I've played around with the idea of coming up with my own game over the years and had some questions about randomizors, specifically Spinners.
What is your opinion on the use of spinners in games?
How do you think a spinner as a randomizor would compare to: dice, cards, etc.
Do you think they would work in a Role Playing Game?
Does anyone here have any information on spinner statistics?
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Spinners are annoying:
* They sometimes end "between the lines" and require judgement calls.
* Most spinners are cheaply made and don't spin well.
* They take up more table space than an equivalent card deck (although less space than a dice-throwing area).
I'd prefer cards or dice.
The only two spinners I actually like: The game of life spinner (ticka-ticka-ticka!!! It sucks, but it's fun to listen to!), and the Pretty Pretty Princess spinner, which whizzes like crazy with even a light touch.
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The swirler in the original version of Escape from Atlantis gets my vote for cool spinner tech.
Spinners are like dice; they give the same probability each time they are used. Cards can be counted, and (depending on the context) generally give players more of a feeling of being in control.
Get up, get up, get up, get down, fall over.
Forget spinners, this is your baby:
No 'on the line' judgement calls, tactile, simple.
Just needs to be placed flat.
Best to use a "Game of Life" type spinner which has no ambiguity then the cheap, flat kind such as found in "Nuclear War".
Spinners take longer to provide a random number than dice.
Therefore they are not suited to games that need to generate lots of random numbers such as Advanced Squad Leader.
On the other hand, they provide some drama while the players wait for the spinner to settle down. Think of the big Wheel of Fortune one can bet on at the county fair.
Therefore, the game design should be one in which there are high-drama randomization moments. If you are going to be using a spinner or upright wheel or roulette wheel, you want the players shouting "Come on! No whammies!" and cheering or groaning when the result comes.
In general this would mean, I would think, a game with a smaller number of high-stakes randomizing moments (and therefore probably a lighter or even party type game).
In such a game, the spinner could be a good "bit" contributing to the fun of the game.