Here is a collection of “Dice Advice” for your edification and amusement. Do with it what you would. No guarantees. A few of these ideas seemed to seem sensible to me for a while. But then various other completely contradictory instruction occurs and it too makes sense, in its own superstitious way. The whole thing is rather confusing. Continue reading and you’ll see why.
What to wear:
Never thought about the very best things to wear while gaming? Well don’ yoursite.com , you don’t need to get dressed up to possess good luck. In fact, according to the traditional stories surrounding the game of Craps, “Dirt brings luck. Wear dirty clothes and you will be lucky.” (Hey, that explains that odd odour wafting out of my local game store the other day. There must have been a lot of REALLY lucky gamers within!)
Where to sit:
Well, sitting on a handkerchief while gaming is meant to be lucky. (Best not to combine this one with the “Dirt brings luck” concept… ewww.)
Sitting astride your chair is lucky too. (Tipping your chair back is not lucky however, particularly when we were teenagers and anyone’s mother caught us doing it. Ouch.)
“Never leave a d20 sitting with the #1 facing up. It will get used to sitting that way, and roll 1’s more regularly.” The “scientific” excuse because of this belief says that there surely is a “molecular drift” or “dice creep” due to gravity, evoking the die to become bottom heavy. This would make more sense if dice were semi-liquid, but last time I checked all my dice were solid. Check yours now, just to be sure.
However, “In the event that you leave a d20 sitting with the 20 facing up, it will get tired of being this way, and seldom roll any 20’s.” Hmmm. Besides, how do i tell which way those dice jumbled up in my dicebag are sitting all week between games? Oh, such anxiety! I think I need a transparent dicebag!
Where you can throw the dice:
Well, on the table is good… however, not just any table. Highly polished tables are bad luck… something to do with mirrors reversing things, providing you the opposite of what you would like I guess.
But getting the dice roll off the table onto the ground is bad luck too. When playing Craps the next roll after that is sure to be a 7 (the least desirable number). Plus you might lose the die, a) in the cat’s dish, b) down the heating vent, c) between the collection of cheesies, chip crumbs and dust-bunnies under the gaming table. Any misfortune linked to the dice falling off the table can be remedied by having the “Dealer”, or the in our case the GM, grab the errant die and give it back to you. Of course, some GM’s don’t like ahead out from behind the screen for anything… so if you keep asking them to chase down your dice you just will dsicover you luck gets a whole lot worse suddenly “Why do all of the monsters seem to be going after me tonight?! Oh, can you grab my d6, again?”
What (not) to state:
Never say “You will need anything but a 1”, because that jinxes the roll. This goes along with the idea that while playing Craps no-one is to mention the number 7. By mentioning undesirable numbers, you are summoning them. So, logically (if I may use that word in this context) calling out “Come on 20!” would be summoning a 20. Someone told me he always says “Hit! You bloody bastard!” while rolling to hit. (Apparently swigging beer before exclaiming this, is area of the charm.)
The Hackmaster Player’s Handbook has a great section in the rear of the book on dice rituals et cetera. In it they outline a way of blessing a die by rubbing it on the signature of a famous gamer… filled with diagrams! Be sure to check it out.
Rubbing your dice on someone’s head is a method of blessing the dice. Apparently red-headed people are bad luck though. (I hardly understand this at all. A few of my close friends are redheads!)
Cleansing dice of misfortune is another approach to blessing your dice. This is often done by burying them in salt, or washing them in cold water or mineral water. (Holy water might work extra well, but not for evil characters.) Just avoid alcohol to remove misfortune from your dice… it may remove the ink from the numbers too! Of course, cleansing dice when they have already been performing well, will be counterproductive. You’ll only be washing away the nice luck (and all that “lucky dirt”!).
A “friend of a friend” used to put his dice in his mouth and spit them onto the table, once and for all luck. No-one ever borrowed his dice. Another person, used to help keep her dice down her bra. “Boobs bring luck!” she maintains.
“Bad dice! Go sit down in a corner and think about what you’ve done.” Uncooperative dice could be coaxed, cleansed, blessed or… punished for their bad deeds. Some folks will leave the offending dice in the home when they go out to play: “House Arrest”. Some gamers provides the dice to the overall game, but not let them out from the dice bag. The bad dice need to sit there listening to their other dice friends having fun and rolling merrily, while they sit at night. Other bad dice get out of the bag, but need to sit on the sidelines watching another dice frolicking around. (That’s really too cruel, I believe. It reminds me of high school gym class, when I frequently waited for the turn that never came. Sniffle. Sob. I’ll be okay ina moment.)
The worst things I’ve have you ever heard of people doing to poor unsuspecting dice are, a) putting them in the bathroom . (not flushing though), b) ejecting them in to the atmosphere with a slingshot, and c) taking a blow torch to them. (This latter, as a dice lover, I regard as outright murder. “Someone call the cops, an innocent die is dying!” The dice, in this instance, actually were innocent, and not “bad dice” at all. They were sacrificed to the gods of luck as a way to bring good fortune to a newly created character.)
I’m not talking about Chi Squared tests here. That’s for another article.
I’m talking about testing the loyalty, balance and general luckiness of dice through such highly rigorous methods as “dice stacking”. Throughout a lull in the game, stack up your dice on top of each other. If any fall off the stack they are obviously not very loyal for you, making you look foolish like that… so don’t use them any longer that night.
If any fall off the stack and land on excellent numbers, well, that’s different. Maybe they are going out of their way to prove how lucky they’re, and you should provide them with another chance. Kindness counts, I figure. (I’m not the murderous type, as you know.) Call me soft, if you like, but I like my dice, and when I’m nice in their mind maybe theyll give me that natural 20 when I must say i need it!!