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Troy’s Crock Pot: A dicey situation

Posted By Troy E. Taylor On July 2, 2008 @ 1:01 am In Crock Pot,GMing Advice,Specific RPGs | 11 Comments

What’s the Crock Pot? Just a simmering bowl of lentils and herbs, with a dash of DMing observations. Don’t be afraid to dip in your ladle and stir, or throw in something from your own spice rack.

Just a little peek

The more I DM, the more I want to roll in the open. Mostly, it keeps me honest and it dampens hard feelings when the rolls go against the players. But I still want my adventure notes, which are in a three-ring binder, behind a DM screen. The logistics get complicated. I think I need a dice roller that doubles as a DM screen. I guess a visit to the wood-working shop is in order.

Ker-plunk, thunk, take out a chunk

Big oversized dice and dice made of metal gouge holes in my kiitchen table. Sorry guys, but they’ve been banned.

Hoist the colors

I think my blue dice don’t like being in the pouch with my red dice. A lot of low rolls since I mixed them in. So far, my white dice haven’t changed. The perils of having patriotically-colored dice.

About  Troy E. Taylor

Troy's happiest when up to his elbows in plaster molds and craft paint, creating terrain and detailing minis for his home game. A career journalist and Werecabbages freelancer, he also claims mastery of his kettle grill, from which he serves up pizza to his wife and three children.




11 Comments (Open | Close)

11 Comments To "Troy’s Crock Pot: A dicey situation"

#1 Comment By Ben Overmyer On July 2, 2008 @ 6:41 am

So oversized and metal dice are banned. What about dice made from meteorite fragments, or mammoth-bone dice?

#2 Comment By Kurt “Telas” Schneider On July 2, 2008 @ 7:33 am

I generally roll in the open, but I GM off a laptop. It’s an instant GM screen that can be raised or lowered as needed. Just remember to set it up to NOT go to Standby or Hibernate when you accidentally close the screen. “Delay of game, due to technical difficulties.” = uncool.

Big dice and metal dice are fine for me, as long as they’re not rolled on the table, but on the TacTiles or a book. Have you thought about a table pad or a thick tablecloth? (Of course, if the big/metal dice are rolling hot for the players, I completely understand your decision.)

…And it’s not the patriotic dice; I bet you’d get good rolls off 3d6, one each of a red, white, and blue die. It’s the Republican dice vs. the Democratic dice. Choose one side, but pleasefortheloveofgarlglittergold let’s not start talking politics here.

#3 Comment By glennzilla On July 2, 2008 @ 7:54 am

For the dice, they can roll on a mat, book, cardstock, etc. if they must use the dice. One of my palyers hosts the game and he’s a little protective of his deceased mother’s antique table. So another player donated a linen table cloth and we haven’t had to worry about table hazards since.

As for the dice, they aren’t people, you can segregate them with impunity. After all buying a bottle of Royal Crown is to get the extra dice bag right? Although soft sunglasses’ bags work nicely too.

#4 Comment By Troy E. Taylor On July 2, 2008 @ 8:09 am

Ben: Depends … do meteorite fragments and bones carve holes in the kitchen table? If not, they’re OK. Otherwise, they’ll have to answer to Mrs. Taylor — and may the dice gods have mercy on their souls.

Telas: I hate to tell tales out of school, but there’s some in my group who have trouble rolling on the table, let alone aim for a pad, or something. And rolling on their own book? “You can’t expect me to roll on this nice gamebook, it might carve a hole in it ….”

Politics? What do you think the one green d4 (obviously a member of the Green party) thinks about being outnumbered by all the red, white and blue ones? No joke. I’d never thought about why I carry a single green d4 in with my red, white and blue dice.

Glennzilla: Sunglasses bag, huh? Hmmmm, I hadn’t thought of that before. Good tip. Never gone the Royal Crown route myself.

#5 Comment By longcoat000 On July 2, 2008 @ 10:28 am

Cthumule in ’08!

#6 Comment By Patrick Benson On July 2, 2008 @ 11:16 am

I picked up a wood dice tray lined with felt and a dice cup also lined with felt from my FLGS. The combo actually makes life a lot easier. No stray dice rolls leaving the table and landing on the floor. Reading the dice is faster too, because they tend to fall into a nice cluster in a small area. Another unexpected benefit is that the players stop and listen to what I am saying if I reach for the cup or if they hear me shaking the dice inside. I didn’t plan for that, it is just a really nice visual/audio cue that the GM is up to something.

These are two items that I just picked up for the hell of it and to throw a little cash at the FLGS (I’ve seen too many go belly up, and I’m hoping that this one doesn’t). I’m really glad that I have them now, because they are surprisingly useful items that really do make a difference at the table.

#7 Comment By clem On July 2, 2008 @ 2:50 pm

“No Lex, kryptonite dice are NOT allowed!”
“Then you stop reading my game notes with x-ray vision, Clark!”

#8 Comment By DarthKrzysztof On July 3, 2008 @ 7:46 am

I watched the video podcast on WotC’s website and was happy to see that even World Famous Game Designers roll wit’ Crown Royal. I’ve had mine for close to twenty years now…

My wife bought me a plain wooden box from a craft store and lined it with felt for rolling on my tiny desk, though. It helps a lot.

#9 Comment By Omnus On July 5, 2008 @ 8:40 pm

I use a wine bottle gift bag for my dice. It’s about the size of a Crown Royal bag, but it’s black and (gulp) pink with a drawstring. It works amazingly well. All my dice go with a black die with white pips motif, except for a few necessity requires me to have (mostly multicolor d20s for rolling multiple attacks). Easy to read, easy to keep track of.

I have a set of oversized dice you wouldn’t mind as much. They’re made of yellow foam, the same stuff they make those Green Bay Packer Cheeseheads from. Always fun to roll, but they bounce too chaotically for real use. Whipping them at a player who’s into some wrongdoing is fun though.

I’m not superstitious about dice color affecting one’s karma, but I have players paraniod to the extreme about such things. We gamers do love our dice so….

#10 Comment By Fnor On July 6, 2008 @ 9:43 am

The wife actually knit us a really nice Crown Royal sized dice bag, which is more than comfortably holding 6 sets of AD&D dice and 3 sets of L5R (d10) dice. My only real dice superstition is my translucent green d20 that I’ve played with for the past 7 years, which seems to always either give me a critical hit or a critical fumble. Either way, it’s a lot of fun!

As for rolling, I’ve always thought that the most important part of being a good DM was hiding the ball, both with plot and atmosphere. Players hear “hit,” and if you’re rolling in the open, they’re counting up numbers and trying to figure out what to do in response. If you’re counting behind a screen, they’re not strategizing, they’re worrying about what kind of crazy damage the monster is about to inflict upon their poor PCs, or sitting through your description wondering whether or not whomever it was made that passive roll.

#11 Comment By Martin Ralya On July 6, 2008 @ 10:31 am

I’ve not usually superstitious about dice, but I did once bury a particularly shitty set in my backyard. ;)

Apart from that, it’s pretty much just the usual observations about which ones roll particularly well.


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