about randomizing
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Generating random effects


Basicly there are three general ways to generate random effects, either by drawing drawing a card (with the effect explained on it), rolling a dice or spinning a wheel.

Note that cards also may be used as tokens, just explaining what the token actually does. This is in generally highly effective is have (lot of) items and characteristics. In that case you don't have to look up specific rules, but just read them of the card. 

Using die

As there is a spefice section on die, here is just the randomnes is discussed. Any dX may have X random outcomes. As discussed in the dice section this can be all kind of figures, letters and symbols. In most cases, the outcome of a die refers to some ruling in the rulebook (the number of moves to make, etc. or a specific occurance). Here is where cards beat die, whatever the outcome is, on a card one can explicitely read what will happen without looking up the rules. See also the Dice section.

Using cards

The use of cards as triggering a random event is very frequent method. TJust think of Monopoly (chance cards).  Cards can provide more tricks on randomizing than die, as you can either remove cards from the pile or put them back. In addition, card piles offer your players the opportunity to count or to look at the top cards (under conditions). 

Also by removing cards from the game, that specific effect will occur again, or, at least, the changes of that same effect is lower now (presuming more of the same cards are in the stock).

Using spinners

Another way to generate 'randomness' is using a spinner. Should I mention 'roulette'?

In 'star wars, escape from the death star' you swing the arrows and end up with 2/3 chance to win and 1/3 chance loose. One could have taking a dice, but why not add some technology to it.  

'all star baseball' and other games use simular tools, but a more sophisticated: at least the changes are not that obvious, and you can use more / different plates on the dial. As such the chances of outcome change depending on the the plate you are using.

Here you see another interesting dice roller. Of course the dice could be replace by other symbols (move forward, etc.). In this specific case you see two balls. As it might be impossible to 'roll' two identical outcomes (e.g. 2x 6), this mechanical device dramatically changes the odds. Arjan Verweij has some interesting dice roll devices online.


Season effects

This one is bit tricky: you want have a certain event, but slightly depending on the last event (comparable with stock markets, they change all the time, but usually slowly, but every once in a while something dramatic may happen). This can be realised for instance by two die, once to keep track (situation 1-6) and one for changes, e.g. a 1 for a dramatic down (let's say two points), a 2/3 for a one down, a 4/5 for a one up and 6 for a dramatic up (interesting feature, once you are on situation 1, and you throw a 1, you change to 6 for a radical change and visa vera). Actually you can use 3/4 for stayin at the same situation, whatever is suitable. If you are interested in statistics and different states, check the literature list.