This F.A.Q. was created by a fan: @TieDyedGuy. Thanks Richie!
What is The Film Reroll?
The Film Reroll is a podcast with the idea to play through movies as a table top role playing game.
Who is putting this podcast on?
What’s a table top role playing game?
A table top role playing game, or a RPG, is a game where you assume the role of a person or thing and act out what you would have them do while one person acts like a god and helps people with what happens to them. For instance, in this podcast when they played through the movie Labyrinth, Joz was assuming the role of Sarah and Paulo was the Game Master, called the GM which is the person running the game. So Paulo took the role of everyone except Sarah. If you want to know more about table top role playing games, I suggest you check out here or here.
What role playing game system are they using?
There are numerous different systems for playing table top role playing games. One you may have heard of is Dungeons and Dragons. These systems gives the basic rules and sometimes give the basic scenery or world for people to play in. For Film Reroll they are playing a system called GURPS which is Generic Universe RolePlaying System.
GURPS is meant to just provide basic rules for the game so anyone could take the system and apply it to any world or in this case movie. If you know other RPG systems and want to get a basic feel for how GURPS works, you can look at the GURPS Lite Intro to RPGs.
What are character sheets?
When the actors talk about the character sheets, they are refering to a piece of paper that talks about all the skills and bio of who they are role playing as. For instance, in Frozen, Pitr is playing Elsa and has a sheet with all of Elsa’s abilities. The character sheet also is where the actors are keeping track of items they find and their overall health. So if a character is wounded, they would write it on their character sheet so they remember.
One major thing to know about is “Health.” The “Health” or “Hits” or “Hit Points” or HP is a number that represents how close the character is to death or unconsciousness. Each character will have around 8 to 14 points. When that hits 0, the character could fall unconscious or even die!
How do the dice rolls work?
Almost all RPGs use dice as a way of creating randomness in the game. If the game was predetermined to happen, then that would be the same as just watching the movie. The fun aspect of this podcast is that nothing that happens in the movie is guaranteed to happen in the podcast. The game changers is the dice rolls.
What is the 1d stuff I hear about? (Dice Notation)
One quick thing to know about first is most RPG systems use the same notation for dice rolling and that is XdY + Z. Where X is the number of dice to roll, Y is the number of sides on the dice and Z is the additional modifier. So, common examples are 1d6 + 1 or 3d4 -2. The first one means you roll one six sided die, then add 1 to it. The second one means you roll three four sided dice and subtract two from it.
What are the rolls calculated and what do they do?
What is a skill roll?
A skill roll is where a character is trying to do something and the GM determines that there needs to be a chance for it. For instance, a character normally doesn’t have to make a skill roll to walk across a road. If the road was icy, then a character might have to make a roll to cross because there is a chance they might fall.
Let’s say Joz wants to cross an icy road. She will look at her dexterity attribute/skill from her character sheet and see that it gives a skill of 9. A skill roll in GURPS uses three six sided dice. So when she rolls those three dice and add up the totals. The results can be anywhere from 1 to 18. To succeed, she needs to roll her skill level or lower. In this case, she need to to add up the dice to a 9 or less. If she rolls a 9 or less she succeeds in crossing the road. If she rolls a 10 or higher, then she fails and she might fall down or worse.
Now, skills can also have a modifier that the GM might add. For instance, Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz has ruby slippers with gives +2 to all rolls. This +2 modifier means that her target is 2 higher, not that she adds 2 after she rolls. So, in our example above, she would need to get a total of 11 or lower to succeed. So when they talk about plus or minus a roll, it is moving the target. If you remember anything, know that almost always a plus modifier is good for the person making the action and a negative modifier is bad.
What is a damage roll?
When a player attacks someone, for instance when Jon hacks at a witch using an ax. After determine if Jon hits the witch using the skill roll above (and if the witch dodges using the skill roll above) Jon will roll for damage. Damage is how much the action hurts the player or thing getting hurt. So, Jon will roll something like 1d6 + 2. This means one six sided die and then add two to the total. So if he rolls a 2 on the die, his total would be 4 damage against the witch. When the witch loses so much HP, things can happen to her, like slower movement and even death.
What is a contest roll?
Sometimes you will hear the actors talk about contest rolls and talk about how much they “beat” or “Lost” a roll by. This is mostly used when two things are competing against each other. Let’s say Joz’s character is arm wrestling Jon’s character. In this case they are rolling against their strength attribute/skill. So let’s say each are at a 10. They each roll 3d6 and see how close to 10 they are. If Joz rolls an 8, she “beat” the target by 2. If Jon then rolls a 9, he beat the target by 1. They both won the target but Joz’s margin is higher, so she wins the contest. Sometimes, the GM will have people compete a few times each round scoring like the above example.
What are these crit rolls?
One of the more random elements are “Crit Success” and “Crit Failure” which happen on the Skill Rolls. These happen when a person rolls either a 3,4,17, or 18 with some exceptions that are above the scope of this FAQ. These numbers are the extreme amounts of possibilities if you roll three six sided dice, i.e. a 1-1-1 result or a 6-6-6 result. Since you are always trying to get the lowest number possible, the 3 and 4 results are “Crit Success” and the 17 and 18 are “Crit Failure.”
A “Crit” means that what you want to or not want to happens in an extreme. So, in the case of Dorothy walking across the ice a “Crit Success” could mean that she does it with extreme grace that it influences someone who saw it to throw money at her for being so graceful. A “Crit Failure” on walking across the ice could mean that not only do they fall, but they majorly hurt themselves or others in the fall.
A “Crit Success” and “Crit Failure” are usually the funniest parts of RPG session because they create the most outrageous situations.
What is combat time?
Sometimes when there is a lot of action going on the GM says they are going to start “combat time.” What this means it the game turns into a more turn based game instead of a more chatting type game. Each player is given a turn to do an action one by one. So, the GM will pick the order people take their turns and go around the room (and to each thing controlled by the GM) and let them do one thing. So, Joz kicks at someone’s head, then that thing tries to run, then Jon tries to swing an ax. It puts an order to the chaos that is fighting or anything that involves precise timings.