Probable Sin: D&D 30-Day Challenge, Day 29

“Which number on a d20 do you roll the most?” I realize that we as humans try to recognize patterns in an otherwise random sample. Considering that it’s arbitrary which number you roll each time (more or less), I’m going to instead talk about the sin of using counters as dice.

Blue Counter versus Red Die
Blue Counter versus Red Die

Notice, ladies and gents, the paired distribution on the die versus the linear distribution on the counter. A paired distribution on a die, for those that may not know, is when the value of a side and that side’s opposite equals the number of sides on the die plus one. For you math nerds, that’s X+Y=S+1. Thus when the “20” side is up, the “1” side is down. A linear distribution is when an adjacent face is one less than the current (face up) face; the correct 162º turn moves the number down one. (I have no idea how to write that as an equation.)

That linear, non-random distribution flies in the face of all that is holy and true about rolling dice. When you want to randomly generate a number between 1 and 20, you don’t wand 17, 16, and 18 all right next to each other. When that is the case, the number rolled falls within a predictable range. Consider this hypothetical example that is completely hypothetical and just an example and I never did this:

If I roll into this box, and aim for this spot for the die counter to land, it will roll two and a half times, hit the back wall of the box, and bounce back a half turn. If I can get the 4 to be the face that first lands in the box, I’ll roll a 18, 19, or 20.

Now, it wasn’t *that* reliable, but it had maybe a 30% success rate that I’d roll 18+. I mean, hypothetically, if I had done that. But that 30% is twice what it should be for three numbers out of twenty. Knowing how to roll a counter advantageously doubles your odds of rolling the number you want.

True believers can keep their “lucky” dice, which don’t exist. As long as it’s random, it’s fine by me.

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