Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Another quick thought

Dice superstition irritates the living fuck out of me. The idea that some dice are lucky and some aren't, or that a player can "ruin" the luck of another player by touching or using their dice raises my hackles. They are bits of plastic (or metal or stone, if you want to get bling-blingy) with numbers on them. They are not magical. They are slaves to the same probability you are. I get bitchy when people get bitchy over their dice. I started a communal dice pool last summer, but it doesn't seem to have mitigated the problem at all.

I have no explanation for poor Jason in our gaming group and his inability to roll a d20 and have it come up higher than about an 8. I can only surmise that a bitter past DM must have somehow rigged all his dice... or maybe he only has those old fashioned d20's that have duplicate numbers from 0-9...

Yeah, I used to believe some of my dice were lucky, too...when I was ten.


  1. There is an important distinction to make - some people say "Man, i've got unlucky dice tonight. Someone trade me!" as a way to sort of laugh off the crap rolls and be silly and other people ACTUALLY BELIEVE IT.

  2. Agreed. This was just one of my quick thoughts, which often turn into mini-rants. I should have probably mentioned that "table etiquette" should be observed in asking to use someone's dice before you just grab them, much the same way you would their pencil or scratch paper. However, it is a minor pet peeve when players are unreasonable about their dice because they believe they are on some kind of roll (HA!) and someone else will somehow grub up their luck.

  3. Yeah. I hear ya.

    People get crazy about their dice.

    he he he.....roll.

  4. According to Lou Zocchi's spiel, some dice *are* "unlucky" because they're misshapen. That is, certain numbers are more likely to come up because the die itself is unbalanced or has some corners which are smoother than others. So it's still not really luck, it's just that the probabilities of the die are skewed.

    I don't actually know how well that applies to most modern dice, however.

  5. An interesting thought... I see how that could be especially true with d20s, especially if some of the points on them get more "rounded" than others through natural wear.

    I'd better not tell my group that, or some of them will start grinding their dice...