Dice Rollers & Automation

My time as a tabletop gamer has thoroughly turned me against technology when it comes to the gaming. I used to play some PC baseball sims, but anytime I try to get back into playing on the PC, it’s just too sterile. There’s something about watching the dice settle on the digits of their choosing, knowing that certain rolls are good or bad, and having the neurons and lobes make the necessary connections to piece together what happened. As opposed to clicking the mouse and instantaneously finding out the result.

Then there are dice rollers. These apps – you can find them on the web, in the appstore of most of your devices, or one can even design your own rolling spreadsheet – are somewhere between the processor and the gamer doing all the work. Throughout most of my gaming, I’ve been hesitant to even consider trying the dice rollers. It can feel a bit traitorous to turn your back on the ol’ plastic cubes.

But doing a 3rd playing of Buffalo at Oakland in my Second Season project (Oakland won Game 2 on a 35-yard Janikowski FG in overtime after a Lesean McCoy fumble) is making me reconsider.

The primary reason I’m going to try the roller when I get back to the game is because I’m using the Replay Game’s play calling chart. Using that requires you to roll 2 D6’s and a D20 to set the offensive and defensive plays. Add that to a D6 for personnel, 2 more D6’s for the actual play execution, and a D20 for rusher/intended receiver, and it feels like I’m throwing a fistful of rocks.

So this is my plan: I have a roller app picked out, which lets you customize colors and such. I will roll the 2D6/D20 playcalls, the personnel D6, and the rusher/intended receiver D20 on the app. Once I’ve nailed everything down, I will snap the ball with the black & white D6’s.

Maybe the biggest positive about a dice roller app is that you shouldn’t have to question the randomness generated from the app. The developer should have no reason to sabotage the mechanics of the random number generation. Because we’ve all been there, where your enjoyment gets interrupted by remembering that the last several throws have all been a bit too consistent.

Hopefully I’ll have a chance to post a video about all of this during the weekend sometime.

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