When the players roll all the dice

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16 Responses

  1. Phaezen says:

    Great article

    You don’t mention critical hits in the article, but the easiest would be count a defensive roll of 1 as a crit

    • greywulf says:

      I was saving that for another post :)

      We use degrees of success. Succeed by 5, 10 or more and better things happen (gain combat advantage, shift as a free action, etc). Fail by 5,10 or more and worse things happen (the opponent scoring a critical hit, gaining combat advantage next turn, etc).

  2. pdunwin says:

    Where is it said that Reflex attacks (or any kind of attack) can only be avoided in a certain way? Int improves Reflex & representing it as counterspells makes perfect sense. Shields provide a Reflex bonus, so raising one makes sense.

    • greywulf says:

      True, on both counts. 4e goes some way toward supporting different ways of avoiding attacks (using a Shield to gain a Reflex bonus as you say, for example), but it still dictates which defence is used per the rules. Putting the control of the PC’s actions directly into the hands of the players (rather than letting the rules set the response) is just one more step in that direction.

      • Roger3 says:

        I think you missed the point of pdunwin’s reply, which was the third alternative:

        DM: “The Orc Shaman utters the cursed syllables and flame erupts from his hands! DC18, take 3d6 if it hits.”
        Rogue: “I dive out of the way!” (rolls Reflex and makes it)
        Wizard: “I use a counterspell!” (rolls Reflex, fails and takes damage)
        Fighter: “I raise my shield!” (rolls Reflex, fails and takes damage)

  3. New Post from Greywulf’s Lair : When the players roll all the dice http://t.co/CGjwo2h #RPGBA

  4. To each their own, but I’d be uncomfortable with doing things this way in 4E as a player and a DM — whichever side of the screen I was on.

    Maybe it’s just who I’ve gamed with, (and it’s not a freeform thing, I mean, my favorite games are diceless) but I perceive this as the source of quite a few arguments at the table.

    I mean, my immediate though with your example of the poisoned blades was “hey, if I’m being attacked by blades, why can’t I use my Reflex to dodge, or my shield to block just like any other weapon?”

    But I think the problem goes even deeper than that. As a GM, I’d be disappointed to be such a passive part of the game (and I realize you intend to address this again, but…) and as a player I’d hate to have to keep up with all that extra stuff — especially in 4e where the players are already burdened with a bundle of stuff to keep up with.

  5. When the players roll all the dice from Greywulf’s Lair » RPG http://t.co/d8deJ5u #RPG

  6. Adrian says:

    I really like this idea! This takes the idea of players rolling all the dice and adds a great decision mechanic to it as well.

  7. drow says:

    wait, what extra stuff? an orc’s blade? i dodge! a fireball? i dodge! mind controlling succubus? i dodge behind the wizard!

    • greywulf says:

      Lol! That would work if you’re Mr Dodge, acrobatic thief extraordinaire :) Like I said, PCs can play to their strengths. Imagine that thief frantically trying to find something to dodge behind. The nearest cover is an upturned table 30′ away. Does he make it? Roll them bones!

      Of course, a wicked GM would knock the thief prone first to make sure he can’t dodge out the way, or use an area effect attack larger than the distance he can dodge. But not too often. The key is to remind the player that dodging isn’t always the solution, not to punish his PC. Much.

  8. pdunwin says:

    Another thing to consider: Reflex doesn’t need to (and often probably can’t) mean “dodging out of the way.” If it did, you’d reasonably take penalties to Reflex due to a lot of common conditions that don’t impose them. Sometimes it might just mean looking away, closing one’s eyes, taking a breath or even remaining perfectly still.

  9. The Dave says:

    OK so what your saying is allow the character to use his strongest Defense and using it as an active save vs a passive defense against an attack. But how are you doing this in 4e Land where AC, Fort, Will and Reflex are calculated to be passive defense numbers? Your example really doesn’t show that. Are you just taking the numbers, subtracting 10 from it and applying that as a bonus to the roll, I’m assuming that’s the case since the opposite of that is how you calculated the DC. This leads to my next question, are you allowing the monsters the same opportunity to beat a players attack? I hope I’m not coming across as a naysayer because I like this idea (even though I think its very Un-4e). Our last session we got our butts handed to us because these creatures were pounding us with reflex based fire attacks. I’m a half-orc Pally in Full Plate. The DM could practically roll a 1 and beat my reflex save. It was a very frustrating evening to say the least. Your system at least makes me the capt of my own barbecue.

  10. drow says:

    here you go, from the Reimaging Skills and Ability Scores seminar at D&DXP…

    Rob: Right now, Cha is linked to saves for fear and charm effects. However, if you describe it well, you could use different stat. For example the big monster is grappling you, you might use dexterity to save and get out. But you can also have some other ways of getting out that grapple. Maybe there’s a gem on that creature’s head and you can make an intelligence saving throw to realize that if you mess with it, the creature would die and let you go.

  1. November 13, 2011

    […] a month ago, Greywulf posted a theory over on his blog about having the players roll all the dice. There was an incident at the table two weeks ago that had me looking for a bit more player […]

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