View Full Version : Digital Dice - Losing the Tumble Magic?

2011-07-13, 11:00 PM
I don't have a whole pile of die.
I used to, back in the day. But since then, I have moved several times and vacuumed my house almost as often.
Gaming can require a lot of dice now, especially in later levels, averaging around 7-10 die for, say, a daily attack in 4E D&D.
So, I've gotten tired of myself (as DM) taking time to reroll the few die we already have, so I've downloaded an automated random number generator to save time.
I wouldn't take away the choice of their own personal die roles from my players, but how do you feel about it? Is there still some magic in the weight of the die, and the anticipation of the result, or, in the end, are they just numbers you use to play with?

2011-07-13, 11:18 PM
I love my dice, I really do. And even when playing over IM's I used to use them (we're a bunch of old friends that trust each other enough to not fudge rolls) because lets face it, there's something special with picking up 36d6 worth of dice when rolling Disintegrate damage. But lately I've switched over to digital dice rollers because I lack the area to roll dice at my computer and well nowadays I play a rogue'ish character with 8 attacks per round, dual wielder, banes on both weapons, elemental damage on both weapons, extended crit range and burst version of each elemental damage, and on top of that often sneak attack. So I have 4 dice rollers set up just for my combat related rolls and then an extra for everything else. Do I prefer it? Hell no. Does it make my life immensely easier? Yes, yes it does.

2011-07-14, 07:53 AM
I personally love my dice, and I know a lot of other gamers do too.
(I once upset a bunch of playgrounders by saying something about dice... not repeating that here tho)

One player in our group uses his laptop for combat - not to generate any numbers (he still rolls his dice) but to handle all the bonuses / penalties / modifications.

2011-07-14, 08:20 AM
I do still have my d20s, though I don't use them. They, along with my thirty-odd d6s from playing the WEG version of Star Wars, are old friends. The red d20 I'm sure has a slight bias towards higher numbers, which works for DMs :smallamused: whilst my black d20 has yet to demonstrate a bias.

But as said - online rollers are convenient for PbP.

2011-07-14, 08:43 AM
I have a very large amount of dice, all of which I like to use. The trick is constantly rotating which ones I'm using and which I'm not, so I'll use my Green and Silver set one day, and my Red and gold another. I'm fast enough with the numbers that I don't tend to slow anything down and I usually have a good amount of space to roll on.

PairO'Dice Lost
2011-07-14, 08:51 AM
I have 20 complete sets of dice, all in varying shades of blue or green. It's come in handy this summer because I'm running a game for 6 newish D&D players, none of whom have dice, and being able to give everyone 2 sets of dice (4 for the blaster and the TWFer) and keep 4 for myself means rerolling dice is never a problem. I love rolling physical dice, they find all of my dice cool, win-win.

I have, however, also written my own diceroller programs that handle everything from basic rolls to ability generation to conditional "If result > X, add YdZ to roll" statements and more, as well as an initiative and monster tracker, a program to add templates to monsters, and other game tools, so if I'm caught somewhere without my dice and want to do any rolling or statting I can do everything completely electronically. It's not the same, but it works well enough.

Jay R
2011-07-14, 09:47 AM
Is there still some magic in the weight of the die, and the anticipation of the result, or, in the end, are they just numbers you use to play with?

Yes, that magic still exists. Don't let it get in the way of your game, though.

In Champions, when I rolled 3d6 to hit and 45d6 for damage, I would roll the chance to hit and let them the computer roll the damage.

Side note: do you trust your fellow gamers with die rolls? It's much easier to write a biased die-rolling program than to make undetectable loaded dice.

2011-07-14, 12:25 PM
You know, I have vague memories of a die that was programable. It was a large 6-sider but you could somehow program it to randomly roll any of the other poly die. You would roll it, which would trigger the random generation, and it would display random numbers on all six sides.

Mind you, this was *decades* ago, and at a convention, so it may have just been a prototype that never made it to production.

Kuma Kode
2011-07-14, 06:12 PM
I own a set of dice that used to be my grandmother's old D&D set. She has since passed away, and the dice are the only thing of hers that I have. Because of this, they are very special.

However, even though the dice are sentimental and I like the "feel" of rolling dice, I don't let it get in the way of the game. Especially when doing d20 Future and dealing 10d12 damage in ship-to-ship combat and such, I just roll dice on the computer.

2011-07-14, 08:40 PM
Side note: do you trust your fellow gamers with die rolls? It's much easier to write a biased die-rolling program than to make undetectable loaded dice.

A good point Jay R, but I just keep the die rolling random number generator on my iPod Touch. I don't suspect any pointless bias in a free app, and it can be easily passed around the table, so it's not like I'm rolling for them if the choose to use the auto-option (though I do prefer people to at least wipe their hands of chip and biscuit crumbs before using it, precious ol' me).

I have come across one loaded die in my time as DM, and it was at an convention, with a player I did not know. He was not a clever fellow, and kept using it, and he expected me to never notice the red die (I cannot remember what type it was) always came up its highest number. A few experimental rolls by myself, and his initial refusal to let me do it, sort of confirmed it. We didn't kick him out of the game (albeit the other players weren't nice to the character), but he did have to hand the dice over to the convention heads, and I'm not sure what happened to them from there.