I was introduced to RPG dice in my youth. I never actually owned any at that time. Our little band of study hall adventurers shared the use of one communal set of polyhedral dice, property of the Dungeon Master. In D&D, every well laid plan is ultimately at some point at the mercy of the rolling of the dice. Players can research, scheme, plot and plan but nothing happens without the hand of fate or the will of the dungeon master. Now I am not insinuating that the DM is the one holding the fates of all the players in his hands. While he may literally be holding all the dice, be a dice goblin or even a master of knowledge he too must abide by the rulings of mistress fate. The dice hold all sway; that is why we play!
Gamers use dice because there is a love of randomness, surprise and probability in RPG’s. Dice are fickle indeed. Fickle as F*ck! One moment they seem giving and gloriously generous and without as much as a by your leave they can turn on you! The dice giveth and the dice taketh away. What can you do? The fortunate might dive into their stashes to swap out ill-behaved dice for a new set hoping new dice will bring better luck to the situation. Others employ either dice praising or dice shaming to sway the hand of fate in their favor. Is it the dices fault we all have dice expectation? I have thought to myself on numerous occasions, “Come on baby, mama needs a new pair of shoes!!”
Dice praising/Dice shaming, a definition of sorts – A fanciful behavioral tactic employed by gamers in hopes of effecting a preferred outcome in the world of RPG depending upon their choice of psychology. Upon either case of dice roll, high or low, the recipient takes a photo of the dice with a note to publicly shame or praise their dice.
Similar to the act of pet shaming, dice shaming or praise rises and falls in popularity with awareness. Good dice etiquette is teachable skill. You learn at a very early age that you have to abide by the roll of dice, there’s no crying over bad rolls, or do overs. We’ve all had our good and bad moments at the hands of the dice. It’s our behavior in the moment that makes or breaks the situation making it memorable. Rolling a rare but devastating critical fail or “GASP” the unimaginable double critical failure garners any poor sod an immediate shower of pity in their fellow campaigners and should be immortalized in a photo. Because as fish stories go no one ever believes you when you tell the real story after the fact. Either way the dice land, high or low, I bet you never saw it coming.
… “The straight-line randomness of the d20 means that rolling a “20” and rolling a “1” have equal odds. Some folks don’t like that because no matter how good your character is, there’s always a 5% chance the dice hate you.”Daren McCormick
Whether you put fate favored dice on a lofty pedestal showering it with praise or toss ill-behaved dice into dice jail, dice have no real feelings. I’d go as far as to say (while rapping on wood for luck, of course) dice hardly think of you at all or even give you a moments’ pause. Dice behavior can be brutally cold, unfeeling as a corpse and wholeheartedly unreliable. Some advocate that the noble D20 needs to clearly understand that bad rolls come with the promise of repercussions. Users have been known to teach lessons by shutting their dice in the freezer, putting dice into time outs and dice jails, smashing offending dice with hammers, even melting them in fire to teach the other dice what fate awaits them if they produce bad rolls. Remarkably, RPG dice can still be glorious, shiny, treasured and beloved! Gamers pamper their dice with love, kindness, fancy dice bags & display boxes, rolling mats or trays all in the hopes of achieving good dice rolls.
True lovers of the game develop a deeply rooted bond with probability. Chance is hope! There is always hope that perfect dice exist that only roll critical hits! And that is why I always want and need more dice. “I have too many dice!” said no one ever. The prevalent thinking in dice ownership is “
ALL THE MORE!
” But if I suddenly abandon my quest for the set of perfect dice one day, don’t bother asking why… Because I would never ever tell you where I got mine! — Alea Iacta Est