Diced Events
intermediate.png
players.png ~6-?
time.png 15 min
props.png cue-deck × 0 inspire-deck × 0 dice × 1 roll guide, objects for preparation

A fun free improv game that uses dice to control how many people will participate, what kind of atmosphere is to be played, and special ways to use instruments.

Preparation

Download the dice roll guide for the game and print it out. You should hang it up somewhere that’s easy to see in the playing area or hand out to everyone attending, both players and audience.

Gameplay instructions

Before each playing session choose a different person each time to roll. The die will be rolled three times before each session.
Session time is up to the players or see the "Variant" chapter below.

The first roll will tell us the number of players to perform according to the number rolled.
The person who rolls the die chooses the players. If a 1 is rolled then anyone can join.

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The second roll determines the atmosphere of the music to be improvised.

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Quick explanations of each roll:
1. Tiny Sounds - Quiet gentle minimal sounds
2. Non-Music - Try to play as nonmusical as you can without drifting into noise.
3. Loop-Locking - All players attempt to create a cohesive rhythmic groove using short loops. Keep it tight with locked rhythms.

These last three are created to be left up to the players’ own interpretations:

4. Wide Open Space
5. Jungle
6. Broken Machine

The third roll concerns the instruments. Which ones to play and how to play them.

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Quick explanations of each roll:

1. Extended Technique - Every instrument should be prepared with an object(s).
2. Play someone else’s instrument - Just be careful with it! Try an instrument you are unfamiliar with!
3. Play your own instrument - Ah, finally! Pure familiar ground!
4. Use an object from the room - Find anything in the room to play that is not a musical instrument. There is always something to use.
5. Play your instrument wrong - What is the wrong way to play your instrument? Go for it!
6. Vocals only - No instruments, only the sound of voices improvising!

Gamemaster's notes

This is a game based off of Events Lists. An event is anything that happens for a period of time in music: ex. a riff, a beat pattern, a noise, etc. Events are chained together to create some kind of music, whether it be for composition or improvisation. Creating a list of events for dictating how a piece of music is played is simply called “an event list.” There are many games that can be played using event lists. They will be tagged as “events.”

Video

Variants

A fourth roll could indicate the length of the sessions in minutes. You could use 1 as “free time.”
If you’re familiar with these kind of games then feel free to change some of the events in the lists. I’d advise that if you do change an event that you should test it out first before a game performance.

Game Designer

Marcus Staniec (notrightmusic)

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