#RPGaDAY2020 day 16 ~ Dramatic

Quit being so damned dramatic!

It’s no secret that one of the things that make RPGs so fun is the tendency for sessions to have moments of tension and drama . These can be planned and contrived, but they can show up on their own as a part of the natural course of game play.

In today’s video I talked about when to roll, but here I think I’ll take a different approach. As I’ve spoken about in the past, the actual chances of success or failure have a… dramatic impact on how tense the moment is. In one of my favorite moments in my first LotFP game back in 2010, my character was stuck onside in the cold freezing to death. The requirement to find my way back in was to roll three “ones” in 18 attempts on a d6, each attempt representing ten minutes. I immediately rolled a “1”, and the next 15 rolls yielded fours, fives, and sixes.

Against the odds, my final rolls were both “1”, and my character survived. It’s been a while since I did the math, but I think that my chances of rolling at least three ones in 18 rolls was something like 1 in 3. ~ That’s still dramatic, and there is something to be said for rolling once and letting it ride. Joe could have just told me to roll a 1 or a 2 in order to stay alive. However, in this case, when I just had two rolls left my chances of rolling 2 ones was only 1 in 36. Pretty nerve wracking. The last roll had a 1:6 chance of making it.

That was certainly a memorable moment, and one where the uncertainty and tension made things fun. Despite what Han Solo said, often the best thing to do is to tell me the odds.

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