24

The Campaign: Superstition

July 5, 2021 by Tim


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Graham Best
Graham Best
3 months ago

It’s either a holy relic, or it’s not balanced.

Ste
Ste
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Best

Or 2 is on an incredible run of luck, which is statistically unlikely but not impossible.

Gonfrask
Gonfrask
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Best

It is not unusual that a cool look also brings an unbalanced design. I have seen more than one dice design banned in tournaments.
Also I have played against friends with the irritating skill of always rolling 6

Darklink82
Darklink82
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Best

The thing is, if it is getting 19s as well it may very well be balanced, a 20 and a 19 are on opposite sides of the dice, if it were weighted you wouldn’t be getting 19s. He IS using a special mat though, the mat could have a magnet and the dice could have magnets in the right spots. Knowing these characters I wouldn’t put it past them.

Hunter
Hunter
3 months ago

Calling it now. While their not looking, it’s going to become mouth dice.

Leon
Leon
3 months ago
Reply to  Hunter

Girl’s gotta eat……….

Mr. Casual
Mr. Casual
3 months ago

Okay, so really. I get the whole notion of possible fragility, cushioned rolling surface to protect it, sure.

There is no way a die will “roll” well on a pillow. Especially if you are aiming for dead-center, and ensuring it does not travel far. That is not rolling, that’s dropping.

Crestlinger
Crestlinger
3 months ago

Fear the power of the grabby dice jinxer.
For they are the final argument in all thing superstitious.

Jeff CB Jones
Jeff CB Jones
3 months ago

*Ark

Dodgy
Dodgy
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff CB Jones

While you may be technically correct (which is the best kind), I’m going out on a limb and assume you are no fun at parties, good sir.

maybe30bats
3 months ago
Reply to  Dodgy

We can be more pedantic. Looking at the Ark is fine. Touching it without being a priest of the Aaronic or Levite priesthood is the thing that carries a death sentence.

Kaira
Kaira
3 months ago
Reply to  maybe30bats

Hi! I am even less fun at parties, and actually no one can touch it. The priests are just the only ones allowed to carry it around on the poles that are specifically there so that you can transport it without touching it. (This is, incidentally, also the only permissible way of transporting it. Somebody put it on a wagon once, and that ended badly.)

Kenju
Kenju
3 months ago
Reply to  Dodgy

Or like me, they have the VHS sitting on a shelf where they can see it from their computer when at home.

Vincent Price
Vincent Price
3 months ago

Conflict set, roll for initiative.

Calibus
Calibus
3 months ago

I wouldnt trust those dice either. Dm absolutely should do a series of teats to check the dies bias.

DField
DField
3 months ago
Reply to  Calibus

it takes hundreds if not thousands of rolls to test dice bias properly… especially since gemstone and metal dice are too heavy to use the salt water test. Also as stated elsewhere, edge geometry (if you round the edges of desirable numbers, but leave sharp the edges of numbers opposite the desirable ones) and how you roll the die are both much larger factors in how well a die rolls than subtle weight difference. It takes *significant* weight difference to affect die rolls in a way that puts them statistically outside the margin for error. The pillow certainly wouldn’t help… Read more »

Vincent Price
Vincent Price
3 months ago
Reply to  DField

A nice slab of genuine leather makes for a good cushioned surface to protect both the dice and the table.

Giuliano Marques
Giuliano Marques
3 months ago
Reply to  Vincent Price

Or a mousepad.

raven0ak
raven0ak
3 months ago

leather mousepad for win

Cragfast
Cragfast
3 months ago
Reply to  DField

Maybe for a proper χ2 test, but rolling no less than 18 four times in a row is already down to 0.05%. You wouldn’t need many more such rolls to justify banning it.

Humsterr
Humsterr
3 months ago
Reply to  Cragfast

On the other hand, the chance to roll four times and get some result is 100%, so why not have this result be 20-19-20-18? Statistically you have the same chance for this as for 10-10-10-10 or 12-7-18-6

Cragfast
Cragfast
3 months ago
Reply to  Humsterr

I don’t see what that has to do with my comment.

Humsterr
Humsterr
3 months ago
Reply to  Cragfast

That’s because you don’t really understand statistics it seems. Four rolls is not enough evidence of anything, because odds of getting any specific combination of rolls are all the same. So 12-7-18-6 is equally unlikely, but would not be reason for you to suspect anything.
Lack of normal spread over, like, a hundred rolls — that would be a statistical anomaly, but not over four rolls.

Rolan7
Rolan7
3 months ago
Reply to  Humsterr

Four rolls is a small sample size, you’re right, but you started talking about specific combinations of 4 rolls being equally probably. When replying to someone talking about “Rolls no less than 18”, which is completely unrelated to specific roll combinations.

Cragfast
Cragfast
3 months ago
Reply to  Humsterr

I didn’t say four rolls was enough. I even acknowledged that it wasn’t enough for a proper statistical test. I said the chances of rolling at least 18 four times in a row was 0.05% and therefore you “wouldn’t need many more such rolls to justify banning it”.

Do you at least agree with the 0.05% figure?

21st Century Peon
21st Century Peon
3 months ago
Reply to  Cragfast

Out of how many rolls over the campaign? If you only roll 4 times, and get 18+ every time, then yes, it’s highly unlikely, but over 400 rolls, the odds shorten significantly.

Cragfast
Cragfast
3 months ago

Out of how many rolls over the campaign?

Four.

If you only roll 4 times, and get 18+ every time, then yes, it’s highly unlikely

So we agree.

Last edited 3 months ago by Cragfast
Halosty
Halosty
3 months ago
Reply to  Cragfast

I’ve seen more statistically unlikely series of rolls come up in games I’ve run. Even 3 of the exact same number in a row is much lower % and happens often enough. It is a bit suspicious that the random generation happened to be in his favor right when he changed to a fancy die, but it could happen.
Or he could just be cheating more obviously than the other players. You just know everyone in that group is cheating.

Cragfast
Cragfast
3 months ago
Reply to  Halosty

3 the same is a 1 in 400 chance. That’s about 5x more likely than 18 or higher four times in a row.

Calibus
Calibus
3 months ago
Reply to  Cragfast

As a player of nearly 16 years, i have witnessed and had quite a number of triple rolls. It’s rare but not unheard of. Now if its consistant 10 rolls are leaning on 20-14-8-2 then i ask my player to use different dice until we do a number of tests to the dice. Of the player says no, then i just dont let him ise the dice. Dice are not perfectly 5%. Things like inclusions, voids, factures, and chips all can effect the rolling consistance of the dice. And sharp edged dice are some of the least rolling dice in… Read more »

ElEriko
ElEriko
3 months ago
Reply to  Cragfast

That’s true for 3 of any number; 3 of a specific number is less likely. But what we are actually looking at the is the probability for a “curious outcome”, one that doesn’t seem random to the human brain. Because a streak of “worse than 3” or “always between 9 and 11” or “always alternating between 20 and 1” or any other similar outcome would equally have lead to a reaction by the players (even though it would have been a different reaction if the die rolled always low). What I mean is that the human brain is particularly good… Read more »

Cragfast
Cragfast
3 months ago
Reply to  ElEriko

What you should be looking at isn’t “what is the chance of a new die rolling exactly 18-20 four times in a row” No, 18-20 four times is exactly the result we ought to be looking at, because that’s what happened in the comic. Superstition has nothing to do with it. Is Player 1 suspicious because 20, 19, 20, 18 is a “sequence that a human would think is not random”? No. He’s suspicious because those are objectively good results and they are advantageous to Player 2. The question is, “what’s the chance of rolling this well or better with… Read more »

foducool
foducool
3 months ago

lest it loseth all its divinity

Popsicle
Popsicle
3 months ago

Noone touches personal dice without express permission! 😡

Urazz
Urazz
3 months ago

Either the pillow is interfering with the roll or the dice itself is unbalanced in design. I can imagine that it’s the former though and if I was player 1 I’d ban the pillow.

Last edited 3 months ago by Urazz
Daminica
Daminica
3 months ago
Reply to  Urazz

Hmmm, the pillow….. some magnetic shenanigans maybe?

Dodgy
Dodgy
3 months ago

That swan jump over the spike pit cuts the cake! You should have that panel made into a t-shirt!

Last edited 3 months ago by Dodgy
lechuckGL
lechuckGL
3 months ago
Reply to  Dodgy

What makes you think that wasn’t the intention of that panel ?

Dodgy
Dodgy
3 months ago
Reply to  lechuckGL

Donut assume my thinking. Biggot!

Kasaix
Kasaix
3 months ago

I kind of wondered if it was allowed to roll a die on a pillow and not a flat surface.

Leon
Leon
3 months ago
Reply to  Kasaix

Is it maybe the pillow that”s rigged>

Halosty
Halosty
3 months ago
Reply to  Kasaix

Generally you are supposed to roll on flat surfaces.The exact rules are always up to individual groups, but I don’t know of many people that would allow such a surface, not specifically because it really promotes cheating but because you really can’t tell which side is up.

wkz
wkz
3 months ago

There is only one way to combat this sort of dice: “Roll low to succeed” rolls. I still remember a single Space Wolf RunePriest taking out almost everything singlehandedly from a Tyranid opponent back in 6th?7th? edition Warhammer 40k over 4 turns, only because the ability he casted requires all the large bug monsters (and there were a lot of them; “big bug rush” was the meta back then) to make saving throws that would be usually easy to pass… except it seems said Tyranid player was using dice which seem to roll suspiciously high all the time yet needed… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by wkz
Daminica
Daminica
3 months ago

I’m not sure if it’s unbalanced, the 18 19 & 20 on a D 20 are not near each other in order to end up there with an unbalanced dice.

There must be more to this dice then we can see at this time.

Tim
Tim
3 months ago
Reply to  Daminica

I was about to say that exactly.

And I would add that these dice could have nothing special about them cheating-wise.

I mean : yes, the probability of rolling no less than 18 four times in a row is low but not at all impossible. And as Elan would say it (Order of the Stick another great webcomic) : 10% is pretty unlikely but 1 in a million is a sure thing ! (and we are in a story !)

lechuckGL
lechuckGL
3 months ago
Reply to  Tim

That sounds almost like a quote from Terry Pratchet

Little_Dragon
Little_Dragon
3 months ago
Reply to  lechuckGL

It’s very close, actually.

“Scientists have calculated that the chances of something so patently absurd actually existing are millions to one. But magicians have calculated that million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten.”

Mind you, the odds have to be *exactly* a million to one. Which prompts a group of characters in one Discworld novel to go to ridiculous lengths to handicap a scenario to that precise level of improbability.

21st Century Peon
21st Century Peon
3 months ago

There may well be actual magic involved – the numbers are rotating around within their faces (see 1, 3, 5, 12).

SpeCter
SpeCter
3 months ago

And arrangement of the numbers themselves is not correct either. On a standard D20 numbers opposite of each other should add up to 21 which it clearly doesn’t do here.

The question is if it is intentional or not 😀

Leon
Leon
3 months ago

Two’s kinda douching out…..

Carl Abrams
Carl Abrams
3 months ago

Long ago, I had a d20 that the DM feared. It’d roll perfectly normal – unless I really, REALLY needed the roll. Then – and it didn’t matter if I rolled it, or I let the DM roll it – it’d roll 20. It did it five times in a row one night in a horrendous combat Absolute rest of the time it’d roll purely random – just a regular, plastic dice.

wakeangel2001
wakeangel2001
3 months ago

If he won’t let anyone else tough the dice then they could EASILY accuse it of being loaded or otherwise rigged, and tell him he isn’t allowed to use it anymore unless it is tested. Unless it actually IS a divine relic that would take offense to being tested he has nothing to hide. The other players don’t even need to touch it in order to test it.

Robert
Robert
3 months ago

Would never let a player throw a dice onto a pillow. Hard surface only.

Croi
Croi
3 months ago

I get the reference…but that was only for a movie. If you TOUCHED the arc of the covenant, you’d die, so it would have made for an even better reference.

SkulltheTroll
SkulltheTroll
3 months ago
Reply to  Tim

But then you dont get to correct some one who is WRONG on the internet. I’m afraid I dont understand.

tiamattt
tiamattt
3 months ago

There are rolls to dodge attacks in this game? This version is even better than I thought!

Ken Paulson
Ken Paulson
3 months ago
Reply to  tiamattt

Allowing players to do all of the rolling has been a homebrew/optional rule for decades. Basically you’re rolling an AC check instead of the opponent rolling an Attack check.

Boogeyman
Boogeyman
3 months ago

People seem to think this is unlikely, but I’ve literally had someone roll Nat 1’s (auto misses) 3 times in a session, but ONLY when the character had True Strike (+20 to hit, damn near garunteed success) cast on them. 3 casts of True Strike, 3 Nat ones. Yes, statistically the odds of it are unlikely, but unlikely=/=impossible, and thus no cheating is necessary for this to happen. I have dice i specifically go to for important rolls because they never seem to roll below a 16 on those critical tasks.

Boogeyman
Boogeyman
3 months ago
Reply to  Boogeyman

You know, its actually amusing that this was Monday’s comic, because I played D&D that night, and I shjt you not, I only rolled below a 16 on initiatives all session.

Tim
Tim
3 months ago

This is exactly why I 3d-printed a dice tower. Let the D20 enter the randomizer that is an enclosed spiral staircase and may the gods be merciful.

With no chance of losing there are no stakes and therefore no fun.

Last edited 3 months ago by Tim
TRwolf2k
TRwolf2k
3 months ago

And then he looked down, and it was already in 4th’s mouth……

Epsilon
Epsilon
3 months ago

That cushion it too thick for that thing to roll. It’s just going to stop on whatever was on top when he dropped it. Like I understand that it’s there for the bit, but like it bothers me a little.

Hightecrebel
Hightecrebel
3 months ago

Eh, I’ve had streaks where everything I roll that session is 14+, and I’ve had streaks where everything is single digits That last one had my character stuck as a wolf for three weeks. Actually, considering we never continued that campaign due to deployments and such, I suppose he’s still a wolf…

BakaGrappler
BakaGrappler
3 months ago

Good stylistic choice having the number appear with a halo of light to indicate the result. Made it easy to decode at a glance.

Negaflame
Negaflame
3 months ago
G M
G M
3 months ago

Why is he rolling to avoid an attack? I thought you just had a passive number, Armour Class, for those?

Dorander
Dorander
3 months ago
Reply to  G M

A common variant rule is rolling for defense as well. A target’s AC is typically a flat value + armor bonuses, in 3.5 it was 10 + bonuses, I don’t know if that changed in 4th or 5th. Essentially you ‘take 10’ on defense. The rule simply replaces the flat value with 1d20.