Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

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Hereandnow
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Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by Hereandnow » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:08 am

I'm all with the spirit of "embrace chaos" (a.k.a. "roll in public") but I cannot stop being frightened about that, having played years by the traditional DM canon.

I confess that I find fully correct and part of the "key of the thing" to keep the Judge's rolls secret as well as any other information regarding the events of adventures.

When players get to have characters they are attached to (1st/2nd level) it becomes hard to give them always a second chance to avoid death and make them visit hells to ransom their lives when dice have spoken clear about their doom.
And to roll up always new characters can get silly and unsustainable as well, having them more or less similar to the former.

So does anybody here continue to follow the canon and to roll concealed embracing the chaos a little bit less than suggested, right behind its screen?
"A DM only rolls the dice because of the noise they make." (E. Gary Gygax)

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Re: Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by finarvyn » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:51 am

I like being concealed behind the screen best when I DM most games. For DCC RPG I tend to roll in the open, at least during the funnel process. After that, I often go into "automatic DM mode" and keep things hidden from players again.
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Re: Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by Ravenheart87 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:54 am

There are things that players shouldn't know, but find out instead. Some of these are based on rolls. Of course I roll these concealed.
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Re: Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by IronWolf » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:04 am

I roll in the open. Used to use a screen, but then had a DM for 3.x that didn't use a screen at all. I found it sort of refreshing and adopted the style myself.

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Re: Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by finarvyn » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:55 am

IronWolf wrote:I roll in the open. Used to use a screen, but then had a DM for 3.x that didn't use a screen at all. I found it sort of refreshing and adopted the style myself.
The tricky thing (for me) is that usually I'm more interested in having the players enjoy the game than I am of "being fair" and so I sometimes have to adjust some things on-the-fly. If monsters die too quickly to be fun I may add in a few hit points, if they are too strong for the players sometimes I subtract a few. Harder to do when rolls are in the open.

I guess it comes down to the fact that I'd like the battle to always seem close so that players always feel like they might lose at any time. A 8th level character going toe-to-toe with a single orc isn't memorable, but get that same character in a situation where he's down to a half-dozen hit points and it's a different story...
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Re: Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by Raven_Crowking » Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:08 am

Ravenheart87 wrote:There are things that players shouldn't know, but find out instead. Some of these are based on rolls. Of course I roll these concealed.
This.

Otherwise, I actually bought a fist-sized black d20 just to roll in the open, where the numbers are large enough to be read from anywhere at the table.

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Re: Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by TheNobleDrake » Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:24 am

finarvyn wrote:The tricky thing (for me) is that usually I'm more interested in having the players enjoy the game than I am of "being fair"
You may find, if you give them the opportunity, that your players enjoy the game even with the dice falling as they may - I say that because mine do.

I don't roll in the open, I do have a screen - having all the tables I might possibly look up (crits, deity disapproval, spellburn actions, corruption, attack modifiers, etc.) at my disposal is too valuable.

I do, however, have an open invitation to my players to audit any die roll I make if they wish... and am searching for a way (Crawler's Companion is nearly there) to get by running the game without a screen at all.

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Re: Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by TheNobleDrake » Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:30 am

Raven_Crowking wrote:
Ravenheart87 wrote:There are things that players shouldn't know, but find out instead. Some of these are based on rolls. Of course I roll these concealed.
This.

Otherwise, I actually bought a fist-sized black d20 just to roll in the open, where the numbers are large enough to be read from anywhere at the table.

RC
When rolling something that the player is not supposed to know the result of, I still roll in the open (or, as currently, invite them to check my dice any time they wish despite my screen) - I just toss a handful of dice onto the table so that they aren't exactly sure which one is the one for what I am actually rolling.

Example: if the players are in a dungeon and describing that they just started searching the chamber they are currently in, I might toss a d3, d10, and d20 - the players can see all 3, but aren't sure whether I am rolling their chance to find a secret door (on the d20), a wandering monster chance (on the d10), or a d30 for some reason (the d10+d3 together) they can't guess... at least until after the events have properly played out with them not having out-of-character knowledge to accidentally abuse.

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Re: Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by Coleston the Cavalier » Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:31 am

In one of the play tests with Joseph I participated in where he rolled out in the open, such random rolls conjured a battle goat to the party, allowed my cleric to turn a monstrously large demon frog and brought some really cool corruption on a 1st level magic user. Those moments help make DCC RPG so special.

But play the way you want. That's even what Joseph says in the rules.
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Re: Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by finarvyn » Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:59 am

Raven_Crowking wrote:
Ravenheart87 wrote:There are things that players shouldn't know, but find out instead. Some of these are based on rolls. Of course I roll these concealed.
I actually bought a fist-sized black d20 just to roll in the open, where the numbers are large enough to be read from anywhere at the table.
That's a neat idea. My local game shoppe has a couple of those in stock and I couldn't figure out why anyone would want one. Now I know and will probably pick one up myself. :lol:
Marv / Finarvyn
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Re: Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by sheriffharry » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:11 am

In my game the only concealed roll are "find trap" and such (if you don't find one, you shouldn't know it's because you failed the roll.)

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Re: Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by IronWolf » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:13 am

Coleston the Cavalier wrote:In one of the play tests with Joseph I participated in where he rolled out in the open, such random rolls conjured a battle goat to the party, allowed my cleric to turn a monstrously large demon frog and brought some really cool corruption on a 1st level magic user. Those moments help make DCC RPG so special.
I have really embraced the "let the dice fall where they may" philosophy with DCC for exactly the reasons you have noted above. Sometimes even the bad things that can happen add to the fun of the game.
Coleston the Cavalier wrote: But play the way you want. That's even what Joseph says in the rules.
This. We will all have our own ways of doing things - rolling in the open, behind the screen, fudging, not fudging, etc. If your group is having fun then you are doing it right.

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Re: Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by RevTurkey » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:52 am

I swear I roll in the open :D

I use a Dm screen to hide maps and notes but make those deadly rolls for all to see.

For certain rolls that the players should be uncertain about success... I roll a big bunch of dice, choosing the one that counts before in my head. That leaves them to a degree guessing...was it the red, blue, green or pink d20? I've been doing this for a few months and it is working pretty good.
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Re: Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by bitflipr » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:00 am

Once I replaced my DM screen with a iPad and stand I started rolling in the open.

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Re: Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by Colin » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:27 pm

TheNobleDrake wrote:When rolling something that the player is not supposed to know the result of, I still roll in the open (or, as currently, invite them to check my dice any time they wish despite my screen) - I just toss a handful of dice onto the table so that they aren't exactly sure which one is the one for what I am actually rolling.
Another good thing to do is simply roll some dice openly now and then for no reason whatsoever. This is useful for two reasons:

1) They never actually know if you're making a "secret" roll or not then.
2) It heightens paranoia and fear; "Aw man, does that roll mean something bad is about to happen or not?" ;)

There's really no need to conceal dice rolls behind a screen or hand when there are other great ways of concealing the roll "in the open."

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Re: Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by TheNobleDrake » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:40 pm

Colin wrote:
TheNobleDrake wrote:When rolling something that the player is not supposed to know the result of, I still roll in the open (or, as currently, invite them to check my dice any time they wish despite my screen) - I just toss a handful of dice onto the table so that they aren't exactly sure which one is the one for what I am actually rolling.
Another good thing to do is simply roll some dice openly now and then for no reason whatsoever. This is useful for two reasons:

1) They never actually know if you're making a "secret" roll or not then.
2) It heightens paranoia and fear; "Aw man, does that roll mean something bad is about to happen or not?" ;)

There's really no need to conceal dice rolls behind a screen or hand when there are other great ways of concealing the roll "in the open."

Colin
I do that too... but I always have to remember to roll more than just a d20 by itself - otherwise my players pick up their d20s and roll too, thinking I've just called for an initiative roll.

...though when I roll a d20 and any other die that is smaller, there is that one player that goes "What was that? Did we just get ambushed! Please don't be attacking my character, oh please don't, pleeeeeeeaaaase!" because even after years of me just randomly rolling dice expressly to cause tension it still works on him.

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Re: Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by Juggalo78 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:58 pm

I am a big fan of taking the rolls as they come, but that does not mean I always roll in the open. If I am using a game with a screen then I usually roll behind it for ease of table space. When monsters crit or the like I usually lift the screen and show it to them, but they know me by now to be fair. I don't like saving players with fake rolls, but I will allow the story to save them in spite of dice rolls depending on the situation.

Of course in DCC I will be quite unlikely to throw them any kind of life raft.

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Re: Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by Galadrin » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:41 pm

I love GM screens, but just use them to conceal my notes and iPad. I roll in the open!

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Re: Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by smathis » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:26 pm

Colin wrote:Another good thing to do is simply roll some dice openly now and then for no reason whatsoever. This is useful for two reasons:

1) They never actually know if you're making a "secret" roll or not then.
2) It heightens paranoia and fear; "Aw man, does that roll mean something bad is about to happen or not?" ;)

There's really no need to conceal dice rolls behind a screen or hand when there are other great ways of concealing the roll "in the open."

Colin
This is what I do. I don't use a DM screen. Or when I have, I usually just lay it flat to read the charts on the inside.

I've never had a problem keeping rolls the players aren't meant to see "secret". But I roll them in the open. Sometimes the players see them. Sometimes not. But they don't know what I'm rolling. And sometimes I'm just rolling a "Magic 20-sider", asking myself a mental question and treating "even" as a "yes and "odd" as a "no".

Questions like...

"Would I be a jerk if I had an Umber Hulk show up right now??? Oh look! The die says 'No'." :twisted:

All combat rolls (Initiatives, Saves, Damage, Attack Rolls) are made overtly in the open. I may fudge a creature's hit points down if a party is having a hard time. I rarely ever fudge them up.

But I don't fudge rolls. I dig the chaos and have fun trying to explain away unexpected results. Besides, any time I've played in a game where the DM rolls behind a screen it's often hard to not get suspicious when he rolls multiple 20s in a row. No one doubts the rolls when they're in the open. They just get a wide-eyed look of terror that somehow makes all those nights of Boss monsters being dropped in two combat rounds worth it.

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Re: Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by sheriffharry » Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:14 pm

I used to be in a D&D 3e campaign for 1 and half years and one of the player always rolled his D20 "concealed" by opening a hard cover book and rolling on the first page and then hastily removing the dice and closing the book. I don't think he ever rolled below 15 (no one could really see his dice clearly...), except once outside of combat. I mentioned it to the DM at some point and he simply raised his eyes. I understood later that this dude has been doing it for 10+ years and wouldn't discuss it or change his ways...

Stranger than strange...
o_0

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Re: Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by Nicomos » Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:09 am

sheriffharry wrote:I used to be in a D&D 3e campaign for 1 and half years and one of the player always rolled his D20 "concealed" by opening a hard cover book and rolling on the first page and then hastily removing the dice and closing the book. I don't think he ever rolled below 15 (no one could really see his dice clearly...), except once outside of combat. I mentioned it to the DM at some point and he simply raised his eyes. I understood later that this dude has been doing it for 10+ years and wouldn't discuss it or change his ways...

Stranger than strange...
o_0

I knew a guy like that. In fact he was the reason we adopted the "EVERYONE rolls in the open" rule years ago.

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Re: Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by finarvyn » Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:57 am

We have that rule, too, except that "everyone" doesn't include the DM. :wink:
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Re: Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by beermotor » Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:06 am

sheriffharry wrote:I used to be in a D&D 3e campaign for 1 and half years and one of the player always rolled his D20 "concealed" by opening a hard cover book and rolling on the first page and then hastily removing the dice and closing the book. I don't think he ever rolled below 15 (no one could really see his dice clearly...), except once outside of combat. I mentioned it to the DM at some point and he simply raised his eyes. I understood later that this dude has been doing it for 10+ years and wouldn't discuss it or change his ways...

Stranger than strange...
o_0
I played in a 2e game with a girl who did that. She was really stoked when her character got turned into a vampire. She was not happy when my character got possessed by a mace of disruption and attacked her (yes, she went splat). She never came back after that. The DM gave me a level for chasing her off, heh.

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Re: Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by Skyscraper » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:46 pm

I always roll in the open, now. I used to roll behind a screen for years, but I've stopped.

I even DM an online D&D game where we use offline dice rollers, and I haven't fudged a roll in 2 years of playing. I take 'em as they come.

It takes some getting used to, I'll admit. But IMHO, it's for the better.

To the argument that you want every battle to seem to be close for the PCs: don't worry if some seem too easy and some, too hard (where PCs need to flee or are killed). The players like easy battles, once in a while. It's refreshing. Hard ones become more memorable. And when a PC is killed, it's often great drama, all for the best. If PCs never die, the players will act more carelessly, they will be more relaxed, and the story may not be as charged. If you wish to reduce likelihood of PC death, adjust the opponents' strength - although it might happen even with that.

I use a screen on a small side-table that I install next to me, for hiding maps. No barrier between the players and me, and the dice fall on the large gaming table, there in the middle of everyone, with all players holding their breath every time a life's on the line.

Let the good times roll!
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Re: Anybody daring to swear he doesn't roll concealed? ;)

Post by Karaptis » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:08 pm

Being an agent of Chaos, I must let the dice roll in the open! :mrgreen:

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