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JonL

Clever Dice Tricks

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For a long time now I've been setting an oversized d20 down on the table with the current Resistance face up, so that it's easy for everyone to compare their rolls. I use a step-down layout one like MtG players use to make it easier to find the face I want. I've toyed with the idea of using a different colored one or more than one for Mastery levels but that feels awkward. I might use a base or something down the road.

When handling group contests, I used to roll as many dice as I had players all at once, and the die that landed closest to each player at the table would be that player's opposing roll. It's super fast and works really well when everyone is sitting around an actual table, but it's less clear when folks are scattered around a living room on couches & easy chairs.

While looking over the Chessex booth at Gen Con last week, I had a further inspiration. I bought several pairs of d20s in an assorment of colors, two reds, two blues, two greens, etc. Next time I run a game, I plan to give each player one of a color pair, while I keep the other. when a group contest rolls around, I'll roll the corresponding dice - and everyone can then see at a glance which die matches with which player.

The other thing I do with respect to group contests is roll my dice onto a dry erase board, and keep a result point tally right on the board as I go over the dice - again, very fast and easy for everyone to see if we're sitting close.

Dice can also make handy tokens for lingering benefits & consequences. I keep several d6 and d10 handy when running a game, and when someone gets a bonus or penalty, I'll hand them a die with the corresponding face up - red dice for penalties, other color for bonus. Having the die sitting there helps it keep from getting forgotten.

Does anyone else have helpful methods (dice or otherwise) to share? 

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On 8/9/2018 at 4:50 PM, JonL said:

When handling group contests, I used to roll as many dice as I had players all at once, and the die that landed closest to each player at the table would be that player's opposing roll. It's super fast and works really well when everyone is sitting around an actual table, but it's less clear when folks are scattered around a living room on couches & easy chairs.

I've tended to move to run Group Simple Contests one by one. Even though the individual contest happens simultaneously it usually makes story sense to roleplay each contest. That way the last person rolling might turn the tables of the whole contest.

About the tricks you requested. I made this handy table to use with players new to HQ. It has been really useful and the players get the system better. Maybe someday I can write it into a printable format.

IMG_20180811_142150.thumb.jpg.bc74bc019d35e5d1772c0d02e18dde68.jpg

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This isn't dice-related, but I use a box of Go stones during game. I gave the players three stones as their hero points for the game. When they spend one, they hand it to me and I ask "what does this look like?" which gives them a chance to briefly narrate their impressive effort. It lets the player control some of the color of the game. During extended contests, each time one side or the other scores RPs, I put a stone in the appropriate pile--it lets the players easily see where the contest is at.

Edited by Bohemond
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Lots of good stuff here. I second the Go stones as HP tokens.

This past weekend I added another prop: I took a bunch of white and red poker chips and marked the whites with +3, +6, or +9, and the reds conversely with -3, -6, and -9. Handing them out proved faster, more visually apparent, and less fumble-prone than my previous die approach. 

I recall fondly a player laughing, "Man, I gotta get rid of this thing." while holding a red -6 chip in his hand like it was heavy as lead.

Edited by JonL
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On 10/16/2018 at 6:25 PM, JonL said:

Lots of good stuff here. I second the Go stones as HP tokens.

This past weekend I added another prop: I took a bunch of white and red poker chips and marked the whites with +3, +6, or +9, and the reds conversely with -3, -6, and -9. Handing them out proved faster, more visually apparent, and less fumble-prone than my previous die approach. 

I recall fondly a player laughing, "Man, I gotta get rid of this thing." while holding a red -6 chip in his hand like it was heavy as lead.

I have also heard from Robin D. Laws on Ken and Robin Talk about Stuff that this is a lot more visceral for players than toting up mathematical bonuses and penalties.

The next time I run HQ, I definitely want to hand out *something* physical to indicate to players their bonuses/penalties. I had been thinking of just doing index cards. It will take more time, but I can specify what the problem is.

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On 8/9/2018 at 8:50 AM, JonL said:

For a long time now I've been setting an oversized d20 down on the table with the current Resistance face up, so that it's easy for everyone to compare their rolls. I use a step-down layout one like MtG players use to make it easier to find the face I want. I've toyed with the idea of using a different colored one or more than one for Mastery levels but that feels awkward. I might use a base or something down the road.

I'm not familiar with this kind of die. How is different from the "regular" d20 I've been using since my AD&D days?

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On 8/9/2018 at 8:50 AM, JonL said:

When handling group contests, I used to roll as many dice as I had players all at once, and the die that landed closest to each player at the table would be that player's opposing roll. It's super fast and works really well when everyone is sitting around an actual table, but it's less clear when folks are scattered around a living room on couches & easy chairs.

While looking over the Chessex booth at Gen Con last week, I had a further inspiration. I bought several pairs of d20s in an assorment of colors, two reds, two blues, two greens, etc. Next time I run a game, I plan to give each player one of a color pair, while I keep the other. when a group contest rolls around, I'll roll the corresponding dice - and everyone can then see at a glance which die matches with which player.

Here's the "stupid dice trick" I want to try the next time I run HeroQuest: Make sure every player has 2d20: One red die and one of any other color. When the player is in a contest, he or she rolls both dice. The red die is the resistance roll and the other is the hero's roll.

(I stole this from a game of 7th Sea or the new Star Wars, where every single roll was made by the players, not the GM.)

I'm hoping this will combine well with the publicly displayed huge resistance die.

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6 hours ago, Garwalf said:

I'm not familiar with this kind of die. How is different from the "regular" d20 I've been using since my AD&D days?

 

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On 11/25/2018 at 10:46 PM, Garwalf said:

Here's the "stupid dice trick" I want to try the next time I run HeroQuest: Make sure every player has 2d20: One red die and one of any other color. When the player is in a contest, he or she rolls both dice. The red die is the resistance roll and the other is the hero's roll.

(I stole this from a game of 7th Sea or the new Star Wars, where every single roll was made by the players, not the GM.)

I'm hoping this will combine well with the publicly displayed huge resistance die.


This approach would work really well combined with placing dice on the grid the way @jrutila suggested above. Give each player an opposed-roll chart and they can do the cross-index themselves. 

 

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