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D&D 5E Wasting 20s

Fauchard1520

Explorer
A single d20 only has so many natural 20s in it. You might have a powerful die or a weak one, but any seasoned adventurer will tell you that there’s a limited supply of luck inside each and every icosahedron. According to widely-accepted theory, if you waste those rolls persuading beggars or searching for traps in un-trapped hallways, those big numbers won’t be available for the more important attack rolls or saving throws later in the session.

So here's my question to the community: What is the most inconsequential, anticlimactic, or unimportant nat-20 you've rolled?

(Comic for illustrative purposes.)
 

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ad_hoc

(he/they)
This is why I love the way 5e handles ability checks.

While some will be more important than others they should all matter.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
So here's my question to the community: What is the most inconsequential, anticlimactic, or unimportant nat-20 you've rolled?
It wasn’t my natural 20, it was my player’s. Her halfling barbarian had advantage on her attack and the die roller on Roll20 came up with natural 20 on both dice. Unfortunately, she ended up hitting her opponent’s mirror image.
 

Star Wars WEG (d6) system. I made a completely mundane Sensor check on a random spaceship that I was mildly curious about (IIRC, I think I just wanted to know if it had weapons or not). I got a 6 on the wild die, then another, then another, then another, and so on. It was a long time ago so I don't remember the exact numbers, but lets say I ended up with a result in the 50s when I only needed something like 8 to answer my question. The DM nicely told me everything I could have possibly wanted to know about that ship. It was completely and totally unnecessary, and unrelated to anything else that happened in that adventure.
 

Dioltach

Legend
Not sure if it's the most inconsequential, but last session one of my players rolled a natural 20, confirmed the hit and did a huge amount of damage to a mook who was already on 1 hp.
 


pming

Legend
Hiya!
A single d20 only has so many natural 20s in it. You might have a powerful die or a weak one, but any seasoned adventurer will tell you that there’s a limited supply of luck inside each and every icosahedron. According to widely-accepted theory, if you waste those rolls persuading beggars or searching for traps in un-trapped hallways, those big numbers won’t be available for the more important attack rolls or saving throws later in the session.

So here's my question to the community: What is the most inconsequential, anticlimactic, or unimportant nat-20 you've rolled?

(Comic for illustrative purposes.)

I may be breaking my Hackmaster GM's Oath here...but I think I'm in the clear as it's presented in the "All things Dice" section of the Players Handbook (pg 347). If your d20 (or any die) starts to show that it's luck is starting to dwindle significantly, you need to immediately place it in ISOLATION! You do NOT want that die to start to siphon luck from any nearby dice! Entire parties have been lost to a "rogue dice" that have turned and weren't properly isolated from the other dice on the table in time!

Now, as soon as time permits...after the game or during an extended break for lunch or something... take the proper steps to perform a Emergency Purge (pg 349) to "re-level the luck" for all your dice. Yes, I said ALL! You may have thought you caught the Bad Luck from radiating out into the other nearby dice, but in my experience, why take the chance? Best to just do an Emergency Purge and Re-Level the luck.

I highly recommend anyone, Hackmaster players or not, follow the procedures as presented in the Hackmaster Player's Handbook. They may very well save not only your PC's life, but the lives of millions!

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 



Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
In my spare time I just sit there rolling hundreds of d20s. Of the roughly 5% that roll a 1, I roll them again. If any of those roll a natural 1, I carefully place them in a special box, perfectly sized so they don’t roll around inside when transported. Then I save those dice for death saving throws when I’m sitting on one failed save, because I know there’s only a 0.0125% chance of rolling 3 natural 1s in a row!

None of that is true.
 
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Mezuka

Adventurer
In my spare time I just sit there rolling hundreds of d20s. Of the roughly 5% that roll a 1, I roll them again. Of the 5% of those that roll a natural 1, I carefully place in a special box, perfectly sized so they don’t roll around inside when transported. Then I save those dice for death saving throws when I’m sitting on one failed save, because I know there’s only a 0.0125% chance of rolling 3 natural 1s in a row!

None of that is true.
You win this thread!
 

ECMO3

Hero
A single d20 only has so many natural 20s in it. You might have a powerful die or a weak one, but any seasoned adventurer will tell you that there’s a limited supply of luck inside each and every icosahedron. According to widely-accepted theory, if you waste those rolls persuading beggars or searching for traps in un-trapped hallways, those big numbers won’t be available for the more important attack rolls or saving throws later in the session.

So here's my question to the community: What is the most inconsequential, anticlimactic, or unimportant nat-20 you've rolled?

(Comic for illustrative purposes.)
The worst 20 I rolled was in 1E when I needed to roll UNDER an ability score for an ability check. Just awful to waste it like that.

I have hundreds of dice, including 30 or so 20-sided. It can be difficult to figure out when is the right time to retire a dice because the 20s have all been used up. You always find yourself saying - this dice was strong, is it really getting old or does it have some spunk left in it?

Then the worst is you lose track of it and you mix it back in with the other dice by accident, and now you are unsure which of your 5 yellow 20-sided dice is the one that is worn out.

Truthfully they should come with an odometer, so you can see how many rolls it has done and no when it is time to trade it in. This would help when a friend tires to loan you his dice, you could immediately tell if he was being genuine or trying to sell you a worn out mule with little life left.
 

ECMO3

Hero
In my spare time I just sit there rolling hundreds of d20s. Of the roughly 5% that roll a 1, I roll them again. If any of those roll a natural 1, I carefully place them in a special box, perfectly sized so they don’t roll around inside when transported. Then I save those dice for death saving throws when I’m sitting on one failed save, because I know there’s only a 0.0125% chance of rolling 3 natural 1s in a row!

None of that is true.
Brave, very brave.

I find rolling 1s is not the same as rolling 20s. A dice that rolls a lot of 1s is just a lemon and will always roll a lot of 1s.
 

Unwise

Adventurer
This reminds me of a few things:

1. A friend did not know the term 'ajar' to mean partially open. So as a DM when I refered to the door as "a jar" he thought it was a glass tube or something. It was very confusing and he thought he could see through it, well he could, by looking around it easily, but he thought it was see-through.

2. In Rolemaster you roll d100s. If you roll 96+ you get to roll again and add on. A PC rolled 370+ their skill on a perception roll to find an obvious door.

3. Once again, in Rolemaster, if you rolled a d100 and got 1-2 you rolled again and took the number off as a negative, then if you rolled 96+ you rolled again and added it to the negative etc etc. Being immature, my players decided that a PC had to roll for how well-hung he was when stripped down. He rolled a d100 and got a total of - 215. People were silent as they all quietly considered what a roll like that could possibly mean for the poor guy. As a DM, I just left it all up to their imagination, having never asked for the roll.
 



niklinna

Looking for group
Oh, if you want pointlessly spectacular rolls, Torg is the game you need to play. Nat 20s explode in that game, and—while you actually convert the raw die roll to a total with a goofy table—if you wind up with a roll totalling over 60, you can play a Glory card, which fills everybody for miles around with mystical Possibility energy, and grants the whole party of PCs various mechanical benefits. I have seen this happen while haggling for a better deal, while looking for traps, while rescuing a kitten, and the like.
 


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