Dice Apps Do You Allow them?

Oh, Dice Apps, so many players and GMs dread you and yet you are becoming more and more mainstream.  A few years back I wrote a blog talking about what my thoughts were concerning electronic Dice Apps. At the time I had said only if you could find a good free dice App would I recommend picking one up. My reasoning back then was as good as they were it was unlikely that you would ever be allowed to use them at the table. Dice apps once were looked at as a digital version of cheating, some still feel this way. But before we rush to judgment lets take a look at some of the facts surrounding this new technology that has taken the tabletop RPG world by storm.

Dice Apps Today

Honestly, if anything they have improved visually but they are essentially they are still codded very much the same. The math says both physics and number generated dice apps these days are as random of more so than physical dice. It has been my experience that more and more electronic dice are slowly being accepted by gamers and game masters at the table.  But I do not feel that it has anything to do with the App programs themselves that have made them any more or less acceptable at the table.

So What has Changed?

I think the there are a number of factors that have made Dice Apps more acceptable at the time these days.

First
I think with more and more people playing RPG games on sites like Roll20.net, Fantasy Grounds, and watching games over platforms like Twitch, and even players gaming over Discord. Gamers are having to use electronic dice more and more often. This makes players at tables and game masters alike less apprehensive about the use of Dice Apps at the table.

Second
In my personal opinion, I would also think that Fantasy Flight Games Star Wars  “Dice Soup” narrative setting. As well as the popular GENESYS system both having top-notch Apps available to download have played a role as well. They speed play up, are faster for many players especially for beginners. Lastly, in my opinion, they are intentionally priced at 1/3 the cost of the physical product. I only bring up this second point because in the years since I wrote my first blog. I have encountered whole tables of players playing FFG SW where only one or two players would be using dice.

Would I buy Dice Apps?

These days I have several dice apps that I have and use. I still love my physical dice. But often I find that digital dice especially when I am running game is faster for me. Why, well mostly because the game aids I use as a GM have built in dice rollers in my encounter trackers. But that is for another blog.

So do you love or hate Dice Apps? Do you allow at your table?  I would love to hear your thoughts!

You Might Also Enjoy This link

@Your Table Electronic Dice

FFG Announces Rise of the Separatists

Fantasy Flight Games has announced that the next big setting release for Star Wars RPG will be Rise of the Separatists.  For a long time, there has been a call for this setting to be put out and thankfully FFG has slated it for production.

For generations, the Jedi Knights have been guardians of peace and justice in the Republic. But now they face a challenge like never before. With the Battle of Geonosis, the Clone Wars have begun. Battles rage across the galaxy as the Jedi and the Grand Army of the Republic fight back against the sinister agents and indefatigable droid armies of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Meanwhile, the diplomats and representatives of the Galactic Senate work for peace and forge political alliances. Amid the chaos, looters, salvagers, and other fringers profit from the detritus of war, or simply try to survive.

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce Rise of the Separatists, a new Era Sourcebook for the Star Wars™ Roleplaying Game!

Rise of the Separatists explores the early days of the Clone Wars, and is fully compatible with every Star Wars Roleplaying Game line, including  Edge of the EmpireAge of Rebellion, and Force and Destiny!

Within this 144-page sourcebook, you’ll find expanded player character options, new weapons, gear, and vehicles, profiles of famous Clone Wars-era characters, guidance for running a campaign in this time period, and more!

 

#RPGaDay2016 Day 1 Real Dice, Dice App, Diceless how do you prefer to roll?

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I have experience with each of these and like them all for several reasons. So I think that I will touch on my thoughts on all of them. So let’s have at the First RPGaDay question!

Real Dice, Dice App, Diceless how do you prefer to roll?

Real Dice

So First up, my thoughts about real dice. There is just something about the heft and feel of dice and the sound of hearing them clatter along the table that really gets me going as a gamer. Board games, Card Games, Wargames & RPG’s dice are everywhere and much like Pokemon if you love dice as much as I do you got to catch them all!

For the longest time, I had a bad habit. I would go into my FLGS and if there was not a product on the shelf that I wanted I would pick up a set of dice. It was my little way of feeding the beast as well as supporting my store. For years if I had a new gamer join my table I would allow them to pick their own SET of dice from my HUGE collection. This stopped after a few years when I realized that if I did not curb this addiction I was going to need an oil drum to store my dice. These days I still collect dice. But I have become more eccentric in my selections. I search out dice that others will go wow.. those are cool. Often to the fact that is also followed up with. I don’t know if I would spend that much on dice man. But that’s okay! I love showing off I am a gamer. I have several Dog Might Games products, So If I am going to have a high-end wooden box of awesome I don’t want to have a “regular” old set of polys in that box.

These days I still collect dice. But I have become more eccentric in my selections. I search out dice will evoke the utterance of “WOW.. those are cool!”  I love showing off I am a gamer. I have several Dog Might Games products, So If I am going to have a high-end wooden box of awesome, I don’t want to have a “regular” old set of polys in that box.

Dice Apps
If I had this question to answer three of four years ago, I would say I am not a fan. Since then, Dice Apps have come a long way. I have seen them go from not being allowed at any of the tables I paly in, to now being used extensively in some games. Right now in my very own Friday night RPG game of Star Wars Edge of the Empire. Five of my six players use the dice app! This is partly due to several of the features that the App offers. But the main reason is because the App is far cheaper than the dice set for the game. Most of my players are of the opinion that they do not want to spend 15 bucks on Dice that are only usable for one system. When you can opt to buy the Dice App for only 5 dollars. This has caused my table to opt for Digital dice at my Friday game. In this case, I would never insist that my players purchase the physical dice for the table. And with the FFG dice app you get even more than the SWEOE Dice. The App gives you Star Wars: Rebellion Dice, Imperial Assult Dice,Star Wars Armada Dice, SWRPG Dice, X-wing Dice & a set of Standard d4-20 dice.

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FFG Star Wars Dice App

I also think that with the Growing trend of Boardgames Apps that gamers, in general, are becoming more comfortable as a whole with Dice Apps.

Diceless
When you say “Diceless,” I think most people jump straight to diceless systems like Amber, or Minds Eye Theater. But for me when I think of Diceless games I still think of D&D. I recall hours and hours of Diceless D&D as a kid growing up. It was not that we did not have dice. But rather haveing Dice was just simply inconvenient.

We were kids! I was a young teen when I started playing RPG’s seriously. Granted I started running games at 9. But by the time I was 12, my friends and I were playing D&D daily… HOURLY.. CONSTANTLY!
Yet unlike the Cliche of old we were not chained to tables in the basement. Instead, we were fishing and riding bikes and building tree forts. All the while we were still locked in our fantasy worlds gaming the entire time. To have carried dice along and try and find someplace flat to roll them would have just slowed us down!  Have you ever tried to roll a D20 in a pool? Trust me we had plenty of combats while cooling off in the pool or lake.

I had several diceless options or “Tricks”up my sleeve. Everything form  Paper Rock Scissors.” to pick a number 1-10 and I would show another player behind my back the number. I even used Scrabble tokens numbered 1-10 in my pocket. I would tell a player to call out a target number. If you picked the number I drew you crit. If you were within 1  you hit plate mail , 2 chainmail, 3 everything else.  I would keep a tiny notebook and tear off pieces of a page to represent damage. When it was gone the creature was defeated. I just wish I could have recorded the fantastical stories we had again! Later when I joined the service we pulled numbers from a hat or carved dice from soap. Or we went back to my early years. Deployment never stopped us from gaming.

I would like to note an Amazing diceless game that deserves a boost as well. Fate of the Norns is a Viking RPG where the players cast Runes instead of rolling dice. It’s also beautiful !

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Check it @ DTRPG

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Personally, I like them all. I love the look the feel and the sound of Real Dice. With so many awesome Apps out there I can go to a game as a GM or a Player these days with Just a Smart Phone and run an awesome game! And I will alway’s love a well come Diceless system. That said what dice do I like best?

That said what dice do I like best?

 

A New Emperor Rises Fantasy Flight Games Purchases L5R License

l5r-torn-asunder

The ever-growing Goliath that is Fantasy Flight games has recently made a new purchase. They have picked up license to Legend of the Five Rings from AGE. This could mean a lot for the ailing brand. L5R is a rich setting and much could be done with it. The future of the card game looks to be taking the route of FFG’s living card game route. If you would like to learn more about FFG’s LCG’s you can bring yourself up to speed on them HERE.

As for the RPG they have not spoken much as to what we will see form FFG for L5R. Many fans have already spoke out in request for supplements only and to keep the system intact. On a personal note I find this to be an unlikely event. I think they will look over the system and put their own spin on it while atempting to keep and honor the systems former rules set. I expect to seem something like FFG’s Star Wars & Warhammer lines. L5R’s future is likely to be another original custom dice system based on Drama and Tension where Star Wars had an emphasis Narration. All of this is speculation on their trends of the past.

You can read the full announcement HERE.

 

The End of the World

The end of the world “Zombie Apocalypse” had hit store shelves just before Christmas and in time for the new year. But what is it ?  Well its a new RPG game line  by the guys over and Fantasy Flight Games. Zombie Apocalypse is the first in a line of end of the world setting games hence the fitting title. So what is the twist compared to other zombie apocalypse settings? Well the intent of the end of the world games is that you and your group sit down and make and play yourselves in the end of the world. On a personal note I love this concept. With the trend of popular preper and survival shows out there this seems to me to be a given concept and a sure hit. But on the FFG forum and even among the gamers that I have spoke with it seems that there is a lot of push back to not wish to play a game in this vein. The enthusiasm for the setting is high but most players wish to make players other then themselves. As FFG has said that you are free to make any type of character that you want in the setting but encourages gamers that part of the fun of this setting will be playing stylized versions of yourselves with all the flaws that we bring to the table. To add to the stylized them player characters the players will have only available equipment of what they bring with them that game session.

From the FFG website:

Can You Survive?

Most roleplaying games begin when you and your fellow players create characters to play as in the game. In Zombie Apocalypse and the other books of The End of the World line, you receive the unique invitation to play as yourself in the midst of the world’s apocalypse! Rather than playing an invented character, you play an abstracted version of yourself, using your own skills and talents as you attempt to survive the end of the world. We gave an example of what this kind of character creation looks like in our first preview of Zombie Apocalypse.

Your skills and talents aren’t the only things drawn from your own life and experience. Your gear and weapons are limited to whatever you may have near you when you begin the roleplaying session. Venturing out of your home to find additional weapons or supplies may be one of the first expeditions you must make – and it may also be one of the most dangerous.

The daily struggle for survival offers dozens of possibilities for adventure and conflict at the end of the world. Grocery stores or restaurants may be an adequate food source at first, but looters and other survivors will quickly deplete their stockpiles. Even finding clean water can be a struggle as the structures of society shut down one by one. Succeeding at these tasks would test anyone’s skills, and as we explored in our second preview, these tasks are handled with an elegant, narrative system that keeps the focus on the story.

Zombie Apocalypse is the first in The End of the World Line. The setting books to follow will be. Alien invasion, Wrath of the Gods & lastly Revolt of the Machines

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