Game Mastery

Roll for conflict

by on Oct.27, 2008, under game theory, links and articles

Haven’t posted in a while.  Sorry about that.  Work has been busy and I’m trying to give my carpal tunnels a rest when I’m at home.

I stumbled upon this article which discusses the idea of rolling dice only to resolve conflict.  It’s kind of a back to the basics thing.  Anyway, I liked it because of its consistence with my first post on this blog regarding a diceless system that uses bid based mechanics for resolving conflicts between characters.  Basically the idea is that your ability to climb a tree has no effect on the story and should not result in a die roll.  Your ability to punch a attacker in the face does change the story and you should break out the dice.

2 comments for this entry:
  1. Nat Budin

    Mike Young’s YaYoG (You Are Your Own GM) system for LARPs takes this idea and runs with it. The idea, as I understand it, is:

    1) When there’s no conflict between the players about what the result of an action should be, there’s no need for a GM. (This is a lot more true of a PvP type environment than a PvE one.)

    2) When there is conflict between the players about what the result of an action should be, you still don’t always need a GM – oftentimes, an objective third party is enough.

    3) Therefore, in YaYoG, all players are empowered to act as objective third parties when a resolution is needed. There are guidelines for how to resolve conflicts based on characters’ stats, and as long as you’re not personally vested in a conflict, you’re expected to follow those objectively.

    It’s an interesting system IMO, and it turns a lot of assumptions about how to run a game on their heads.

  2. sagotsky

    I’m still uncertain how useful this idea is on its own. I mean, it completely invalidates skill based characters who have to climb ropes and pick locks. But I am fond of anything that turns around basic assumptions like that.

    Have you played in a YaYoG style game or just read about it?

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