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Thread: Advantage dice

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    Default Advantage dice

    For those of you who don't know, there is a set of dice called "advantage dice" it is a D20 that has replaced the 1,2&3 with a second instance of 18, 19, 20. This makes it impossible to critical fail and twice as likely to crit.

    Have you encountered a player using these? Do you yourself use one?

    As a DM, what would be your penalty for catching a player using one of these? As a DM would you ever consider buying one of these for your "DM fudge rolls" or possibly handing them to your Will Wheaton player who rolls 1,1,1,3,1,5 for the night? (Had a buddy actually roll this once).

    Players, would you ever buy such a thing?
    Last edited by Drache64; 2019-09-12 at 10:06 AM.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Advantage dice

    The punishment of a player caught would depend on how long we have played with them and how well we know them. From a stern talking to with significant oversight for the foreseeable future in a best case scenario, to withdrawal of dice privileges for the forseeable future, to outright expulsion in worst case.

    I do not use any such thing. To my shame, I have early in my gaming career fudged a few rolls as a player but that is something I have outgrown. As a GM I rarely feel the need to fudge and am quite capable of doing so without special dice.

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    Default Re: Advantage dice

    I would force them to use that die when we play Alternity, where a 1 is good and a 20 is bad. That'll teach them.
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    Default Re: Advantage dice

    In the early days of youth, I had a friend and player who routinely cheated on dice rolls. He had clear dice with the numbers not colored in, so he would roll it, say what number he wanted it to be and scoop it up again before he though anyone else could see it.

    He thought he was being subtle. He was not. It was obvious to everyone else on the table.

    That's the truth about dice cheaters. They all -think- that they are being subtle and clever and no one can see what they are doing and they are all wrong. Their self image is off kilter.

    Funnily enough, this guy was a criminal justice major who wanted to be a cop and was one of those moral absolutist types who would never drink or do drugs or do anything wrong. Except, you know, cheat.

    Actually, maybe that's not ironic. Maybe that's indicative of the personality type.

    As for what I did? Nothing. It was a game we played and we were all enjoying it and we were all friends. If we confronted him about it, he would've gone ballistic and defending himself and it would've ended up costing the friendship. It didn't cost us anything. He enjoyed succeeding at his hit rolls. The rest of us were content enough in our own abilities to not care.

    I'm sure there are tons of people on this board who would say "well you don't need that kind of guy as a friend anyway". The same people who default to "boot the player, leave the game" to the slightest hint of adversity or something they don't like.

    These people don't have friends. They have a rotating collection of people around them that they haven't alienated yet.

    Friends aren't perfect. They will always fail at one time or the other. Some are capable of mea culpa, some aren't there yet. If you are going to have friends, you have to be willing to accept faults and work with them. After all, they accept and work with yours.

    Of course, that was when I was 20.

    Now I'm 45, I only play with a small group of very old friends who don't cheat. If one of them did and we called him out, he'd chuckle embarrassingly and we'd joke about making him eat that dice, and we'd move on.

    ****PLEASE NOTE****

    This does not mean I condone cheating. Cheating is wrong. You should not have to put up with it, you should not cheat yourself, and if you are playing with a random bunch of shlubs in a game store or online or something you should feel free to call them out on it and demand they stop.

    This was simply a personal anecdote of an experience in my own life and the reasons behind the decisions made. It was not meant as advice and should not be misread as such.
    Last edited by Gallowglass; 2019-09-12 at 10:52 AM.
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    Default Re: Advantage dice

    no i wouldn't buy it unless the system I was running requires such a weird die.

    If I caught someone using it? shame on them.

    If I caught them using it a second time? shame on me. and them. also: please remove yourself from my table.

    I'll still hang with them outside of RPG night, or at least games that don't use d20's, but break my trust once, i'll give you one chance because you are a friend. break it a second time and it is now firmly in the "not cool my dude" territory. I ain't got time for that.

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    Default Re: Advantage dice

    If he was a good friend of mine and If I found him out, I would probably ask him why he did buy such dice set. A game is certainly not something for which to stop being friends with a person, or for which to argue and have bad feelings, but I'd like to know the motivations.
    To win? To be better than the others? To piss me off by never failing? To compensate a fear of failure by picking dice with which it was impossible to fail?

    I don't think I'd be angry. I wouldn't boot him out of the game, but I would probably ask him to stop using them, though.

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    Default Re: Advantage dice

    I would probably insta-ban anyone I found using one of those dice.

    If I need to fudge, I just roll some dice for noise behind the screen and then pick what happens. Heck, a lot of times I "script" fights and just declare a hit or a miss as is appropriate to manage the tension in the scene. (this works well in horror/intrigue games, but not so well in open-world adventure stuff)

    I'm not huge on fudging outside of the first couple levels though, and that is always to favor the players since I'm not a fan of meat grinders at all.
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    Default Re: Advantage dice

    Quote Originally Posted by Drache64 View Post
    Have you encountered a player using these?

    Do you yourself use one?

    As a DM, what would be your penalty for catching a player using one of these?

    As a DM would you ever consider buying one of these for your "DM fudge rolls" or possibly handing them to your Will Wheaton player who rolls 1,1,1,3,1,5 for the night? (Had a buddy actually roll this once).

    Players, would you ever buy such a thing?
    No.

    No.

    Assuming this isn't a one-time joke, a serious discussion would happen, and depending on how the discussion goes, a ban. I mean, what's the point of penalising the player by anything other than a ban? Giving a penalty is saying it is acceptable if you're ready to pay the price once caught, and that's not at all what I want here.
    I mean, we're here talking about premeditated cheating, not just an "on-the-fly cheat from a player angry from his unlucky rolls" (which is still bad, but far less). If I cannot trust my player to at least TRY to play according to the rule, that would mean I have to recount every damage roll he/she makes? Check his character sheet every session? Count the number of spell used? Come on...

    I considered buying one for collection purpose, since it was one of the option of a kickstarter I was interested in.
    Having weird dice is always interesting for homebrew magical items, so that's nice (I had a DM who had a d14, and used it quite a lot for damage of homebrew magical weapons. It really add a "unique" feeling, so that's nice.)
    But I missed the deadline of the kickstarter, and I would not have enough use such dice to bother more.

    As a player, I would not have any use of it (Unless suggesting to my DM to create a magical weapon that allow me to attack with that dice, I guess).

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    Default Re: Advantage dice

    Yes, I own one. I also own a d34, but I won't use either of them in a game. My advantage die is in a color I don't use, and stored with other dice not used for gaming, so I won't accidentally roll it.

    I have occasionally considered using it in my game as a one-time boon from a god. "Odin has gifted you with a small amount of luck. Roll this die for your next three attacks."

    ------

    If I found a player using one, what I would do depends tremendously on who the player is. If it's a child, then that's a teachable moment, for either me or the parents, depending on who the child is.

    If it's an adult I want to play with, I would tell him it wasn't acceptable, and I'd probably add that from then on, whenever he rolls an 18, 19, or 20, I or any player can demand to see the 1, 2, or 3 on the bottom of the die before he gets the effect.

    [Then I would never ask to see it, and I would privately ask the other players never to ask for it either. I don't need to keep embarrassing him. But the correct result of being untrustworthy is to know you aren't trusted.]

    If it's a player who was already causing enough difficulty in other ways, then that might be a reason to consider not inviting that person to my house in the future. This is a purely theoretical result, since I don't have a player in that category, and haven't since the 1980s or so.

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Advantage dice

    Who actually cheats are a ttrpg. Talk about someone who doesn't know how to have fun.

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    Default Re: Advantage dice

    Quote Originally Posted by Drache64 View Post
    For those of you who don't know, there is a set of dice called "advantage dice" it is a D20 that has replaced the 1,2&3 with a second instance of 18, 19, 20. This makes it impossible to critical fail and twice as likely to crit.

    Have you encountered a player using these? Do you yourself use one?

    As a DM, what would be your penalty for catching a player using one of these? As a DM would you ever consider buying one of these for your "DM fudge rolls" or possibly handing them to your Will Wheaton player who rolls 1,1,1,3,1,5 for the night? (Had a buddy actually roll this once).

    Players, would you ever buy such a thing?
    No

    No

    Insta-perma-ban. If they’re cheating on their dice they are certainly also cheating on their inventory management and modifier calculations.

    Never. Part of the challenge of the game is dealing with the RNG (Random Number Generator) of choice.

    Only to familiarize myself with the item, so I can recognize it if I suspected someone else of using it.

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    Default Re: Advantage dice

    Quote Originally Posted by CriticalFailure View Post
    Who actually cheats are a ttrpg. Talk about someone who doesn't know how to have fun.
    It's important to realize who he is cheating.

    Not the DM. She's not competing, and expects the ceratures she's running to lose almost all encounters.

    Not the monsters. They are expected to lose most of the time anyway.

    The people being cheated are the other players, who are losing their share of heroic moments.

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    Default Re: Advantage dice

    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowglass View Post
    I'm sure there are tons of people on this board who would say "well you don't need that kind of guy as a friend anyway". The same people who default to "boot the player, leave the game" to the slightest hint of adversity or something they don't like.

    These people don't have friends. They have a rotating collection of people around them that they haven't alienated yet.
    sorry, i just have to answer to that, because it's plain wrong.

    I had great friends, and I have them because i avoided the toxic people until i found the good people. and with most of those i wouldn't play d&d anyway.

    now, of course you can overdo it, as with anything. I'm sure there are somewhere people who run away at the first small difficulty and have no friends as a result. but learning to let go of toxic people, to stop wasting energy and commitment for people who don't deserve it - and who will merely be encouraged - is a key survival skill.
    Many of my relatives and a few of my friends had lives ruined because they were unable to let go of toxic people. I don't know anyone who had trouble because he let go too easily. This tells me that it's best to err on the side of "stay away from that guy".

    And to bring this back on topic, I consider any breach of trust a major offence. Especially when it's over something minor. I can understand more the guy cheating money out of me than the guy cheating at d&d, because at least the first has a sensible reason for it.
    not to mention, someone who wants to "win" at a game where there are no winners or losers is a spy of a plethora of other problems. I've never heard a story of someone cheating at d&d that just stopped there. either they did it for a power fantasy, or to show off with the other players, but there's always some deeper, darker reason for it.
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    Default Re: Advantage dice

    This sounds like something intended to grant someone new a handicap, like in golf. Any other use is indubitably a cheat, and if you feel compelled to cheat at a socially contracted role playing game, I don't know what to tell you. You should probably see somebody professionally for whatever it is that you have.

    As a DM, well, I'm new, so I'm not sure. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about fudging DM rolls just yet, hasn't come up. But I think I'd be far more inclined to keep the numbers but fudge the narrative. Right now I'm a greenhorn leading a group of total newbs, and I feel like it's better to trust the numbers over my understanding of the rules with the difficulty set at tutorial mode until we at least get a taste for how progress and synergy work. To that end, I have so far had a goblin move to attack a different character rather than finish off the one in front of him, made one trap blatantly obvious and another that had been tripped by an enemy as he fled, and gave an NPC plot armor so that the party could receive some important quest information, and I'm not yet certain they're ready for me to take off the kid gloves.

    I don't see how dice like this would serve to improve either side of the equation.
    Last edited by Imbalance; 2019-09-12 at 09:21 PM.

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    Default Re: Advantage dice

    Quote Originally Posted by Drache64 View Post
    For those of you who don't know, there is a set of dice called "advantage dice" it is a D20 that has replaced the 1,2&3 with a second instance of 18, 19, 20. This makes it impossible to critical fail and twice as likely to crit.

    Have you encountered a player using these? Do you yourself use one?

    As a DM, what would be your penalty for catching a player using one of these? As a DM would you ever consider buying one of these for your "DM fudge rolls" or possibly handing them to your Will Wheaton player who rolls 1,1,1,3,1,5 for the night? (Had a buddy actually roll this once).

    Players, would you ever buy such a thing?
    Never seen them but honestly, I wouldn't mind running or playing a game where these are used by everyone (both sides of the screen) openly, if only for a one-shot.

    Yes, it would promote rocket tag (even more) and the PC's would be worse off in the long run, but it'll be interesting to play with the higher amount of success and epicness and less chance of failure.

    But outside of them as premise? No, don't see the point of teammates not sharing the same advantage.

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    Default Re: Advantage dice

    Quote Originally Posted by Imbalance View Post
    This sounds like something intended to grant someone new a handicap, like in golf. Any other use is indubitably a cheat, and if you feel compelled to cheat at a socially contracted role playing game, I don't know what to tell you.
    I agree with what I think you intended to say, but your extravagant language led you into a false statement.

    I suggest "Any use not approved by the DM is indubitably a cheat...."

    I already gave one use that wasn't a handicap, but a god-approved boon. "Odin has gifted you with a small amount of luck. Roll this die for your next three attacks." Since the DM gave it to the player, it is clearly not cheating.

    I suppose I could come up with other possibilities. "Your carefully hidden superior position makes crits more likely, and fumbles virtually impossible. Roll this die until the enemy notices where you are.

    But as I said, I think that "any use not approved by the DM" is what you intended, so we are in probably in agreement.

    I like the use of unusual dice to make a difference in the game. In the last 2e game I ran, after a major victory, I asked each player what their primary weapon was. Then I gave them each a d22. I told them, "Henceforth you can roll this die for that weapon. A roll of 21 or 22 counts as a "natural 20" by the rules." They seemed to like the special rule. It has a couple of less-than-obvious advantages.
    1. It makes very little difference against an enemy who is easy to hit, but a much larger difference for a foe who is hard to hit.
    2. It helps martials much more than casters.
    Last edited by Jay R; 2019-09-13 at 08:54 PM.

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    Default Re: Advantage dice

    We are in agreement. I would liken those examples to the golf handicap, and would omit the word "new" from my previous post. As a handicap is an agreed upon advantage, any other method to modify the numbers used in the game that is not agreed-upon is a cheat.

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    Default Re: Advantage dice

    I guess I wouldn't really care too much as a player, but if I were DMing I'd at least want to understand why. If they hate randomness or the feeling of crit failures or something, it wouldn't bother me to introduce a 'you can always take 10' rule at the table or things like that. If they just want to feel invincible or powerful, I can run things like that. If the difficulty is too high, I want to know so I can adjust. But if they like the feeling of getting away with something, or feel they need to do this to feel in control, it's a more complicated situation.

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    Default Re: Advantage dice

    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    I guess I wouldn't really care too much as a player, but if I were DMing I'd at least want to understand why. If they hate randomness or the feeling of crit failures or something, it wouldn't bother me to introduce a 'you can always take 10' rule at the table or things like that. If they just want to feel invincible or powerful, I can run things like that. If the difficulty is too high, I want to know so I can adjust. But if they like the feeling of getting away with something, or feel they need to do this to feel in control, it's a more complicated situation.
    I agree that there are infinite complications. The problem with wanting to understand why is that the player quite possibly does not know himself.

    And a player who used that die without telling me is is far less likely to openly and honestly tell me his reasons for it, anyway

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    Default Re: Advantage dice

    I'd use a die with two 2s and two 19s, but no 1 or 20 -- very happy to give up crit success to avoid crit failure.

    Or better, two 10s and two 11s.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2019-09-14 at 11:55 AM.

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    Default Re: Advantage dice

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    I'd use a die with two 2s and two 19s, but no 1 or 20 -- very happy to give up crit success to avoid crit failure.

    Or better, two 10s and two 11s.
    Roll 3d6 instead of 1d20.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CriticalFailure View Post
    Who actually cheats are a ttrpg. Talk about someone who doesn't know how to have fun.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    It's important to realize who he is cheating.

    Not the DM. She's not competing, and expects the ceratures she's running to lose almost all encounters.

    Not the monsters. They are expected to lose most of the time anyway.

    The people being cheated are the other players, who are losing their share of heroic moments.
    I used to hate on cheaters. Then I realized, I didn't actually care about game balance, and, if that's the only way that they can have fun, who am I to call BadWrongFun?

    I mean, sure, I prefer to accomplish similar ends results through build skill, strategy, and acquiring reroll tech. But that's not everyone's cup of tea. So if they prefer using cheating tech, shrug, whatever.

    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    I guess I wouldn't really care too much as a player, but if I were DMing I'd at least want to understand why. If they hate randomness or the feeling of crit failures or something, it wouldn't bother me to introduce a 'you can always take 10' rule at the table or things like that. If they just want to feel invincible or powerful, I can run things like that. If the difficulty is too high, I want to know so I can adjust. But if they like the feeling of getting away with something, or feel they need to do this to feel in control, it's a more complicated situation.
    That's an interesting philosophy you've got there. I'm more on the side of caring as a player, not as GM, personally (which makes sense, because I'm a "it's your problem", CaW GM), but I applaud your initiative. Have you had experience with all of these motives of cheaters? What changes have you made in your games to accommodate their needs?
    Last edited by Quertus; 2019-09-15 at 09:27 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    That's an interesting philosophy you've got there. I'm more on the side of caring as a player, not as GM, personally (which makes sense, because I'm a "it's your problem", CaW GM), but I applaud your initiative. Have you had experience with all of these motives of cheaters? What changes have you made in your games to accommodate their needs?
    I've been playing entirely over online tools for the last 5 years, so I think that generally reduces a lot of this. But a long time ago I had a player in a roll and keep game with exploding dice (variant on 7th sea, 10s are rerolled and added) who would frequently get really extreme results (150 on 10k7, kind of stuff). He seemed to enjoy when those extreme results had sort of extra consequences above and beyond 'you succeed in hitting' or whatnot, for very open-ended skills like engineering or knowledge. I think it was less 'this is a loaded die' or 'this die has 2 tens on it' and more things like drop-rolling, but I don't think it detracted from the game at all in the end.

    I also had a GM who had a sort of soft official policy that, basically, if the dice result would really seriously piss you off out of character or make you feel that the game was wasted or ruined, he condoned the player fudging it (this was a no-PVP table, so one player cheating against another wasn't a serious issue). I think this might have been a bit influenced by another game we were both in which the GM used fairly extreme critical fumble type rules, so he might have been saying e.g. 'I know it sucks and it doesn't feel the same in front of the screen or behind it, so I'm going to trust my players' judgement about what to do'. Same person also had a game where there were explicit in-universe cosmological energies associated with the effects of cheating players to sort of explain away such results after the fact.

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    Default Re: Advantage dice

    Quote Originally Posted by Drache64 View Post
    For those of you who don't know, there is a set of dice called "advantage dice" it is a D20 that has replaced the 1,2&3 with a second instance of 18, 19, 20. This makes it impossible to critical fail and twice as likely to crit.

    Have you encountered a player using these? Do you yourself use one?

    As a DM, what would be your penalty for catching a player using one of these? As a DM would you ever consider buying one of these for your "DM fudge rolls" or possibly handing them to your Will Wheaton player who rolls 1,1,1,3,1,5 for the night? (Had a buddy actually roll this once).

    Players, would you ever buy such a thing?
    I've never encountered a player using these, but then I haven't yet run AL or PF Society or convention games, so I don't have experience with a broad base of players.

    I myself wouldn't use one normally, either as a DM or player. (Although, I usually roll badly as a player, so maybe I should? )

    As a DM or homebrewer I would consider creating a feature or boon allowing a limited use of such a die for players to use. I wouldn't use it to fudge. (Indeed, since getting back into DMing after a long hiatus, I haven't felt the need to fudge for in-game reasons, only for metagame reasons, such as, "oh, hey, we're running low on time for this session so guess I have to ignore this encounter result roll", or, "oh, hey, players are starting to become disengaged, better move on to the next encounter/scene/beat")

    As a DM I would consider countenancing the use of one for a player who is rolling abysmally on a consistent basis in a given session and whose fun at the table is definitely being impacted as a result. But I would take a dim view of someone who showed up and just used one.
    Last edited by Composer99; 2019-09-17 at 04:52 PM.
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