Players can take many types of actions in a game, this article will deal with just some of the actions related to dice. Dice rolling is normally considered a random mechanic in games, and rightly so. However, giving players actions related to the already rolled dice and not just giving them the task of rolling them to decide the outcome, opens up another world of possibilities in game design. This deals with choice, as the fundamental difference between a task a player must do and an action they have selected.
For thousands of years and across many types of games, players have been told by the game rules to roll dice. This has traditionally only been used to find the outcome of an action that is happening in the game. The player might be able to choose the action but then are told to perform the task of rolling dice to determine the outcome of that action. What if the designer just changed the order of these things? We could make many other combinations of actions, tasks, and outcomes relating to dice. (discussed further down, under the title, “dice and the outcome”.)
Note: This is a follow-up article to one that I wrote called Dice Rolling