Sunday, June 14, 2015

D&D using Story Cubes [Story Dice]

Hi everyone,

We've been playing D&D off and on for a while now -- and just implemented something we had been scheming on for a bit....

Using Story Cubes to embellish the situation of battles and interactions with NPCs.

"What are Story Cubes?"

We first discovered these at Gator Games -- got ourselves three of the little expansion sets -- gave two away as gifts and kept the third.

Battle Gaming One; Story Cubes; D&D and Story Dice
 Here are the first Story Cubes we used -- the expansion set of prehistoria, clues and enchanted dice

Story Cubes -- officially "Rory's Story Cubes" are nice little sets of dice -- each die having unique icons or images on each of the six faces.

Here is the "basic set" of story cubes...

There are several different sets -- The Basic Set, Actions, Voyages, and two sets of expansions (which is what we had found at Gator Games).

How we've been adding this to D&D....
  • When our party charges into a room (which has 5 skeletons hitting in a pile of rubble) one person reaches into the bowl of Story Cubes -- with eyes closed -- and grabs two.  Then, he or she rolls these.  And, we come up with a way to build the result into the story. 
  • When somebody rolls a 1 we do the same -- and work the fumble into the story
  •  And, thinking that it would be fun to the do same for a natural 20 critical hit [but haven't tried that yet]....
It took us a while to come up with a system which worked.  At first we had all of our Story Cubes out in a pile -- but didn't have a very good way to decide which of the dice to use....

Our D&D set-up with our Story Cubes ready for business
Then we came up with the idea of putting them all in a rather high-rimmed bowl -- and having someone at the table pick with eyes closed.  This worked out really well -- added another aspect of excitement to the game -- and also let the players feel that they had some involvement in the DM's management of the game.

Our bowl full of Story Cubes!

And, here's an example where the party was fighting skeletons.  Wouldn't you know it -- a skeleton rolled a natural 1 -- and we had agreed that for fumbles, this would mean (you guessed it) -- Story Cubes....

D&D Fumbles, Battle Gaming One, Story Cubes
Rolling the story dice when a skeleton has rolled a 1 and fumbled....

We decided that these dice indicated that rather than executing a proper strike with its spear, the skeleton lost its grip and threw the spear into the wall....

In terms of other things which are helping us to keep the game moving -- snacks (watermelon in this case) are certainly helping.  Thinking hard about the the "overhead projector" we had seen one person write up in his/her blog.  This sounded sweet.

Here's our table set-up....

Have to say that the D&D Spell Cards are really helping us to keep things going.  No more flipping through the only (dog-eared) copy of the Player's Handbook to find out how long "Protection from Evil" lasts.  Now it's all in the players "hand" so to speak.  :)

Here are the cards set up for Ms. P's Bard character :)

We'll report in as we continue to refine ways to add fun to the game!

And, here is a link to our earlier posting about playing D&D 5th Edition:  D&D 5th Edition First Try

1 comment:

  1. Hi everyone, quick update comment (and will create an updated posting).... The story dice have become very handy when the GM is getting tired and doesn't have inspiration on what NPCs in our Starfinder-Pathfinder hybrid campaign will do. So, we keep the big bag of story dice handy -- grab three at random (like with our eyes closed) -- roll them and then interpret them in terms of how they might fit what NPCs would do or say :)