Who Should Roll The Dice? - Page 2 of 2

Certain skills in 3.5 and Pathfinder specify - Page 2 - Board, Card, RPG Reviews - Posted: 10th Mar, 2017 - 5:10am

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Post Date: 28th Feb, 2017 - 9:11pm / Post ID: #

Who Should Roll The Dice?
A Friend

Who Should Roll The Dice? - Page 2

I like to roll my own dice for my characters if I fail on a roll then I fail if I get a high roll woot. As far as rolling as a Dungeon Master then I will sometimes roll where the players see and other times keep the rolls hidden.

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Post Date: 28th Feb, 2017 - 9:53pm / Post ID: #

Who Should Roll The Dice?
A Friend

Dice Roll Who

I normally allow players to make their own rolls unless the outcome is something that may be hidden from them… which is fairly rare. As the Dungeon Master I will always hide my rolls, this way they don't which rolls I consider critical. I feel that if I don't hide some and then hide others it cues them that this is the time to really pay attention or to do something extra that they may not have considered doing otherwise. I want them to role play and make it as realistic as possible regarding what the characters may or may not know. In the RW we don't know if there is a sow bear with her cubs just over the hill so we don't know when to pay special attention or not.

28th Feb, 2017 - 10:14pm / Post ID: #

Who Should Roll The Dice? Reviews RPG & Card Board

Attached Image QUOTE
The Dungeon Master is there to help the players tell a story, not thwart their attempts because they rolled low.

This depends on the style of game one is playing and how much emphasis one places on narration over the game mechanics/rules. Some systems, like Burning Wheel, certainly do take this position and in Burning Wheel all rolls, including those of the Dungeon Master, are made in the open; the storytelling and narration are much more cooperative in these kinds of systems. A failed roll in this case generally means that there are complications added but not necessarily a failure outright. There are systems that actually encourage meta gaming to some extent.

But, there are those who play in a style much closer to a board game or tactical war game (Very early forms of Dungeons & Dragons come to mind) with much less emphasis on storytelling where the Dungeon Master is not so much there to help move a story or plot along as he/she is there to interpret and adjudicate the rules or keep the action moving forward. In this style of game there is more of a pass/fail element when it comes to the roll of the dice. The differences in role playing style though is probably a whole separate topic.

So, when should a player not know the results of the roll? Going back to the example of the opposed knowledge checks; why would the players need to know who rolled higher? I'm not so sure that they do need to know, all they really need to know is what knowledge their character has, or believe that they have. The same with perception checks. To me as a Dungeon Master and even as a player, you may not know the DC but if you roll a 2 and know that you have maybe a +2 to modify it you would know that odds are you did not hit the DC and as a player it would be difficult to not take that into account when forming your next action. On the other side if you rolled a 19 and have a +10 as a modifier to the roll you as a player could be fairly certain that your character has perceived correctly and again you are likely to modify the characters reaction accordingly.

This is more pronounced in Dungeons & Dragons 5E because there are not extreme modifiers seen in Pathfinder of 3.5 so rolling a 15 or higher would give the player a pretty good indication that it is more likely than not that they hit the DC. The actual DC doesn't need to announced for the player to know that they probably hit it and adjust the reactions of their characters accordingly.

If the player though has no idea what the result of the roll is they have to accept that what the Dungeon Master is telling them that what the character sees or perceives is true and complete as far as their character knows. Again, it comes down to whether the player needs to know what the result of the roll is and why do they need to know it?

If two characters are having a debate and decide to use the dice to determine who made the better argument then they certainly do need to know the results of the dice roll because this directly affects how they resolve the situation. The rolls can be compared and used to judge who won the debate, and was it a small victory or a blow out. But I'm not so sure a player needs to know the results of their characters perception check when walking into a room. I think that a good Dungeon Master can portray the roll of the dice in their narrative rather than having the player know the numbered result.

Attached Image QUOTE
This also brings to me something that I feel is more prevalent in the community than it should be, and I understand that some Dungeon Masters play this way, but natural 1s and 20s on anything other than an attack is not an automatic failure or success. I think this line of thought has lead to this thing that you're trying to do, which is to get the dice numbers out of the player's mind because of the association with the two extremes.


When using systems like Pathfinder, Dungeons & Dragons 3.0/3.5 this makes sense in a way because you can have insanely high modifiers to the point of having a big enough modifier that rolling the dice is almost unnecessary because success is nearly assured. But, the rule of a natural 1 or natural 20 being used the way they are is to add a little bit of randomness to even these systems because no matter how much of a modifier one has one way or the other, there is always a slight chance that it will succeed or fail and I think this holds true with nearly any skill or task that a character is trying to accomplish that is outside of the mundane. If there is a situation where even rolling a 1 would not result in failure, then in my opinion don't bother rolling the dice unless you're just trying to determine just how fantastically they succeeded. Again, probably a whole separate topic though.

There is also the problem of asking for a roll in the first place which prompts some degree of meta gaming because most of the time the players are going to assume the Dungeon Master is asking for something like a perception check for a reason, or the Dungeon Master is trying to throw them off by asking for a perception roll out of the blue, but then there is often an expectation for reward when a player rolls high. The Dungeon Master who says "Roll perception" but has nothing in mind other than trying to keep the tension up is sometimes hit with player expectations when the player rolls a natural 20 or something and is expecting to get something for that. Then the Dungeon Master has to make something up on the fly. Sometimes this is good and it prompts a whole new side quest or something, but then on the other hand the player rolls low and then they are thinking "What did I miss?" and this could still influence their reactions. The Dungeon Master could also just say "Well, you don't really notice anything" even though the player rolled really high but then I think that often the player will walk away from that feeling a bit cheated perhaps.

If the player had no idea that a roll was even made though, then no harm, no foul. I think though that this concept of the players rolling all of their own skills all of the time may have sprung from the days when the Dungeon Master made all the rolls and there was a sense of distrust there as to whether or not the Dungeon Master was fudging the rolls. Maybe players felt like it's their character and they should have the right to roll the skills for their character because otherwise how do they know that the Dungeon Master is being honest? So the characters get ambushed or surprised and think to themselves Wait a minute, this isn't fair… I didn't even have a chance to perceive the ambush The Dungeon Master then explains that he/she already made that roll and I think the player feels like perhaps they would have rolled better if given the chance.



Post Date: 28th Feb, 2017 - 10:46pm / Post ID: #

Who Should Roll The Dice?
A Friend

Page 2 Dice Roll Who

The question of trust is indeed the principle concern I have in rolling for characters.

I'd like to think that my players trust me, but inevitably, some of those rolls made behind the screen will hamper the players in significant ways.

It gets particularly complex when someone has something like 5E's luck feat, which allows a limited number of die rolls to be rerolled.

Post Date: 28th Feb, 2017 - 11:07pm / Post ID: #

Who Should Roll The Dice?
A Friend

Dice Roll Who

I believe in narration and story over rolls of the dice. If the Dungeon Master wants to tweak the result for the story purpose I'm fine with that. This game is all about telling a story. In the current game that Aeric is running what if he had plans all along for one or more of our characters to fall into the Iliosani's hands. Carrick and Zinna had to make constitution checks to save vs poison and being captured. If Aeric wants to roll those and say one or both of us failed them I'm fine. It's part of the story. I'm not fine if that is done and your character dies due to the Dungeon Master fudging something. That is a deal breaker. I have no problem with the Dungeon Master rolling for me on those type of saves etc. If I thought my Dungeon Master was out to kill characters off then off course I wouldn't trust them to roll for me. Then again, I would be out of that game anyways.

Post Date: 1st Mar, 2017 - 3:59am / Post ID: #

Who Should Roll The Dice?
A Friend

Who Should Roll The Dice?

I hear what people are saying about trust. I would have to say that I'm not doing my job as Dungeon Master very well if the players don't trust me.

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Post Date: 1st Mar, 2017 - 4:05am / Post ID: #

Who Should Roll The Dice?
A Friend

Who Roll Dice - Page 2

That is certainly true. I just think that even when players do trust a Dungeon Master, the results of rolls out of their sight might inspire otherwise.

10th Mar, 2017 - 5:10am / Post ID: #

Who Roll Dice Board Card & RPG Reviews - Page 2

Certain skills in 3.5 and Pathfinder specify that they should be rolled in secret, but it doesn't help the suspense if the Dungeon Master asks you for your skill modifier beforehand. Personally, I trust my group to avoid metagaming and let them roll for themselves. Sometimes the Dungeon Master misses a circumstantial bonus which the player wouldn't have forgotten.

The play by post format can be a little slow, so I often roll critical confirmation rolls, reactive perception checks and sometimes saves, but I will try to keep KNtoran's preference in mind for the future.



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