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Cicciograna
2010-11-06, 10:42 AM
I love them. I really love them.

What I love about them is that when I throw dice I'm crystallizing an instant of Universe, the theory of Probability determines an equal possibility for each outcome, but in that precise moment the environmental variables of the Cosmos, the movement of my hands as I "charge" the roll, the asperities of the surface where dice land, the density of the air crossed in flight phase, a butterfly beatings its wings on the other side of the Earth and another plethora of unknown variables determined that, in the probability distribution associated to each die, this peculiar roll showed the obtained outcome.

And all of this rolling just ONE die! Rolling two or more, the constant distribution becaomes that marvellous curve that is the Gaussian: the "bell of experiences", governor of repeated events, the perfect mathematical schematization of the Infinite, who nevertheless guides and manages the finity of our experiences; because do not forget that our knowledge stems from experience, and experience is nothing but the study of repeated phenomena through which human psyche discerns a pattern, that allows us to make predictions, and this is exactly what makes us a winning species.

There's something philosophical in the roll of a die: given Universe's local conditions, is the roll really random or is it possible to predict the outcome, knowing said conditions? Does Heisenberg's Indetermination Principle guarantee that the outcome, the result of that particular roll, couldn't in any way be predicted? Or Cosmos is nothing else that a mere pseudorandom device, where the knowledge of position and momentum of each particle could lead us to dissipate any randomness (and said knowledge would be accessible, probabily, to that entity we call God - and then those who say that "only God can play dice" would be right)? And then, what about our mind? Are we perfect coin flippers, Free Will is a reality or our thoughts too, our cerebral activity, is nothing else that a simple (or not so simple) combination of electric pulses and magnetic fields amenable, after all, to good old Maxwell Equations?

This and more is enclosed in a simple gesture as a roll of a die: the mystical moment of the "charge" of the roll, an opening hand, a short flight phase where years and years of Physics are condensed...and the outcome is there, an instant of Universe, full of questions and mystery, in front of our very eyes.

Magic.

KingOfLaughter
2010-11-06, 12:50 PM
I have two sets of dice. One is shiny and pink, the other shiny and silver.

cheese monster
2010-11-06, 04:27 PM
:smallconfused:

DarkOrion
2010-11-10, 01:56 PM
On this topic, does anyone know where I can find a d20 that has all of its sides as 20s or 1s? An image of that would also be very helpful. I have a joke to play on a friend of mine, as a throwback to our first game session together. I could roll nothing but 20s for the night, and he got nothing but 1s. We played for 8 hours, so we were pretty sure the dice were fixed. We traded d20s, we used new one from the store, and we even started using an online dice roller. Nothing worked. Freakiest game of my life, I tell you what. But as a throwback to that, I want to get him a d20 with all 1s and myself one with all 20s. If that is impossible, than just images should be fine for a nice e-card thing.

Aerodynamik
2010-11-10, 02:21 PM
On this topic, does anyone know where I can find a d20 that has all of its sides as 20s or 1s? An image of that would also be very helpful. I have a joke to play on a friend of mine, as a throwback to our first game session together. I could roll nothing but 20s for the night, and he got nothing but 1s. We played for 8 hours, so we were pretty sure the dice were fixed. We traded d20s, we used new one from the store, and we even started using an online dice roller. Nothing worked. Freakiest game of my life, I tell you what. But as a throwback to that, I want to get him a d20 with all 1s and myself one with all 20s. If that is impossible, than just images should be fine for a nice e-card thing.

There's these (http://www.thewarstore.com/product8443.html), which you can just write your own 1s and 20s on. Other than that, I just don't know. Hope I was helpful.

Volos
2010-11-10, 06:16 PM
I could build a physics simulator that would show you that there is, in fact, no magic in the rolling of dice. The simple truth is if you take an object within a set scenario and exert a force upon it, there will be only one outcome. It will move, bounce, roll in the direction that the forces acting upon it will dictate until such force ends and there is no remaining kinetic energy within said object.

Simply put, when you roll a die there is only one result.

That being said, metal dice are the way to go. Once those bad boys hit the bottom of your felt lined dice box, the look of terror is on every one of your player's faces.

Cicciograna
2010-11-11, 05:17 AM
I could build a physics simulator that would show you that there is, in fact, no magic in the rolling of dice. The simple truth is if you take an object within a set scenario and exert a force upon it, there will be only one outcome. It will move, bounce, roll in the direction that the forces acting upon it will dictate until such force ends and there is no remaining kinetic energy within said object.


Ah, but to build this simulator you should instantly know the correct position and momentum of each particle interacting with the die: how can you model a system of particles, and the exchanges of force, kinetic energy and momentum between them, if you do not know initial position and momentum?

Even imagining that you could know this array of variables to the extent of human physical knowledge and with the accuracy granted by actual measuring instruments, your knowledge would only be approximate due to Indetermination Principle, so this simulator would not perfectly depict reality. So rolling a die, considering quantum effects, WON'T give ONLY ONE OUTCOME.

Volos
2010-11-13, 01:42 PM
Ah, but to build this simulator you should instantly know the correct position and momentum of each particle interacting with the die: how can you model a system of particles, and the exchanges of force, kinetic energy and momentum between them, if you do not know initial position and momentum?

Even imagining that you could know this array of variables to the extent of human physical knowledge and with the accuracy granted by actual measuring instruments, your knowledge would only be approximate due to Indetermination Principle, so this simulator would not perfectly depict reality. So rolling a die, considering quantum effects, WON'T give ONLY ONE OUTCOME.

Spoiler Alert! My opinions on Quantum are my own and probably radically different then yours. Read only if you realize that I am not trying to offend anyone, I am meerly presenting my opinion on the matter.
Again, no offense meant and read at your own risk.
Quantum is a perfect example of humanity's need to believe that they have free will within a universe that is obviously deterministic. The underlying problem with Quantum mechanics is that we assume that we have eliminated as many interfering factors as possible when conducting the experiments that lead to such things as the Indetermination Principle. These experiments are dealing with some of the smallest particles we know of in some of the smallest amounts of time we can measure, hence the term 'Quantum'. Now while you or I, rather large groups of particles, may not notice the effect of an explosion in Germany or a supernova near Canis Major Dwarf or even a solar event on our own sun, the quarks or electrons we are observing will be affected. So unless we could measure the total and complete affect that every particle and energy source in the universe is exerting on those that we are observing... we cannot conclude anything from these Quantum experiments with any degree of certainty. Conclusion? The universe is deterministic and even the functions of the human brain are predetermined. There is no such thing as free will. We are computers that react as our current programming dictates that we will.

Aside from my position that Quantum is a lie, let us take a look at that topic of rolling dice. I have a die in my hand. I drop it. Now pause. Look at the state of the universe. Everything is where it is and moving toward what it will be next during this short window of time. All of these forces acting upon the die are working as they will. This will lead to a singular outcome. Even if we assume that Quantum is real and functioning as we have (so far) determined, this is dealing with large enough objects to remain within the realm of classical physics. So un-pause, the die falls and does as it will as is determined by the exact set of circumstances it was under, and it lands with a particular side up. Now rewind the universe until right before I toss it. Press play again, and watch me toss it as I did before. The circumstances are the same and the forces acting upon it are the same. What happens? It lands on the same side again. Rinse and repeat until one realizes that classical physics are just fine for any experiment dealing with something you can see with your naked eye.

So does anyone else use metal dice? I have found that they send chills up the spines of your players. But I have also found that using a computer program to roll dice can have a similar effect on players. I have a bunch of my notes and other things I need to refer to on my laptop. So when I click away at different thigns, doing so very slowly, it makes my players wonder... is the DM rolling for something we should worry about or just checking his notes? I make sure to stroke my chin and smirk from time to time as well, just for added effect. Does anyone else do these sort of things? :smallcool:

KingOfLaughter
2010-11-13, 10:02 PM
Spoiler Alert! My opinions on Quantum are my own and probably radically different then yours. Read only if you realize that I am not trying to offend anyone, I am meerly presenting my opinion on the matter.
Again, no offense meant and read at your own risk.
Quantum is a perfect example of humanity's need to believe that they have free will within a universe that is obviously deterministic. The underlying problem with Quantum mechanics is that we assume that we have eliminated as many interfering factors as possible when conducting the experiments that lead to such things as the Indetermination Principle. These experiments are dealing with some of the smallest particles we know of in some of the smallest amounts of time we can measure, hence the term 'Quantum'. Now while you or I, rather large groups of particles, may not notice the effect of an explosion in Germany or a supernova near Canis Major Dwarf or even a solar event on our own sun, the quarks or electrons we are observing will be affected. So unless we could measure the total and complete affect that every particle and energy source in the universe is exerting on those that we are observing... we cannot conclude anything from these Quantum experiments with any degree of certainty. Conclusion? The universe is deterministic and even the functions of the human brain are predetermined. There is no such thing as free will. We are computers that react as our current programming dictates that we will.

Aside from my position that Quantum is a lie, let us take a look at that topic of rolling dice. I have a die in my hand. I drop it. Now pause. Look at the state of the universe. Everything is where it is and moving toward what it will be next during this short window of time. All of these forces acting upon the die are working as they will. This will lead to a singular outcome. Even if we assume that Quantum is real and functioning as we have (so far) determined, this is dealing with large enough objects to remain within the realm of classical physics. So un-pause, the die falls and does as it will as is determined by the exact set of circumstances it was under, and it lands with a particular side up. Now rewind the universe until right before I toss it. Press play again, and watch me toss it as I did before. The circumstances are the same and the forces acting upon it are the same. What happens? It lands on the same side again. Rinse and repeat until one realizes that classical physics are just fine for any experiment dealing with something you can see with your naked eye.

So does anyone else use metal dice? I have found that they send chills up the spines of your players. But I have also found that using a computer program to roll dice can have a similar effect on players. I have a bunch of my notes and other things I need to refer to on my laptop. So when I click away at different thigns, doing so very slowly, it makes my players wonder... is the DM rolling for something we should worry about or just checking his notes? I make sure to stroke my chin and smirk from time to time as well, just for added effect. Does anyone else do these sort of things? :smallcool:

I like to flip through the monster manual right as they decide to leave town or sleep. Usually stopping among things that are for parties 2 and 3 times their level.

Volos
2010-11-13, 11:27 PM
I like to flip through the monster manual right as they decide to leave town or sleep. Usually stopping among things that are for parties 2 and 3 times their level.

Oh that is evil. And I love it! I think I shall start doing the same. My players know that when I crack open the Fiend Folio, stuff just got real.

Cicciograna
2010-11-14, 03:20 PM
Spoiler Alert! My opinions on Quantum are my own and probably radically different then yours. Read only if you realize that I am not trying to offend anyone, I am meerly presenting my opinion on the matter.

No offense in any case. A forum is a place where people discuss, and discussion is the exchange of ideas and opinions: I'm not a dogmaic person, so the least I can do is to read your explaination with the best disposition and evalute it.
This can be nothing but constructive.


Quantum is a perfect example of humanity's need to believe that they have free will within a universe that is obviously deterministic. The underlying problem with Quantum mechanics is that we assume that we have eliminated as many interfering factors as possible when conducting the experiments that lead to such things as the Indetermination Principle. These experiments are dealing with some of the smallest particles we know of in some of the smallest amounts of time we can measure, hence the term 'Quantum'. Now while you or I, rather large groups of particles, may not notice the effect of an explosion in Germany or a supernova near Canis Major Dwarf or even a solar event on our own sun, the quarks or electrons we are observing will be affected. So unless we could measure the total and complete affect that every particle and energy source in the universe is exerting on those that we are observing... we cannot conclude anything from these Quantum experiments with any degree of certainty. Conclusion? The universe is deterministic and even the functions of the human brain are predetermined. There is no such thing as free will. We are computers that react as our current programming dictates that we will.

This is an interesting view on not only QM, but the whole Universe too, ending at the very meaning of existence.
I remember that, when I was in my first years of my degree, that I was thinking just as you do: I always thought that even if Indetermination Principle bars us to perfectly know position and momentum of each particle in the Cosmos, said information DOES exists, as the knowledge of something is not a needed condition for its existence and reality: so even if we do not know position and momentum of, say, an electron, this doesn't prevent that electron to have a defined position and momentum.

Since this is not only true for said electron, but for every particle in the Universe, the knowledge of these environmental variables would lead us to a perfect understanding of the Cosmos and its evolution. Which brings me to my next quote:


There's something philosophical in the roll of a die: given Universe's local conditions, is the roll really random or is it possible to predict the outcome, knowing said conditions? Does Heisenberg's Indetermination Principle guarantee that the outcome, the result of that particular roll, couldn't in any way be predicted? Or Cosmos is nothing else that a mere pseudorandom device, where the knowledge of position and momentum of each particle could lead us to dissipate any randomness (and said knowledge would be accessible, probabily, to that entity we call God - and then those who say that "only God can play dice" would be right)? And then, what about our mind? Are we perfect coin flippers, Free Will is a reality or our thoughts too, our cerebral activity, is nothing else that a simple (or not so simple) combination of electric pulses and magnetic fields amenable, after all, to good old Maxwell Equations?

The fundamental difference between what we say is that, while you seem REALLY sure about your deterministic view of the Universe, I give Chaos a chance. I admit that I do not know if it's deterministic or not, as I leave the question open, refraining to give an answer: that would be presumptuous, as anything we can do is mere speculation.
I seem to recall reading an Asimov' story, about an auto-aiming device mounted on space warships. This device was so advanced that it could foresee not only the tactics and movements of enemy ships on a battlefield, but it could anticipate enemy generals' and officers' action, thoughts and emotions, thus giving its users an edge in any battle.

I seem to recall that the entire story was not made up by real events with real people doing real stuff, but was rather a computed prediction of said auto-aimer, but I could be wrong.
If Universe was actually deterministic, the Asimovian auto-aimer would not be mere sci-fi, as mind processes and free will could, as I said in my piece, be reconducted to Maxwell Equations and thus predicted.
One could argue if, at this point, it would be meaningful to live. If it was this way, Universe destiny is already compiled. If everything is predetermined, being in front of any decision, would really matter to pick option A instead that option B? The choice would not be really free, as it could be possible to preview the outcome, and what would seem Free Will would be nothing less than simple Electromagnetism. Why bother, then, to strive to improve our lives? If Destiny DOES exist, if Universe has its fate already written in physical equations, why bother to live? Nothing has the power to prevent things to go as they MUST, for such a being (shall we call it God? Let's forget about its name, lest this thread be locked), such a being, I was saying, should not be governed by Natural Laws, if Casuality doesn't exist.

Except that it, indeed, exists.


Aside from my position that Quantum is a lie, let us take a look at that topic of rolling dice. I have a die in my hand. I drop it. Now pause. Look at the state of the universe. Everything is where it is and moving toward what it will be next during this short window of time. All of these forces acting upon the die are working as they will. This will lead to a singular outcome. Even if we assume that Quantum is real and functioning as we have (so far) determined, this is dealing with large enough objects to remain within the realm of classical physics. So un-pause, the die falls and does as it will as is determined by the exact set of circumstances it was under, and it lands with a particular side up. Now rewind the universe until right before I toss it. Press play again, and watch me toss it as I did before. The circumstances are the same and the forces acting upon it are the same. What happens? It lands on the same side again. Rinse and repeat until one realizes that classical physics are just fine for any experiment dealing with something you can see with your naked eye.

False. Quantum vacuum is a tremendously interesting and dynamic subject.
Looking at complete vacuum you could say that it's the apotheosis of stasis: nothing is there, no field, no particle (two concepts that, according to Quantum Field Theory, are the same), no energy flows breaks the continuous nothingness that vacuum is.

Or that it should be. See, quantum vacuum is anything but "vacuum". From what would appear as pure nothingness, suddenly a pair of particle-antiparticle can appear, out of nowhere, and almost immediately annihilate. Their life is short, so short that Indetermination Principle doesn't bother them, they can be wahatever couple of particle-antiparticle you can imagine, be it electron-positron, gluon-antigluon, muon-antimuon, you call it, you have it.
But they are there. Why are they there? Because the probability to have a vacuum fluctuation is !=0.
So turning back to your example, you pick the dice, roll them and watch at the outcome. Rewind. You pick the dice and roll them. Then suddenly a couple spawns from nowhere, for no reason. Probabily it won't affect the roll in any way, as we agree that a quantum description for an object big as a pair of dice is inappropriate. But what matters is that the two systems, the first one and that after the rewind, are different. So apparently Chaos exists. There's a slight chance that Universe, after all, is not deterministic.

Volos
2010-11-15, 01:35 AM
I applaud you Cicciograna, but the only point I was trying to get across was that dice rolls will appear to be deteministic due to the small effect chaos would have on such large objects. Now that we are agreeing on this point, I have nothing else to offer into the side discussion.

Now that I have had a change to think about it though, I think I rather use a combination of computer dice and metal dice. They seem to lose their player scaring potential if used too much my themselves. Together they can conquer any group.

fizzybobnewt
2010-11-20, 12:43 PM
Why is it meaningful to live, if everything is already decided? My philosophy is, when it comes to deciding something, forget that your decision is predetermined, and choose what will make you, your loved ones, and if you're a nice person, as many other people as you can, happy. Because given the choice, being happy is much better than getting depressed about the nonexistence of free will. I make sure to give myself that choice.