• 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 a little lost.…

  • 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…