Dice are wonderfully simple randomness generators. They can simulate in games the randomness that life can and does bring in so many situations. Sometimes, though, you want to harness that randomness but make the players decision the deciding factor in the game. Not the randomness. This is what I want to accomplish with Temps.
When you roll dice you get a random number. This randomness can seem to favor one person over another at times and can make for a sour experience in a game. Sometimes that randomness is completely warranted but in Temps, I didn’t want the game to be about getting specific rolls. I wanted it to be about how a player uses the rolls they get.
Euphoria does this well. The value of the dice represents your workers knowledge and higher rolls can offer benefits (when placing in the resource markets). But you don’t always want high values since higher values mean you might lose one of your workers. So high values is a good thing but also can be a bad thing. Balance.
An example of a game that doesn’t do this as well is Kingsburg. I like this game, but the player who rolls the highest values usually wins since the higher you go up the influence chain, the better rewards you can get. How you use your dice is still important in this game but it favors higher rolls which are, of course, random.
In Temps, the value of the dice represents the skill of the worker. So the higher the value of the dice the higher the skill of the worker. Players use their workers to complete jobs and the jobs that require the higher skill also pay more money. The balance comes in the cost of workers. When you complete a job you must pay your workers based on their skill which means you pay more for a higher skilled worker. This means that it is less important what you roll and more important how efficiently you can use your dice.
For example, a player who completes a job requiring 1 skill with a worker of 1 skill will make more profit than a player who completes a job requiring 4 skill with a worker of 6 skill. Even though the player with the 6 skill worker rolled a higher value they did not use it as efficiently as the player with the 1 skilled worker. Since profit (money left at the end of the game) is the winning condition of Temps it is very important for players to use their dice, not just to complete jobs that earn higher revenue, but to maximize their profit after paying their temps.
The use of randomness in Temps gives players random circumstances to work with but rewards the player who use the randomly generated values most efficiently.