Here is a assortment of “Dice Advice” for your edification and amusement. Do with it what you will. No guarantees. Some of these ideas seemed to seem sensible to me for a while. But then some other completely contradictory instruction comes along and it too makes sense, in its own superstitious way. The whole thing is rather confusing. Continue reading and you’ll see why.
What to wear:
Never thought about the very best things to wear while gaming? Well don’t worry, you don’t need to get dressed up to possess good luck. In fact, based on the traditional stories surrounding the overall game of Craps, “Dirt brings luck. Dice Vault and you’ll be lucky.” (Hey, that explains that odd odour wafting out of my local game store last week. There must have been a lot of REALLY lucky gamers in there!)
Where to sit:
Well, sitting on a handkerchief while gaming is supposed to be lucky. (Best never to combine this one with the “Dirt brings luck” concept… ewww.)
Sitting astride your chair is lucky too. (Tipping your chair back is not lucky however, especially when we were teenagers and anyone’s mother caught us doing it. Ouch.)
“Never leave a d20 sitting with the #1 facing up. It’ll get used to sitting this way, and roll 1’s more often.” 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, merely to be sure.
On the other hand, “If you leave a d20 sitting with the 20 facing up, it will get tired of being this way, and seldom roll any 20’s.” Hmmm. Besides, how can I tell which way all those dice jumbled up in my dicebag are sitting all week between games? Oh, such anxiety! I believe I need a transparent dicebag!
Where to throw the dice:
Well, up for grabs is good… but not just any table. Highly polished tables are misfortune… something regarding mirrors reversing things, giving you the opposite of what you want I guess.
But getting the dice roll off the table onto the ground is misfortune too. When playing Craps the next roll after that is sure to be a 7 (the least desirable number). Plus you may lose the die, a) in the cat’s dish, b) down the heating vent, c) amongst the assortment of cheesies, chip crumbs and dust-bunnies under the gaming table. Any bad luck linked to the dice falling off the table could be remedied by having the “Dealer”, or the inside our case the GM, grab the errant die and present it back to you. Of course, some GM’s don’t like ahead out from behind the screen for anything… if you keep asking them to chase down your dice you just might find you luck gets a LOT worse suddenly “Why do all the monsters seem to be going after me tonight?! Oh, can you pick up my d6, again?”
What (not) to state:
Never say “You will need anything but 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 part of the charm.)
The Hackmaster Player’s Handbook includes a great section in the back of the book on dice rituals etc. In it they outline a way of blessing a die by rubbing it on the signature of a famous gamer… complete with diagrams! Be sure to check it out.
Rubbing your dice on someone’s head is really a way of blessing the dice. Apparently red-headed folks are bad 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 could be done by burying them in salt, or washing them in cool water or mineral water. (Holy water might work extra well, but maybe not for evil characters.) Just avoid alcohol to remove bad luck from your dice… it could remove the ink from the numbers too! Needless to say, cleansing dice when they have already been performing well, would be counterproductive. You’ll only be washing away the good luck (and all that “lucky dirt”!).
A “friend of a pal” used to place his dice in his mouth and spit them onto the table, once and for all luck. No-one ever borrowed his dice. Another person, used to keep her dice down her bra. “Boobs bring luck!” she maintains.
“Bad dice! Go sit in a corner and think about what you’ve done.” Uncooperative dice could be coaxed, cleansed, blessed or… punished for his or her bad deeds. Some folks will leave the offending dice in the home when they go 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 need to sit there hearing their other dice friends having fun and rolling merrily, while they sit in the dark. Other bad dice escape the bag, but need to sit on the sidelines watching another dice frolicking around. (That’s really too cruel, I believe. It reminds me of high school gym class, when I frequently 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 into 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 this case, actually were innocent, and not “bad dice” at all. These were sacrificed to the gods of luck to be able 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”. Throughout a lull in the game, build up your dice on top of one another. If any fall off the stack they are obviously not very loyal to 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 excellent numbers, well, that’s different. Maybe they go out of their way to prove how lucky they’re, and you should provide them with another chance. Kindness counts, I figure. (I’m not the murderous type, you may already know.) Call me soft, if you like, but I love my dice, and if I’m nice in their mind maybe theyll give me that natural 20 when I must say i need it!!