Star Wars dice interpretation

Recently, some of my fellow gamers on the N.I. Network were talking about how best to learn a new system and in particular, the very unique dice system of Fantasy Flight Games Star Wars RPG, and whether learning at the table in front of other gamers is better than using a Virtual TableTop (VTT) such as Fantasy Grounds (FG) or not. 

Not everyone is comfortable with the controls of a VTT, no matter the rule system, but once you've mastered the basics and know the reasons behind the mechanics, using a VTT can save you some headaches. In a Savage Worlds game for example, once you've targeted your foe and rolled the dice, FG will tell you if the trait die was a 1, or how many raises you got on your damage and all the GM has to do is click ''Apply''.

But back to our Star Wars RPG. This incarnation of the role-playing game for the Star Wars universe does not use standard dice with pips or numerals for most of your rolls. There are some percentile dice used once in a while, but not as often as the custom dice.

Fear not, for there is help out there fellow Nerds. Mr. David Crennen is an avid gamer and has some experience with the Star Wars dice system. He has graciously mage a quick and educational video for all us sleemos out there.

You can also catch him on his twitchTV channel: The Saving Throw Show

Another way to learn the dice pool mechanic, without buying a whole lot of books and dice pack is to get the FFG Star Wars dice app. It's available thru Fantasy Flight Games' website, the iTunes store and for any Android phones as well.

By playing with the settings of the app, you can build your dice pool and roll them, and depending on whether you want the app to show you the full results, only the ones that left uncancelled or none at all, this can help you see rather quickly to build your dice pool and read the final result.

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For my examples screenshots below, I built a dice pool of 2 Ability and 1 Proficiency dice, 2 difficulty and 1 Challenge, as well as a Boost die and a Setback die.

1. The first image just has the die results and nothing showing in the lower left corner. Once the dice are rolled, I picked up and dropped the dice and tried to group them together. I have taken the red and yellow die and put them in one corner as both of those symbols cancel each other out. Then one black, one purple and a green cancel each other out in the bottom right.

The remaining purple cancels out 1 success, leaving you with 1 success and two advantages, with the dice on the left.

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2. Or this configuration of the settings:

Check the ''Show Results'' box in order to have the app tell you how many of each symbol are generated, but you still have to figure out what cancels out what. The app pairs up the symbols at the bottom of the screen from left to right: Success vs Failure, Advantage vs Threat, and finally Triumphs and Despairs (none shown here though).

Same conclusion, 1 success and 2 advantages but easier and faster to read.

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3. Finally, this setting is good once you’ve mastered the dice pool mechanic and just want to get the final result. Check also the ''Cancel Symbols'' box.

Shown below at the bottom left you only see the symbols that are left uncancelled. Once again, 1 success and 2 advantages but easier and faster to read.

I hope this helps all you fans who are curious about the ''Interpretative dice system'' but were a little intimidated by it. You can also listen to the Actual Play podcast ''Dice for brains''. They put out an amazing show and can give you great ideas and inspiration for what to do with ''Advantages, Triumphs, Setbacks and Despairs''.

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You can always reach me for ideas, suggestions or comments at

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This blog is proud to be associated with the Nerds-International Gaming Network.

Check them out on the Google+ community 

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 - The RPG Brewery, for interviews with guests, as well as product reviews, etc.

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    - The Wild Die podcast, for all things about Savage Worlds.


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