Q. How does the Die Roller work?
A. The person that is going to roll the dice simply clicks on "Die Roller" at the top of the screen to get to the die roller page. There, the person can enter the different factors of the die roll. Details about which factor does what is listed at the bottom of the page. Be sure to make the "Character" and "Comment" entry clear enough if someone (like the storyteller) is supposed to check on them later.
The "Test Roll" button allows you to make a roll to see if you have the right factors configured. This can also be used if there's no need for anyone else verifying your role at a later time. Note that there is no way of saving that specific test roll, as it would be abusable. If you click the "Roll Dice" button, a similar roll (with the same factors) is made, but this time it's saved as well, allowing others to verify the roll. You could of course make several such rolls until you have a good result, but old rolls remain visible as well, making the whole thing a tad fishy. Likewise, if you don't add comments about what the roll is for, it can become just as fishy, mentioning that that low roll was actually for a simple skill check, and that high roll that followed after it, happened to be your attack roll.
Others can view the rolls you made by clicking the "View my rolls" link, that is right above your avatar. It simply returns a list of all the rolls you ever made (not counting test roles). Alternatively, all players can agree on keeping the rolls together, by sending the rolls to a specific player. The story teller is usually a good choice, but if he or she is involved in multiple games, it might actually be wiser to take one of the players that's not involved in any other dicegames. To do so, you either enter that specific player's User ID in the "Send to" entry (If you click someone's profile, the url will end on u=number. That number is that person's User ID), or simply click the "Send me a roll" link right above that player's avatar. If all players do so, then they can view all the rolls sent to that player to get all the rolls made for the specific game.
What is a freeform game? What is a system game?
You might have heard of games like Dungeons and Dragons, Gurps, World of Darkness, Exalted, etc...? Those are all examples of system games.
System games usually involve making a character sheet that indicates your character's strengths and weaknesses, which are determined by certain rules. Though your character is still capable of trying anything he or she would like, the system actually determines the success of more challenging actions. This way, system games provide a line of balance for the characters' power, as well as providing a certain feeling of achiefment after completing something, that might not have been there if one player simply decided "Yes, you succeed".
Freeform is basically lack of system. Whenever you perform a challenging action, you can decide for yourself if it succeeds or not, or write it so that success is not indicated, so that the other player can decide on it.
Combat remains a clear example. Assume for the moment that you're shooting an arrow at another creature. In a freeform game, you basically have three options:
- You describe how the arrow hits the creature, deciding for yourself that you hit.
- You describe how the arrow flies wide, deciding for yourself that you missed.
- You describe how the arrow flies towards the creature, ending your post there. Now, your writing partner can choose, describing how the creature got hit by the arrow or how it managed to dodge it.
In system, it works a little different. Usually, the person shooting the arrow has a certain attack value for shooting arrows. Likewise, the creature that's being shot at has a certain defense value, determining the chance of being hit. Most systems include a random element, such as a die, to determine the outcome (For example, the person shooting the arrow rolls a die, and adds the attack value for shooting arrows. If this equals or beats the defense value of the creature that's being shot at, it is a hit, else it is a miss.), but there are also systems that don't include random elements, working purely by statistics.
It's a common misconception that system actually determines the story for you. Most (but not all) systems are setting related, meaning that if you pick a specific system, you're bound to that setting. If you take D&D for example, that means you've basically decided that you're going to play something involving high fantasy, but you usually decide on the setting before the game starts, so that's a case of taking the right system for the right setting. Other than that, the story, background, villains and all other details of your story are still up to the storyteller and the players, allowing you to play whatever story you want.
What do all the tabs and links on the forum pages do?
Are these the tabs above and below all the threads (Reply/Notify/Mark Unread/Send this topic/Print) or those at the top (Home/Links/Forum/etc...)?