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Sunday, June 24, 2018

The Tavern Chat Podcast - Episode #39 - OD&D: Stop! Don't Let the Players Roll D' Dice

I've owned my copy of the OD&D White Box (OCE) for at least 15 years. I probably pull it off the shelf to read it at least once a year. Somehow I missed the follow following each time:

Go figure.
Tip of the hat to The Tavern's Discord Community for inadvertently giving me today's topic of discussion. Player's don't even roll their characters in OD&D - the DM does.
Thank you Elfstar.

Link to Episode #39

Link to The Tavern's Discord Community


  1. collect white cox, huh?

  2. Why have the referee roll the dice? First, it's closer to the wargaming roots. The referee set up the game, including preparing the characters for play. Generating stats has nothing to do with player agency, it's what happens after, and wasn't even a thing in the context of OD&D as the focus was dungeoncrawling as far as the game was concerned. Of course, a significant advantage of having a referee rolling is to eliminate accusations of loaded dice or falsified rolls.

  3. Players are loathsome swine who don't deserve to feel those sweet, sweet dice in their abhorrent hands!

  4. With the high threshold for bonuses and penalties, why use attributes at all in OD&D? It doesn’t matter much who rolled them.

    1. There are many ways a referee can use the attribute numbers besides assigning bonuses or penalties. Rolling against the scores, comparing scores to determine chances of success, etc. Any referee worth his or her salt knows this.

  5. I've been thinking of late, that it was a work around for the "fact" that there was only one set of dice. The set that came with the box. And further, the presumption that the host, DM, and owner of the box, are all one and the same. So, he who owns the dice, gets to use them, and doesn't have to loan them out.

    More and more, I see little "this is how we do it, so it's how everyone will do it" rules and mechanics in those first rules.

  6. Amazing to look at Xylarthen's sample stats compared to what's considered typical today. Jeez, I think I'd rather play a peasant with 10s straight across!

    1. Yeah, I noticed that too. Three of the scores are below 10, and the highest is 13.

      Were the original stats for Tenser, Bigby etc. all as bad I wonder.

  7. This idea still exists with DCC. Lots of people use the Purple Sorceror online generator to print out batches of 0-level characters. Not even the GM is rolling at that point, just a computer. ;)



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