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Multiple players requesting rolls at the same time

Started by aplath, January 06, 2003, 05:56:15 PM

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Hello all,

First of all James, I think the Pool rocks! I've just played it in a one-on-one session with a friend (we've been meaning to test it for some time now) and it played very nice!

Now we're looking forward to play it with our regular group, but one doubt has come up, perhaps somebody out there has the answer for it.

How do you deal with the situation when two or more players ask for a roll at the same time. Like when a combat scene is eminent and for some reason or other more than one player wish to narrate the outcome.

We didn't have this situation in our playtest because we had only one player and we're not sure if that would really happen but the question remains: how would you deal with that?


Andreas Plath

James V. West


Welcome to The Forge!

Glad you enjoyed the game! If you find the time and inclination maybe you could give us a full report.

I think that this is the kind of game that inspires a spirit of sharing. I haven't heard of any situations where 2 or more people clash over rolling rights. But, if it should happen, I'd follow one of two routes:

1) The player whose character has the most direct and immediate involvement should get to go.

2) Have the players roll a d6 each. High roll gets it. End of story.

But again, I doubt this will ever be an issue unless you have particularly selfish players who obviously aren't "getting it". I'm sure your players aren't like that, especially since one of them has already played and enjoyed the game.

Sorry it took so long to respond!

[edited to welcome Andreas, which I callously neglected to do in the first place ;-)]


Hey James,

Thanks for your answer... it's about what we were coming to here. We also doubt that such a clash will ever occur, but you never know... :-)

About our little playtest of The Pool: I've been playing RPGs for little more than ten years, having dedicated most of this time to D&D. Though I love playing D&D, I noticed two things:

1) Sometimes it was a huge effort to make one particular character idea fit in the race/class/attribute schema of D&D.

2) When I played as GM, there were several sessions were dice didn't even come to play.

I began to wonder why I used D&D as a GM since I so seldom used the system itself. So for some time now I've been experimenting with simpler systems so that I could just focus on story and character development. I've tried Fudge, the Window and some others before I bumped into The Pool. Even then, it was quite some time before I had the oportunity to actualy play it.

The oportunity came the other day when this friend and I were talking about RPG over a couple of beers. I showed him a hardcopy of The Pool I had at home and he said: "Hey, this is good. Let's try it now."

Well, why not?

Two more beers later we came up with the main protagonist and the story line: a down-the-hill Pepsi executive that had been pushed a little too far by his bosses so he sets out in this crazy attempt to steal Coke's secret formula from Coca-Cola's headquarters in Atlanta.

The story started as a mix between that "Falling Down" movie with Michael Douglas and a 007 film but it quickly developed into something more like "Die Hard" meets The Three Stooges kind of thing. Perhaps the beers had something to do with it, but hey it was lots of fun!

We played it for about two hours and had to resort do conflict resolution at three moments along that time. It was very straight forward and worked very nicely.

What was fun about it:

1) It was very easy to learn: my friend read it and fifteen minutes later we were playing. All the time the focus was on the story, and we never had to come out of it to wonder how does my character do this or that.

2) The ability to try to narrate the outcome of key events was precious to my friend as a player and a nice surprise to me as a GM. I think he was pretty responsible with that ability, including a little interesting turns in the story but without trying to disrupt it.

3) The roll schema was transparent in the game, being quickly resolved. And, when the roll failed, it gave me a good excuse to be particularly nasty on him. ;-)

The bottom-line is that I like it and I'm looking forward to play it with a larger group (like, more than one player) to see how it goes. :-)


James V. West

If beer is what it takes to get cool ideas like a Pepsi exec doing espionage activity over at Coke...then drink up! That's fantastic!

I think you'll find that running it in a group is a bit trickier, but only because different people are going to come into it with different expectations. When you tell them We're not playing DnD tonight... they might not understand at first that you really mean it. Even if you're slashing orcs or stealing soft-drink ingredients, their experience is going to be different from what they may be used to.

And, hey, that's a good thing, right?