Roll Factory

K.O. Myers

Roll Factory is a podcast for new and returning tabletop roleplaying gamers. In each bite-sized episode, Dungeon Manager K.O. Myers and a guest explain one feature of the Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition character sheet. read less
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Episodes

Strength Saving Throw
Jun 24 2023
Strength Saving Throw
This time on Roll Factory, we’re starting our look at individual Saving Throws in 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons, starting again at the top of the ability scores with the Strength Save. We're joined by Twitch streamer Nat, AKA MurderVeggie.A Strength Saving throw is something you’ll do when you’re using raw physical force to resist being moved or restrained. If a massive beast hits you with a sweep of its tail, you might make a Strength Save to keep from being knocked off your feet. If you’re crossing a creaky bridge when it snaps, a Strength Save to hold on to the rope handrail could stop you from plummeting into a rocky gorge.A character whose first level class is Barbarian, Fighter, Monk, or Ranger can add their proficiency bonus to strength saving throws. Other classes can gain proficiency in strength saves by acquiring magic items or taking Feats when they level up.Next time on Roll Factory we’ll switch from powering through to dodging around, with the Dexterity Saving Throw.For our past adventures, or to join the campaign, search and subscribe to Roll Factory wherever you get podcasts.If you enjoyed this episode, please help us grow our audience. Tell a friend, rate and review us, or tag the show in a post: we’re on social at RPGRollFactory, and our website is rpgrollfactory.com.Send your questions, concerns, corrections, disputations, guest suggestions, and loose boulders by email to rollfactory@particulatemedia.com.The music in this episode is by Arcane Anthems.Roll Factory is written, produced, edited, and hosted by K.O. Myers for Particulate Media.
Proficiency Bonus
Jan 26 2022
Proficiency Bonus
This time on Roll Factory, we’re learning about the Proficiency Bonus. It’s the number that separates innate talent from trained skill.Proficiency Bonus is a mechanic that 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons uses to streamline the process of acquiring and using skills. Instead of assigning points to individual skills, your character has a single Proficiency Bonus. If your character is trained (or proficient) in a skill, you get to add that bonus to your d20 roll. If you’re not proficient in a skill you can still roll to use it, but you’ll be doing it without adding your proficiency bonus.The proficiency bonus also comes into play when you’re making other rolls. Saving Throws can benefit from proficiency; so can a roll to use a tool, play an instrument, or attack with a weapon your character has practiced with. We’ll look at those rolls more closely in future episodes.During character creation, your choice of race, class, and background will give you some automatic proficiencies, and you’ll have the opportunity to choose others.At level 1, your proficiency bonus is +2, and it goes up as you gain levels. You may also have the opportunity to gain proficiency with new skills and items, either as part of the leveling up process, or if you and your DM decide you’ve had sufficient training in-game.Finally, there are feats and features that can modify the way your character uses their proficiency bonus. The rogue’s expertise feature lets them double their bonus on some skill or tool checks, while the Bard’s Jack of All Trades gives them half their proficiency bonus on skills they’re not trained in. Again, we’ll talk about all that in more detail later on.For our past adventures, or to join the campaign, search and subscribe to Roll Factory wherever you get podcasts.If you enjoyed this episode, please help us grow our audience. Tell a friend, leave us a review, or tag the show in a post: we’re on social at RPGRollFactory, and our website is rpgrollfactory.com.Send your questions, concerns, corrections, disputations, guest suggestions, and training regimens by email to rollfactory@particulatemedia.com.SOCIAL LINKSFacebook - https://www.facebook.com/rpgrollfactoryInstagram - https://www.instagram.com/rpgrollfactoryTumblr - https://rpgrollfactory.tumblr.com/Twitter - https://twitter.com/rpgrollfactory The music in this episode is by Arcane Anthems.  https://www.patreon.com/arcaneanthemsRoll Factory is written, produced, and edited by K.O. Myers for Particulate Media.
Charisma Check
Dec 21 2021
Charisma Check
In this episode, we conclude our look at the Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Ability Scores with Charisma.Charisma represents your character’s ability to successfully interact with and influence others. How your character achieves that influence is open to a lot of interpretation. Depending on how you and your DM envision the character, Charisma can include or exclude eloquence, self-confidence, charm, bearing, a fearsome demeanor, striking physical appearance, winning smile or commanding personality.Any time you’re trying to navigate a delicate social situation, expect your DM to call for a Charisma check.Charisma is the Ability you’ll rely on when making Skill checks to get your way using Deception, Intimidation, Performance, and Persuasion.If you’re playing as a Bard, paladin, sorcerer, or warlock, Charisma is your spellcasting ability, and your Charisma modifier will affect the power of the spells you cast.On the next episode of Roll Factory we’ll talk about the Proficiency Bonus, the number that distinguishes skills your character has training at, from the ones they’re just innately good - or terrible - at.For our past adventures, or to join the campaign, search and subscribe to Roll Factory wherever you get podcasts.If you enjoyed this episode, please help us grow our audience. Tell a friend, rate and review us on Apple Podcasts, or tag the show in a post: we’re on social at RPGRollFactory, and our website is rpgrollfactory.com.Send your questions, concerns, corrections, disputations, guest suggestions, and come-hither glances by email to rollfactory@particulatemedia.com.SOCIAL LINKSFacebook - https://www.facebook.com/rpgrollfactoryInstagram - https://www.instagram.com/rpgrollfactoryTumblr - https://rpgrollfactory.tumblr.com/Twitter - https://twitter.com/rpgrollfactory The music in this episode is by Arcane Anthems.  https://www.patreon.com/arcaneanthemsDon’t forget to check out Hackalope and the Hacking the Gibson podcast at hackingthegibson.onlineRoll Factory is written, produced, and edited by K.O. Myers for Particulate Media.
Wisdom Check
Dec 7 2021
Wisdom Check
We’re continuing to examine the ability scores on the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition character sheet. This time, with Wisdom.Your Wisdom score represents your character’s intuition, experience, and how attuned they are to the world around them. It’s the Ability you rely on when you’re trying to understand your environment through your senses rather than learned information. Attempts to read body language, sniff out a scent, or feel for the catch on a hidden door could all trigger a Wisdom check.Checks in skills as varied as Animal Handling, Insight, Medicine, Perception, and Survival are all affected by your Wisdom modifier.Wisdom is also the spellcasting ability of Clerics, Druids, and Rangers. If you’re playing one of those classes, your wisdom modifier will help determine how effective your spells are.Next time on Roll Factory we’ll wrap up our tour of the Ability Scores with Charisma.For our past adventures, or to join the campaign, search and subscribe to Roll Factory wherever you get podcasts.If you enjoyed this episode, please help us grow our audience. Tell a friend, rate and review us on Apple Podcasts, or tag the show in a post: we’re on social at RPGRollFactory, and our website is rpgrollfactory.com.Send your questions, concerns, corrections, disputations, guest suggestions, and brilliant deductions by email to rollfactory@particulatemedia.com.SOCIAL LINKSFacebook - https://www.facebook.com/rpgrollfactoryInstagram - https://www.instagram.com/rpgrollfactoryTumblr - https://rpgrollfactory.tumblr.com/Twitter - https://twitter.com/rpgrollfactory The music in this episode is by Arcane Anthems.  https://www.patreon.com/arcaneanthems
Intelligence Check
Nov 23 2021
Intelligence Check
Today, our series on Ability Scores shifts focus away from the physical and toward the mental, starting with Intelligence.When it comes to mental acumen, Dungeons & Dragons embraces a distinction between education and experience. Intelligence represents your character’s book learning, while Wisdom represents their street smarts. Just like in life, the line between the two is blurry at best, and how that division plays out at the table will depend as much on your DM’s perspective as on any rule.Your Intelligence score represents your character’s ability to reason, remember information, and think logically. You might make an Intelligence check to extrapolate the location of a hidden room from the floorplan of a building, or to decode a secret message with an unknown cipher.When you make a Skill Check for Arcana, History, Nature, or Religion, you’re relying on Intelligence to help you recall lore you’ve learned on those subjects, and apply it to your current situation. When you make an Investigation check, Intelligence helps you find clues and use them to draw conclusions.Intelligence is also the spellcasting ability that powers the magic of Wizards and Artificers. If you’re playing one of those characters, your Intelligence modifier will affect your to-hit rolls when you cast some spells, and help determine how hard it is for an enemy to avoid others.Next time on Roll Factory we’ll look at the other side of that mental coin, and talk about Wisdom.For our past adventures, or to join the campaign, search and subscribe to Roll Factory wherever you get podcasts.If you enjoyed this episode, please help us grow our audience. Tell a friend, rate and review us on Apple Podcasts, or tag the show in a post: we’re on social at RPGRollFactory, and our website is rpgrollfactory.com.Send your questions, concerns, corrections, disputations, guest suggestions, and brilliant deductions by email to rollfactory@particulatemedia.com.SOCIAL LINKSFacebook - https://www.facebook.com/rpgrollfactoryInstagram - https://www.instagram.com/rpgrollfactoryTumblr - https://rpgrollfactory.tumblr.com/Twitter - https://twitter.com/rpgrollfactory The music in this episode is by Arcane Anthems.  https://www.patreon.com/arcaneanthems
Constitution Check
Nov 10 2021
Constitution Check
Our look at the ability scores continues with Constitution.Constitution represents your character's physical heartiness. Like Strength, it includes everything from innate endurance to fantasy CrossFit training, and magical enhancements.Constitution is unique among the 6 ability scores for being exclusively passive. Constitution doesn’t support any skills, and Constitution checks are almost always made in response to something the DM throws at you. How long you can march without rest, hold your breath, or survive without food are the kind of grueling tasks that rely on your Constitution modifier.Maybe the most important thing your Constitution modifier helps determine is how much damage your character can take before they fall unconscious. Your capacity to sustain injury is determined by your Hit Points. Your Constitution modifier affects how many Hit Points you gain when you level up, and how many you get back during a Short Rest.Next time on Roll Factory we’ll continue our tour of the ability scores with Intelligence.Thank you for joining this session of Roll Factory.For our past adventures, or to join the campaign, search and subscribe to Roll Factory wherever you get podcasts.If you enjoyed this episode, please help us grow our audience. Tell a friend, rate and review us on Apple Podcasts, or tag the show in a post: we’re on social at RPGRollFactory, and our website is rpgrollfactory.com.Send your questions, concerns, corrections, disputations, guest suggestions, and weird flexes by email to rollfactory@particulatemedia.com.SOCIAL LINKSFacebook - https://www.facebook.com/rpgrollfactoryInstagram - https://www.instagram.com/rpgrollfactoryTumblr - https://rpgrollfactory.tumblr.com/Twitter - https://twitter.com/rpgrollfactory The music in this episode is by Arcane Anthems.  https://www.patreon.com/arcaneanthems
Dexterity Check
Oct 14 2021
Dexterity Check
This time on Roll Factory, we're looking at Dexterity. It’s the ability you'll rely on for sick flips, sneaky stabs, and long-distance arrow delivery.Dexterity represents physical agility. It's the modifier for the skills Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth. It encompasses overall nimbleness, hand-eye coordination, and how deft your character is with however many hands they have.Dexterity helps you hit with weapons that require skill rather than power. Aiming a bow, throwing a dagger, and stabbing with a rapier all use dexterity as a modifier for attack and damage rolls.Your DM can call for a DEX check whenever you try to move silently, make an unobserved motion, or manipulate a small object. Tying a knot, disarming a tripwire, or steering a speeding cart through a narrow tunnel could all trigger a DEX check.Next time on Roll Factory we’ll continue our tour of the ability scores with Constitution.For our past adventures, or to join the campaign, search and subscribe to Roll Factory wherever you get podcasts.If you enjoyed this episode, please help us grow our audience. Tell a friend, rate and review us on Apple Podcasts, or tag the show in a post: we’re on social at RPGRollFactory, and our website is rpgrollfactory.com.Send your questions, concerns, corrections, disputations, guest suggestions, and errant crossbow bolts by email to rollfactory@particulatemedia.com. SOCIAL LINKSFacebook - https://www.facebook.com/rpgrollfactory Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/rpgrollfactory Tumblr - https://rpgrollfactory.tumblr.com/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/rpgrollfactory The music in this episode is by Arcane Anthems.  https://www.patreon.com/arcaneanthems
Strength Check
Oct 12 2021
Strength Check
This time on Roll Factory, our look at the six ability scores begins with the beefy barbarian’s best friend, the Strength score.We're joined by freelance science writer and journalist Bethany Brookshire. She's on Twitter as @beebrookshire.Strength measures your ability to exert physical force, and is the basis for the Athletics skill. It encompasses your character’s innate muscleboundedness, as well as any physical training or magical enhancement they’ve used to bulk up.Strength is the ability that powers a lot of physical combat. You'll add your strength modifier to the attack and damage rolls when you swing a sword, an axe, or a fist. You'll also use it when you try to control an enemy with a Grapple or Shove.Your DM can ask you to make a strength check whenever you take a brute force approach. You might make a strength check to break the grip of a crushing tentacle, hang on to a runaway hippogriff, or plug a leaky dam by shoving a large rock into a small hole.Next time on Roll Factory we’ll continue our tour of the ability scores with Dexterity.For our past adventures, or to join the campaign, search and subscribe to Roll Factory wherever you get podcasts.If you enjoyed this episode, please help us grow our audience. Tell a friend, rate and review us on Apple Podcasts, or tag the show in a post: we’re on social at RPGRollFactory, and our website is rpgrollfactory.com.Send your questions, concerns, corrections, disputations, guest suggestions, and vicious mockery by email to rollfactory@particulatemedia.com.SOCIAL LINKSFacebook - https://www.facebook.com/rpgrollfactory Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/rpgrollfactory Tumblr - https://rpgrollfactory.tumblr.com/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/rpgrollfactory The music in this episode is by Arcane Anthems.  https://www.patreon.com/arcaneanthemsSound effect credit:stone_tile_dragging_friction_scrape_m10.wav by johanwestling
Ability Score Intro
Oct 11 2021
Ability Score Intro
This time, we’re talking about Ability Scores: how they work, why they matter, and why you only need to think about them around every four levels.The 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons character sheet uses the same six abilities the game has used since the earliest editions: Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution represent your character’s physical capacities. Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma represent mental acuity. Kind of.We’ll explain what each of those abilities is used for in a future episode. For now, you just need to know these six numbers lay the groundwork for determining what your character is great at, and what tasks they’re better off leaving to an ally.The scores generally range from 3 to 18, with 10 representing the average for an adventurer. There are several methods for determining them; your DM will tell you which one to use when you’re rolling up your character.However, it’s not the ability score itself that we use when rolling for an action. Instead, the ability score total determines a modifier. At the average score of 10, your modifier is 0 (what some players call “flat”). Every two points up or down from 10 means an increase or decrease of 1 to the modifer. So at 12 your modifier is +1, at 14 it’s +2, and on up. At 8 your modifier is -1, at 6 it’s -2, and on down. You’ll add or subtract that modifier when you make an ability or skill check which relies on that ability.Most of the time you don’t need to remember if your Strength is 16 or 17, as long as you know that you get a +2 to melee weapon attacks and strength-based skill checks. The only time you want to pay attention to the raw score is when your character levels up. For most classes, every fourth level gives you the opportunity to improve one or two ability scores. If your Charisma is a 13, you’ll only need 1 point to get up to 14 and an additional +1 to your modifier. If it’s a 12, you’ll need 2 more points to get that same increase.Next time on Roll Factory we’ll begin our tour of the ability scores, starting with Strength.For our past adventures, or to join the campaign, search and subscribe to Roll Factory wherever you get podcasts.If you enjoyed this episode, please help us grow our audience. Tell a friend, rate and review us on Apple Podcasts, or tag the show in a post: we’re on social at RPGRollFactory, and our website is rpgrollfactory.com.Send your questions, concerns, corrections, disputations, guest suggestions, and soulful laments by email to rollfactory@particulatemedia.com.The music in this episode is by Arcane Anthems.  https://www.patreon.com/arcaneanthems
Attack, Check, Saving Throw
Oct 1 2021
Attack, Check, Saving Throw
On this episode, we demonstrate the core mechanic of Dungeons & Dragons: the roll of the 20-sided dice. You and your DM will use it to determine the success or failure of practically every action your character takes.These rolls fall into three categories: Attacks, Checks, and Saving Throws. In each case, you roll a d20, then add or subtract the relevant modifier that appears on your character sheet. If you roll high enough, congratulations! You achieve your goal. If you roll too low, you don’t, and the story proceeds from there.To demonstrate each of these rolls I'm joined by my first Dungeon Manager, and a character he's been playing from the very beginning.The music in this episode is by Arcane Anthems.  https://www.patreon.com/arcaneanthemsA quick heads up for the rules enthusiasts: the spell mechanics in this episode were homebrewed on the fly, so Fladnag could roll a save, attack, and check back to back to back. If you’re about to send a scathing email about how Fireball works, let’s save you some time and pretend I’m mortified enough already.Next time on Roll Factory we’ll dive into the character sheet, and look at the six most important numbers you never need to remember.For our past adventures, or to join the campaign, search and subscribe to Roll Factory wherever you get podcasts.For our past adventures, or to join the campaign, search and subscribe to Roll Factory wherever you get podcasts.If you enjoyed this episode, please help us grow our audience. Tell a friend, rate and review us on Apple Podcasts, or tag the show in a post: we’re on social at RPGRollFactory, and our website is rpgrollfactory.com.Send your questions, concerns, corrections, disputations, guest suggestions, and unqualified praise by email to rollfactory@particulatemedia.com.SOCIAL LINKSFacebook - https://www.facebook.com/rpgrollfactory Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/rpgrollfactory Tumblr - https://rpgrollfactory.tumblr.com/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/rpgrollfactory Sound Effects:Table crash: https://freesound.org/people/pauliep83/sounds/33675/Stone break: https://freesound.org/people/WIM/sounds/25064/Water drips: https://freesound.org/people/tosha73/sounds/546359/
Welcome to Roll Factory | Session Zero
Sep 15 2021
Welcome to Roll Factory | Session Zero
Meet our Mid-Level Dungeon Manager, and learn about our plan to tour the D&D 5e character sheet, one number at a time.Roll Factory is a podcast for new and returning players. And if you’ve ever looked at a character sheet and thought “what the hell do all these numbers mean?” it might be for you, too.In each bite-sized episode, we’ll zoom in on a single feature of the Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition character sheet. I’ll explain what each number means, and how it’s used in the game. Then, a guest will show us how it works, by playing a short scenario featuring that particular roll.You can listen to the episode that covers the feature you have questions about, or subscribe for a guided tour of the entire sheet. Along the way, you’ll meet some of the players and characters who’ve made gathering around the table a lifelong joy, and who’ve inspired me as a player and a DM.My approach to running a roleplaying game is pretty simple: I work to create a safe, comfortable, collaborative environment, where players can express themselves, and we can have fun spinning a fantastic tale together. Players tell me what they want to do, I figure out how difficult it should be to accomplish that goal, and what feature on the character sheet will help - or hinder - their chances. Then they roll the dice, and the result determines if they succeed.The chance of failure heightens the drama by adding stakes to the choices the players make. The dice determine the outcome, but they also encourage creativity. If a plan falls apart, the player and the party have to figure out what to do next, and I get to decide how the attempt changes the situation they find themselves in.The rules are there to give structure to the narrative, not dictate how it unfolds. I want my players to know how the rules work, so we know when to apply them, and when to bend them if it makes the story more engaging. And if there’s a difference between the standard rule and a house rule I like, I’ll make sure to explain them both. If that sounds like your kind of game, I hope you’ll keep listening.To join the campaign, search and subscribe to Roll Factory wherever you get podcasts. Send your questions, concerns, corrections, disputations, guest suggestions, and pseudonymous hexes by email to rollfactory@particulatemedia.com, or tag the show in a post: we’re on social at RPGRollFactory and our website is https://rpgrollfactory.com.SOCIAL LINKSFacebook - https://www.facebook.com/rpgrollfactory Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/rpgrollfactory Tumblr - https://rpgrollfactory.tumblr.com/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/rpgrollfactory The music in this episode is by Arcane Anthems.  https://www.patreon.com/arcaneanthems