Just a little stitious

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As the fate of our characters can literally depend on the roll of a die, it is to be expected that many gamers have superstitions about their dice. While humans are infinitely inventive creatures and all have their own, we wanted to share some of the ones we have observed in our own games. Mayhaps they can help you avoid your next unlucky streak!

The most commonly seen — at least by our observation — is perhaps that of “using up” good rolls. In this superstition, players should either avoid rolling their dice unless absolutely necessary, lest they might waste good dice results that may be needed later. Alternatively, some players may roll a die several times to warm it up until it gets to the good rolls, or replace a die which seems to have “run out” of good results.

In all these cases, the underlying idea is that the numbers the die will generate have already been determined and the act of rolling merely reveals those numbers. One must appreciate the irony of treating a random number generator as being predestined to certain outcomes.

Closely related but less common is the concept of “punishing” dice that produce a streak of bad luck, either by changing to a different dice or by literally punishing the die by putting it into a dice-bag of shame or even in the freezer. Alternatively, but rarer, dice that roll well may be honoured by being placed on in elevated position above the others or placed in a fine velvet reward-bag.

In these cases, the die are treated as a sort of conscious entity which can be motivated to show good behaviour or punished to prevent the bad. To be fair though, we were anthropomorphizing a d12 in the previous blog post on dice

Though more common in gambling than gaming, the idea of lucky dice is a common one as well, with special dice being retrieved for especially important rolls. Many gamers have a more ephemeral view of luck as it relates to dice though, for example refusing to let others touch their dice for fear it might cause bad rolls.

This idea underpinning this ephemeral view of luck can result in similar outcomes as with punishing dice, isolating the ones that roll badly to prevent the miasma of bad luck from infecting the other dice. In this case though, it is not bad intent on the part of the die, but a soft of infection which causes low rolls — or vice versa, a golden aura of luck that may be shining on one.

Finally there is the belief in the “Dice Gods”, often referenced when a die that landed crooked is rerolled only to end up on the same score. In this case the “Dice Gods” made the determination that this was the intended result and rerolling confirmed this. An alternative version seen in the online gaming community might be the “Dice Gnomes” to whom regular sacrifices must be made (by describing such ritual sacrifices in out of character comments, for example) lest they may end up giving bad rolls.

In this case, rather than the dice themselves being conscious, there is a higher power which controls them. In most cases this belief is more in jest than a serious religious conviction though one interesting observation we’ve made is that almost all gamers have some sort of superstition — even the ones normally inclined to rational thought. Perhaps part of the fun of having a random factor in our games in the first place is seeking to control it in some manner.

Do you have any superstitions or strange customs regarding your dice? We’d love to hear about it on the community forum! This weeks changelog is a little empty as some of our fixes haven’t gone live yet, though you can expect those in the coming week!