What is the most statistically improbably die roll you've witnssed?

Nagol

Unimportant
It was probably a CHAMPIONS campaign.

A nasty bad-guy had placed about a dozen bombs around a shopping mall (with overlapping areas of effect) and the PCs screwed up taking him out before he could use his remote detonator. Each bomb had a ~91% chance of detonating (activate on 14 or less on 3d6). I expected a bloodbath among the shoppers as 10 bombs went off.

I told the group what was about to happen. I rolled in the open.

3 went off no overlap between them. Several people were injured. None died.
 

Saelorn

Hero
Sure. Of course, most of what's being reported here is really more memorable than improbable, strictly speaking, innit? Especially when you consider that people who've played lots of games have seen lots of dice do lots of things.
Yeah, probably. The question should refer to unlikely events, rather than unlikely dice rolls.

For my contribution to that discussion, I'll mention again that I played under a Pathfinder GM who didn't understand how probabilities worked, and insisted on some particularly ridiculous house rules. Not only were we forced to use 20/20/confirmation as an automatic kill, but we also had 1/1/failure as an automatic self-kill. Over the course of a published campaign, we had four bosses (and two PCs) killed in the first round of combat; mostly by their own hands.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Yeah, probably. The question should refer to unlikely events, rather than unlikely dice rolls.

For my contribution to that discussion, I'll mention again that I played under a Pathfinder GM who didn't understand how probabilities worked, and insisted on some particularly ridiculous house rules. Not only were we forced to use 20/20/confirmation as an automatic kill, but we also had 1/1/failure as an automatic self-kill. Over the course of a published campaign, we had four bosses (and two PCs) killed in the first round of combat; mostly by their own hands.
I was going to say something about on-in-four-hundred chance of insta-kill being a poor choice, but it's really one-in-two-hundred, innit, if there are two ways to get there. With the number of dice that get thrown around, that's a deeply poor decision.
 

TarionzCousin

Second Most Angelic Devil Ever
I Killed Arioch (Deities and Demigods evil god from the Elric books).

This was back in the early 1E days. We were in 8th grade.

I almost always was the DM. So my friend Scott let my PC buy a "God Poison" when we knew were going after Arioch. All the PC's were level 20.

When we finally confronted Arioch, nothing we could do would harm him. Even if a PC hit his absurdly high AC, Arioch saved for no damage on every roll except a natural one.

Do you see where this is going?

I rolled a natural 20 to hit with the thrown poison, another natural 20 to hit Arioch “in the mouth.” Scott the DM rolled a 1 on Arioch’s saving throw.

He collapsed in disbelief. We all jumped up and cheered.

Then Scott ruled that my character ascended to godhood as Arioch exploded and instantly killed all the other characters. They were less happy about that but it made for an exciting ending.
 

Greg K

Adventurer
A long time ago...

Playing D&D. Using the Unearthed Arcana rules of rolling human characters - it is a system that generally used 9d6, keep top 3 for your primary stat, and 3d6 for your class' dump stat...

I ended up with a wizard with an 18 Str, and a 17 Int. :/
That reminded me of the first time I rolled up characters for AD&D 1e. A friend sat me down and had me roll up six characters to serve as henchmen for a an existing party using the 4d6 method. I ended up with a cleric with 3 18s and 3 17s.. The ranger was not quite as good with 2 17s , 2 16s, and 2 15s, and another qualified for Paladin. It is possible that he had me roll 3 columns and choose the best, because I remember having one or two DMs do that over that years.
 

cmad1977

Adventurer
Double
00s for strength back in the day.
Dude rolled, got double 00. DM didn’t believe him(I saw the roll but not the DM) so the guy shrugged, rolled again... 00.
Pretty funny.
 

Eltab

Adventurer
I went to Vegas once and bought a pack labelled "Loaded Dice" (the kind that can only roll 7 or 11). I have never opened it. Now, when my normal dice are misbehaving, I will pull that pack out of my dice bag, put it on the table, and ask the GM "Do you mind if I use these?"
 

Erekose

Adventurer
Back in 1E days when we still rolled 3d6, I had a player roll three 18s for his stats - don’t remember it being consecutive stats but it was still impressive!
 
Last edited:
Creating my first fighter PC for 1E AD&D and rolled 18/00 for strength. In 40 years of playing D&D I've never seen another player repeat that feat. It's really just a 1 in 100 chance for the percentile, though it's also about a 1.5% chance for the 18 on 4d6 before that, but nobody else in any game I've ever been involved in, covering HUNDREDS of PC fighters ever did that again. Not the most staggering of odds but in practical, personal experience, as I said, it's never been duplicated.
 

Mark Hope

Explorer
I've seen a few of these. A guy in a 3e game rolled three nat 20s in a row, which was an auto-kill under the rules we were using. The week after, he did it again.

My second AD&D character was a paladin with 18/00 Strength. Only time I've ever seen it. I did see my sister roll up an assassin with 18, 18, 18, 17, 16, 16 for stats once.

In MERP, I've had a couple of wild open-ended dice rolls, way back in 1985. I wrote them down on the character sheet, which I still have. One was a roll of 1,012. The other was a roll of 1,552. I have no recollection of what I was doing with them.
 

aco175

Adventurer
My brother made a dwarf for one of his first characters and roll 00 for STR modifier, but was a dwarf and could only have 99.

Another 2e game we played with crit hits and misses. The poor mage was forced to swing his staff of power hoping to hit the BBEG since he was out of spells or in anti-magic or such. He rolls a 1 and another 1 to confirm the crit miss. He rolls a 01 on the percentile chart we had to see just what happens. Staff blows up killing them both.
 

Erekose

Adventurer
... 2e game we played with crit hits and misses. The poor mage was forced to swing his staff of power hoping to hit the BBEG since he was out of spells or in anti-magic or such. He rolls a 1 and another 1 to confirm the crit miss. He rolls a 01 on the percentile chart we had to see just what happens. Staff blows up killing them both.
Yeah - but what a way to go!
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Back in the 90s I saw four consecutive 20s on d20s rolled by one player in front of us. Two dice, both of which were used for the rest of the session and didn't seem to have an odd bias for 20s.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
My brother made a dwarf for one of his first characters and roll 00 for STR modifier, but was a dwarf and could only have 99.

Another 2e game we played with crit hits and misses. The poor mage was forced to swing his staff of power hoping to hit the BBEG since he was out of spells or in anti-magic or such. He rolls a 1 and another 1 to confirm the crit miss. He rolls a 01 on the percentile chart we had to see just what happens. Staff blows up killing them both.
Oh, I was playing an AD&D a ... wild elf? I don't remember, but it had a bonus to STR. In front of the DM I rolled 18 / 00, and he let me apply the modifier to get up to a 19. (+3/+7 instead of +3/+6 if IIRC).
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
The most improbable set of rolls I've seen was my character getting saved on 14000:1 odds.

I was grappled by a boneyard (a 3.5 monster), and the boneyard's next turn was going to be to suck the bones out my body and kill me. There was only one PC left to go before the boneyard's, the wizard, and he attempted to save me with a Disintegrate.

This PC was also being played by a player notorious for having poor luck with rolls, like failing a 50% miss chance for one of his spells on 8 consecutive rolls the session before this. So I figured I was dead. :)

First, he needed to make a ranged touch attack. Not so hard, he only needed a 4 to hit. 85% chance. Success.

Then, he needed the monster to make a spell resistance effect. The monster had pretty high SR (24), and he needed to roll a 13 or higher to affect it. 40% chance, success.

Then, he needed the monster to make a Fort save. His save DC wasn't very good because he was multiclassed, and the monster had some spell in effect that gave him a bonus to his Fort save. The monster only needed to roll a 4 to save. And he rolled a 2. 15% chance, success.

Then, and finally, the monster still had 101 HP left. Disintegrate at 11th level does 22d6. The chance of getting at least 101 on 22d6 is only 0.14%. And then he rolls a 102.

Chance of surviving was 85% x 40% x 15% x 0.14%, or 14000:1.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
More recently, I documented sextuple sixes on Roll 20. That's a one in 46,656 chance. The roll? A between-combats lay on hands in Pathfinder, thus confirming my suspicion that Roll 20 is an elaborate troll.
I've had a player who rolled 6 20's in a row on 1d20 in Traveller: The New Era.
that's 0.05^6... 1.5625E-8=0.0000015625. Which is technically 1 in 64 million. It also doomed the party to a slow cold death; they were deep in the outsystem, and the player was using the shuttle to skim fuel from a very far out GG.

I've also see a roll of 56 in Prime Directive 1st edition... but the player started with (IIRC) 9 d6... Each of those is read separately, and 6 counts 5+1d6, recursive. so 11 6's in a row on that die was about 1 in 362 million... but 9 chances at it... so about 1 in 40 million.

When running Rolemaster, I've seen initiaitve rolls exceed 400. (1/20^4 = 1/160,000. had that happen 3 times in one combat, even. of about 20 rolls for initiative. 3 of those. ) Some times players roll hot.
 

Bagpuss

Adventurer
Not sure what the statistics were, but we were playing Flashing Blades.

A guy designed his character to be a marksman with a musket.

In the first fight he pulled the trigger, rolled a 1, a fumble, then rolled on the results chart.

Worst result Breech Explosion (hit - self).

Rolled location got his head.

Rolled damage got maximum.

And died.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Threw my friend a d8 told him to beat me. I then held up my d20. He rolled I think a 4 I rolled a 3. I have did this on other occasions and lost too.
 

DMMike

Game Masticator
Yeah, probably. The question should refer to unlikely events, rather than unlikely dice rolls.
Aw. But then I couldn't brag about the time the DM made me roll skill checks to negotiate the price of an inn room. I rolled 3, 4, 10, 8, 19, and 8 again. Since the odds of that were 1:64,000,000, he let me have the room for free!
 

atanakar

Adventurer
Not sure what the statistics were, but we were playing Flashing Blades.

A guy designed his character to be a marksman with a musket.

In the first fight he pulled the trigger, rolled a 1, a fumble, then rolled on the results chart.

Worst result Breech Explosion (hit - self).

Rolled location got his head.

Rolled damage got maximum.

And died.
I once saw something similar happen in a game of Top Secret. An agent shooting at a person at point blank shoot himself in the foot instead. They weren't even brawling. Very silly.
 

Advertisement

Top