Tobold's Blog
Monday, October 08, 2012
 
Lucky dice do exist!

Good news for all pen & paper roleplayers: We aren't completely crazy, all the myths about some dice being luckier than others are true. Dice with rounded edges are indeed not perfect, and certain numbers can thus appear up to 20% more or 20% less than average, because of how the dice are "tumbled" to round the edges. Nevertheless the claims of Gamescience that their dice with sharp edges are superior because giving a result closer to randomness have hit a snag: Due to these dice having a chunk of plastic sticking out on one face, the opposite face of that dice comes up 40% less than average. On the Gamescience d20 that is the 14 which is rarer than others.

For practical purposes all these dice are sufficiently random for a game. The rounded edge dice, like those from Chessex, have the advantage of their deviation from randomness being random, thus you can have "lucky" or "unlucky" dice. I don't like the idea of a Gamescience dice being predictably non-random, even if 14 is not a particularly significant number on a d20 in most games. Thus if you wanted your dice to be as random as possible, you would have to remove the uneven spot from where the plastic is injected in the mold. But of course if you don't do it perfectly, you risk another deviation from randomness.

Comments:
I used to have some D6 that were spheres. Of course they were horrendously bias (raised ring where the two hemi-spheres joined).

A simple house rule should be that anyone can ask to use anyone elses dice. Unfortunately this lead to arguements when someone tries to use a box of dice that have had the ones pre-rolled out of them.
 
maybe generate numbers using random.org?
 
Frankly, I think having real lucky dice to go with the mythos is a fun touch, and shouldn't be counteracted. It's very hard to measure and has an obviously small effect on gameplay, but the fact that there is some truth to prevent the refutation of the myth means we all get to enjoy a fun urban legend.
 
Oh great. I spent some time building a dice tower just so I could eliminate the "you're rolling it wrong!" arguments among the kids, and now along comes this.

/sigh

 
Reminds me of a heated discussion I had with my D&D buddy in high school. I found myself arguing vehemently that if I rolled a one, my next roll was more likely not to be a one, since the chance of rolling 2 ones was only 1 in 36.

It took me an hour to finally concede that a previous roll couldn't possibly affect the next roll.

Predictably he passed 2 semesters of college calculus and later became a physician, while I rode the rails and slept in caves until I was taken in by a family of ogres who needed an algebra tutor since X's and Y's I really get.

Could lucky dice have changed my life?
 
became a physician, while I rode the rails and slept in caves until I was taken in by a family of ogres

Bristal you made my day :-))))
 
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