Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Dice in the Open vs. Concealed, by Game

This post by Talysman is pretty timely, as I've been reviewing how I run AD&D vs. how I run GURPS.

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but I run die rolls two different ways in my two different games:


Pretty much everything except damage and player-facing effects rolls (or a roll to see who is affected) are secret. To hit, defenses, resistance, etc.

Sometimes I'll roll wandering monster rolls in front of everyone just to make a point about people spending a lot of in-game time in a dangerous place.

My players are too good at figuring out stats from data derived from successive combat actions and then making plans based on those odds. That's not something I want for my GURPS game.


I roll almost everything out in the open. Only rolls specifically called out by modules as needing to be secret are rolled in secret. I announce AC, roll damage, roll initiative, saving throws, etc. all in the open. For me, it's part of the fun of taking an AD&D vacation is getting to relax and play it all in the open.

Back in the day I used a DM screen. These days it sits flat for use for tables only. It's all in the open.

Do you play different games with different approaches to die roll secrecy?


  1. Not that I can think of, I really don't know the last time I rolled something in secret. Earthdawn, D6, GURPS makes no difference

  2. I stopped with secret rolls a long time ago and haven't ever looked back. Just don;t see the point and it means I'll never have a Player question whether the roll was 'fudged' or not.

    1. I've never had one of my players question if a roll was "fudged." Concealing rolls, for me, is all about concealing information you don't know in game but would be revealed by a data-gathering players seeing the rolls.

    2. I stopped caring about trying to 'hide' information from my Players. If they can't separate in and out of game knowledge, they have no place at the table.

      And yeah I've had randos at FLGS games get cute trying to call out 'fudging' rolls. Which was the first reason i stopped doing hidden rolls and just became absolutely jack-booted about in and out of game knows.

      At my home game, and especially for something like DF, I'm a lot more relaxed about 'crossing the streams'.

    3. Okay, I do conceal some knowledge, but that's in not telling the Players what all their bonuses and penalties are if their Characters wouldn't know.

    4. I personally think if your seeing the monster dodging and trying to hit you then you should have a pretty good idea how strong it's Kung Fu is. ' It rolled a 13 and it dodged' should be pretty well observable as 'this thing has moves like a hummingbird'

    5. I never said I don't communicate information to my players, I just don't do it by letting them see what I roll and announcing the numbers.

  3. I like players seeing 'oh it rolled a X and it made it's dodge it's dodge must be >Y'


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