RPG dice systems have a particular bonus in the way they invoke player emotion, as those dice systems determine success or failure of the player’s actual alter ego, his character. In the best of those designs, dice not only provide randomized conflict resolution, they also provide a foundation for the emotional experience; tangibly manifesting the world to the players as they manipulate the world’s totems—the dice.
So while on the one hand they are actively bound to prescribed goals by the social contract of the game, on the other, they tend to avoid overly strong attachment to outcomes in ways that might disrupt the social fabric of the encounter. Il is only when this balance is achieved that gamers can immerse themselves in the genuine source of their enjoyment—a convivial environment within which to explore the intellectual engagement that arises from the pursuit of arbitrary goals.
In short chance can be seen as often nothing more than a catch-all for things that the game does not otherwise simulate: “chance” in the game represents not “chance” in some sense in the real world, but instead marks the limits of the simulation: the presence of chance may thus be a sign-post in the game that says “Simulation Stops Here”.