#RPGaDAY2018: Day 21 — Which dice mechanic appeals to you?


With a nice little extension on yesterday’s prompt, today we’re met with the question, “which dice mechanic appeals to you?”

I am quite fond of opposed skill checks when they come up in a game, two players flinging dice, adding multipliers, to determine an outcome that can sometimes have very weighty consequences.

I like how it puts a skill in action, like you’re actually performing the act. It adds drama and gravitas to the moment, be it a picked pocket or a hearty debate where deceit, intimidation, and persuasion are all tools of the trade.

It takes the intellectual or dexterous character and gives them agency, the ability to manipulate a scene without resorting to spell or blade, as was generally the case in the early days of our hobby.


When two figures come up against one another, having a conflict of words and actions that is not tied to violence, is narratively satisfying and lends itself to a more gritty, realistic thematic.

One of my favorite scenarios is the debate, where two figures are looking to sway the mob, one to violence perhaps and the other to a more rational action. Their checks are rolled, one using intimidation, the other persuasion. After their rolls are calculated, what if there’s a tie? Then you have them roll for performance. And if, by chance, they tie again, then a charisma roll should bring it on home.

theif pocketing

I also like when a player opts to pick another player’s pocket, with one’s sleight-of-hand going up against the other’s passive perception, or two players sit down across the table and arm wrestle.

Fun stuff, and, best of all, it keeps the game lively.

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