Do you prefer to use real dice, a dice application or program, or use a diceless system?

Honestly, it depends on the game if we’re talking Dice verses Diceless. That side of game mechanics isn’t a deal breaker for me. I know some people are dead set on using dice to decide outcomes. Dice are fun, they look cool and that rush between rolling and getting a result can be addictive. On the other hand, wanting to only use dice closes off a lot of interesting and compelling systems.

The game that’s given me the biggest thrill waiting for a result is Deliria. Instead of using dice, Deliria uses playing cards to decide outcomes. I know there’s a version of the game where players can stock pile cards, allowing players to have some control over how well or poorly something turns out. Every time I’ve played, however, the mechanics involved randomly pulling a card for an outcome. I believe that’s my friend’s Kate’s preferred way to run. This makes the game incredibly high risk but with high rewards. It’s not a play style for everyone, especially for people concerned about their character’s well-being.

You have been accused of stabbing player feet. How do you plea?

You have been accused of stabbing player feet.

That brings us to the difference between physical dice and applications. There’s a lot of superstition surrounding both. My position is that Random Number Generators of any kind feel nothing. I think people perceive more emotion from physical dice more because they are an analog RNG. Apps failing us is the result of ghosts. Dice failing us is the result of the object hating our favorite PC. It gets really annoying when you’re running public events and people get very emotional and protective over their dice, to the point of it disrupting play.

I’m fascinated by games that play around with the emotions that players feeling towards dice. Ryuutama, for example, encourages players to find a dice set that the player feels reflects their image of the character. This bothers me less than the superstitions in gaming culture because it makes the dice less about the object and more about the character and the story that the player wants to tell.

If we remove all that problematic superstition, I prefer physical dice over dice applications. My reasoning is really simple: an application often involves the player using their phone during active play, thus encouraging more phone use at the table. It risks making players distracted, while the physical dice tie players to the game that’s happening at the table.

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