rockwood: (Default)
[personal profile] rockwood posting in [community profile] tabletop_rpg
In the interests of getting some discussion going on this community...

What are your thoughts on diceless roleplaying games? A good idea, a bad one?

Amber Diceless and Everway are two of the more common diceless games, but there are more than a few others out there.

If you're not familiar with them, diceless games tend to rely mechanically on comparing your stats to the difficulty or enemy directly; other than situational modifiers, there's no roll involved. Some dicless games do involve a randomizer of some kind, like Everway's Fate deck (basically a deck of tarot-style cards the GM interprets), but others use a 'currency' system, where you can spend a few Karma Points or similar to boost your abilities temporarily.

All this tends towards a much more descriptive game; both the players and the GM have to be willing to talk things out a lot more than in, say, D&D. It can be very tactical in some ways, as you still maneuver for the advantage in each situation, but it's a step further away from miniatures wargames and closer to group storytelling.

So... have you ever played anything like that? Would you, given the chance?

Blessed be,
~Nathan

Date: 2009-05-12 06:42 am (UTC)
rapscallion: (Films | Re-Animator)
From: [personal profile] rapscallion
I've played in a game that used cards instead of dice (you kept a certain number of cards in your hand and chose which ones to use) and I've even played in a game where not only we didn't have dice, we didn't even have stats. In my personal opinion, dice (or some other way of generating a random element) just suits my playing preferences better. I like that there's that unaccountable uncertainty that even the gamemaster cannot fully control. I didn't even see differences in the amount of description of actions required in that diceless compared to the playing style of my usual gaming group (who vehemently believe in their dice, or as one said "If my dice bag can't come, I won't come either."). I suppose it should be said that we mostly forgo dice, but anything critical and action-y needs dice, but isn't this pretty much how any dice-using group goes about it?

I've actually had to think about this issue recently, because I want to gamemaster a game that uses a diceless system. It seems that with the attitudes that my gaming group has (including me) I have to do a conversion. In some small way this feels like I'm butchering the game a bit, but in the end, it's our enjoyment that matters most, so dice it is.

I'm still open to try out diceless systems, because I've heard that games like Amber handle it well. I just haven't been in a diceless game where the lack of dice would have seen an improvement in roleplaying or at the very least in general fun.

Apologies, my opinions in this matter boil down to the very basic points that dice are fun and randomness is yay. :P

Date: 2009-05-12 06:16 pm (UTC)
rapscallion: (Hellblazer | Magic)
From: [personal profile] rapscallion
Yeah well, it's a small indie game from a tiny company and the designer has gone to great lengths to cook up something that not only fits the general mood of the game but is quite different than the system in his earlier game, so me blundering in and putting everything except the setting through a wood chipper seems a tad impolite. ;)

Trying to get people to post is a good cause, especially as this community is just starting up. I for one would like to hear about positive experiences with diceless systems; the diceless games I have been were very short-lived and well, shoddy in general, so that has skewed my view to the negative side. Opposing views and all that good stuff.

Date: 2009-05-13 06:32 pm (UTC)
brainiacfive: (Default)
From: [personal profile] brainiacfive
I like some diceless games. It CAN be a good idea, but I don't think it's automatically one or the other. So... it depends.

I started playing Amber Diceless back in 1993, and it pretty much took over as my main form of gaming for about 10 years.

Yeah, I liked it. But I played mostly online and at conventions, as I had trouble finding enough folks to play it regularly face-to-face.

It takes a lot of trust in the GM and the other players to successfully bring it off, and even with trust 'the feel' isn't right for some people.

So while I've enjoyed myself tremendously, I have no illusions that diceless is the 'best'.

I have Everway, and a few other diceless systems (Theatrix, Marvel Universe) but I've never played them, and only skimmed the details, so I can't say much about them.

But I can answer any Amber Diceless question you might have (or try to).

I had thought at one time I'd never go back to diced gaming, but I did and I still enjoy that a lot, too. My weekly group is pretty much married to D20 varieties, but one of the newer players just started up an Amber game, and it'll be interesting to see if it survives for long, given the reticent way a few of the players have approached it. We've had two sessions so far.

Date: 2009-05-15 12:44 pm (UTC)
bryant: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bryant
I differentiate between something like Everway and true diceless games -- for me, the key is whether or not a game uses chance of any kind to determine outcomes.

That said, I like 'em. I played Amber for quite a few years, including an ongoing campaign, and it was a lot of fun. I would like to play some diceless again one of these days. I think with what I've learned about structuring a campaign, working with other players, and so on it'd be interesting to bring that back into the diceless world.

Maybe use Theatrix. That was always an intriguing system.

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