So, I have been having this mental battle of how I want to approach this one. This isn’t the first time this week that I have written this. And it’s probably not the first time I have run across a problem like this when thinking about something I have read or played. This time it is a game. And it shouldn’t be that hard to go into the thoughts about it. I mean to say, I like it. It’s an interesting game. Mind you, so far I have only played the solo variant of it. This is one I only picked up within the past few days.
I’m talking about the game Roll Player (Thunderworks Games, 2016). It’s been around for a few years now so for some it won’t be a new thing and they might understand what I am wrapping my head around. But then, there are so many games now and being able to get to all of them is near impossible. You might not have even heard of this one before now.
Give me a moment to indulge some odd thoughts that relate to what we are about to get into. Since time immemorial, role playing games have revolved around character creation with some taking it to the extremes of creating the greatest ultra character they can create. The process is often referred to power gaming or min/maxing as you work the dice to give you the best possible results.
There are games built around these characters. Some are comical like Munchkin (Steve Jackson Games) and others closer to actual RPGs where the game masters tailor the environment to compensate for the more unrealistic characters. Now with all that said, we come to the idea behind Roll Player.
The creation of the power character is the game itself. Yeah, you’re still rolling dice and setting up the character based on the rolls. But that’s the game. Instead of gaming the system to create something super powerful, it is the system. And it’s a bit weird when you think of it in those terms.
But at it’s core, this is a dice drafting game where you are using all manner of tricks to give dice rows the best possible combos to add up to specific scores. There is strategy and luck involved in picking and choosing where in the process your turn takes place and what tricks maneuvers you can buy and use in the process of placing your dice. You spend the game buying equipment and traits to build a “character” that all amount to the different things you can do to manipulate your dice. How it all plays out makes for an interesting spin on character creation (oddly, a single player game can take from a half hour to an hour much like thoughtful character creation where it isn’t even part of the main game).
There is an expansion that I haven’t seen out of a box yet. But the concept of Monsters and Minions plays along the similar theme. It puts you in the dilemma of designing the best character possible to handle the monsters and their minions. The most likely to win the coming battle being the overall winner, or something along those lines. Mind you, this is what I gathered from the description of the expansion I read online. I still need to experience it first hand.
Anyway, overall, I find this game worth digging in to. The theme of building a character makes this dice game so much more than just another variation of something like Yahtzee. And I don’t know about you, but after all the times I played that growing up, there are so many other things I would want to do with bunches of dice. Building characters is one of them.
If you enjoy these stories, consider leaving some coffee money in the jar or you could buy a book or two. Either way helps keep the stories flowing.