Questions tagged [dice]

For questions primarily about dice themselves: polyhedral solids used to generate random numbers. In tabletop RPGs, dice are the most common means of introducing chance into the proceedings. Many players enjoy collecting dice of varying colors and shapes.

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201
votes
9answers
85k views

How does rolling two d20 and taking the higher affect the average outcome?

D&D 5E has an "advantage" concept where instead of rolling 1d20, you roll 2d20 and take the higher. Likewise, disadvantage means rolling 2d20 and taking the lower. How does this affect the ...
174
votes
7answers
14k views

How to let my players fail their rolls intentionally, but covertly?

I'm experimenting with some pen-and-paper role-playing involving characters with hidden agendas. To foster a proper sense of paranoia, I want these hidden agendas to be unknown to not only the other ...
107
votes
2answers
57k views

How can I test whether a die is fair?

I have a d20 that seems to be, well, remarkably lucky.* How can I determine whether it's really just luck, or whether the die is in fact unfairly biased? *) Well, I don't, really. This is actually ...
100
votes
13answers
30k views

3d6 vs a d20: What is the effect of a different probability curve?

What is the effect on game play of replacing d20 rolls with 3d6 rolls in a D&D 4e campaign? I started thinking about this after reading this question where the example was given of playing a d20 ...
90
votes
5answers
20k views

Rolling a D10 (0-9) for hitpoints. What do I get with a zero?

My character leveled up and I rolled a D10 to determine the rise in hitpoints. The dice that I used goes from 0 to 9 and I rolled a zero. The DM told me that this means I only add my modifier (0 + 3 = ...
88
votes
11answers
23k views

Player may be manipulating die rolls, but I'm uncertain. How do I approach the situation?

I'm a new DM for four people who are all friends (I am also friends with all of them). During the game, I observed one player turn a D20 from a lower number to a higher number a couple times with her ...
76
votes
3answers
23k views

Does microwaving a die significantly alter its balance?

I saw a rumor online a long time ago that stated by microwaving a die on a specific face it would be more likely to land on said face and have been looking for science by which to either prove or ...
71
votes
18answers
20k views

What dice mechanic gives a bell curve distribution that narrows and increases mean as skill increases?

I'm looking for a dice mechanic that produces a bell curve at all skill levels. I also want it to increase accuracy and precision as a character's skill increases — this basically means better average ...
68
votes
27answers
19k views

How do you play D&D when we don't have dice to play with?

Now I came all the way from Indonesia, and I can tell you that D&D is not a thing. Hence, it will be tough for me (and for my wallet) to find shops that sell d4, d12, d20 and so on. Let these dice ...
64
votes
4answers
40k views

Is the Saltwater Float represented in this question a good way to test for loaded dice?

Recently a question has popped up in the comments of another question I've recently answered where a player has happened to roll three 18s and other high stats at a table with his dice, which could ...
58
votes
3answers
6k views

Is there any known limit for how many dice RPG players are comfortable adding up?

After reading a few RPG systems that use successes and others that use dice whose shown number are totalled, I came to the conclusion that personally I prefer adding up a maximum of 3–4 numbers and ...
57
votes
22answers
4k views

What approaches are there to lessen or eliminate reliance upon dice in an RPG? [closed]

Is it necessary to use dice all the time in a dice-based RPG system? In other words, are there occasions or means by which you speed up gameplay by either reducing the number of rolls or removing the ...
54
votes
8answers
5k views

How to approximate rolls for potions of healing using only d6's?

I want to make tabletop potions of healing out of corked vials (test tubes) filled with dice. Each vial would be labeled and filled based on the potion it represents. For example, a vial for a potion ...
54
votes
7answers
9k views

Is it possible to produce a bowl-shaped probability curve with dice rolls?

In D&D's basic D20 system, you roll one d20 and add in some modifiers, then compare the result to a target number. Each modifier effectively adds or removes a 5% chance of success with the roll. ...
53
votes
28answers
22k views

What can I use in place of Fudge Dice? [closed]

If someone doesn't have any fudge dice, what are the best methods to replace them and why? Term: Fudge Dice are six sided dice with two sides labeled with a +, two sides with a -, and two sides that ...
51
votes
2answers
16k views

What are the statistical implications of doubling damage on crit instead of doubling the dice rolled?

I've been playing with a group that frequently allows players to double the value of dice rolled for crits (and other things) rather than rolling double the dice. Example, someone crits with 2d6 and ...
49
votes
6answers
14k views

Is 3d6 the same as 1d18?

This might actually be a better fit for Mathematics SE, but since RPGs are the intended application of the information I've decided to put it here (it has nothing to do with me being lazy and not ...
44
votes
7answers
69k views

When rolling percentages, do 1d100 and two d10s (percentiles) share the same probabilities?

I know d100s are shunned because they take too much time to roll, and 1d10+1percentile is really fun, but do they share the same probabilities? Is it better to use a (digital) d100? Also, do d100s ...
42
votes
6answers
11k views

At what point did polyhedral dice become part of D&D?

I was reading some articles the other day about Gary Gygax, Dave Arneson and the history of Dungeons and Dragons. I started to wonder: Where did these guys from Wisconsin get the now iconic polyhedral ...
41
votes
7answers
9k views

Is there a name for the standard 7-die set?

I'm curious if there is a formal name for the standard 7-die set (d4, d6, d8, d10, d10*10, d12, d20), and is there any backstory or history associated with it?
40
votes
2answers
7k views

Is GameScience's non-cylindrical seven-sided die a balanced/fair die?

You might have come across GameScience's seven-sided die before: There's mixed discussion of whether it might be biased toward the 6 and 7 faces (the 6 being on the opposite side of the 7 you can see ...
38
votes
24answers
7k views

Simulating these special dice on more regular dice

I've got a game that uses special dice for its resolution. Basically when making an opposed check, each side rolls a bunch of them based on the relevant trait, and whoever rolls most points wins. The ...
38
votes
11answers
21k views

Is a GM hiding rolls standard? [closed]

I haven't been playing D&D for too long, maybe a year, but the DM of the main campaign I'm in always hides his dice rolls. I don't have an issue with it, but when I play with another group the DM ...
35
votes
6answers
88k views

How do I read a 4-sided die?

In the Red Box starter game, when you choose to be a Rogue, it says that your damage is 1d4+4. When I rolled the dice, it had all three "4" symbols facing up. Did I do 4 damage, or do I add them up to ...
34
votes
20answers
8k views

Dealing with large amount of dice rolls for a single damage roll without making it drag on

There are a number of spells and abilities that involve large amounts of dice rolling. For example, a high level rogue can have up to 10d6 in Sneak Attack, and a high level Wizard can have a ...
34
votes
2answers
4k views

What does dice notation like "1d-4" or "1d-2" mean?

I'm trying to adapt GURPS 4th edition's system creation system into a Python script and I'm trying to understand the dice notation. In particular: Roll 1d-4 (minimum 0) to determine the number of ...
32
votes
14answers
22k views

How many sets of dice do I need for D&D?

I just started playing and am borrowing my friends' dice every time we play. I am looking to buy my own. How many sets do I need to buy?
32
votes
8answers
8k views

What is the statistically superior character creation method, twelve 3d6 or six 4d6?

The D&D 3.5 Player's Handbook gives (among others) two preferred methods to roll ability scores for a new character: a) roll 3d6 twelve times and keep the preferred six results, or b) roll 4d6 and ...
31
votes
16answers
6k views

How can I help players learn to tell apart the standard polyhedral dice?

We've all been newcomers to tabletop gaming at some point and had to learn for the first time which die was which. I vividly recall the first request for me to roll a 'percentile' and blankly staring ...
31
votes
7answers
7k views

Does the chance of rolling a 1 in a pool of d10s increase as the number of dice increases?

Just a question about probability. If I roll one d10 there is a 10% chance of rolling a 1. Assuming that receiving any 1s among the results of a pool of dice is a failure, what are the chances of ...
31
votes
4answers
9k views

Is there a name for this 20 sided die with two 1s, two 2s, etc?

Purchased this die from a hobby/tabletop store yesterday, mainly because I thought it looked cool, and that it was funny that it was so hard to read the faces: I was passively rolling the die, and ...
31
votes
5answers
20k views

How does Halfling Luck (re-rolling my Nat 1's) affect my dice outcome?

The Halfling Luck racial trait lets you reroll natural 1's on checks, saves, and attack rolls, but you must keep the second result. With Advantage or Disadvantage, it lets you re-roll only one of the ...
31
votes
1answer
3k views

Help me identify these 20-sided dice with assorted numbers from 4 to 72

I have these dice. I don't know where they came from or how I got them, and I can't imagine what they are for. They are 20-sided dice but the numbers on the sides are bananas. See image Numbers on ...
30
votes
10answers
83k views

How do I read 2d10 as a percentage?

I own 2 d10 dice with differently numbered sides (0 through 9, and 00 through 90), although the same applies for two identical 'regular' d10 dice. How do I read the percentage value if I use both ...
30
votes
8answers
20k views

Are these two methods of handling Elven Accuracy "Double Advantage" mathematically equivalent?

For context, part of the Elven Accuracy feat (Xanathar's Guide to Everything, p. 74) states: Whenever you have advantage on an attack roll using Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma, you can ...
28
votes
6answers
6k views

Can I randomly determine the outcome of an event with 5 outcomes with a d6?

Could I use a d6 to find which event would happen given there were 5 events, lets say named A, B, C, D, and E? I am thinking that for 1–5, you could have the events assigned to their respective ...
28
votes
6answers
10k views

Dice Rolling Method Fairness

Recently, in D&D sessions I have been rolling poorly (nothing over 10), and thus tried ways to improve my rolling. I was using a plastic solo cup last session, and got really good results compared ...
28
votes
11answers
7k views

Is it possible to emulate common polyhedral dice rolls using just a d6, and if so, how?

This is a question that I've asked myself numerous times, but I've never gotten a really satisfying result. The issue is this: let's assume we only have one or multiple d6 dice (arguably the most ...
28
votes
6answers
5k views

Are Earthdawn's dice mechanics as unfair and wonky as my player claims?

After an Earthdawn one-off running Misguided Ambitions with my regular D&D 4E group — because one guy was MIA — I had a discussion with one of the players about Earthdawn's dice mechanics. The ...
28
votes
3answers
245k views

Pathfinder Damage Dice Steps

I am building a Human Gunslinger character who uses the Racial Heritage feat to get access to the Goblin Gunslinger feat so he can use a large double hack-but without penalty. Problem is, the the ...
28
votes
2answers
721 views

What game uses yellow 20-sided dice with letters and arrows?

Full disclosure: These are from my own online store (see my profile.) I've sold a small number of them over the years to dice collectors, but I don't know why anyone would want them or what they are ...
27
votes
8answers
15k views

Why do most people consider a "00" and a "0" on a percentile roll a 100?

Assuming the results of a percentile roll ranges from 1-100, why would the results of a "00" and "0" roll be read as a "100"? In any other context outside of a percentile roll, the "0" on a d10 is ...
27
votes
8answers
19k views

How reliable are dice rolling programs?

Dice programs and their use around the table are on the rise: Are there any characteristics, qualities, or quirks of results obtained by using dice programs which might detract from play? Improve it? ...
26
votes
12answers
5k views

What is the ideal way of emulating a full dice set using a single d20?

Imagine you are trapped in a post-apocalyptic world and only have a single d20 at your disposal, nothing else whatsoever. What is the ideal way of emulating all other common dice types (d4, d6, d8, ...
25
votes
4answers
38k views

Why does a d10 count from 0 to 9?

I have recently purchased (in Poland, if that matters) a set of dice, from d6 to d20. I'm a complete newbie (if not ignorant) to RPG in general, dice, and this sort of technical stuff in practical, ...
25
votes
8answers
3k views

How to approximate decaying probability distributions with few dice?

I am looking for ways to generate a probability distribution using dice which produces results that are skewed towards lower numbers, ideally as some kind of smooth decay. For example, imagine a ...
25
votes
4answers
16k views

What abilities allow me to reroll or replace die rolls?

I am building a "lucky wizard" for my newest campaign. The concept is to use abilities and features that allow me to reroll (or replace rolls) attacks, abilities, and/or saving throws (such as the ...
24
votes
8answers
11k views

Cheat-proof online die roller? [closed]

I am looking for an online die roller that works similarly to the following: The GM provides a string identifier to the player. E.g., "gandalf attacks balrog #12" The player enters the id on the ...
24
votes
6answers
3k views

How to deal with players rolling dice before establishing the context of the action?

I've been running a lot of fate and cthulhu-dark games lately, and I've run into a common challenge with several players: They'll roll the dice before we establish what kind of action they're taking ...
23
votes
4answers
30k views

How does rolling a 1 on a skill check play out if you have a +9 or better to that skill?

My DM is telling me a natural 1 is worst possible result, but when my build reaches Sorcerer 8/Bard 1, my Persuasion bonus will be +10, meaning my worst roll should be an 11. Right?

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