The Dice Hold Your Fate!!!!!

People are superstitious to different degrees. Personally, I’m not superstitious at all in everyday life; I don’t do anything for good luck, and I don’t believe that I can ruin my own luck by accidentally performing the wrong action. I understand the concept of probabilities and coincidence and it comfortably explains most unusual occurrences well enough. That being said, there is one thing I am totally superstitious of, and it’s a lot of fun. This is dice superstition.

When I sit down at the gaming table, I open my bag of dice and look for d20s. I consider if I am playing as a DM or a player, and decide how high I want to roll that night. This helps me determine how lucky of a d20 I will pick to use. I have a beige/gold die that was a gift from my wife; previously the luckiest of my dice (more on that later). Currently my luckiest die just happens to be the one I think looks the coolest, which is colourless but with wisps of navy blue running through. Typically as DM I’ll use my black/red d20, or the translucent red, both classic looking dice appropriate for a Dungeon Master. During the course of the game, if they d20 I’ve chosen is not rolling the way I want, I will choose a different d20 to use. My players will likewise beg me to switch dice if the ones I’ve chosen are killing them.

The dice from my wife were super lucky, and would always seem to roll high. However, I have this friend who is notoriously unlucky in all dice games (Risk, Yahtzee, D&D, etc.) who seems to have characters die more than anyone else I’ve ever seen; he currently holds the record for shortest character lifespan (20 minutes!). He was sitting beside me during this game, and I had my dice bag open and my lucky dice on the table. During the game, our DM asked us to make a roll, and I went to grab my d20, but it wasn’t there. That’s when I realized my friend had been not only touching it, but using it as well! I looked in shock realizing that obviously he had just cursed them, my little gems of fortune coming in contact with his unholy mitts of unluck. I slowly took the d20 from him, made the roll the DM called for, and it rolled a natural 1. Of course.

Now let me be clear, I don’t actually think this is how any of it works. I still understand the science and probability behind dice rolling. However, by fully embracing this idea of dice superstition, you add an element of magic to your game. You take on this mystical behaviour that helps to elevate the game in its ability to take you out of reality. Dice superstition is so much fun that I literally teach it to my new players, and will tell them that they should pick a d20 from the bag to start, roll it a couple times, and if it rolls low, pick another one. I model the behaviours, and am vocal about when I notice the dice being lucky/unlucky. I have never had a player complain, and I also don’t care if people don’t want to play that way. D&D is about imagining a world of magic, and I’ve found that treating your dice like they hold the universe’s possibility is really fun. And also totally true. Don’t speak poorly of the dice, for they are the deciders….