Jump to content



Photo

The Dice ... and the trouble I have with them


  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 PzVIE

PzVIE

    Member

  • Members
  • 176 posts

Posted 09 September 2009 - 06:39 PM

Dice tend to favour one number. None of the 10siders you are able to buy are fairly weighted. One solution to this problem is to use lots of 10-siders (I usually put 20 or more in various colours on the table for my players to use them). That way, you can prevent using the same dice (which favours "1"s or "2"s for example) every time.

The new version comes with customized dice. And here's the only trouble I have with v3 by now: how exact are they made? How weighted are they? And would it affect the game, if they are weighted, in a serious way? And, can I buy extra dice from FFG to have a greater pool to chose from?

Or am I the only one who bothers about such ridiculous, neglectable, pathetic things ...



#2 monkeylite

monkeylite

    Member

  • Members
  • 834 posts

Posted 09 September 2009 - 07:49 PM

As a player I usually have a big dice tournament before a session. I get  all my dice of a certain type together and sort them into qualifying groups, and then roll them off against each other, keeping a careful note of the results and displaying them in league tables. Obviously the rolling test is relevant to the sorts of rolls I'll be making for the system we'll be playing. Then I'll get the winner of each group and the best runners up and have a sudden death knock-out, usually best of three. The knockout competition ensures that the dice can roll well in critical situations and sudden tests, rather than just be consistent over a longer period.

Until I'm left with only two dice for the final. The winner will become my main dice for the night, and the beaten finalist I put in reserve incase the main dice gets damaged or sabotaged by another player's bad vibes.

This way, it ensures, not only that I have a good high-rolling dice ready to play, but it's also on a hot run of form for that particular evening.

 



#3 marklawford

marklawford

    Member

  • Members
  • 13 posts

Posted 09 September 2009 - 07:50 PM

I have to say, in my regular Ars Magica troupe, the colour of the dice is of more concern than any mathematical possibility of number bias (though the two are tangentially linked).

We have a suspicion that the purple die has a prediliction for rolling zero. But the purple die is smart and won't actually manifest that behaviour under scrutiny. It waits. It bides its time. And then, when Dave makes a stress roll... Bang. Zero it is.

And that's why Dave tries to avoid the purple die.

So as you can see, suspicion of malevolent intent far outweighs any actual statistically-significant physical flaw amid the dice.



#4 marklawford

marklawford

    Member

  • Members
  • 13 posts

Posted 09 September 2009 - 07:52 PM

monkeylite said:

...This way, it ensures, not only that I have a good high-rolling dice ready to play, but it's also on a hot run of form for that particular evening.

 

Very sensible, but how do you test for doping? How do you know that some dice haven't been supplied with performance enhancing polish by the other players?

It's a legitimate concern in the modern game...



#5 monkeylite

monkeylite

    Member

  • Members
  • 834 posts

Posted 09 September 2009 - 08:04 PM

marklawford said:

monkeylite said:

...This way, it ensures, not only that I have a good high-rolling dice ready to play, but it's also on a hot run of form for that particular evening.

 

 

Very sensible, but how do you test for doping? How do you know that some dice haven't been supplied with performance enhancing polish by the other players?

It's a legitimate concern in the modern game...

It's probabaly a bit old-fashioned these days, but I find just getting a small random sample and applying a quick lick-test discourages that sort of behaviour, though I can't claim to be sure I have 100% compliance.



#6 Loswaith

Loswaith

    Member

  • Members
  • 171 posts

Posted 09 September 2009 - 08:17 PM

PzVIE said:

Dice tend to favour one number. None of the 10siders you are able to buy are fairly weighted. One solution to this problem is to use lots of 10-siders (I usually put 20 or more in various colours on the table for my players to use them). That way, you can prevent using the same dice (which favours "1"s or "2"s for example) every time.

....

 

I've personaly found the way you roll the dice have far more impact than the dice themselves and unless your melting sides (or purposefully weighting them) on dice the weight differences have negligable effect on the dice themselves.



#7 NewTroski

NewTroski

    Member

  • Members
  • 93 posts

Posted 09 September 2009 - 08:24 PM

There was a guy in my Vampire game that would roll his pile of d10's constantly, to find "the good ones."  Every time he tried to vanish though, you could count on a whole lot of 1's showing up.  I was one of the worst clerics ever in our AD&D game due to my tendency to roll 1's for CLW.

I still have faith in mathematics, however, and dice are pretty good random number generators.  To really determine if a die isn't fair, you'd need to roll it thousands of times, in the same way (and that way has to tumble the die enough), and mark down all the of the results to actually determine if a die had true bias.



#8 PzVIE

PzVIE

    Member

  • Members
  • 176 posts

Posted 09 September 2009 - 08:40 PM

Loswaith said:

I've personaly found the way you roll the dice have far more impact than the dice themselves and unless your melting sides (or purposefully weighting them) on dice the weight differences have negligable effect on the dice themselves.

Yup, rolling from a dice cup or swiftly into a dice board is mandatory to create random numbers. I still don't think that cheaply produced dice (and all the dice we buy for our RPGs and other games are cheaply produced) do tend to favour numbers in a way that is not negligable. Maybe that is an personal observation only creeping in my muddy mind, but I still dislike the fact to have a limited number of dice ...

Have you ever checked out the price difference between standard d6's and exactly weighted casino dice? At games fair in Essen, they sell a pair of perfectly weighted d6 (1cm, various colours available) for €32.--. I bought a pair of these for my wargames. They ensure that there is no air bubble in the dice (meaning that one side is heavier than the other), and that the pips-material used has exactly the same weight than the rest of the dice. You can't get d10's, unfortunately.



#9 macd21

macd21

    Member

  • Members
  • 914 posts

Posted 09 September 2009 - 09:57 PM

PzVIE said:

Have you ever checked out the price difference between standard d6's and exactly weighted casino dice? At games fair in Essen, they sell a pair of perfectly weighted d6 (1cm, various colours available) for €32.--. I bought a pair of these for my wargames. They ensure that there is no air bubble in the dice (meaning that one side is heavier than the other), and that the pips-material used has exactly the same weight than the rest of the dice. You can't get d10's, unfortunately.

That's nice. I don't think many other players care that much.



#10 jadrax

jadrax

    Member

  • Members
  • 369 posts

Posted 09 September 2009 - 11:13 PM

NewTroski said:

There was a guy in my Vampire game that would roll his pile of d10's constantly, to find "the good ones."

That's stupid! Everyone knows that kind of behaviour uses up all the luck.



#11 ymrar

ymrar

    Member

  • Members
  • 68 posts

Posted 09 September 2009 - 11:23 PM

Indeed. You need to roll the unlucky ones "out of the system", so that the dice are ready to deliver good luck when it's needed.



#12 42!

42!

    Member

  • Members
  • 141 posts

Posted 09 September 2009 - 11:39 PM

marklawford said:

So as you can see, suspicion of malevolent intent far outweighs any actual statistically-significant physical flaw amid the dice.

LOL - and so very true.

Psychological perceptions of good and bad dice rarely, if ever, holds up to actual statistical testing (which most players (fortunately) won't bother to do).

42!



#13 PzVIE

PzVIE

    Member

  • Members
  • 176 posts

Posted 10 September 2009 - 12:05 AM

42! said:

42!

Tell me - does your nick has something to do with dice rolling or is it the answer to life, the universe and everything?



#14 Ravenheart87

Ravenheart87

    Member

  • Members
  • 130 posts

Posted 10 September 2009 - 12:32 AM

If you want to know how to buy, choose, purge, charge and throw your dice, than read HackMaster's corresponding chapter. ;)



#15 Mordenthral

Mordenthral

    Member

  • Members
  • 224 posts

Posted 10 September 2009 - 01:40 AM

PzVIE said:

And, can I buy extra dice from FFG to have a greater pool to chose from?

Extra dice will be available for sale.



#16 Varnias Tybalt

Varnias Tybalt

    Member

  • Members
  • 2,036 posts

Posted 10 September 2009 - 05:44 AM

PzVIE said:

 

Or am I the only one who bothers about such ridiculous, neglectable, pathetic things ...

 

 

I wouldn't say you're completely alone (we all know how superstitious roleplayers can be about dice), but you get no sympathy from me in this regard.

The difference in weight on all sides of a die would be because the grooves cut in the die made by the numbers, and while an 8 often have more grooves rather than a 1, the effect is really quite negligible to the results.

In fact, if you really opted to have a completely even die, you shouldn't use your hand to roll the die, since the placement of the die in your hand and the amount of force you put into rolling it will be different each roll, and those physical forces influence the die A LOT more than minute differences in weight due to the groove cut numbers in the sides of the die does.

I'd say your idea of that it's the dice fault is all in your head rather than being reality. No offence intended.



#17 kristof65

kristof65

    Member

  • Members
  • 39 posts

Posted 10 September 2009 - 08:46 AM

NewTroski said:

I still have faith in mathematics, however, and dice are pretty good random number generators.  To really determine if a die isn't fair, you'd need to roll it thousands of times, in the same way (and that way has to tumble the die enough), and mark down all the of the results to actually determine if a die had true bias.

My best friend and I have done this to some extent.  Years back, we found an insanely good deal on a case of very cheap d6s made in Taiwan - it was something like $10-15 for a case of around 2000 dice.   Figuring that the cheaply made dice would be less likely to be balanced, we spent the better part of two weekends rolling them in batches, trying to determine which ones were more likely to roll 6s. I don't remember our exact system, but it was something like roll 5 of them at a time, keep any that rolled a 6. Once you had 5 of them that had rolled 6s, repeat the process.  By the time we were done, we had around 2 dozen good candidates that had all been rolled at least a 1000 times each. Then those dice were all rolled just to make sure that none of them ALWAYS rolled a 6.

Now, statistically, I'm sure a couple got through on pure luck, and our process was far from scientific. But overall, I think we did end up with some dice that were more likely to roll 6s than their counterparts.



#18 Varnias Tybalt

Varnias Tybalt

    Member

  • Members
  • 2,036 posts

Posted 10 September 2009 - 09:45 AM

kristof65 said:

 

My best friend and I have done this to some extent.  Years back, we found an insanely good deal on a case of very cheap d6s made in Taiwan - it was something like $10-15 for a case of around 2000 dice.   Figuring that the cheaply made dice would be less likely to be balanced, we spent the better part of two weekends rolling them in batches, trying to determine which ones were more likely to roll 6s. I don't remember our exact system, but it was something like roll 5 of them at a time, keep any that rolled a 6. Once you had 5 of them that had rolled 6s, repeat the process.  By the time we were done, we had around 2 dozen good candidates that had all been rolled at least a 1000 times each. Then those dice were all rolled just to make sure that none of them ALWAYS rolled a 6.

Now, statistically, I'm sure a couple got through on pure luck, and our process was far from scientific. But overall, I think we did end up with some dice that were more likely to roll 6s than their counterparts.

...Sounds like two well spent weekends.

(Im sorry, I really couldn't help myself)



#19 PzVIE

PzVIE

    Member

  • Members
  • 176 posts

Posted 10 September 2009 - 05:17 PM

Varnias Tybalt said:

I'd say your idea of that it's the dice fault is all in your head rather than being reality. No offence intended.

None taken . But you know, when it is always in your head, it nags and chews away your sanity... ("Aaaargh, that voices again!!!!")

@Christof65: That confirms my theory... damn!

 



#20 Varnias Tybalt

Varnias Tybalt

    Member

  • Members
  • 2,036 posts

Posted 10 September 2009 - 06:47 PM

PzVIE said:

 

None taken . But you know, when it is always in your head, it nags and chews away your sanity... ("Aaaargh, that voices again!!!!")

Too right mate.

Voices outside your head are easy to ignore. It's like when obnoxious people you really dislike starts to talk to you and you just drift away to your own personal "happy place" (mine is a realm of flamethrowers, home-made explosives and whisky).

But when obnoxious voices on the inside of your head starts to bug you, boy are you in deep trouble then!

.. Where was I going with this? Ah, who cares...






© 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Fantasy Flight Games and the FFG logo are ® of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact | User Support | Rules Questions | Help | RSS