For some who know me on a more personal level, they are familiar with my habit of trying to reduce decisions to improve my life. I do things like where the same outfit every day, and buzz my own hair once a week.
I do this because having a full time job, older house, son, and all the M20 work adds up to a lot of choices. Every decision we make contributes towards a cumulative decision fatigue, that genuinely impairs our decision making abilities.
I bring this up because we expect our GM’s to make a lot of decisions. They function alone in Decision avoidancemaking all these choices, while the players have the ability to off load some of the choices on their end between each other.
But what real effect could this have on play?
Every time the GM has to perform calculations on their end they are making decisions that interrupt their train of thought, and continue to compound their decision fatigue. The result is that GM’s often start overlooking rules, or even simplifying story elements.
We’ve all probably seen the GM who is totally on point in lower level games, but as the complexity of higher levels starts piling on they start to gloss over elements and miss things. This is a result of a persons unconscious decision avoidance taking over to try and relieve the burden of choice. Luckily we can help these poor GM’s keep their strides and remain nimble in their narratives.
There is a great alternate rule posted over at d20srd.com that suggests taking the dice from the GM. The short of the rules are as follows:
- Players subtrack 10 from their AC
- When being attacked the GM adds +11 to any attack values of the NPCs
- When the players are attacked they must roll a d20 and add it to their AC.
- If they roll above the value they dodge
- If they roll a 1 the enemy critically succeeds
- If struck the GM can either choose to roll damage like they normally would, or just deal what the “average” damage would be.
- Add +11 to all base save values for an opponent
- 1d20 + spell level + ability modiferWhen the player would normally force a save instead they roll
I’d love to hear your thoughts on your experience with GM dice rolling over on the m20 reddit!
- Has a game ever been negatively impacted because of the GM having to do to much bookkeeping?
- Have you ever had a positive or negative experience with a GM not rolling dice?
Also don’t forget to join our Epic List so that you can keep update when new Microlite20 Rules Cyclopedia updates are released. Additionally, I’m still working on my own more story game style games that make use of more narrative rules: like no GM rolls.