View Full Version : Dice notation

EggKookoo

2016-12-04, 08:01 AM

I've googled around a bit but nothing satisfactory has come up.

Is there anything close to a standardized shorthand for indicating "roll X dice and take/discard Y highest/lowest results"? Possibly the most common example is AD&D's "roll 4d6 and drop the lowest" method for ability score generation.

How would you write something like that? 4d6(-1), maybe?

Temotei

2016-12-04, 08:36 AM

I've googled around a bit but nothing satisfactory has come up.

Is there anything close to a standardized shorthand for indicating "roll X dice and take/discard Y highest/lowest results"? Possibly the most common example is AD&D's "roll 4d6 and drop the lowest" method for ability score generation.

How would you write something like that? 4d6(-1), maybe?

Typically, 4d6b3, "b" meaning "best."

EggKookoo

2016-12-04, 10:02 AM

Typically, 4d6b3, "b" meaning "best."

Would the opposite be something like 4d6w3 if for whatever reason you wanted the lowest three results?

JBPuffin

2016-12-04, 11:11 AM

Would the opposite be something like 4d6w3 if for whatever reason you wanted the lowest three results?

That's how I'd write it, at the least.

EggKookoo

2016-12-04, 11:39 AM

Hm, at the risk of coming across as contrarian, I'm not sure I like that. "Best" and "worst" are subjective. In a game where lower numbers are indicators of success, wouldn't "best" imply a numerically low result?

I might end up going with something like 4d6h3 or l3 or...

I wonder if it's too burdensome to use the mathematical set floor and ceiling symbols. In the modern typographical age, it's simple enough to get access to the characters.

4d6⌉3 and 4d6⌋3. Too weird?

Edit: Looking at that now I wonder if it couldn't be more simply represented as 4d6\3 and 4d6/3, respectively. I realize there's a chance that someone might think you're supposed to divide the result by three but I have to think a system that did that would be so rare that the chance would work out to be pretty nearly statistically zero.

Nifft

2016-12-04, 12:01 PM

4d6 best 3

2d20 worst 1

max3:4d6

min:2d20

Hmm.

JoshuaZ

2016-12-04, 05:13 PM

Hm, at the risk of coming across as contrarian, I'm not sure I like that. "Best" and "worst" are subjective. In a game where lower numbers are indicators of success, wouldn't "best" imply a numerically low result?

I might end up going with something like 4d6h3 or l3 or...

I wonder if it's too burdensome to use the mathematical set floor and ceiling symbols. In the modern typographical age, it's simple enough to get access to the characters.

4d6⌉3 and 4d6⌋3. Too weird?

Edit: Looking at that now I wonder if it couldn't be more simply represented as 4d6\3 and 4d6/3, respectively. I realize there's a chance that someone might think you're supposed to divide the result by three but I have to think a system that did that would be so rare that the chance would work out to be pretty nearly statistically zero.

I really don't like the unmatched floor and ceiling symbols.

When I was teaching a class a class that had a probability section, we used the same thing as h and l but with capital H and capital L, so 4d6H3 would be 3 highest of 4d6. The main reason to use this is that a lower case l can look like a 1 so it could read to confusion. If one is restricting to actual games it isn't likely to matter much since 4d6l3 is reasonably likely to happen but no one is going to be rolling 4 dice each with 613 sides.

JBPuffin

2016-12-06, 09:37 AM

Hm, at the risk of coming across as contrarian, I'm not sure I like that. "Best" and "worst" are subjective. In a game where lower numbers are indicators of success, wouldn't "best" imply a numerically low result?

I might end up going with something like 4d6h3 or l3 or...

I wonder if it's too burdensome to use the mathematical set floor and ceiling symbols. In the modern typographical age, it's simple enough to get access to the characters.

4d6⌉3 and 4d6⌋3. Too weird?

Edit: Looking at that now I wonder if it couldn't be more simply represented as 4d6\3 and 4d6/3, respectively. I realize there's a chance that someone might think you're supposed to divide the result by three but I have to think a system that did that would be so rare that the chance would work out to be pretty nearly statistically zero.

I think using b and w works even if the dice are flipped; the definition simply flips for that case (b would be low and w high in a roll-under system).

Knaight

2016-12-06, 10:38 AM

Inasmuch as there is a standard in games that use this it's XdYkZ, where the k is short for keep. Across multiple games this is much less useful.

EggKookoo

2016-12-06, 05:41 PM

Inasmuch as there is a standard in games that use this it's XdYkZ, where the k is short for keep. Across multiple games this is much less useful.

Keep the highest Z? The lowest Z?

JoshuaZ

2016-12-06, 06:31 PM

Keep the highest Z? The lowest Z?

I think in this context, and the use of the word "keep" it likely means keep whichever is best in context of that game.

Knaight

2016-12-07, 03:46 PM

I think in this context, and the use of the word "keep" it likely means keep whichever is best in context of that game.

Hence my comment about it not transferring well outside of the context of an individual game. In practice though it's almost always highest.

EggKookoo

2016-12-07, 05:20 PM

Hence my comment about it not transferring well outside of the context of an individual game. In practice though it's almost always highest.

That's why I prefer the unambiguous H and L and for me, the mathematical floor and ceiling symbols. They're really no more unorthodox than using + and - rather that something like P and M.

What I'm gathering is that there is no consistent standard in the same way as other dice notation.

Knaight

2016-12-07, 07:14 PM

What I'm gathering is that there is no consistent standard in the same way as other dice notation.

Like I said, the closest thing to a consistent standard is the kZ bit, as it's what shows up in the published games that use these systems. There's no primary standard across multiple games.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright © 2019 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.