Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Reaction Rolls Made Simple

Thanks to the thread about Jim Wampler's Mutant Crawl Classics, I learned about this man who makes specialty dice.  That die pictured? That's one of his emoticon dice. The picture is from his website.

I just asked about ordering several of them. Here's why:

In Dungeon Crawl Classics, normal ability modifiers range from -3 to +3. If you have an encounter where you need a reaction roll, and no Personality modifier is involved, roll one of these dice. If there is a Personality modifier involved, roll one die per point of modifier. If the modifier is a penalty, select the worst result. If the modifier is a bonus, select the best result. Instant reaction rolls!

If you need a reaction for the party as a whole, determine the total modifier and then roll that many dice (or one die, if the total modifier is +/-0.

Plus, the emoticons are easy to read. The images here are also from the dice webpage.

It is pretty easy to see how you can make modifiers by adding or subtracting dice to determine reaction as well.

(Of course, this is really all about wanting cool new dice.)


  1. I wouldn't know how to interpret the two on the left hand side of the bottom row... I guess the middle one is "very, very friendly, nudge nudge wink wink how's your father', if I remember my Menzter Basic correctly.

    1. Upper row, left to right: Friendly, Unfriendly, Neutral

      Lower row, left to right: Neutral but surprised/intrigued (make another roll after interaction, or determine from the quality of interaction), Friendly and helpful (takes you as a co-conspirator in some way), Angry (or otherwise repulsed by you)

  2. I use a die like this for social situations now and again and it works out fine.

  3. I use a die like this for social situations now and again and it works out fine.

  4. Huh. Not a bad idea at all.

    FATE dice could probably benefit from having "smiley" and "frowny" faces instead of its boring +/- symbols.

    1. Probably so.

      I am a big fan of Doctor Who, but I haven't found any of the published Doctor Who games really hit the spot for me. As a result, I am working on my own home version, taking what I like from FASA, Time Lord, and Adventures in Time and Space.

      One of the things I found cool about WotC's Betrayal at the House on the Hill is the use of dice marked "1", "2", and "blank" for task resolution. When I ordered my emoticon dice, I ordered those dice for a home version of Doctor Who. I.e., if you have a Strength of 3, and you are contesting a Cyberman with a Strength of 7, you each roll those special dice and highest total wins. The difference is, in some cases, how much damage the loser takes. An elegant mechanic from a fun board game.

  5. Just got my order in for these. Thanks for the recommendation.