Thoughts on Rolling All Dice for Players - Myth-Weavers

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Thoughts on Rolling All Dice for Players

Thoughts on Rolling All Dice for Players

Hi all,

I am relatively new to these parts, and I am thinking of trying to get a campaign going. I have not done much PbP before, but from just about everything I've read, it seems that losing momentum is a common problem, and it most frequently rears its head with combat. To try to keep a game going at a reasonable clip, I was thinking of suggesting in my campaign that I would roll all dice, and also that I would do this outside of posts. I have no interest in trying to cheat players or TPKs, but I think it would be a lot faster for me to simply roll initiative on a die, tell players the order, get their actions (simultaneously for all players), roll everything, type out what happens, then go to the next round. Plus, to be up front, I would fudge the occasional die roll to be in the player's favor or to speed the game along (we don't need another round of combat if Harry the Kobold is clinging to 1 hp). I'd be clear to the players on this point. Again, I'm not trying to wipe the PCs out or be duplicitous; it just seems this could help keep the game moving more quickly.

I'd plan to do more or less the same thing outside of combat as well, again to keep the game moving.

I am wondering if this style is frowned upon, or if it's okay as long as you're up front about it. I suppose another option is to do more or less the same thing but show all die rolls to players, but you seem to lose the abiilty to fudge things every once in a while, and therefore you could end up with a dead party.

Thanks to all for reading and considering. Apologies if this has been debated ad nauseam before. I did find an old thread about it, but thought I would canvas current opinions.


I wouldn't do it, and I certainly wouldn't play in a game where the GM thought it was a good idea.

The games I like to play are designed around giving narrative power to the players to roll their dice, interpret those rolls, and turn those results into narration that moves the story forward. I wouldn't have much interest in posting what I do and then waiting for someone else to roll for me and tell me what I did.

It really depends on your players. I wouldn't personally mind, but others might, as they could feel that you are taking away some of their agency or fun. To be fair, if people aren't superstitious, it shouldn't matter *who* is making the rolling, as the results are anyway random, so in my opinion the 'agency' argument is moot. However, when the fate of a character hangs on a roll, players may feel cheated if you are the one making said roll (e.g. an important saving throw or something of the sort). Also, many gamers really-really like to roll dice, so taking that away from them might be a turn off, and this point is more legitimate imo.

I would also not prohibit players from doing things proactively and rolling for it... e.g. 'I try to sneak, here's my roll'. You might want to restrict GM rolling to reactive actions only, such as initiative or saving throws. So telling your players beforehand and giving some mutually agreed upon rules (e.g. if you don't post in 12 h, I'll make the roll for you) is probably the best way to go.

This wouldn't help. In fact, it would make things worse, as the character has to post their actions, then wait for you to do their rolls for them so they know what happens and they can finish their posts, as opposed to just posting with all their actions and rolls.

Reducing necessary back-and-forth is essential.

Another issue with losing momentum is overburdened GMs. This places a huge amount of additional burden on the GM.

Wouldn't care, personally.

Any system with Initiative rolls should at the least have the GM doing this for that, in PbP (or otherwise handling it differently).

I'm all for it. I did this as a DM when I used to run PBEM games and it worked out great. The players would respond with their intended actions and based on the rolls that I got, I would write the results of said actions. Besides let's face it, most actions require the DM to let the player know whether they failed or succeeded anyway. However, once I started DMing games here at MW, I quickly discovered that most players want to roll the dice for whatever reason.

I have both run and played in games where the DM rolled all of the dice, as well as games where the players rolled all the dice. Both can work just fine, though players do prefer to roll their own dice.

On the other hand. I vastly prefer any and all dice rolls to be taken at face value, rather than for any fudging to occur. I don't care if that kobold has one 1 hp. There is a chance that he could nat-20 crit and kill the party tank, and he should get it. Or even if he is able only to do a single point of damage. That is 1 hp that will not be available to the party later, and could make all the difference in the world.

Have the GM roll the dice will not speed anything up if the GM allows players to take forever to post. Majority of the party would post within two days, and we would wait for days (or even a week) for the remaining players to straggle in. I found that combat goes faster by having the GM set a time limit for combat posting. e.g. The GM will determine your action if you haven't posted within 3 days.

I agree with AgentD's comment about initiative rolls. My first game GMing on MW was a rescue game. The players had been rolling initiative. It just slowed things down, and I would end up rolling nearly 50% of the character initiatives. After that game, I decided to roll all initiatives.

Lots of people are very passionat about rolling the dice and having control of certain things. That said, For the past several years I have rolled Initiative and, for games involving Saving Throws, I roll those too. It speeds things up.


Dice Roll: 1d20+7z
d20 Results: 18 (Total = 25)
Scorpion attackvs AC 12 (25)
Dice Roll: 2d4z
d4 Results: 1, 2 (Total = 3)
Damage if hit (3)
Dice Roll: 1d20-1z
d20 Results: 12 (Total = 11)
Con Save vs Poison DC19 (11)

"The scorpion's tail arcs over its back, slamming into your chest. As it withdraws the stinger, you look down to see greenish fluid leaking out with your own blood. And then the burning begins and you feel weak."

I'm with Tattered on this - it works to a degree, but usually I like to give my players the option to roll most of the dice. However, if it speeds things up, I will roll for the players (usually saving throws or dodging), but I keep all those rolls very obvious of what's involved, mostly to cover my ass if I get the math wrong LOL

When I used to run BESM years ago, many of my players would give me a pre-emptive defense roll during combat. This helped me out, since I didn't have to wait on anyone to give me a roll to dodge. This worked out with my chaotic style of running combat, where everyone would declare their actions, regardless of initiative, then I'd line it up and declare the results.

Regardless, if you're going to do this method, make sure that your players know well ahead of time. Transparency is important with these things.


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