Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dice: Affecting Sportsmanship...

So why have an article talking about dice and the role they play in a game. I am not talking about how they affect the game or how the dice roll. I want to address how they affect the mood and sportsmanship between the players. See years ago when I was a lad I grew up playing a bookcase game call Squad Leader. Started playing when I was in elementary school. Played a variety of other games through the years since. It quickly became apparent that we needed house rules for rolling die. As dumb as it may seem it actually took care of a ton of arguments and made for a smoother game play. Crock die was addressed which meant any die that was not flat was re-rolled. The dice could not be leaning on something nor could it be on two different surface levels. If a dice rolled off the table it was re-rolled.

So let us leap forward to today. You have table top gaming systems that use six, ten and twenty sided dice or more. The larger the number options the more room for error and controversy. Have you ever been playing someone and they roll a dice up against a building on their side of the table? Then they picked it up to show you that it is a successful roll or even worse it is a critical score? What runs through your mind? Then through the progress of the game the other player becomes more successful when they roll the die where you cannot get a good look at it. They roll those unbelievable rolls when the game is on the line and so on. Then you get the crock die syndrome. It is arguable when the die is successful for the roller or unsuccessful for the other person when you have a dice that is not perfectly flat. All this leads to tension in the game and an unpleasant gaming experience.

So what is the solution. Go buy a box of some kind to roll the die in. Have that box near the center of the table for both players to roll in. Or you can have two. Don't touch your die until the other player can see the results. Have a friendly rule that if the die bounces out of the box you need to re-roll it. If you have to manipulate the die to win then I won't game against you. Gaming is just that… a game. It is designed to have fun within the confines of the rules and outlines. Don't make dice become a larger part of the game than what the creator of the game had in mind.