Favourite Revolutionary Game Mechanic

This: “Every moment of play, roll dice or say yes.”

I think that this phrase from Dogs In The Vineyard by Vincent Baker has more functional GM practice packed into its five words than almost any GM guide ever published for any game ever — which is probably why the adulterated version (“Say yes or roll the dice”) has appeared in many RPGs published since.

This is the phrase that tells the GM to be a fan of the players. This is the phrase that tells us that system matters. This is the phrase that tells us to play to find out what happens. This is the phrase that tells us to focus on what’s important and move the game forward. This is the phrase that fixed roleplaying.

/mic drop

10 thoughts on “#rpgaday2015

  1. Rule 2, or ask questions.

    The thing that Vincent also said to was “ask questions like crazy”. Because sometimes the dice won’t remove confusion but answers will.

    “I kill the king!”
    “Okay, but your an ocean away, how are you going to do that?”
    “With magic?”
    “How does the magic work?”
    “I just need a strand of hair or a drop of his blood!”
    “Cool, how would you get that?”
    “Bribing his barber”
    “Did you send a letter?”
    “Yeah, sure”
    “Awesome, let’s roll some dice to see how that worked.”

  2. “rule 2” should not be used with DitV. “rule 1” should not be used with AW (and this is very, very, very, very important: “say yes or roll the dice”  kills AW (the MC should not hand-wave rolls) . They are very different games that require different kind of GMing.