31 August 2020

If I Were a Dice Artisan

This is just an idle thought scarcely worth mentioning, but since I'm close to my monthly deadline, I'll mention it. I wish I had the means to make my own specialty dice. If I did have the means, I would make 12 mm binary dice, hit location dice (to my own specifications for both d6 and d12), Ghost Dice that have five blank sides and a Ghost, and Wild Dice that have four blank sides and two special icon sides. 'Tis a pipe dream, but at least I've beaten my self-imposed deadline.

31 July 2020

Random Trait Value Generator for Ghostbusters

Sometimes you, as a Ghostmaster (and I'm assuming you're a Ghostmaster, but if you're not, let's just pretend), need to create a non-character player on the spot to interact with your players' characters. Perhaps you mentioned a bystander in passing or the player characters suddenly want to consult someone, and you had not considered generating the statistics for every living person on the planet. You fool!

Well, fear not. With one handy little table and three six-sided dice, you can easily generate the Traits of any non-player character in mere seconds. In fact, with slight modification this table could also be used by players who prefer the random generation of Traits to the standard point allocation method, so a second table is provided for starting player characters.

N.B. These tables are for use with the first edition Ghostbusters role-playing game. The author assumes no responsibility for their use in any other game, dimension, or plane of existence.

NPC Random Trait Value Generator
3d6Trait Value
3-41
5-82
9-123
13-154
16-175
186




PC Random Trait Value Generator
3d6Trait Value
3-41
5-82
9-123
13-164
17-185


30 June 2020

Binary Dice Notation

Dice notation is widespread in the role-playing game hobby. It's a succinct way of expressing a concept that could easily become tedious indeed. For those unacquainted with it, standard dice notation means that instead of stating something like "Roll three six-sided dice and add the resulting numbers," one would render it as "Roll 3d6." The first digit is the number of dice rolled; the second digit is the type of die based on the highest number it generates. (Note I did not say it is the type of die based on its number of sides, as they are not always equal, such as the d3 that has six sides numbered 1 through 3 twice.)

The question, then, is how does one apply dice notation to binary dice? (Before anyone suggests it, d2 is not a binary die. It's a die that generates a number between 1 and 2. A binary die generates a number between 0 and 1.)

There are many kinds of binary randomizers. At its most basic, a coin is a binary randomizer (tails = 0; heads = 1). Any even-sided die can be used as a binary die (odds = 0; evens = 1). One can even purchase (or make) six-sided binary dice that have an equal number of sides marked 0 or 1.

At one time, I thought of just using "R" (for "randomizer"). Roll 4R. That sounds awkward on the tongue, and "randomizer" is too generic to be meaningful. All dice are randomizers, after all. So, that's out.

I dabbled with "d1/0." Roll 4d1/0. But that's too long, and the slash can be confused with the symbol for division. No good.

For a time, I considered just "d1" or "D1" (the capital D having been popularized by that other system that only used one type of die, The D6 System). As I mentioned at the beginning, die types are denoted by the highest number they generate, and for the binary die, that would be 1. The problem I foresee with D1 is having to explain it endlessly. I'm already exhausted contemplating it. That being said: Roll 4D1. It sounds too similar to "Roll forty-one." I don't like that.

Today, it occurred to me that I could use "C" as the notation. "C" is for "coin," the most basic randomizer, binary or otherwise. Roll 4C. This could mean roll four binary dice or toss/flip/throw four coins. (One doesn't ordinarily "roll" coins for this purpose.) I don't hate this idea, and it's almost reassuringly similiar to "Roll 4D" from the various D6 games. Still, "Roll four coins" is counterintuitive, and that annoys me. I could dispense with the verb "roll," but I hesitate to replace it with "throw." Throw 4C. Hm...

Perhaps the most elegant method I've seen is found in Risus: The Anything RPG. The dice notation for this D6-centric game is merely a number surrounded by parentheses. Roll (4). I like that. "Roll four" in binary terms can literally mean "Roll four binary randomizers of your choice." If I wanted to universalize the randomizing activity so it applies equally to dice and coins, I suppose I could use the word "shake." Shake (4). It's by no means standard in role-playing (although it is in Yahtzee), but maybe that's appealing. Hm...

Well, I'm still undecided, but writing this has provided more food for thought, and that inspires me, which is a good thing. So, adieu until next time.

31 May 2020

Star Wars D6 and Me

I suppose I ought to have posted this earlier this month (May the 4th?), or perhaps last year when I bought it (I think), but here is a nearly somewhat adequate photo of me holding the first Star Wars role-playing game I have ever purchased, the 30th Anniversary reissue of the first edition of the original Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, on the day I bought it.


First published by West End Games, this reissue by Fantasy Flight Games includes the first two volumes in a slipcase, and is considered by many to be the greatest RPG adaptation of Star Wars. (There are those who consider Risus to be the greatest medium for Star Wars role-playing, albeit in an unofficial capacity, but I have not yet had the pleasure to test this equally plausible claim.) This is not a review, since I'm still awaiting the chance to play it, but I will say that I like what I've read.

20 April 2020

Free Risus Adventure with Slimes

S. John Ross writes in Tabletop Indigo that a new fantasy adventure for Risus: The Anything RPG called Slimes of Blossom Grove is now available via DriveThruRPG, and it's free.

Thank you, S. John Ross!

17 April 2020

Simple Critical Miss Table for Rifles

[This article is part of a series of system neutral Six-Sided Critical Miss Tables.]

Standard rifles are noted for their reliability, but even they fall prey to the occasional critical miss. The eleventh table in our march of mayhem is for use with rifles (and carbines):

Critical Miss Table for Rifles
1d6Result
1Drop weapon.
2Weapon jams.
3Weapon jams and slips from grasp.
4Ricochet in random direction.
5Ricochet in random direction.
6Mechanism breaks.


Random directions for firearms, whether caused by accidental discharge or ricochet, may be determined by the usual means (1d6 for hexes, 1d8 for squares, or a compass die) modified by a roll on the following table:

1dFResult
+Upward vertical
0Horizontal
-Downward vertical


A d6 may be substituted if your Fudge dice are AWOL.

16 April 2020

Simple Critical Miss Table for Rubber Band Guns

[This article is part of a series of system neutral Six-Sided Critical Miss Tables.]

Mishaps with rubber band guns are not uncommon, and the frequent result is the inadvertent shooting of oneself, which rarely results in anything more serious than a brief stinging sensation. Our tenth table of tribulation is for use with rubber band guns:

Critical Miss Table for Rubber Band Guns
1d6Result
1Drop weapon.
2Weapon misfires.
3Drop weapon; discharges in random direction.
4Shoot self.
5Shoot self.
6Shoot self in eye.


Random directions for rubber band projectile weapons, whether caused by accidental discharge or ricochet, may be determined by the usual means (1d6 for hexes, 1d8 for squares, or a compass die) modified by a roll on the following table:

1dFResult
+Upward vertical
0Horizontal
-Downward vertical


A d6 may be substituted if your Fudge dice have mysteriously (or not-so-mysteriously) disappeared.

[Originally posted in Fudgery.net/fudgerylog on 30 November 2011.]

15 April 2020

Simple Critical Miss Table for Machine Guns

[This article is part of a series of system neutral Six-Sided Critical Miss Tables.]

Even the most fearsome weapons have disadvantages. Our ninth table of frustration is for use with machine guns (mounted or otherwise):

Critical Miss Table for Machine Guns
1d6Result
1Weapon jams.
2Weapon jams.
3Ricochet in random direction.
4Ricochet in random direction.
5Trigger stuck.
6Mechanism breaks.


Random directions for firearms, whether caused by accidental discharge or ricochet, may be determined by the usual means (1d6 for hexes, 1d8 for squares, or a compass die) modified by a roll on the following table:

1dFResult
+Upward vertical
0Horizontal
-Downward vertical


A d6 may be substituted if your Fudge dice are missing in action.

[Originally posted in Fudgery.net/fudgerylog on 12 October 2011.]

14 April 2020

Simple Critical Miss Table for Ray Guns

[This article is part of a series of system neutral Six-Sided Critical Miss Tables.]

Even ray guns are not foolproof, and happenstance mistakes can wreak havoc with high technology. The eighth table in our escapade of errors is for use with ray guns, blasters, lasers, masers, phasers, and even Acme disintegrators:

Critical Miss Table for Ray Guns
1d6Result
1Drop weapon.
2Drop weapon; discharges in random direction.
3Weapon drained of power.
4Weapon overheats and slips from grasp.
5Weapon melts.
6Weapon explodes.


Random directions for ray guns may be determined by the usual means (1d6 for hexes, 1d8 for squares, or a compass die) modified by a roll on the following table:

1dFResult
+Upward vertical
0Horizontal
-Downward vertical


A d6 may be substituted if Fudge dice are not in proximity.

[Originally posted in Fudgery.net/fudgerylog on 20 September 2011.]

13 April 2020

Simple Critical Miss Table for Muzzleloaders

[This article is part of a series of system neutral Six-Sided Critical Miss Tables.]

Primitive firearms have their own unique mishaps, from the misfire that requires a complete reloading of the weapon (usually a time-consuming process) to the explosion that requires last rites. Our seventh table of tribulations is for use with muzzleloaders:

Critical Miss Table for Muzzleloaders
1d6Result
1Drop weapon.
2Weapon misfires.
3Weapon misfires and slips from grasp.
4Ricochet in random direction.
5Mechanism breaks.
6Weapon explodes.


Random directions for firearms, whether caused by accidental discharge or ricochet, may be determined by the usual means (1d6 for hexes, 1d8 for squares, or a compass die) modified by a roll on the following table:

1dFResult
+Upward vertical
0Horizontal
-Downward vertical


A d6 may be substituted if Fudge dice are scarce in your vicinity.

[Originally posted in Fudgery.net/fudgerylog on 3 June 2011.]