**Dice**

Linear Curve | - | - | - | Bell Curve |

The Game | - | DMG.9 | - | DMG |

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As the DM, the tools of
your trade are dice -- platonic
solid-shaped or just about any other sort.

The random numbers you generate
by rolling dice determine the results based on the probabilities determined
herein or

those you have set forth
on your own.

In case you are not familiar
with probability curves,

there are two types which
are determined by your dice:

* linear
(__straight line__),

which has equal probability of any given integer in the # group, and

* bell
(ascending and descending line),

which has greater probability towards the center of the group of #numbers#
than at either end.

The two curves are illustrated thus:

Linear probability develops a straight line of ascending probability when used as a cumulative probability as shown above.

Bell distribution, when used to delineate the probability of ceratin numbers appearing, develops a curved line like this:

A single die,

or multiple dice read in
succession

(such as three dice read
as hundreds, tens and decimals) give linear probabilities.

Two or more dice added together
generate a bell-shaped probability curve.

Before any further discussion
takes place,

let us define the accepted
abbreviations for the various dice.

A die is symbolized by ”d”,

and its number of sides
is shown immediately thereafter.

A six-sided die is therefore
“d6‘, d8 is an eight-sided die, and so on.

Two four-sided dice are
expressed by 2d4, five eight-sided dice are 5d8, etc.

Any additions to or subtractions
from the die or dice are expressed after the identification, thus:

d8 + 8 means a linear number
grouping between 9 and 16,

while 3d6-2 means a bell-shaped
progression from 1 to 16,

with the greatest probability
group in the middle (8, 9).

This latter progression
has the same median numbers as 2d6,

but it has higher and lower
ends and a greater probability of a median number than if 2d12 were used.

When percentage dice are
to be used, this is indicated by d%.

The d4 can be used to generate
25% incremental probabilities,

random numbers from 1 to
4, with + 1 it generates a linear 2-5, etc.

It can be used to get 1
or 2 (1 or 2 = 1,3 or 4 = 2) or in conjunction with any other dice to get
linear or bell-shaped probability curves.

For example, 2d4 = 2-8,
3d4 = 3-12, d4 + d6 = 2-10, d4 + d20 (as d10) = 2-14.

When rolled in conjunction
with another die,

the d4 can be used to determine
linear number ranges twice that shown on the other die, thus:

d4 reading 1 or 2 means
that whatever is read on the other die is the number shown;

but if the d4 reads 3 or
4, add the highest number on the second die to the number shown -

so if d8 is the second die
1 to 16 can be generated,

if a d12 is used 1 to 24
can be generated. If a d20 is used either 1-20

(assuming the use of a standard
d20 which is numbered 0-9 twice without coloring one set of faces to indicate
that those faces have 10 added to the number appearing) or

1-40 (assuming that one
set of faces is colored)

can be gotten by adding
0 if 1 or 2 is rolled on the d4 and 10 or 20

(depending on die type)
if a 3 or 4 is rolled.

Linear series above this
are possible simply by varying the meaning of the d4 number;

1 always means add 0, but
2 can be interpreted as add the value (highest number) of the second die,

3 can be twice value, and
4 can be thrice value.

Thus, a d4 reading 4 in
conjunction with a d8 (linear curve 1-32) would mean 24 + d8, or 25-32.

What applies to d4 has similar
application with regard to d6, d8, d12, and d20.

The d6 has 16 1/3% intervals,
d8 has 12% intervals, and d20 can have 10% or 5% intervals.

A d6 is useful for getting
a random number from 1 to 3 (1-2 = 1, 3-4 = 2, 5-6 = 3),

while 1 to 5 can be easily
read from a d20 (1-2 = 1, 3-4 = 2, 5-6 = 3, 7-8 = 4, 9-0 = 5).

The d20 is used often, both
as d10 and d20.

The bell-shaped probability
curves typically range from 2-20 to 5-50,

i.e., 2, 3, 4 or 5d20 added
together.

Also common is the reading
as above with one decimal place added to the result to get 20-200, 30-300,
etc.

In the latter case, a roll
of 3 on one die and 0 (read as 10) totals 13, plus one place, or 130.

Non-platonic solid-shaped
dice are available in some places.

The most common of these
is a ten-sided die numbered 0-9.

As with the d20, this can
be used for many purposes,

even replacing the d20 if
a second die is used in conjunction to get 5% interval curves (1-20).

Also, the die can give 0-9
linear curve random numbers, as the d20 can.

Other dice available are
various forms of ”averaging” dice.

The most common of these
has six faces which read: 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5.

The median of the curve
it generates is still 3.5, that of a normal d6, but the low and high numbers,

2 and 5, are only half as
likely to appear as 3 or 4.

There is a 33%% chance for
either of the two latter numbers ta be rolled,

so the probabilities of
absolutely average rolls are far greater.

Other such dice have zeros
on them, several low numbers, and so on.

These sorts of dice, along
with poker dice, ”put & take” dice,

or any other sort can be
added in order to give you more flexibility or changing probabilities in
random selection or event interpretation.
For example:

The author
has a d6 with the following faces: SPADE,
CLUB,
CLUB,
DIAMOND,
DIAMOND,
HEART.

If, during an encounter,

players meet a character
whose reaction is uncertain,

the card suit die is rolled
in conjunction with 3d6.

Black
suits mean dislike,

with the SPADE
equalling hate,

while red
equals like, the HEART being great favor.

The 3d6 give a bell-shaped
probability curve of 3-18,

with 9-12 being the mean
spread.

SPADE 18 means absolute
and unchangeable hate, while HEART 18 indicates the opposite.

CLUBS or DIAMONDS can be
altered by discourse, rewards, etc.

Thus, CLUBS 12 could possibly
be altered to CLUBS 3 by offer of a tribute or favor,

CLUBS 3 changed to DIAMONDS
3 by a gift, etc.

**Q**: What does "1d10"
mean?

What does "d%" mean?

**A**: "1d10" means roll
one 10-sided die.

"5d10" means roll five 10-sided
dice. That

is, the number before the
"d" is the number

of dice and the number after
the "d"

indicates the number of
sides each die has.

The abbreviation "d%" indicates
percentile

dice: that is, roll two
ten-sided dice, reading

one die as tens and one
die as ones in

order to get a number between
1 and 100

(00 = 100). The term "d%"
is also

expressed as "d100".

(126.14)

Howdy John,

Indeed, the best advice I can give is design to please yourself and your trusty gaming comrades so as to maximize the enjoyment generated by playing the campaign.

I do indeed get a bit fed
up with disputes about which game is "best," for it is a matter or personal/group
taste.

The same with niggling over
mechanics and rules. The RPG is a bloody GAME, after all is said and done.

As random events occur all the time in actual life, I am a firm believer in having the same thing happen in the role-playing game. Whether the probabilities for various random things are relatively equal as with a linear curve, or wildly disparate, as a bell curve with multiple dice delivers, no matter...aslong as the resulting event is approproate to the likelihood of it occuring when compred to the class of other such events in which it appears.

I do prefer the 100 possibilities of the d% roll to most others, and one can have additional rolls if needed to reflect decrasing probability of the indicated result.

Cheers,

Gary

**Re: Wow - still here?**

Quote:
*Originally posted by
Caedrel*

How have the dice (number
of sides, etc) evolved in D&D? Other games I've seen tend to use multiple
d6s with maybe a different value on one side, but I love the number and
variety of dice in D&D, as well as rolling them (even if some do get
a bit lonely - I feel especially fond of the d12 in this respect ). Were
there always the d4, d6, d8, d10, d12 and d20 in D&D?

Indeed, from the inception
of the game with **OD&D**, the
Platonic solids were included. There were no d20s per se, then. They were
numbered 0-9 twice, so you had to color in half the faces for 10 plus the
number, or else roll another die with that one to get a 1-20 range.

Now I include a d30 in the LA game, although it isnt' used much. I also have a d7 that's useful but not caled for in the rules. A d7 and d4 in conjunction give you the day of the lunar month, of course Also handy for random determination of something when there are seven characters involved.

Cheerio,

Gary

Quote:

Originally Posted by **Jehosephat**

Thank you kindly Gary. I
remember those dice from my early D&D and Gamma
World boxed sets.

Actually, for reasons of
nostalgia, it wouldn't be bad to have a set of those right now.

I remember the 4-siders
actually had a pretty sharp point on them.

You know if you attacked
someone with them, I'll bet they would do 1d4 damage. :P (sorry I couldn't
resist that corny joke).

As it happens I have quite
a number of the old low-impact dice around here somewhere.

The points on the d4 were
very sharp but wore down quickly.

Rob had a d20 that would
stand on a worn point about one roll in 50

Somewhere I lost my d20 with
half
the faces colored gray.

It was my "killer die" that
rolled an idnordinate number of 20s, and the players really hated it

Cheers,

Gary

Quote:

Originally Posted by **Grazzt**

I have one of those myself
(a "killer die"). Yeah- the players really, really hate it.

Heh,

Right
Rob was always looking to get one for himself to get even with me when
he was DMing for my PCs.

One encounter Robilar
had when he was about 9th level and AC -4 was with an Evil Cleric and his
gnoll guards.

The latter managed to hit
Robilar so many times because of my 20s that he had only about 10 HPs left
when he finally offed the cleric and was able to concentrate on the gnolls.

Cheers,

Gary

d20Dwarf,

It is good to learn that there is at least one other person who isn't superstitious about his dice being touched by others, particularly players from the group.

That said, I would be none
too happy if my favorite ones were absconded with.

I hate it when the opposition
I am represenring can't find the pointy ends of their swords, or use their
natural weapons to effect.

No challenge to the characters
at all when that happens...and it does happen!

Cheers,

Gary

Quote:

Originally Posted by **Silver
Moon**

Treasures indeed! A week
ago I had been doing some cleaning in our gaming room and accidentally
misplaced the mug-full-of-dice that we put out on the table for everyone
to game with. This brought things to a standstill at the beginning of the
game until I remembered that there might be some in the back of a drawer
inside the figure case. Wouldn't you know, it was the old chipped-up soft
plastic bunch listed above that we had started out with. So some 23 years
after we were first rolled them we were using them again!

There's much to be said
for results, and those old low-impact dice do generate random numbers

Not much to look at but
they deliver.

Of course I do prefer a d20 numbered 1-20, and in all the contemporary high-impact plastic dice are a boon, I have an odd mix of old and new, but my d30s and d7s get a fair workout in most game sessions,

Cheers,

Gary

Quote:

Originally Posted by **MerricB**

Happy new thread, Gary!
(wow, part 8... where does the time go?)

Gary, thanks to D&D you have introduced many of us - of not most of us - to an unforgettable experience:

The use of the d4 as a caltrop.

Many has been the time that I've got out of bed at night, only to suddenly feel something sharp and painful digging into my foot. If my mind worked faster at such times, I might have been calling down imprecations on your name, but as it doesn't the most I can normally manage is "Ow!" (or some choice swearing).

Could you please tell me if you had any idea what you were unleashing on the world when you included the d4 as part of the standard D&D game (and whether you've ever experienced this exquisite sensation yourself)?

<big grin>

Best wishes,

Merric

Hi Merric

As the real old timers know,
I was always an active gamer since I discovered there were fanzines offering
a forum
for one's gaming thoughts, opinions, and play offerings.

In short, I've been balbbering
thus for about 40 years, so it's no wonder a lot of my fellows are familiar
with my name.

The d4 was one of the five
Platonic solids sold by the school supply company in California from which
I obtained the first of the new milti-sided dice that were introduced in
the first edition of the D&D game, I have indeed stepped with stocking
feet on one of those yelow caltrops--also a d8, that being back in the
early 1970s.

Thereafter I made a point
of picking up all of my dice and keeping them off the floor.

Cats seem to love to play dith d20s, BTW, and a few were lost that way to various felines that resided in my house.

When I'd leave my dog "Bowser" (a bull mastiff) alone he would get revenge that included shredding my dice bag and leaving a minefield of milti-sided dice in my bedroom and in the kitchen...the devil know where I was sure to go :\

Cheers,

Gary

Quote:

Originally Posted by **BOZ**

hey, if you can find an
actual d46 that might be worth some money!

D4 followed by d6 gives
a range of 1-24 <EEK!>

Cheers,

Gary

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