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I have a player who I am pretty sure is using weighted dice. He has an entire dice set that almost always gets the best possible roll. He claims it's just insanely good luck but everyone agrees with me. I don't know if he knows he has a weighted dice set or not, but he does not want to test his dice in order to find out. I would feel bad if I kicked him from the group but if he does not know the dice are weighted it would not be fair to get rid of him.

The fact that he makes encounters less challenging by getting so many critical hits is a problem because it makes it so I need to up the difficulty for my encounters, which then makes it too much harder for the other players to contribute.

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Beware of confirmation bias

There is a very strong chance that what you perceive as “almost always” is actually “slightly above if not right on what’s expected”.

Don’t trust your impressions!

It’s far more likely that he once had a streak of good luck and that has coloured your impression ever since - every time he rolls an 18-20 this sets the impression deeper in your head but you forget the far more frequent 1-17.

His perspective

I apologize if this section seems unduly harsh but it’s important that you look at this from the other side. I am concerned that you are “pretty sure” when you are almost certainly wrong and very concerned that you have acted on this erroneous surety to inflict harm on some else. Buckle up - this gets rough.

You accused him of cheating. Not only that, you recruited everyone else at the table to gang up on him. And you don’t trust him when he denies your unfounded accusations. Plus you want to screw with his lucky dice and everyone knows that if you do stuff like that, Lady Luck screws back!

First, I’m almost sure his dice are perfectly fine - not perfect because no dice are and possibly not good enough that a casino would use them because they pay a premium for high-quality dice but good enough for a casual RPG. If there is something wrong with them, I’m almost sure he doesn’t know it. Put it this way - if I was on a jury, I would have no doubt he was innocent not just reasonable doubt.

What to do

Best option - Forget about it

His dice are almost certainly fine and even if they aren't, he’s probably not cheating.

If he is cheating in a game of make-believe elves with nothing at stake, and he’s over 12 years old, then he deserves your kindness because he’s a sad, sad individual.

Remember, it’s far, far more likely that you owe him an apology.

If you really, really can't let it go - Write down his results

If you really can’t just take a deep breath and let it go and absolutely have to satisfy yourself that he’s not using unfair dice, jot down all his results on, say, his d20 from the next few sessions.

If you wait long enough you can get enough data to do a full chi-squared test on all 20 numbers but you can do it a lot quicker if you use say 4 “buckets” (1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20) - you need a lot less data for 3 degrees of freedom than 19 - about 25 rolls or so. However, you probably won’t need to do a full test, just looking at the histogram will probably disabuse you of your bias.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Dec 6 '19 at 21:04
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Just invert all results

You could turn the table by turning the dice rolls: If he claims his dice are unbiased, he should have no problem with using inverted dice rolls. This means that instead of using the results of his dice you calculate the result such that a result of "1" equals the highest number and vice versa, e.g. D6 becomes 7-D6 and D20 becomes 21-D20. This will not affect the overall statistics if the dice are unbiased.

To make it fair, you could apply it for everybody for one evening ("Australia Day!"). See whether he still wants his dice afterwards (or whether you have become a victim of confirmation bias as detailed in Dale's excellent answer).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Dec 7 '19 at 0:48
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Ask if you can hold onto his dice between play sessions, and test them yourself if he consents, or lend him a set of dice to use while he plays at your table.

You can test whether a set of dice is weighted towards a specific result by using the test found in this question here. It will require a fair bit of epsom salt and a few hours of time, but if you're willing to do it, the test can quite easily determine a dies bias (as long as it isn't a D4 anyway).

This method will NOT determine certain kinds of fixed dice, such as shaved surfaces (where one side of the die is shaved off so that the die isn't a perfect cube, causing an imbalance towards one side because of its more rectangular shape), shaved angles (where certain angles are shaved to be larger than others, causing the die to land on the sides with the largest face more often), nor will it detect dice with liquid metal cores like gallium (which become liquid when heated up in a hand, and when the metal core becomes a solid again, it can cause the die to be weighted towards a specific result).

It will determine dice that have an improper weight as a result of air bubbles inside the dice, or more dense sections of the dice cooling as part of the manufacturing process. Most dice that are non-clear that are manufactured by Chessex fall into this category, you can find out more about that in the above question/answer.

If he consents to leave his dice for you to test

Test them. Determine their bias, and notate your results thoroughly. If it turns out that all of the dice are weighted towards high numbers, it might not necessarily be through fault of his own, he could've just bought some poorly balanced dice through Chessex. Explain to him that there are few dice that are perfect, and keep some of the epsom solution so you can show him how the dice were tested.

If he doesn't consent, and refuses to use other dice

There's a distinct possibility that he knows about their bias, or purchased the dice weighted on purpose, this is the most likely scenario which would indicate possible guilt, you can't really prove that he's lying to you, but his refusal to use dice that you have deemed fair might indicate that he is being intentionally manipulative at your table, and generally doesn't fit in very well with the social contract of most dungeons and dragons groups.

If this is the case, tell him that if he won't let you test his dice, that you'll be expelling him from the group until he will either use a set of dice you yourself have tested to be balanced, or are allowed to test his dice to determine their slant.

It isn't fair to your other players to allow cheating at your table, and if his dice are actually weighted in a way that would be fair, it could negatively impact the gaming experience of everyone at the table other than him. Nobody likes a Mary Sue, just like nobody likes a cheater.

There's a chance he's probably going to play the guilt card and attempt to guilt you into letting him stay even if this occurs, probably something like, "You have no proof yet you're still kicking me from your table, that's not fair to me."

If they do offer a rebuttal like this, just tell him that he is acting in a manner that confirms his guilt, and that if he had nothing to hide, he would have allowed his dice to be tested or to just be a cool dude and use someone else's dice for the remainder of the games.

If he doesn't consent to their testing, but will use other dice

Probably the easiest scenario that doesn't require science or thorough testing of dice honestly. If he will just use other dice, that completely takes the potentially loaded dice out of the equation, and allows for a complete diffused situation. No more bad dice = No more ridiculous rolls.

During the later years of the D&D Championship Series, a professional D&D competition; (Yes, they exist) everyone who entered and played was issued a set of dice, and were not allowed to use their own, this is to prevent the entry of biased rolls in the competition and ensure fairness for every participant.

You could pull a similar card with your table, buy as many sets of clear, see-through dice (with no air bubbles if possible), test them, and give everyone who sits at your table a set. They can use no other dice that you haven't given them. This takes away the fun of using your own personal set of dice, putting your dice in dice jail, or exiling them to the top of the dice tower, but insures fairness.

That's a huge trade off though. Many would consider the use of your own dice one of the staples of Dungeons and Dragons, and should only be done as a last resort in the event of suspected cheating.

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    \$\begingroup\$ OP has stated the player is unwilling to test the dice :( \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Dec 4 '19 at 19:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Yeah, I know. I just wanted to present every available option that could be taken in the future should anyone else run into a situation similar to this, but not exactly like this. \$\endgroup\$ – Sandwich Dec 4 '19 at 20:19
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This is an opportunity for adult conversation and resolution. At this point it doesn't matter if or why his dice are rolling unfairly, there is a perception that things are unfair and that subtracts from the game being fun for everyone.

Indicate that you are concerned that his dice are rolling unfairly but do not accuse him of cheating. Come up with a solution, like providing him with a set of dice to use when playing with you. Then stand by that solution. If he is unwilling to accommodate your reasonable request then let him know he is no longer welcome to play.

At that point, you are not the one getting rid of him, he is removing himself.

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As the DM, you have the authority to ask a player to use different dice -- perhaps one of your dice sets, or one that he borrows from a different player. If you really think there's an issue, you should do that.

If your player balks, you're within your rights to say "please use different dice or else leave my table".

Most dice are weighted to some degree, so testing if his dice are weighted probably won't shed light on this issue -- it'll just make him feel accused.

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I would suggest that you allow him to continue using the dice, but on the condition that whenever you are rolling against him, you also use those dice. That way if they ARE weighted there will be almost as much downside to him using the dice as there is upside.

Edit: This will primarily impact combat encounters, but as @KevinStarmast pointed out below, many skill checks are opposed skill checks: Contests, basic rules, page 61. (Also in Chapter 7 of the PHB under Using Ability Checks ... )

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    \$\begingroup\$ Many skill checks are opposed skill checks: Contests, basic rules, page 61. (Also in Chapter 7 of the PHB under Using Ability Checks ... ) \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Dec 5 '19 at 14:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Good point. I think this further supports my suggestion then. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$ – TheNarrowMan Dec 5 '19 at 14:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TheNarrowMan Please revise your answer to include anything important from the comments you feel you want to add. These comments will be deleted soon. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Dec 7 '19 at 0:50
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I am assuming DnD-like game.

I actually have my doubts you can load standard d20 die. My d20s always have low number just next to high ones* and i am rather skeptical to the possibility of loading those reliably. So only way for them to be loaded would be incorrect numbers on sides (e. g. each number betweeb 11-20 twice, instead of nice array of 1-20) - which is something you can probably check just by looking at them.

*Also there are "spindown" d20, that have consequent numbers next to each other, as they are used as HP counter in M:tG. I guess it would be possible to load these - but those are NOT standard DnD equipment and it would not be unreasonable to ask player to roll some other die numbered in "standard" way. You don't need to ask him to use yours dice, just use different of his dice (provided he has any) .

You mention player is trivializing encounters with his insane "luck". Have you considered he just may have more optimized character than the rest of the group? In DnD-like games, PCs on same level are often not on the same power-level.

Concerning your titular question: Do what you would to with any other problem player. Talk with him. Ask him to change his behavior (or, in this case, dice.) Do not accuse him. Calmly explain why do you think it makes the game less fun for everyone else. Do it alone, without others. If he does not change his ways (or dice (and still gets insanely good rolls)), just suck it up or stop playing with him.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You can buy loaded dice in standard 7-piece sets that have normal numbering. I have a similar set as a novelty in my dice collection. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Dec 5 '19 at 23:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ Please correct me if i am wrong, but the linked set seems to be "loaded" by having "20" instead of "1". Which easily can look like standard numbering, but is not. Also, if your loaded set works differently, does it really work as expected? \$\endgroup\$ – IvanT Dec 5 '19 at 23:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie That link is for a set of dice with extra highest numbers on them, not loaded dice. I'm not sure if you meant to link to something else, or if that's just an example of the kind of nonstandard dice that are available. \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Wells Dec 5 '19 at 23:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ohh, no, I was just looking for an example of loaded dice. Mine have standard numbering. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Dec 6 '19 at 2:19
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Go shopping

First, it's perfectly possible to get loaded dice by accident; here's a tale of a blogger who just bought cheap domestic dice (while in China).

But pretend you are an intentional cheater, and actually search the web for both "loaded dice" and "cheat dice" and see what it's possible to buy. The former is weighted; the latter has some low numbers replaced with high numbers. Those products are in fact for sale.

Now see if you recognize your player's dice.

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