How much do you care about "balanced" dice?

Zhaleskra

Explorer
[MENTION=29398]Lanefan[/MENTION] I would never destroy a die that has been rolling poorly for me, though I do "ground" dice that continue to fail me sometimes. Even though the grounding period may be over, some still haven't hit a table, if only because I'm not playing in person as much.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Well, right, you can buy dice from where ever you choose. But you can not use just any dice at my table. This was actually pushed by my players. We decided that we would all use dice that any of our aging eyes could see from across the table. We are clear about our table rules before a new player joins. I've not yet had someone decide not to play with us because of this rule. On the other hand we've been playing together for five years now. There isn't much churn.
The year is 2036. 5E is still alive. The crime scene is MnBlockhead home. A dead body is being hauled out of the house on a gurney.
Cop, " It is murder I tell you Joe. The victim was stabbed with a large triangle object about a foot or so wide"
Morrus, "It was an accident. Hey trip over his die, you..."
Cop raising his voice, "You mean he die by tripping on something?"
Morrus, "No you non gamer bobby! He tripped over that there d20?"
Cop, "Are you talking about this 3 foot strange looking medicine ball?"
****
 

jasper

Rotten DM
[MENTION=6704184]doctorbadwolf[/MENTION] Well, yes, with age reading dice from afar can be a challenge. But I think I've found the answer:

View attachment 105953
From the Guardian
Picture of the murderess holds her deadly weapon. The murderess had just married Mr. Mnblockhead. The May December romance is not usual but the wife was upset to find out the victim's gold pieces were just a product of his imagination.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
I love the look of most metal dice as they have a high contrast but hate the sound of them hitting the table. And dislike the feel of them too. I love it when players have high contrasting nonmetal dice, especially if I can see if across the table. Those fancy design dice are trash. As long as the player rotate through a few dice a session, I willing to accept the occasional bias die.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
The year is 2036. 5E is still alive. The crime scene is MnBlockhead home. A dead body is being hauled out of the house on a gurney.
Cop, " It is murder I tell you Joe. The victim was stabbed with a large triangle object about a foot or so wide"
Morrus, "It was an accident. Hey trip over his die, you..."
Cop raising his voice, "You mean he die by tripping on something?"
Morrus, "No you non gamer bobby! He tripped over that there d20?"
Cop, "Are you talking about this 3 foot strange looking medicine ball?"
****
Camera pans over to the large d20 and zooms in. The number "1" is at the top. Fades out.

Cut scene.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I love the look of most metal dice as they have a high contrast but hate the sound of them hitting the table. And dislike the feel of them too. I love it when players have high contrasting nonmetal dice, especially if I can see if across the table. Those fancy design dice are trash. As long as the player rotate through a few dice a session, I willing to accept the occasional bias die.
I love machined aluminum dice. My favorite are Gravity Dice. I like the crisp edge, legible numbers, that they are cool to the touch, and the bit of extra weight. Aluminum dice are not that much heavier. I also like how they come to a stop sooner. You don't have to chase them across the table and they are less likely to roll onto a floor. This is likely more to do with crisp edges than the weight of the metal. Game Science plastic dice are good in this regard as well.

As for noise, they are really not much louder. I just tested on three survaces. A wood table, a plastic buffet table, and glass. The metal d20 is a bit louder, but not by much. The difference is most noticeable on glass and hardly noticeable on plastic.

I've never had anyone complain about my dice being noisy, if I did, I'd just pack a felt lined dice tray.
 

aco175

Adventurer
I remember placing the d20 so the 20 was on top every night. This way gravity would eventually favor rolling 20s. I tried this in middle school after I learned that the glass in some of the old cathedrals needed to be flipped over since it 'flowed' over time and was thinner at the top.
 
What I'm more interested in is how concerned are you about dice balance?
For most all practical purposes, I'm not concerned AT ALL. It is laughable to me that it really is even a concern to anyone. Statistics geeks as much as anyone should appreciate that FOR D&D and like-games, it's just not a meaningful factor in the grand scheme. I have yet to see ANYONE, IRL or online or anywhere, actually demonstrate the ability to use biased dice to reliably cheat without using actual LOADED dice. Any result that normally biased dice lean towards is UTTERLY lost in the noise of the system wherein those numbers are being generated - for ANY rpg game system. For D&D or D&D-style games it not only shouldn't matter if anybody's dice are normally/marginally biased (even the DM's), it is completely undetectable except by autistic players who might remember every roll of every die and be able to analyze them all.

The only real problem I have with dice is not bias. It is simply being able to READ them, either as a DM able to read players dice rolls, or more often players themselves not being able to read their own dice because the numbers are indistinguishable colors or use indecipherable fonts.

Beyond that, let players spend as much or as little as they like. I appreciate unbiased dice for RPG gaming, but don't have the money to freely spend on that which provides no detectable or reliable benefit for anyone.
 

uzirath

Adventurer
I remember placing the d20 so the 20 was on top every night. This way gravity would eventually favor rolling 20s. I tried this in middle school after I learned that the glass in some of the old cathedrals needed to be flipped over since it 'flowed' over time and was thinner at the top.
I totally did this too, and for exactly the same reason. Hilarious.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
Setting aside the idea of purposely loaded dice....

Statistically, most of us just don't need to worry about the minor bias that arises from the usual manufacturing process for dice. This imbalance is notable when you roll the die a statistically relevant number of times. You can do a Chi-squared analysis on a hundred rolls, for example. For lesser numbers of rolls, you can't tell the bias from just randomness.
Chi² is valid from about 5 rolls per side onward; the more rolls the more accurate, 10 per side is more so... Keeping in mind that confidence increases with the square root of number of trials, and 30 trials is the minimum

It's easy to do... Pick your multiplier. 5 is the minimum for validity, but more is better.
Roll the die a number of times equal to multiplier times sides, recording the number of times it falls on each face.
now, you have a list. For each item, find the difference from the multiplier, then square that.
sum the squares, divide by the number of times rolled.
If the value is under 1, it's fair. If it's over the multiplier, it's most likely notably unfair.

Note that properly, you divide the squares by the expected (which is also our multiplier) then sum, then divide by number of sides, but its easier just to handle that all at the end.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
Not even slightly. I mean, if I found out a player was deliberately using a loaded die (something that's never happened in 30 years of gaming, and I suspect never will) I guess that would need a conversation. But otherwise? Nope.
I've had a couple players try using loaded dice... one apparently dremelled the digits deeper on a d20... the weights fell out on the table. Another one openly admitted to using mislabeled dice... and got uninvited.

I also have had players who misread dice. I don't know if it was intentional or psychopathological.
 

GreyLord

Adventurer
It seems recently that my dice are all rolling high when I DM, while my players dice roll low. They have not been pleased with some of the results.

I find when an offending die rolls low too many times...I smash it with a sledge hammer in the driveway in view of all the other dice. They eventually get the message (or I've smashed over half of the ones that normally roll low) and the others react appropriately.

PS: The above post is actually a joke...I don't smash dice like that...though my players may think I've done something to bewitch the dice as of late as since this past summer I've rolled an unusual number of 19s and 20s vs. their unusual amount of low rolls under 8.
 

Aebir-Toril

Is lukewarm on the Forgotten Realms
I hold no superstitions about my dice, and I, in fact, suspect that many of my dice deviate slightly against the curve of perfect randomness due to manufacturing, shape, or other factors. I simply don't have the time to perform a volumetric study and deep analysis on every die that I purchase, so I don't concern myself with them unless there is some egregious and obvious fault or bias in the die.
 

uzirath

Adventurer
I hold no superstitions about my dice, and I, in fact, suspect that many of my dice deviate slightly against the curve of perfect randomness due to manufacturing, shape, or other factors. I simply don't have the time to perform a volumetric study and deep analysis on every die that I purchase, so I don't concern myself with them unless there is some egregious and obvious fault or bias in the die.
I share this stance. The random distribution of my dice has zero impact on my livelihood, so I don't much care about a minuscule skew. Moreover, I take into account the following essential equations:
  1. Dice skewing high = fun night of roleplaying
  2. Dice skewing low = fun night of roleplaying
 

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