A to Z Blogging Challenge: L is for Luck

L is for Luck

Every time you roll a 20 sided die, each number has an equal chance of showing up. If you roll a 20, your next roll each number on the die has an equal chance of appearing. Despite this reality many gamers have superstitions about dice rolling well, or poorly based on how you sit it, or where you store it. They have lucky dice, or a special d20 just for skill rolls. There are probably as many superstitions as there are gamers, and though I understand the reality of probabilities and dice rolling, even I have a few idiosyncracies when it comes to my dice.

As a player, I tend to take the time to set my dice with the highest number facing up, as though training them to sit with that face up will lead to more frequent high rolls. I also tend to swap out dice if they’re rolling consistently low. My mind knows these things don’t make a difference, but I just can’t help myself. And if I feel like I’m having a truly horrible run of luck, I have one of my first dice that I’ll pull out in an attempt to get my luck back on track.

On the other hand, I feel like I roll more high rolls when I’m the Dungeon Master even though I’m usually too busy to do anything with my dice other than gather them back up into the same area after I roll them. It probably feels like I roll more high numbers because as the DM I get to roll dice more frequently, but there’s always a possibility that my superstitious actions are actually having the opposite effect.

One of the things I enjoy about Dungeons and Dragons is figuring the probabilities of success and failure. But even though I understand how the dice work, and what the odds are, I still view the dice with a bit of superstition.

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