• Gaming Tips: Taking your chances on 3d6

    Edit 2017-08-05: Added quick internal links (a few short paragraphs below) before the boring stuff, for those who want to skip probability tables and jump to the conclusions. Whether you’re a GURPS GM or a player entirely new to the system, you’ll find a fast and convenient summary of what 3d6 and dice mods mean for chances of success. “12 or less? That’s good . . . right?” If you come from one of those popular games that uses a twenty-sided die to whack monsters and roll other checks, and you step up to one of several games that uses three six-sided dice instead . . . you might feel…

  • Gaming dice as art

    I earlier called attention to a premium “wish I had one” product, the ultimate gamer’s table. It should surprise no one that I haven’t yet plunked down my $8K for this handcrafted piece of furniture. But I’m rather tempted by a premium gaming product that’s a bit more affordable: custom hand-made dice.  I’d say these are more than handmade dice, really. This is art, with gaming dice as its medium. The creator/artist, Abraham Neddermann, was kind enough to answer some questions about his work. Please read on! (I have no connection to the site or product; I simply thought the dice and process were fascinating.) Apparently, one does not set…

  • Dice pools vs dice plus mods

    Following up on my post about The Riddle of Steel RPG, here’s a broad question for readers at large, touching on many games: What, exactly, is the appeal of the “dice pool” method of generating outcomes? I know it has a two-dimensional aspect to it, in that you can modify checks in two ways: you can both modify the “target number” that determines whether a die counts as a success, and you can modify the number of dice rolled. That sounds like it offers something richer than the classic one-dimensional, dice-roll-plus-summed-modifiers method, and I don’t yet see anything wrong with the dice pool method. But I’m curious: Do dice-pool systems establish a clear, easily-followed…