about dice selection in Sorcerer. Ron mentions that any type of dice can be used as long as everyone uses the same number of faces, and the difference in types of dice affects the game in terms of how spectacular the successes or failures when rolling. I find it interesting that Ron says you can use any type of dice you like, and can’t really think offhand of any other dice-based RPG where the author adopts this philosophy. (It’s just one more clever way that Ron is playing with my mind, I realize.)

So it would seem that a more “cinematic” game of Sorcerer would use larger numbers of sides, perhaps a d20. A more “gritty” game of Sorcerer might use a d6 instead. This makes sense to me, but in scanning through threads I find lots of discussion about the setting but never any discussion about the actual dice selection.

I guess I’d like to hear more about this. What type of dice (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20…) did you use in which styles of game, and what kind of impact did it have on the mood you were trying to set? If you have run a similar scenario more than once (such as in a game convention) with different types of dice, did it impact the flow of that particular game significantly.

Any thoughts or comments on this?
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Marv (Finarvyn)
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2009, 07:40:10 PM »

I could have sworn we had some big discussions about this a few years ago. Links, anyone? My brain is suffering from a week of all-family stomach flu.

Best, Ron
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Finarvyn
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« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2009, 09:07:36 PM »

I did some searching and found quite a few "bonus dice" discussion threads, but nothing yet about dice types and their effect on play. I'll search some more....
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Marv (Finarvyn)
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Christopher Kubasik
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« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2009, 09:30:11 PM »

You know, I can't trust my memory on this, because too many posts and forums and daily wear and tear on my brain are taking its toll, but I thought I saw a discussion on Story-Gams about this.  A few months ago.  But I'm not sure.  Jesse?
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hix
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Steve Hickey


« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2009, 09:42:23 PM »

Our mash-up of Who Framed Roger Rabbit and LA Confidential used d6, and resulted in a level of increased failure and realism that one player found frustrating, and the others just rolled with.
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Find out more about Left Coast (a game about writers, inspired by the life of Philip K. Dick) on Twitter: @leftcoastrpg
Finarvyn
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« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2009, 03:39:30 AM »

Our mash-up of Who Framed Roger Rabbit and LA Confidential used d6, and resulted in a level of increased failure and realism that one player found frustrating,
The interesting thing is that the "increased failure" should work both ways -- for the players and the NPCs. (Or am I missing something?)
and the others just rolled with.
:-) Good word choice!
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Marv (Finarvyn)
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Arturo G.
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« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2009, 07:00:11 AM »

I have found this old thread: [Sorcerer] dX = play style Y?
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greyorm
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« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2009, 02:25:26 PM »

For the intro game to "In the Cold and Bloody Northland", which was also an introduction to Sorcerer for the players, I wanted to use d10's but we didn't have enough to go around. So we used d6 instead, and it made a fair impact on the results of the few rolls made. With d6 and d4, larger numbers of dice simply don't guarantee a regular number of successes higher sided dice would, the game is much more even, and success/failure is evenly spread out between protagonists and antagonists.

For example, even a 5-die difference in one roll resulted in only one success, and a three-die difference resulted in the same. Neither roll went as "expected". I mention that only because, based on other similar experiments, that is a fairly common occurrence with smaller die sizes: the numbers of dice rolled never seem to make much of a difference to the result. In fact, you end up tossing more of your dice due to ties and it comes down to "what's left" rather than "who's highest".
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
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Finarvyn
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« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2009, 03:30:14 PM »

Thanks for the thread-link, Arturo. It looks interesting, and definietely not one that I found when I searched.

I wanted to use d10's but we didn't have enough to go around. So we used d6 instead...
I see this as a problem. I probably have a decent number of d10's but I have several dice-cubes of d6's and that's the most convenient for me to share with a bunch of players.

...it made a fair impact on the results of the few rolls made. With d6 and d4, larger numbers of dice simply don't guarantee a regular number of successes higher sided dice would, the game is much more even, and success/failure is evenly spread out between protagonists and antagonists.
That's disapointing. I was kind of hoping that d6's would be okay.  :-(

So you usually go with d10's, right?
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Marv (Finarvyn)
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greyorm
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« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2009, 08:22:44 PM »

In my experience, d10's and d12's provide the best range of results and allow the numbers of dice rolled to make the most reasonable difference in play (ie: not too much, not too little). I mention the latter as, based on my experience with Donjon, which utilizes a similar mechanic, d20's tended to result in either overly-large margins of success or in even a couple of extra dice making a big difference to the roll.

I should have also mentioned that I've also tried playing with d6's before and never liked the results (your mileage may vary). With d4's and d6's, you need much more than a few extra dice to make a noticeable difference to the roll, and the margins of success are always very small (one success for any number of opposed dice is very common). I've never tried with d8's.

Which is the long way of my saying, "Depending on how you want the game to feel, choose a die-size. The most moderate, and in my opinion best choice for making the Sorcerer mechanics shine, is the d10 or d12."
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
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