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Author Topic: Help With Dice Rolling Problem
dan2448
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 1199
Post Help With Dice Rolling Problem
on: February 3, 2013, 05:34

As I've mentioned here before, I periodically play a rudimentary super hero RPG with my 6 year old daughter. Our game is very 'rules lite,' partly because of her age but also because I prefer to emphasize abstract imagination and problem solving skills in our little father-daughter game.

But a recurring problem is emerging. Increasingly over time, my daughter has taken to rolling dice 'in secret' (usually under our living room coffee table). And increasingly she reports that the 20-sided die is always coming up "20" ('miraculously') when she does so.

When this tendency first emerged, I just let it go because I enjoyed the challenge of having to alter the narrative 'on the fly' to keep the game challenging despite her PCs' stunning success rates. But she's now doing this with every die roll. Yesterday, I found myself unable to overcome that when it became perpetual. So I now need to solve this problem.

I could, of course, insist that she roll her dice on top of the coffee table like I do, accompanied by a passing life lesson about the importance of fair play and transparency. And, in the absence of any other solution, I'm going to do something like that the next time we play. But I'd prefer a more indirect, creative solution to the problem. And I can't think of one myself.

Any ideas?

Majestic
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 2685
Post Re: Help With Dice Rolling Problem
on: February 3, 2013, 15:00

I think your plan to instruct on the importance of honesty and transparency is the perfect response here, Dan. It's an excellent lesson on how cheating can end up robbing us of the opportunity to learn, and how it can hurt both ourselves and others in the long run.

If this were one of my players (who sometimes use teeny-tiny dice, or do suspect things like this), I'd suddenly reverse things on them. In other words, I'd call for a d20 roll for something else (not a "to hit" roll where they know what number they want,or that a "20" always hits), and then let them know that to succeed they needed to roll opposite of what they thought (i.e., when they respond with a "20" I'd inform them that for a success with this roll they needed a "1", so instead they now have the equivalent of a critical failure, or the worst possible outcome!).

But with our children it's a little different. As a parent it's our responsibility to teach them what's right, and situations like this become great opportunities for learning and teaching.

Best of luck with it. :)

Doug

V&V GM and player since 1982 (my current campaign is 22 years old); also run West End Games d6 Star Wars monthly, as well as the occasional The One Ring and Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game

Tempest
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 254
Post Re: Help With Dice Rolling Problem
on: February 3, 2013, 19:26

I agree pretty much entirely with your own point of view and Majestic's, Dan - the only other note I can possibly make is with regard to noting how excruciatingly boring unending, unchallenging success can be. If there's any way to swing it, I'd push for a point about how a welcome success was all the more satisfying because of the chance that things could have - and undoubtedly did, at least at one point - go wrong. A collorary point might be that part of understanding that this is a game is that just because a roll messed up, that doesn't mean things are ruined forever - like in life, we'll almost always have a chance to try it again and make it better.

That being stated, it's now time for me to get hot leaden revenge for those rolls I screwed up in my brother's last V&V game. Where the hell did I put that AK-47...?

Justice
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 1114
Post Re: Help With Dice Rolling Problem
on: February 4, 2013, 00:31

Children want to "win" and I am ashamed to admit that I am not too far from your daughter's desire to see each roll come up the way I want it to.

I think Majestic's "unexpected reversal" has merit, but soon she will ask "High or Low Daddy?" and you will be forced to tip your hand anyway: that you are no longer trusting of her rolls.

You may also ask her to make several rolls and tell her they will be used later.

Then use those rolls for the villains.

If she does not like this "using" of her "good rolls" then let her know the only way she can keep her rolls is to roll them openly instead of secretly.

"If you get to roll secretly, I get to let the villains use them - secretly."

A little manipulative, but we are already in the "You MUST trust what I do to WIN." box.

You want your daughter to win by good and excellent methods. Not by cheating.

I will lift you up in prayer to have wisdom in the matter and kindness in correcting.

peace
justice

IndieComic-
sFan
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 536
Post Re: Help With Dice Rolling Problem
on: February 6, 2013, 12:35

This is exactly why I am glad I am not a parent. Unlike Dan and Majestic finding ways to teach life lessons, I would probably ruin the kid's life somehow. My own 'solution' would have probably been something along the lines of I myself keeping my dice rolls hidden and announcing miraculous 20s until she got the point and when she turned 18 we would celebrate by me bailing her out of jail no doubt.

dan2448
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 1199
Post Re: Help With Dice Rolling Problem
on: February 6, 2013, 17:21

Quote from IndieComicsFan on February 6, 2013, 12:35
This is exactly why I am glad I am not a parent. Unlike Dan and Majestic finding ways to teach life lessons, I would probably ruin the kid's life somehow. My own 'solution' would have probably been something along the lines of I myself keeping my dice rolls hidden and announcing miraculous 20s until she got the point and when she turned 18 we would celebrate by me bailing her out of jail no doubt.

This just made me laugh out loud after a long day!

dan2448
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 1199
Post Re: Help With Dice Rolling Problem
on: March 15, 2013, 08:12

In case anyone here is interested at all in how I ultimately dealt with this problem, in the end I addressed it by 'rolling dice in secret' myself, and therefore always coming up '20' as well ("miraculously"). At first my daughter protested ('you can't do that, too"), but after those protests fell on deaf ears she changed her play style, as I'd hoped, to significantly de-emphasize the dice rolling to focus more on problem solving without combat.

We're going to try to play again this weekend. At the start, I'm going to suggest that we mutually agree to a new rule banning 'secret dice rolling.' We'll see......

IndieComic-
sFan
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 536
Post Re: Help With Dice Rolling Problem
on: March 16, 2013, 13:36

Holy cow! My idea for insuring a hypothetical child's criminal career and/or psychiatric trouble was somehow used for good?!

Justice
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 1114
Post Re: Help With Dice Rolling Problem
on: March 16, 2013, 18:23

He hasn't bailed her out yet, ICF - but it's looking promising! :D

dan2448
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 1199
Post Re: Help With Dice Rolling Problem
on: March 17, 2013, 07:28

Quote from IndieComicsFan on March 16, 2013, 13:36
Holy cow! My idea for insuring a hypothetical child's criminal career and/or psychiatric trouble was somehow used for good?!

Hah! We'll see, Tony!

In the end, we didn't have time to play yesterday. Hopefully we will today.

I decided against my own suggestion (i.e. a serious conversation about fair play and 'sportsmanship'), because I had been very intentionally trying not to turn our games into a competition between her (as the player) and I (as the GM). Instead, I had been trying to keep our RPG closer to a free form kids' 'play game' like "cowboys and indians." (Though as a little girl, her play games are more often 'restaurant' and 'school'.)

I planted some related seeds with her the other day. Out of the blue she has started to like watching the new "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" cartoon on Nickleodeon. (I assume because other kids at school mentioned it.) I noted for her how the story is made more fun because the turtles don't always succeed at everything they try at first. Sometimes they fall down, or are defeated in battle initially. But in the end they win, I noted for her, and that's made more special because they'd sometimes failed along the way.

Time will tell if that lesson sunk in....

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