Banned at my table

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I am about to start DMing my first group and based off my experiences with other players at the latest season of encounters I've decided to ban some things at my table.  The most annoying thing for me so far are dice that aren't functional - mini dice and clear dice with clear numbers.  Players picking up their dice and struggling to read them every roll gets old very quickly.

What sort of rules do you have for your table, outside of game mechanics?
I am about to start DMing my first group and based off my experiences with other players at the latest season of encounters I've decided to ban some things at my table.  The most annoying thing for me so far are dice that aren't functional - mini dice and clear dice with clear numbers.  Players picking up their dice and struggling to read them every roll gets old very quickly.

I hear you, I recently culled my dice bag and took out a bunch that were unreadable or otherwise inconvenient.

What sort of rules do you have for your table, outside of game mechanics?

Special rules for PVP attacks. It's not something I generally have to deal with, but I'm prepared just in case. If one player wants his or her character to attack another player's character there's no dice involved and only the DM and the targeted player may describe the outcome of the attack.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

I like to ask my players to minimize the time that they spend flipping through books by having all descriptions of their powers, feats, features, and so on clearly available to them at all times. This is why I prefer that my players create their own custom character sheets rather than use Character Builder sheets or other sheets. Waiting for somebody to flip through books because they can't remember some detail about one of their powers annoys me to no end and slows down the game for everybody else. Know what your powers do, and have it all written down where you can easily reference it without flipping through books. If I think that a power's range is 5 but you think that it's 10 but you don't actually have that information written down anywhere, then we're gonna go with 5 for now, and you can look it up when it's not your turn anymore and you aren't wasting everybody else's time.

Similarly, I like for all of my players' character sheets to actually include math on them. I should never see: "Attack: +10 vs. AC". That is not acceptable. What I should see is something like: "Attack +10 vs. AC (+4 (STR) +2 (proficiency), +2 (level) +1 (feat) +1 (weapon))". You should at all times be able to quickly give me a detailed breakdown of how you got to any number on your sheet. Because if I think that something sounds high and I ask you to break it down for me and you can't, then you're only going to get up to the bonus that you can remember.

Needing to flip through books really annoys me. Thanks to these guidelines, though, my group regularly runs through sessions without needing to crack open a single book. I get that it needs to be done every once in a while, like when there's a lesser-used rule out there that isn't specific to any character, and that's perfectly acceptable, but not knowing the damage die of one of your at-will attack powers is not.



I also haven't specifically disallowed them, but I agree with you about being annoyed with dice that are too difficult to read. If a die is bright yellow and the numbers are written in white or if a die is dark blue and the numbers are written in black, then that becomes problematic when nobody at the table can tell what you rolled except for you but only after you pick it up and squint to read it.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
I like for all of my players' character sheets to actually include math on them. I should never see: "Attack: +10 vs. AC". That is not acceptable. What I should see is something like: "Attack +10 vs. AC (+4 (STR) +2 (proficiency), +2 (level) +1 (feat) +1 (weapon))". You should at all times be able to quickly give me a detailed breakdown of how you got to any number on your sheet. Because if I think that something sounds high and I ask you to break it down for me and you can't, then you're only going to get up to the bonus that you can remember.



I really like this idea in principle, and it might be something I institute in the future as my table gets more experience, but I have a lot of brand new players who I want to gain gameplay experience without number overload.  So in order to ensure thier numbers are right I am planning on running their characters through the character builder myself to doublecheck numbers and then just print their character sheets and powers out for them so I'm sure the characters are legal and that they all have everything they need.
For my home game, one thing I have done is ban anything that completely prevents the party from being surprised. If I can absolutely never include surprise as an element in encounter design, that's extremely limiting to me as a DM.

(Note: This does not include Perception scores high enough to functionally prevent surprise for a particular character...just things that save the whole party.)

The Divine Oracle path isn't banned, just altered, for our campaign.
For my home game, one thing I have done is ban anything that completely prevents the party from being surprised. If I can absolutely never include surprise as an element in encounter design, that's extremely limiting to me as a DM.

(Note: This does not include Perception scores high enough to functionally prevent surprise for a particular character...just things that save the whole party.)

The Divine Oracle path isn't banned, just altered, for our campaign.



He said 'not game mechanics'.

I would LIKE to ban cell phones, PDAs, texting gizmos and such, or at least mandate turning them off, but it seems untenable at the moment.  Our host has a lot of things up in the air right now and really does need to be able to answer at a moment's notice.

I would also like to ban 'shaking your dice for five minutes before rolling'.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I don't outright ban it, but I sometimes have to call a halt to people trying to help someone figure out their turn, or even questioning where healing or a shift or something is coming from. Multiple people trying to explain something to someone is rarely effective.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

My house rules are:
- Use easily read dice, and leave them on the table after rolling.
- For area attacks: grab a handful of d20’s and roll one next to each affected miniature.
- Saying "no" is effectively banned for the DM (as per DMG p.28)
I agree with the paper shuffling. The biggest time waster at our table is the players not knowing what power to use and looking though pages of printouts trying to find a minor action to use just to get the most out of their turn. I try to get the players to decide what they want to do before their turn comes round, but often they are fiddling with their mobile phones or chatting.

I would also like to ban 'shaking your dice for five minutes before rolling'.


Just saw this- one of my players does this as well! Everyone shouts "just roll for gods sake!" :P
 
I don't outright ban it, but I sometimes have to call a halt to people trying to help someone figure out their turn, or even questioning where healing or a shift or something is coming from. Multiple people trying to explain something to someone is rarely effective.

After last night's session, I did just that.

Here is how I phrased it:

When it is not your turn, do not speak. This will help speed things up a lot. A whole lot. Like really really a lot. If you think this request applies to you, you're right. If you think you're the only one it applies to, you're wrong. This is not intended to create dead silence in the room. But it is intended to prevent having multiple players crowding for attention on someone else's turn.

Some "do not" elements:


  • Do not offer suggestions for what someone should do if they have not asked for suggestions.

  • Do not announce someone else's roll.

  • Do not do someone else's math (or at least do not share your results with the rest of us).

  • Do not offer your commentary on the wisdom (or lack thereof) of someone else's decision.


And the "do" elements:


  • DO cheer someone's critical hit.

  • DO groan when someone rolls a 1.

  • DO laugh when someone says something funny (on their turn).

  • DO offer a suggestion when someone else asks for it. (This *might* include math.)

  • DO speak in character. This might even occur on someone else's turn, because speaking is a free action that can be done at any time. The key here is *in character*.


Lastly, none of these rules apply to the DM. I know that doesn't sound fair, but the DM *is* the source of suggestions, corrections, and requests for more information. However, I will do my best to keep this to a minimum.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
Hope you don't mind Seeker but I'm going to copy that word for word for my table, it is excellent!
Hope you don't mind Seeker but I'm going to copy that word for word for my table, it is excellent!



I may suggest that as well, particularly since I'm the worst at my table for suggesting things and having it as a table rule might help me keep my mouth shut.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.

I would also like to ban 'shaking your dice for five minutes before rolling'.


Just saw this- one of my players does this as well! Everyone shouts "just roll for gods sake!" :P
 



A couple of weeks ago, I got frustrated with him and remarked, "Dude, it's a d20, not your (censored).  It can't be that much fun to play with."
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
- Saying "no" is effectively banned for the DM (as per DMG p.28)


Sweet!
Player: Does the red dragon have a 50 vulnerability to fire?
DM: I hate you...

- Saying "no" is effectively banned for the DM (as per DMG p.28)


Sweet!
Player: Does the red dragon have a 50 vulnerability to fire?
DM: I hate you... It does not.



Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
- Saying "no" is effectively banned for the DM (as per DMG p.28)


Sweet!
Player: Does the red dragon have a 50 vulnerability to fire?
DM: I hate you... Try it and find out.




In my group, we encourage our players to explore.

I would LIKE to ban cell phones, PDAs, texting gizmos and such, or at least mandate turning them off, but it seems untenable at the moment.  Our host has a lot of things up in the air right now and really does need to be able to answer at a moment's notice.



At my most common table, three people use laptops for their characters or dice, and everyone has a cellphone or texting device or something.

And only *one* person is a problem - he keeps deciding the log on to Eve or World Of Warcraft and do that instead of paying attention.

This annoys me, but I'm not the GM in that game.  And for everyone EXCEPT him, the techy tools make them faster.  And Compendium lookups are *much* faster than book searching.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
i dont allow dice too small to read or clear dice, i trust my friends but the roll needs to be for all to see.

its never been an issue before though  
I have banned all laptops at my table because:

  1. The grid generally takes up most of the table leaving little room for even character sheets

  2. Our Blackguard insists on playing games and watching youtube videos whenever he has his laptop


I have also severly restricted any more players from getting the 3.5 Leadership feat. There's already too many characters (hence the need for the massive grid) and my party doesn't need any additional members.

Also, I have also ruled no rerolling characters without extenuating circumstances.
Table-Rules:

1. We use Game Science dice, and the numbers have to be painted so I can read them from across the table - I also provide dice should the player not own any that are allowed, and paint the numbers as needed on anyone's dice.

2. No laptops on the table during the session other than the DMs if he needs one.

3. Pay attention and participate fully, or go home.

Minor Explanation because that sounds harsh: I have had players that didn't care to even attempt to remember what monsters they were facing, what their powers did, which mini on the table represented anything (including their own character), and would never bother getting ready for his next turn ahead of time... and then flat out refused to put any effort towards changing those behaviors when I asked him to because it was getting in the way of the rest of the group's fun. So now I have a rule to prevent that situation from dragging out the way it once did.


Edit: I am also about to add a "4" to the list - No cellphones... getting a bit out of hand with the cellphone thing now that I have 3 players with smart phones - one plays quiet games and still manages to pay attention, one texts a little and occassionaly checks out discussed topics on the internet but still manages to pay attention... and the third has an attention span you could measure on a ruler and wants to share everything cool he has ever heard about with everyone at the table and seems to think that me stepping away from the table for just a moment is an invitation to fire up silly internet videos or begin reading articles from cracked outloud to the group. He also has this tendancy to not realize that "please stop that," is something he should respond to in a way other than "Okay, hang on I've got one more."

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

This is not a ban, so much as it is a demand:

As a DM I have to have access to all player's character sheets/builds so that I can look them over and make sure there is no funny business. Most of the time this means having my players send me a pdf of the character from the character builder, but if the player isn't using it, then I have to have a list of feats and items the character has.
Give your players awesome loot: Loot by Type
- Saying "no" is effectively banned for the DM (as per DMG p.28)


Sweet!
Player: Does the red dragon have a 50 vulnerability to fire?
DM: I hate you...  Yes, and so do you while within 25 squares of the magic item generating that aura. It's somewhere in the hoard. Now, about that breath weapon...




Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
Table-Rules:

3. Pay attention and participate fully, or go home.



I have had this problem with one player in particular. When he bothers to turn up (which has been becoming more and more infrequent) we usually have to remind him when it is his turn and then have to wait while he re-reads his character sheet to decide what power he is going to use.

On the occassions he doesnt attend one of the other players has been running his character in addition to his own and most agree that the results are usually a lot better and smoother in these sessions.

As to mobile phones, the same player had a habit of sitting messing with his phone between turns until I said I would dance on it.

"Well that encounter was easy....er, guys, why is the DM grinning?" (party members last words)

It's not a party till the screaming starts!

Follow me on Twitter @Vobeskhan or check out my blog http://vobeskhan.wordpress.com/

mm, seems i have some decent players in my play group. not a lot of trouble with character sheets, mobile phones, attention span.
For dice i sometimes ask for readable dice, not always. Players can just say "i rolled a 17 so it is probally a hit"preventing all the calculating taking up time. sometime another will say the damage count on the table, mostly not needed but is a good check to prevent back-editing.
One of the things banned ON the table are these plastic, ceramic or glas objects containing liquid. Seems that they always fall over during combat and destroy some dungeon, temple and/or character sheets.
For my homecampaign i asked to keep the characters reasonable, an arms race cost me to much time that i want to spend on story. if they start again i will probably add more under level encounters(are deadlier in my case for some reason.)
Table-Rules:

3. Pay attention and participate fully, or go home.



I have had this problem with one player in particular. When he bothers to turn up (which has been becoming more and more infrequent) we usually have to remind him when it is his turn and then have to wait while he re-reads his character sheet to decide what power he is going to use.


I understand that some people play more seriously, and others more casually... but I don't get how someone could be so casually a gamer that they don't even really play when they show up to a session - it's like a "casual video gamer" that turns on a game and then sets down the controller until someone says "hey man, weren't you meaning to play that?"

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

1. We use Game Science dice, and the numbers have to be painted so I can read them from across the table - I also provide dice should the player not own any that are allowed, and paint the numbers as needed on anyone's dice.



I find this one just weird.  Culture shock, I guess.

We've got one player who never rolls physical dice at all if she can help it.  She's got Maptools open on her netbook with all her normal rolls macro'd, so she clicks an Encounter power's icon, puts in the number of targets and any mods, and it spits out the details of the power, the rolls versus each target, and the damage, all precalculated in one step.

Most of the time, nobody but her even *sees* her rolls.  And this isn't a problem for us - it's super fast, and we trust our players to not cheat.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
Since this is already three pages deep, at this point I think I'm mostly going to be tossing out +1s and caveats.

I like to ask my players to minimize the time that they spend flipping through books by having all descriptions of their powers, feats, features, and so on clearly available to them at all times.



Most of my players have their powers jotted down on notecards. One of my players actually printed the powers out, and put them on construction paper backings that she color-coded based on the power frequency colors. Personally, I use the larger 5" x 8" notecards, as I can store more per card. So I have all my basic stuff (ability scores, skills, character fluff) on one card, at-wills on another, encounters on another (divided into two columns for attack and utility), dailies on a 4th, with treasure/gear on the last card.

I should never see: "Attack: +10 vs. AC". That is not acceptable. What I should see is something like: "Attack +10 vs. AC (+4 (STR) +2 (proficiency), +2 (level) +1 (feat) +1 (weapon))". You should at all times be able to quickly give me a detailed breakdown of how you got to any number on your sheet. Because if I think that something sounds high and I ask you to break it down for me and you can't, then you're only going to get up to the bonus that you can remember.



As a DM, I think that's a little harsh. I just keep copies of everybody's sheets. If it sounds high, I'll check the sheet between sessions, and deal with any potential issues that arise as they come.

As a player? I'm going to start doing this, because I think breaking down the math into "how much from where" is actually a smart idea.

I would LIKE to ban cell phones, PDAs, texting gizmos and such, or at least mandate turning them off, but it seems untenable at the moment.



Heh, three of my players are married, and two of those are parents. Mobile phones are never turned off. Of course, our group doesn't really have a problem with it, so we're lucky, I guess.

I would also like to ban 'shaking your dice for five minutes before rolling'.



I have a player like this. He loads up his dice cup, stands up, starts shaking it, and then proceeds to describe exactly what he intends to do (including just how the power will affect the enemy he's attacking), and then slams the cup down up side down, and starts talking to the dice (which are, you know, already rolled at this point), before picking up the cup.

So. Damn. Annoying.

A couple of weeks ago, I got frustrated with him and remarked, "Dude, it's a d20, not your (censored). It can't be that much fun to play with."



Salla.....just....just, Salla....

What sort of rules do you have for your table, outside of game mechanics?



The most important rule at my table is probably pre-game. The first DM we had with this group, early last year, insisted that since game started at 7, people shouldn't show up too much before 7 (He had a wife/fiancee and insisted they needed time to spend together before game started and she went upstairs to do whatever). The problem was we rarely got through two encounters if we did anything else, and even then we usually ran late those nights. When we moved to our next hosting site, we started doing pre-game, and that has made everything go a LOT faster, because everybody gets all their socializing out of the way before game actually starts, so when we start rolling dice, we're ready to start playing.

As far as bans, I don't think we really have any. At least, not yet. The current group is only a few months old, so we may still be working a lot out, but I don't really feel like we've outright denied anything significant.


"Not only are you wrong, but I even created an Excel spreadsheet to show you how wrong you are." --James Wyatt, May 2006

Dilige, et quod vis fac

It may sound harsh, but minimizing the amount of time that is spent worrying about mechanics maximizes the amount of time that is spent thinking about role-playing, so it's worth it as far as I'm concerned.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
We've been playing the same game with mostly the same people now for about a year, and while I have seen a few of the issues noted here at my table, I really havent had enough problems to actually ban anything.

On laptops:  I would like it for more of my players to use them, I love the digital tools and apps that can make the game easier to run.  Though on the flip side I have had a vew issues with a player not paying attention, though that is more from my wife whom at the same time is holding out daughter.

On Dice:  I have a few players with spindown dice but they dont seem to be better off then the other players.

On talking:  Okay This one is actually the big one for me, but rather then baning table talk i think im going to try to just let people know that I dont want anyone talking across the table during other people's turns, I dont mind a little chit chat but when people aretalking acorss someone then it gets too distracting. 

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

On Dice:  I have a few players with spindown dice but they dont seem to be better off then the other players.

Why would they be? (This may require a separate thread.)

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

On Dice:  I have a few players with spindown dice but they dont seem to be better off then the other players.

Why would they be? (This may require a separate thread.)




Some people seem to think that spindown dice are not good for games, something about high numbers on one side for people who can roll it that way or something.

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

On Dice:  I have a few players with spindown dice but they dont seem to be better off then the other players.

Why would they be? (This may require a separate thread.)




Some people seem to think that spindown dice are not good for games, something about high numbers on one side for people who can roll it that way or something.



That, and put the die in the microwave with the '20' up for just a bit, the die will melt enough to weight it; so instead of having 20 and some random numbers more likely, you have 20,19, 18, 17, and 16 all clustered together.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
On Dice:  I have a few players with spindown dice but they dont seem to be better off then the other players.

Why would they be? (This may require a separate thread.)

Some people seem to think that spindown dice are not good for games, something about high numbers on one side for people who can roll it that way or something.

Well, cheating is assumed to be banned.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

1. We use Game Science dice, and the numbers have to be painted so I can read them from across the table - I also provide dice should the player not own any that are allowed, and paint the numbers as needed on anyone's dice.



I find this one just weird.  Culture shock, I guess.

We've got one player who never rolls physical dice at all if she can help it.  She's got Maptools open on her netbook with all her normal rolls macro'd, so she clicks an Encounter power's icon, puts in the number of targets and any mods, and it spits out the details of the power, the rolls versus each target, and the damage, all precalculated in one step.

Most of the time, nobody but her even *sees* her rolls.  And this isn't a problem for us - it's super fast, and we trust our players to not cheat.


I would support using a digital roller, except that my players have proven themselves unable to sit at a computer or smart phone without also lollygagging about across the internet.

I insist on Game Science dice because they have put an end to me rolling well all night every night and one of my players rolling terribly all night every night - we now both have good nights and bad nights, just like it should be.

The clause that I be able to read the die from across the table is more of a speed thing than a cheating thing - If I can see the die I can tell them when I know for sure they have succeeded before they even finish totalling the roll, and the game moves faster because of it.

The only anti-cheating clause I have ever needed is to say "I promise to never fudge a roll for or angainst your character, if you promise the same." It has worked on all but 2 players out of the hundred and twenty or so that I have gamed with... and those two... nothing can be done for some people.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.


I would support using a digital roller, except that my players have proven themselves unable to sit at a computer or smart phone without also lollygagging about across the internet.



Weird.  Like I said, That One Guy abuses his internet privileges, and even without techtoys he's not all that great at paying attention.  Everyone else?  Sometimes a text or a work email or a family call comes in, and they drop it quickly or pause it long enough to say "I'm sorry, I REALLY have to take this, my character Delays until I get back"

And sometimes that's the GM, and sometimes that means the game stops for a while and the players are stuck missing out on game-time.  That sucks, it really does, but **** sometimes happens.

It's not common and it's only called on when necessary - and that's good enough, for us.

I insist on Game Science dice because they have put an end to me rolling well all night every night and one of my players rolling terribly all night every night - we now both have good nights and bad nights, just like it should be.



This shows a VERY bad grasp of probability.  Even using truly random absolutely-impartial perfect-probability random number generators will NOT result in streakless play.  In fact, truly streakless play inherent requires nonrandomness.

Gamescience dice, which are still NOWHERE NEAR as good as real casino dice, will still streak across a session's worth of play - and that's normal and expected and will level itself out in the long run.

The clause that I be able to read the die from across the table is more of a speed thing than a cheating thing - If I can see the die I can tell them when I know for sure they have succeeded before they even finish totalling the roll, and the game moves faster because of it.



We do the same thing, without having a table rule for dice readability.  Unless a character is extremely accurate, "natural 4, I'm not doing the math" is a common statement.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.

We do the same thing, without having a table rule for dice readability.  Unless a character is extremely accurate, "natural 4, I'm not doing the math" is a common statement.



Yeah.  At my table, if a player announces "I miss", I just take their word for it and we move on.

(I might reconsider this if someone was abusing a few of the powers that are better on a miss, but it's never come up.)
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.

We do the same thing, without having a table rule for dice readability.  Unless a character is extremely accurate, "natural 4, I'm not doing the math" is a common statement.



Yeah.  At my table, if a player announces "I miss", I just take their word for it and we move on.

(I might reconsider this if someone was abusing a few of the powers that are better on a miss, but it's never come up.)



Persnicketiness makes me always ask "Why" when that happens.  "Natural 1!" is a good one. 

But I've sometimes found a character going "8, I miss" when I'm all "What the hell, that dude's defenses should be hittable on a 6".

(For the same reason, I always insist that players in a game I am running explain *what power they are using* and *what it does* when they say "A-ha!  I make that attack miss!")
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.

It's not common and it's only called on when necessary - and that's good enough, for us.

I am going to hazzard a guess that there is an age difference in our groups - mine ranges from 21 (mr. distraction) to 27 (myself)... I'm guessing your group is at least 4 years older on average.



This shows a VERY bad grasp of probability.


You misunderstand, I am not talking about using Game Science to prevent session long streaks - I am talking about using Game Science dice because they prevent the situation we were in beforehand where I would roll criticals 30% of the time every session for an entire period of over a year that I had spent monitoring the rolls because something "seemed off." My player that rolled poorly spent that year rolling less than 7 (a 30% chance on each roll) 71% of the time.

Now, with a switch in dice - that didn't necessarily need to be to Game Science, but was because that also helped with dice readability - we have session long streaks of good or bad rolls, not year long ones.


We do the same thing, without having a table rule for dice readability.  Unless a character is extremely accurate, "natural 4, I'm not doing the math" is a common statement.


Unfortunately, my players don't have as firm a grasp on things as they think they do... roughly half of the time they say "I missed," without telling me the total for the attack - they actually would have hit... so me keeping an eye on what they have actually rolled tends to help them not hinder themselves. It also speeds things up when a player rolls a 14 and starts to do math (I have two players that are exceptionaly slow at getting to the right number, and one that gets to the wrong number very quickly by forgetting temporary modifiers) when I can just say "that'll hit."

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

I am going to hazzard a guess that there is an age difference in our groups - mine ranges from 21 (mr. distraction) to 27 (myself)... I'm guessing your group is at least 4 years older on average.



Not a bad guess.  Our youngest member is, I think, 25, and she's not the problem.

You misunderstand, I am not talking about using Game Science to prevent session long streaks - I am talking about using Game Science dice because they prevent the situation we were in beforehand where I would roll criticals 30% of the time every session for an entire period of over a year that I had spent monitoring the rolls because something "seemed off." My player that rolled poorly spent that year rolling less than 7 (a 30% chance on each roll) 71% of the time.

Now, with a switch in dice - that didn't necessarily need to be to Game Science, but was because that also helped with dice readability - we have session long streaks of good or bad rolls, not year long ones.



That mostly sounds like "bad dice" in general.  But okay.

Unfortunately, my players don't have as firm a grasp on things as they think they do... roughly half of the time they say "I missed," without telling me the total for the attack - they actually would have hit... so me keeping an eye on what they have actually rolled tends to help them not hinder themselves. It also speeds things up when a player rolls a 14 and starts to do math (I have two players that are exceptionaly slow at getting to the right number, and one that gets to the wrong number very quickly by forgetting temporary modifiers) when I can just say "that'll hit."



Our group has an informal rule of thumb:  4- misses, 16+ hits, and anything in between means you do the math.  For certain monsters, the GM (or one of the other players!) will say "Are you sure?  Do the math!" if they think that's not right.

Still, that eliminates *half* of all die rolls, right there. And we have the advantage of having one person who is truly eidetic and two people who are just very quick at math - it only takes a round or two before everyone knows what the monster defenses *are* and what they require to hit 'em.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.

That mostly sounds like "bad dice" in general.  But okay.

That is precisely true... and it was mixed with weird luck when buying dice as the low-roller only had dice that would roll terrible, and I only had dice that would roll way too well (exacerbated by being the DM and rolling more often than players, so the dice bias was more noticeable).

We like Game Science because it is, typically, visually obvious that you have a bad die (like a chunk of one of the edges being missing, or a dent or bubble in the side of the die) and you can get them replaced for no charge.

Like I said though, the change in dice didn't have to be to Game Science for it to work... it just happened to fit for the group and we have stuck to it since.


Our group has an informal rule of thumb:  4- misses, 16+ hits


That's a pretty solid rule.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

I'm half-tempted to ban drinks at the table after our last session. A certain unnamed player spilled 32oz. of soda all over everyone else's books, power cards, dice, everything! The only crap that didn't get high-fructose corn syrup on it was HIS character sheet!