Friday, July 24, 2009

We're going to need more dice...

One of the most consistent complaints I see about the D6 system (my favorite Star Wars system, in case you haven't heard) is that the rolling and counting of dice (especially at high levels) slows the game down. As much of a champion as I am for this game system...I find myself unable to argue that point. When you're talking beginning players, with 4-6D skills, well, then its simple as can  be. But when a campaign progresses to the level mine is at (with 8-10D skills) then things start to slow down. And when you throw in Force points (which make that 16-20D skills) you're going to spending quite a bit of game time tallying up rolls. 

For a game based on the speed and fluidity of its combat system, any factor that slows things down is a problem. In table-top situations, I've found that you just have to 'suck it up' and slow down to count the rolls. And even so, it is at least on-par with other game systems speed wise (especially with the more complex 4th Ed d20 system). 

What has been the saving grace for me in recent games, however, is man's best friend—the computer. The wide availability of free dice-rolling programs has essentially made the dice-counting lag disappear. Of course, that all depends on having a computer around when you game. When I'm at home, that's no problem. In fact, the wireless system in my house ensures that my players (Sharon and Philip) can use their own computers, both for dice rolling and for keeping their character sheets. Now, I just finally need to get that laptop and I'm all set for 'on the road' gaming...

Oh, and on a side-note, our gaming group has an in-joke when it comes to dice rolling. It comes from one of our players (Doyce, forgive me) one time being caught 'fudging' his dice roll. He was in the midst of counting up his dice when one of the other players (Rick) noticed an odd thing. Strangely enough, as Doyce was counting, several of the dice changed from lower numbers to sixes. Rick (being Rick) loudly (and amusedly) confronted Doyce on this strange occurrence by asking: "Hey! Doyce! What are you doing!?" Doyce ahemed and replied. "I'm.. counting." Rick (again loudly) commented. "Really? That's how you count? Turning them all to sixes?" Doyce responded with an explanation of this particular method of turning dice 'he had already counted' to sixes, so he'd know not to count them again. Nobody bought that, of course. We still don't. But then, it wasn't an everyday thing in my campaign, so it was well worth a laugh at the time (and indeed it still is most times we get together to play). 


  1. Oh man, that is awesome. Thanks for bringing up the d6's.

    I ran Champions a lot in the 90's. I've returned to gaming after several years off, and show up these days to my Wed. night AD&D 1st ed. games with a dice bag loaded with around 50 D6 and maybe two max of all the other dice. My players always stare dumbfounded each game as I pour out all these friggin dice just to look for a D8.

    One good thing is that if you have a big squad of whatever attack, and you don't have enough figs, just roll out all those D6. In my KOTOR game last week, I used them for Viper Kinrath.

  2. Oh yes. D6's are like the swiss army knife of gaming supplies. Goblins, Stormtroopers, Kinrath—a million and one uses!