I’m not sure what happened, I went away from the game I loved, and suddenly everything became obsessed with rolling dice. Ride a horse = DC check, whatever happened to just doing stuff?
(I’m no intellectual, I don’t reference tons of source material like others, these are my thoughts, they are biased towards 2e and probably always will be.)
Back in the old days of 1e and even 2e where Non-Weapon Proficiencies were optional, you had to research the things you wanted to do, to know something about making a sword or lighting a fire for example. That’s a lovely idea, I have never tried it, so maybe it works, hell it would encourage role playing if nothing else, you’d actually have to describe what you wanted to do.
I like Proficiencies or even skills which I am learning slowly, knowing what your PC’s can do is handy, if you try blindfighting in the dark without the blindfighting proficiency (been there, done that), then be prepared for the consequences.
Back in the late 90′s, when the old guard of RPG designers handed the baton over to the new members, they put their mark on things. They decided to try to fix the game, to repair the flaws they found, granted the 2e rules weren’t quite right, so they went ahead and tried to fix it.
It all started with the Players Options, the idea of modifying your character to such an extent you can do anything, rolling became the thing to do…
Then we get 3e and its successors, they have defined the skill rules, making everything all nice and controlled. Only, what they did, (in my view) was get us hooked on rolling everything, every action is slowly becoming defined by the rules.
Why should you Role Play trying to obtain some info when all you need to do is roll a dice to get the outcome? For example, why bother trying to obtain information when all you need to do is roll a negotiation check? Now I get it that many people add bonuses for Roleplaying, these are added to the roll and actually rewards roleplaying.
Now I’m not saying I think the whole game should be diceless, everyone likes to know their characters have skills, we all want to know our PC’s excel at something, be it sword fighting, or tracking, even baking a nice loaf of bread, but is rolling for everything really required?
What do you think? Are we obsessed with Rolling Dice?