Last time, I wrote about the costs of rolling dice. It takes time, it might result in bad things and if the system isn't thought out properly, then it will just be frustrating.
So why do it?
As Radnoff said in my last post, there is excitement of the possibility of success, and if success happens in unlikely situations then it is even more exciting.
There is also excitement from rolling dice because they offer the chance of variety.
Also, rolling dice means that you never know what's going to happen with each different read through.
With enough random events, it is possible to read a completely different story with each read through.
It can help decide whether something happens or not
This can determine whether a wandering monster finds you or whether there is treasure at the bottom of the lake or whether the strange monster will attack you or run away.
It can be used to work out how much something happens
Instead of finding a fixed amount of treasure or taking a fixed amount of damage when something bad happens, the die roll can add some randomness to it. Sometimes, it won't make much of a difference, but it might if the treasure is needed to afford something awesome or if a certain roll could kill your character.
It can work out what happens
A random event is going to happen to you in Fabled Lands, but it could range from finding a staff to being attacked by a wolf.
It can be fun for stats nerds
One thing I like about gamebook systems is that I can analyse them and work out whether the system makes the game possible to win. I usually use Anydice. to analyse systems and work out how easy it is to win the book.
Champskees in the Fighting Fantazine forum includes tables or probabilities of winning certain Fighting Fantasy books depending on your stats.
Rolling dice can add extra variety to a gamebook and also add extra excitement. If you do it, however, you need to make sure that the statistics have been calculated to make sure that these dice rolls are going to be exciting instead of impossible or too easy.
The variables in the numbers need to be added in the right places so that the random numbers actually have an effect. It is more exciting to lose 1d6 stamina points towards the end when the character may only have a few stamina points left rather than at the beginning where 1 or 6 points won't make a difference.
If they are used for random events, then you need to make sure that the events will be significantly different.
Next time, I'll do...something else. Random elements is a multifaceted issue. I might do the difference between probability and consequences and how they fit together.
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