Page 1522 - 2021: A Role Play Odyssey, Part 2

17th Apr 2021, 6:00 AM in Intermission 14
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2021: A Role Play Odyssey, Part 2
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 17th Apr 2021, 6:00 AM edit delete
Author: Digo

Guest Author's Note: Many of us have done crazy tricks as players, and often we rely on our "lucky dice" to help us succeed in those tricks. Now, don't go cheating with loaded dice (that's unfair), but how many of you have a favorite die that just feels as if it bends probability and rolls better than average for you? Do you have any dice rituals you perform for luck? Perhaps you have moved to online gaming, so your dice are virtual rather than physical. Do you have a favorite app that seems to do better for you than others?

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: January 27th, 2023.



Balrighty 17th Apr 2021, 6:16 AM edit delete reply
We have the polar opposite of that: one player who, no matter which of his dice he uses or even if he borrows someone else's, will roll a 2 much more than statistically allowed. As in, I even started documenting it (how many times he'd roll a die of what size, and how often it was a 2). If the pandemic hadn't started, I'd have even more data.

On the other hand, it started in the year 2-0-2-0, so that's probably a datapoint by itself.
Tel 17th Apr 2021, 7:05 AM edit delete reply
We had somebody like that in our group. Not 2s specifically, just terrible rolls. What's worse, is that he seemed capable of actually infecting good dice. One of the other people in the group took pity and let him borrow one of his "good" dice. Bad idea. Of course the roll failed anyway, and the die wouldn't roll well ever again.
CrowMagnon 17th Apr 2021, 7:20 AM edit delete reply
Wow, you've played with Wil Wheaton?
Norgarth 17th Apr 2021, 8:16 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, my dice enjoy rolling _just_ under what I need to taunt me, and I roll a statistically improbable number of 1s. (Not as bad as Wheaton admittedly)
Digo Dragon 17th Apr 2021, 7:06 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Wow, and I thought my luck was pretty lousy before I got my lucky dice. Not that my 'lucky' dice breaks statistics if I actually map it out, but at least it feels good in a false sense. XD
Anvildude 17th Apr 2021, 8:26 AM edit delete reply
I remember there was a guy on the Tomb Kings forum who had such consistent bad luck that people didn't quite believe it, thought he was doing something wrong. He came back with a whole like, research project that he and a buddy did in college, where he just rolled a whole pile of dice over and over, with various 'win' conditions (rolling high, rolling low, rolling a certain number of a certain number, etc. etc.- even stuff that should be 50/50 like 'odds' or 'evens'), and the results of the data were that he was just... 40% less lucky than the average person. Like, they had a control and everything, that came out with the expected average or near-average results, but his rolls were consistently bad. Not necessarily high or low, just wrong for what he was attempting.

It be like that sometimes, I think.
Eroraf 17th Apr 2021, 1:37 PM edit delete reply
Pics or it didn't happen. There is no way one person can consistently be that unlucky.
YD 19th Apr 2021, 11:43 AM edit delete reply
Link to the research project or it didn't happen. There are lots of ways one person can be that unlucky: publication bias, p-hacking, outright fake data...
Wulfraed 17th Apr 2021, 11:18 AM edit delete reply
Put him into a game of RuneQuest... Low numbers for success/fail rolls are GOOOOOOOD!!!!! Though I'll admit if they show up on the damage and hit-location rolls, the player would be nickel&diming the opponent with minimal damage to the legs...

For anyone with more than starting skill levels, rolling a 02 (on D100/%) would be a critical hit (ignore armor, do double max damage).
Kaze Koichi 17th Apr 2021, 9:06 PM edit delete reply
Then you should play GURPS with him. He can't possibly roll 2 in GURPS, because 3 is the lowest roll.
Arcada 4th Mar 2022, 4:37 AM edit delete reply
That is absolutely the case with me. Doesn’t matter what character I play, campaign I’m in, which of my dice I use, wether real or digital, or whose dice I use, I die. Or fate-worse-than-death. The only times I roll well is when it will lead me into a scenario where I have to rely on the dice roll, only to then roll badly. The craziest part is it’s the same if someone else rolls on my behalf! Thankfully it never infects anyone else and my nice play nice for others so, yaaaay
Arcada 4th Mar 2022, 4:39 AM edit delete reply
my dice play nice*
Anvildude 17th Apr 2021, 8:30 AM edit delete reply
We had a die like that once. My DM banned it, and afterwards went through all his dice and tested their balance in a saltwater solution. It turned out the die (a solid-color green d20) was in fact unbalanced and had a tendency to land on the 16,18,14,11,20 quint. So any bad or good luck is purely our own.

That's apparently a legitimate issue with some solid (non-clear) dice. Bubbles inside them that you can't see can change how they're weighted. It's why all Vegas dice are translucent. Also, sharp corners result in more random rolls (somehow)-hence, all Vegas dice have sharp corners as well.
Caitrina 17th Apr 2021, 9:09 AM edit delete reply
It's that sharp dice don't keep rolling as much, so they have less ability to keep going until they find their slightly biased side. Though it's a bit harder for non-cubic dice anyway.
Wulfraed 18th Apr 2021, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
If rolling on a smooth, hard, surface -- you may be right.

But on felt, or fabric table cloth, I'd expect the sharp corners to catch, and produce "magnificent" rolling effects. A rounded die on such a surface is more likely to just slide on whatever face is down.
Draxynnic 18th Apr 2021, 3:16 AM edit delete reply
If by "land on" you mean land in such a way that the result is from that group of numbers, then that die would classify as beneficial (if you want the high numbers, anyway) - all of those numbers are above 10 and you have all of the even numbers above 12, so a die that favours results in that group is definitely going to tend towards higher numbers overall.
Mrjacob77 17th Apr 2021, 8:53 AM edit delete reply
I have two dice rituals to keep my rolls from bring too terrible. First, I have to cycle between my d20's, if I overuse one it will start to run out of good rolls and I have to switch so it can recharge. Second, if the option of rolling multiple dice for damage comes up then I HAVE to use dice from each of my sets all at once. The more variety in the dice I'm rolling the better the numbers get!
SilverShadow4 10th Aug 2021, 3:30 PM edit delete reply
My ritual (read: superstition) has perhaps become too extreme lol
I have 5 sets and 2 additional d20s currently. The dice fit neatly in the office supply cups in my desk lamp and one of the sets is glow-in-the-dark so I "charge" my dice before each session. I have a nice leather Scroll of Rolling (Die Hard Dice - check e'm out!) on which I roll my d20s in alphabetical order by name, rolling each one until it rolls above a 10 then moving on to the next. I roll them in the same order during game and if I lose my place and resume with the wrong die they all roll bad the rest of the night
I name my dice by picking names that seem to fit and rolling the die to see which name it rolls highest for. Meet Amber (liquid core), Crimson (metal), Magma, Seafoam (glow-in-the-dark), Sparkle, Spring, Violet, and their corresponding sets at the link! My Dice!
BuffaloBrony 17th Apr 2021, 9:55 AM edit delete reply
I remember back in the day, someone did a massive mathematical analysis of the standard Games Workshop d6 dice, with something like a 100k dice rolls.

It was determined that overall - the "standard" GW dice shipped back at the time WERE statistically unbalanced, so that they were more likely to roll 1s than 6s.

The physicist in the group determined it was likely an angular momentum issue. That because the rounded corners, small dice size, low weight, and that the drilled pips do affect the "weight" of the sides, the 'heavier' one side would tend to stay in motion longer, effectively "pushing" the 6s off the top.

Larger dice, heavier dice, and squared corners reduce that potential. Hence why gambling casinos use larger, translucent, heavy, squared corner dice.

Which is why my "lucky" D6s are large, heavy, metal D6s I purchased at a convention...

...which still doesn't help my luck TOO much, but at least I can't blame the dice aymore.... LOL.
Digo Dragon 17th Apr 2021, 1:50 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I can confirm the casino dice part. I own a few d6s from an actual Vegas casino and these things are hefty. Being slightly transparent is nice cause you can see there aren't any air pockets to cause a bias in the rolls.
Robin Bobcat 17th Apr 2021, 4:26 PM edit delete reply
I've always been fond of the Gamescience dice - clear, hard edged, very fair rolls.
Borg 17th Apr 2021, 3:03 PM edit delete reply
For the record, I'm pretty sure Kirin Valhalla isn't a thing, or at least is inhabited by members of an extinct subculture that glorified loss of control with predictable results.
Robin Bobcat 17th Apr 2021, 4:32 PM edit delete reply
I could see it going one of two ways... Kirin have two afterlifes - One is calm and peaceful and quiet. Relaxing picnic lunch in the shade sort of place. The other is fire and mayhem where Nirik can rage and burn. Possibly a nice feasting hall. These are both 'good' afterlives, just depends on what the individual prefers, you know?
Draxynnic 18th Apr 2021, 3:18 AM edit delete reply
Or maybe it's one during the day, and the other at night, and everyone resurrects when the Nirik period ends.
CrowMagnon 18th Apr 2021, 10:19 AM edit delete reply
Sounds like this.
Robin Bobcat 17th Apr 2021, 4:29 PM edit delete reply
Not dice, but I used to LARP. Lovely Changeling game, lots of players, good fun. Except I realized that some of the players were cheating by throwing late on their Rock-Paper-Scissors checks. So I printed up some lovely cards, twelve total, four of each type. When challenged, I would draw a card blind, and wait for them to show theirs before turning it over. Suddenly, my 'luck' got a LOT better... and the cheaters started avoiding me entirely.
albedoequals1 17th Apr 2021, 6:48 PM edit delete reply
I had a lucky laptop. If I understand it correctly, Roll20 generates "random" numbers from a seed based on processor speed among other things. I had one particular laptop that averaged approximately 13-15 on d20 rolls over a span of 3 years.
Winged Cat 17th Apr 2021, 9:49 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
I prefer stacking bonuses. How better to consistently roll 14 or better on 2d6?
Faen the Monk 18th Apr 2021, 11:02 PM edit delete reply
The majority of my dice seem to roll normally, but I also make it a point to not have my characters bank everything on getting a good roll (with some exceptions for fun, of course.)

My DM dice, on the other hand, is the first D20 set I nabbed almost 15 years ago. It's the weirdest thing: these dice follow the plot. If my group is fighting a bunch of mooks, the mooks will miss or do pitiful damage. When the boss comes out, they hold their own unless the players do something foolish, then the crits come out. When the players make a good tactic, said boss will always fail their saves. If I want a recurring villain, they somehow always get away.

The only time my dice seem to get mad at the players is when they waste a session farting around with explicitly stated arbitrary details. Mook guards that were only meant to be an obstical almost TPKd the group once, for example.
Dakkath 19th Apr 2021, 9:45 AM edit delete reply
I'm so bad with d20s I tend to roll higher on average with d12s
Guest 19th Apr 2021, 12:08 PM YD edit delete reply
I had a funny FiM moment today. I was walking home after a bike ride and saw a squirrel on the sidewalk. It was just sitting there and twitching its tail weirdly. "Wouldn't it be funny if that squirrel has Pinkie Sense and something is about to fall?". I decided to play along and looked up... Turns out I had unstrapped my helmet earlier but hadn't taken it off 🤦. I got tricked into a self-fulfilling prophecy by a SQUIRREL 😠.
CCC 20th Apr 2021, 6:21 AM edit delete reply
You've gotta be careful of these self-fulfilling prophecies. They can sneak up on you.