Here is a assortment of “Dice Advice” for the edification and amusement. Do with it what you will. No guarantees. Many of these ideas seemed to seem sensible to me for some time. But then some other completely contradictory instruction occurs and it too is practical, in its superstitious way. The whole lot is rather confusing. Read on and you’ll see what I mean.
What to wear:
Never thought about the best what to wear while gaming? Well don’t worry, you don’t have to get dressed up to have good luck. In fact, in line with the traditional stories surrounding the overall game of Craps, “Dirt brings luck. Wear dirty clothes and you’ll be lucky.” (Hey, that explains that odd odour wafting out of my local game store last week. There must have been lots of REALLY lucky gamers within!)
Where to sit:
Well, sitting on a handkerchief while gaming is meant to be lucky. (Best not to combine that 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 carrying it out. 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 for this belief says that there surely is a “molecular drift” or “dice creep” due to gravity, causing 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.
Alternatively, “If you leave a d20 sitting with the 20 facing up, it will get tired of being that 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 believe I want a transparent dicebag!
Where to throw the dice:
Well, up for grabs is good… however, not just any table. Highly polished tables are misfortune… something to do with mirrors reversing things, giving you the opposite of what you would like I guess.
But having the dice roll off the table onto the ground is misfortune too. When playing Craps the next roll after that will be a 7 (minimal desirable number). Plus you may lose the die, a) in the cat’s dish, b) down the heating vent, c) between the assortment of cheesies, chip crumbs and dust-bunnies beneath 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, pick up the errant die and give it back to you. Needless to say, 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 all of a sudden “Why do all the monsters seem to be seeking me tonight?! Oh, can you grab my d6, again?”
What (not) to state:
Never say “You will need not 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 includes a great section in the rear of the book on dice rituals etc. In it they outline a method of blessing a die by rubbing it on the signature of a famous gamer… filled with diagrams! Be sure to take a look.
Rubbing your dice on someone’s head is really a method of blessing the dice. Apparently red-headed people are not good luck though. (I hardly understand this at all. A few of my best friends are redheads!)
Cleansing dice of bad luck is another method of blessing your dice. This can be done by burying them in salt, or washing them in cold water or mineral water. (Holy water my work extra well, but maybe not for evil characters.) Just don’t use alcohol to remove misfortune from your dice… it may remove the ink from the numbers too! Needless to say, cleansing dice when they have been performing well, will be counterproductive. You’ll only be washing away the good luck (and all that “lucky dirt”!).
Purpleheart Dice Vault of a pal” used to put his dice in his mouth and spit them onto the table, for good 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 in a corner and consider what you’ve done.” Uncooperative dice can be coaxed, cleansed, blessed or… punished for their bad deeds. Some folks will leave the offending dice in the home when they venture out to play: “House Arrest”. Some gamers will bring the dice to the overall game, but not let them from the dice bag. The bad dice have to sit there hearing their other dice friends having a great time and rolling merrily, while they sit at night. Other bad dice escape the bag, but need to sit on the sidelines watching the other dice frolicking around. (That’s really too cruel, I think. It reminds me of senior high school gym class, when I so often 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 individuals doing to poor unsuspecting dice are, a) putting them in the toilet (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 cases like this, actually were innocent, rather than “bad dice” at all. They were sacrificed to the gods of luck so as to bring good fortune to a newly created character.)
I’m not discussing 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”. During a lull in the game, build up your dice along with one another. If any fall off the stack they are obviously not very loyal for you, making you look foolish like this… so don’t use them any longer that night.
If any fall off the stack and land on really good numbers, well, that’s different. Maybe they go out of their solution to prove how lucky they’re, and you should give them another chance. Kindness counts, I figure. (I’m not the murderous type, as you know.) Call me soft, if you want, but I love my dice, and if I’m nice in their mind maybe theyll give me that natural 20 when I really need it!!