Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Dice Preferences

Part of the reason I could never quite get into GURPS was the dice. All d6s, all the time, at most varying the number used when rolling for damage. I appreciate the elegance of the system, and I can sort of see the appeal of being able to use whatever dice are on hand to play, at least for new players and groups. But I like my bag full of crazy, fancy dice too much to really be happy using nothing but d6s for the length of a campaign.

I like dice in weird colors. I like dice in weird shapes. I have a fondness for the d8, because of all the clerics I played when I was first starting out. I like d12s, to the point where I get excited when I find a system that uses them. And I like systems that use lots of different dice, mostly because I've got a lot of different dice.

That collection of preferences was a (small) factor in keeping me away from White Wolf and similar games. Who wants to just roll one kind of dice all the time, even if it is a little more interesting than a bunch of d6s? When the books I'm reading through now finally overcame all my various resistances, I discovered that dice pools are just as much fun as rolling crazier individual dice. Different kind of fun, but it's still nice to throw a handful of dice, and even more fun to pick out the dice I get to roll again. A tactile pleasure, rather than an aesthetic one.

Which shouldn't have been surprising to me. My favorite GURPS character ever was a street racer who, thanks to a GM who hadn't seriously considered the results of letting all the PCs outfit themselves with TL 14+ tech, ran around with a gauss rifle. She regularly rolled ridiculous amounts of damage dice thanks to a snazzy rate of fire and ludicrous Gun skill. (Which was more a side effect of her crazy vehicle handling skills than an intentional attempt to game the combat system, but I did take advantage of it.) Somehow, it never occurred to me that the fun I had rolling that bunch of dice would translate to dice pool type systems in general.

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