May the Dice Gods forever seek your head on a pike. #dice #red #black #gold
We are a dedicated bunch to various hobbies and games.
We are here to offer articles and podcasts for what we love to do.
May the Dice Gods forever seek your head on a pike. #dice #red #black #gold
I’m such a nerd. #D&D #NewRuleset
$5 for the Arcane Legions starter box. This is 120+ minis guys. Get on it!
I wont make a promise I can’t keep. But I’ve been feeling like making a come back using some new help and some help with old friends. I’m not sure if we’ll be using the same name. I’ll keep everyone posted with what is happening behind the scenes as things devolpe. So far there are a lot of exciting ideas we have circling around that weren’t always possible before. Thank you to anyone who has stuck around for this black out. If we do come back we are coming back better than ever.
It is with a heavy heart that I say Dice Troop will be disbanding….
Though I could simply list the reason why, I thought I would turn this into a personal story on how this group formed to begin with…..
About a year and a half ago I made the sacrifice to move back to MA to be with my sick father. During this time I also became quite ill. There wasn’t a whole lot I wanted to do. I would just sit in my room and think how the world would be a better place without me. It was a dark time but not as dark as earlier in the year. Feeling myself slipping I decided it would be best to keep my mind occupied I picked up Warhammer and painting again. That got me thinking…I wonder if there are others like me online.
It turned out there was! I formed a fantastic group of people called Skypehammer. We quickly became a pretty close group of people. It didnt take long for me to notice there were some talented people who agreed that we should form some sort of project group. Then we became Dice Troop.
I thought it would be cool to do an online video news shows on table top. We had our ups, our downs, and now we are coming close to an end. The main reason were disbanding is we all have a lot to do with in our lives. Some of us have kids and families, others work really hard to go to school to become actual game designers. So needless to say we don’t have the time or dedication to be what we once were.
As for me, I’ve had a bit of clarity in my life. I originally started this as a way to mitigate my wandering mind to make sure I didnt have any bad thoughts. As of late it seems I haven’t been having them of late. Things have been going better in my personal life and I’m on the road to recovery. I will still be seeing a doctor but I don’t think it will be for long.
So it is with mutual agreement that we are to disband. I will keep the blog running for a bit longer since I might post a couple of more articles. Our contest winner did get in contact with us so he will still receive our prize.
There is nothing to say we might return one day. Maybe even better than before. But for now…I will say goodbye. And if youd like you can follow us all on our person blogs.
I want to thank everyone who gave me tremendous support in forming this and to those who have been viewing our content this whole time. there are some who even donated money to us which is amazing! I feel like I owe you all a a piece of my life as Dice Troop has helped me so much in a way I cannot explain.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
So our giveaway winner hasn’t gotten back to us in over a week. We might draw a new winner if he doesn’t respond in a few more days.
Magic: the Gathering - Nutty Squirrel Tokens
ultrabeige from Reddit has some fine squirrel tokens but not using them quite correctly in a Selesnya token deck. Suggested serving is Squirrel Mob, Deranged Hermit and an Overrun effect.
Remember kids - An army of squirrels is still an army.
When a player agrees to enter into the system of a game, they often also agree to accept a role within the game. This role is not as specific as a class or ability, but rather a social role that operates within a system of social relationships that are cultivated within the game system. For the most part, roles are not fixed, and may change many times over the course of a game. A player could be a team leader, then a bitter rival, then a winner-take-all individualist, then a complete philanthropist over the course of a game.
Richard Bartle, a designer of online games known as MUDs, has examined players to fit into four specific social roles when playing games online in a social setting. This was first introduced in the essay “Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players Who Suit MUDs”. Bartle’s Theory of player roles is that there are four types of roles, or playing styles: Achievers, Explorers, Socializers, and Killers. Although many players assume hybrids of these roles, Bartle proposes that one is generally dominant in each player.
He describes the roles in the following manner:
“Achievers [diamonds] regard points-gathering and rising in levels as their main goal, and all is ultimately subservient to this. Exploration is necessary only to find new sources of treasure, or improved ways of wringing points from it. Socializing is a relaxing method of discovering what other players know about the business of accumulating points…Killing is only necessary to eliminate rivals or people who get in the way.
Explorers [spades] delight in having the game expose its internal machinations to them. They try progressively esoteric actions in wild, out-of-the-way places, looking for interesting features … and figuring out how things work. Scoring points may be necessary…but it’s tedious, and anyone with half a brain can do it. Killing is quicker, and might be a constructive exercise in its own right …. Socializing can be informative as a source of new ideas.
Socializers [hearts] are interested in people, and what they have to say. The game is merely a backdrop, a common ground where things happen to players. Some exploration may be necessary so as to understand what everyone else is talking about, and points-scoring could be required … Killing, however, is something only ever to be excused if it’s a futile, impulsive act of revenge perpetrated upon someone who has caused intolerable pain to a dear friend.
Killers [clubs] get their kicks from imposing themselves on others. [Killers] attack other players with a view to killing of their personae … The more massive the distress caused, the greater the killer’s joy at having caused it … only in the knowledge that a real person, somewhere, is very upset by what you’ve just done, yet can themselves do nothing about it, is there any true adrenaline-shooting juicy fun.”
Assuming that these player roles are taken outside of the context of the game, and therefore outside the context of the magic circle, it could be derived that there is a very different kind of fun to be had by each player type. In as much, they have entered the game not only to play the game, but to play the game in their way.
Let’s look at some examples in tabletop:
Party Roles: In games, there becomes a social contract between the players and the GM to guide the players towards an experience they will find agreeable at worst and enjoyable at best. With the idea of player roles in mind, the players will have tipped their hand in the way of how they will best enjoy the game based on the classes or ability sets they have chosen to interact with the game. This is information the GM can and should use to cultivate a better experience.
While it is a social role, consider the fact that in a tabletop, the GM is participating as every person in the world that is not another player. Therefore, even a role such as “killer” could be enthused by allowing an evil campaign of helpless victims to oppress for the players to derive twisted fun for a time.
Using Bartle’s theory could, in practice, edge a GM closer to the experience their players are looking for without having to guess too heavily on what may or may not be enjoyable. While this can be used as a guideline, the player roles do have the chance and opportunity to change at any time, and should be adapted thereafter.
While we have discussed the possibility of flow, being the state of elation that can arise from immersion within a game, and fiero, the sense of pride after completing a difficult challenge, there is yet another term to describe the pathway between these two experiences. Theoretically, there is a patterned path between these points that carries the player from experience to experience during the course of a game. This is an experience known as Entrainment.
Entrainment comes from the French word “entrainer” and has two meanings: to carry along, and to trap. Entrainment has been commonly used to describe physical and natural phenomenon, such as circadian sleep rhythms to thunderstorms.Game Designer Brian Moriarty uses entrainment to refer to rhythmic pleasure, a process of falling into a patterned activity and continuing to enjoy the experience. In 1998, Moriarty gave a talk at the Game Developers conference about entrainment and game design:
“Rhythm and patterns exist in all games, if you watch. Watch someone playing a game sometime. Not the game itself, lest you be sucked in, but the player, and the space around him or her. Watch the rhythms emerge, and how the players and the game interact. It will become clear that a game is really an entrainment engine. The job of the gamewright, therefore, is to reinforce patterns and dampen dissonance.”
Entrainment is the experience of “same-but-different”. From the experience of firing the same series of weapons in the same matches of Call of Duty to grinding experience in a Final Fantasy, entrainment is the concurrent pattern of repeating actions but enjoying the actions while in repetition.
Within that, the dual nature of the word, both “to carry along” and “to trap” are relevant. It is a method of both continuing these experiences as well as trapping the player’s interest in the continued experience.
In the best effect, it is the process of tricking the player into not simply playing a game, but also being played by the game. The game initially captures the interest of the player, and then draws the player into a gameplay loop of repeating the same few actions before accomplishing a perceived goal. Without the initial interest, there would be no gameplay loop; without the loop, a new interest would continue to be formed.
Let’s look at some examples in tabletop:
Combat: Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition has a lot of problems with its combat system. Some specifically include fights going on for too long, and becoming boring within the timeframe. With the excess of powers, abilities, and seemingly endless HP counts of enemies, as well as a removal of risk in the way of healing surges and second winds, entrainment becomes rather difficult to inspire within the players.
Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 was able to inspire this kind of pleasure, while theoretically less interactive with the players in the fight. There were not a dozen abilities of use at any given time for each player, but the players were able to find a comfortable routine within the combats, knowing their specific abilities, as well as the potential outcomes for each action. It finds a rhythm in combat that later iterations simply lack: the flow and focus of slowly dissecting an enemy without necessitating more options.
Rhythm as play: It is not to say that every game needs rhythm in such a ham-fisted manner as to have literal rhythm in the games, but a game needs to have a rhythm of which the players can simply fall into, as well as constructing an environment for this phenomenon to occur. While it is difficult in some systems rather than others, it is theoretically possible to accomplish the same effect within any system of play, based on the actions offered to the players.
When examining gameplay, as well as pacing for a game or even a session, a GM could establish a point of which the players will be allowed to set into their respective rhythm.
By crafting a point in the game of which players are allowed to systematically enjoy their abilities and actions based on the actions they have chosen as characters, the game will naturally create this gameplay loop, and potentially inspire entrainment, the same-but-different gameplay leading towards the experience of entrainment.
It is less of a trick, and more of a phenomenon of perception. By allowing players to experience something they are comfortable doing, while repeating the action, a natural state of enjoyment comes from breaking down a conflict through repetition.