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February 24th, 2008
03:51 am
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There's one in every gaming group
Took a break from the campaign this week -- ended up playing a few rounds of Munchkin instead. As the last game of the night came to a close, I decided to play kingmaker:

Me: Alright, you're short by a point. Aaron, want my help for free?
Aaron: ...?! ... Sure!
Cole and Steven: WHAT? You can't do that! He'll win!
Me: I know. But you guys both made me lose my combat just now, and I'm the only character who wasn't even at level 9 at the time. Aaron didn't screw me over.
Cole: Aw, c'mon, that's not fair. We're talking about ending the game here! I've been nice to you all game and you're going to make him win just because I dumped on you once?
Me: Alright. Fine. (*thinks*) I'll give you a chance. Roll double sixes on 2d6 and I'll rescind my offer of help.

Cole's eyes light up.

He grabs his four Big Reds (old casino dice) from his bag. Tests them to see which are feeling generous tonight. Grabs the two highest. Stands up ...

... and down come boxcars.

'Course, this is also the guy whose AD&D character has no attribute less than 14, and whose d20 has long strings of refusing to roll anything less than an 18. Both with plenty of witnesses and on dice that don't roll equally well for others. This goes beyond Story Dice; this is a straight-up supernatural power. (He jokes that he's got a level or two in Fate Mage.)

Even Aaron ended up agreeing it was worth losing the game just to see that work. ("Cole, grab your character sheet.* You just earned a Fate Point**.")

--
* This isn't actually the first time that player actions have had character effects. We have a long-running campaign in-joke about the Pie skill. It has no actual in-game effects, but it exists and we can train up ranks in it. This is actually harder than it sounds, since the only way to get Pie points is to do something exceptionally cool out-of-game, usually but not always involving actual pie.
** House rule. Spend a Fate Point in-game to get an instant deus ex machina, like averting fatal damage or re-rolling any die just rolled. Only earned by doing something that probably should have required a Fate Point to pull off in the first place (like when I single-handedly routed a slaver camp).

Current Location: ~/brainstorm
Current Mood: amusedamused
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(11 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:taral
Date:February 24th, 2008 06:40 pm (UTC)
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Heh, did you steal that term from another system?
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From:baxil
Date:February 24th, 2008 09:18 pm (UTC)
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"Fate Points"? Probably, though I don't know its origin if so.
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From:taral
Date:February 25th, 2008 09:25 am (UTC)
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From:taral
Date:February 24th, 2008 06:50 pm (UTC)
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I wonder if he's just subconsciously worked out how to control die rolls. It is possible to bias dice if you know their starting position...
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From:baxil
Date:February 24th, 2008 09:21 pm (UTC)
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If so, it's at some really deep subconscious level, because most of the time, when he's not rolling strings of wild successes, he's either bottoming out with long strings of 1's and 2's (on rolls it would be beneficial to succeed) or else doing truly spooky things like matching Mike's rolls.

Often rolling before Mike does, I should add.
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From:taral
Date:February 25th, 2008 09:26 am (UTC)
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Yeah, rolling very low is apparently what happens when you "miss" an attempt to control the outcome (e.g. dice roll 90° too far).
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From:heron61
Date:February 24th, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC)
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I'm the same way with dice - it's one of the reasons I'm uninterested in diceless RPGs :) My partner Becca long ago ceased to be interested in playing backgammon or similar games with me, since her strategy is vastly better than mine, and yet I still almost always win. Playing backgammon against the only other "dice-a-kinetic" I've met was deeply amusing - the number of doubles rolled was truly impressive.
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From:baxil
Date:February 24th, 2008 11:56 pm (UTC)
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Huh. You've only met one other? Maybe I've just got an odd sample set, but I literally have (as the post title says) seen one of these in every gaming group I've played in.
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From:heron61
Date:February 25th, 2008 01:22 am (UTC)
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Now that you mention it, I've known two other than myself. One was the person I mentioned, the other was from my early college AD&D days, where no one considered my own dice talents particularly special, because this other person (perhaps his name was Marc) could roll a natural 20 on a D20 pretty much at will. We used critical hit rolls where a natural 20 was double damage, and rolling again and rolling 11+ was triple damage. He got a lot of triple damage. Once, our GM took Marc's D20, bought him a new one, and melted the old one down. That's when we discovered that it didn't matter what D20 he used.

Other than him and the other person I mentioned, the person in every group has largely been me :)
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From:kistaro
Date:February 25th, 2008 07:39 am (UTC)
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This is exactly why I shield the dice before playing Backgammon. A rather psychic friend of mine found her phenomenal luck with dice suddenly dwindled to statistical randomness after careful and thorough use of energy manipulation on the dice designed to make the dice free from psychic interference and unpredictable even with clarivoyance was, apparently, effective.
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From:natetg
Date:February 25th, 2008 04:29 pm (UTC)
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If you dice with a cup, you the amount of control is very limited.
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