Here is a collection of “Dice Advice” for the edification and amusement. Do with it what you will. No guarantees. Many of these ideas seemed to make sense to me for some time. But then various other completely contradictory instruction comes along and it too makes sense, in its superstitious way. The whole lot is rather confusing. Read on and you’ll see what I mean.
What to wear:
Never thought about the best things to wear while gaming? Well don’t worry, you don’t have to get dressed up to possess good luck. In fact, according to the traditional stories surrounding the game of Craps, “Dirt brings luck. Wear dirty clothes and you will be lucky.” (Hey, that explains that odd odour wafting out of my local game store last week. There must have been a great deal of REALLY lucky gamers within!)
Where to sit:
Well, sitting on a handkerchief while gaming is meant to be lucky. (Best not to combine that one with the “Dirt brings luck” concept… ewww.)
Sitting astride your chair is lucky too. (Tipping Tungsten Dice isn’t lucky however, especially when we were teenagers and anyone’s mother caught us doing it. Ouch.)
“Never leave a d20 sitting with the #1 facing up. It’ll get used to sitting that way, and roll 1’s more often.” The “scientific” excuse because of this belief says that there surely is a “molecular drift” or “dice creep” because of gravity, evoking the die to become bottom heavy. This might make more sense if dice were semi-liquid, but last time I checked all my dice were solid. Check yours now, just to be sure.
Alternatively, “In the event that you leave a d20 sitting with the 20 facing up, it’ll get tired of being this way, and seldom roll any 20’s.” Hmmm. Besides, how do i tell which way those dice jumbled up in my own dicebag are sitting all week between games? Oh, such anxiety! I believe I need a transparent dicebag!
Where you can throw the dice:
Well, up for grabs is good… but not just any table. Highly polished tables are bad luck… something to do with mirrors reversing things, providing you the opposite of what you would like I guess.
But getting the dice roll off the table onto the floor is bad luck too. When playing Craps the next roll after that is sure to be a 7 (minimal desirable number). Plus you may lose the die, a) in the cat’s dish, b) down the heating vent, c) amongst the assortment of cheesies, chip crumbs and dust-bunnies beneath the gaming table. Any misfortune linked to the dice falling off the table can be remedied insurance firms the “Dealer”, or the inside our case the GM, grab the errant die and give it back to you. Of course, some GM’s don’t like to come out from behind the screen for anything… if you keep asking them to chase down your dice you merely might find you luck gets a whole lot worse suddenly “Why do all the monsters seem to be seeking me tonight?! Oh, would you grab my d6, again?”
What (not) to state:
Never say “You need not a 1”, because that jinxes the roll. This goes along with the idea that while playing Craps no-one is to mention the number 7. By mentioning undesirable numbers, you are summoning them. So, logically (if I may use that word in this context) calling out “Come on 20!” would be summoning a 20. Someone told me he always says “Hit! You bloody bastard!” while rolling to hit. (Apparently swigging beer before exclaiming this, is portion of the charm.)
The Hackmaster Player’s Handbook has a great section in the back of the book on dice rituals etc. In it they outline a way of blessing a die by rubbing it on the signature of a famous gamer… complete with diagrams! Be sure to take a look.
Rubbing your dice on someone’s head is really a method of blessing the dice. Apparently red-headed people are not good luck though. (I hardly understand this at all. A few of my best friends are redheads!)
Cleansing dice of bad luck is another approach to blessing your dice. This could be done by burying them in salt, or washing them in cold water or mineral water. (Holy water my work extra well, but maybe not for evil characters.) Just avoid alcohol to remove bad luck from your dice… it may remove the ink from the numbers too! Needless to say, cleansing dice when they have been performing well, will be counterproductive. You’ll only be washing away the good luck (and all that “lucky dirt”!).
A “friend of a pal” used to place his dice in his mouth and spit them onto the table, once and for all luck. No-one ever borrowed his dice. Someone else, used to keep her dice down her bra. “Boobs bring luck!” she maintains.
“Bad dice! Go sit in a corner and think about what you’ve done.” Uncooperative dice could be coaxed, cleansed, blessed or… punished for his or her bad deeds. Some folks will leave the offending dice in the home when they go out to play: “House Arrest”. Some gamers provides the dice to the overall game, but not let them out of your dice bag. The bad dice have to sit there listening to their other dice friends having fun and rolling merrily, while they sit in the dark. Other bad dice escape the bag, but need to sit on the sidelines and WATCH another dice frolicking around. (That’s really too cruel, I think. It reminds me of senior high school gym class, when I so often waited for the turn that never came. Sniffle. Sob. I’m going to be okay ina moment.)
The worst things I’ve ever heard of individuals doing to poor unsuspecting dice are, a) putting them in the bathroom . (not flushing though), b) ejecting them in to the atmosphere with a slingshot, and c) taking a blow torch to them. (This latter, as a dice lover, I regard as outright murder. “Someone call the cops, an innocent die is dying!” The dice, in this instance, actually were innocent, rather than “bad dice” at all. These were sacrificed to the gods of luck so as to bring good fortune to a newly created character.)
I’m not talking about Chi Squared tests here. That’s for another article.
I’m discussing testing the loyalty, balance and general luckiness of dice through such highly rigorous methods as “dice stacking”. Throughout a lull in the game, build up your dice on top of each other. If any fall off the stack they’re obviously not very loyal for you, making you look foolish like this… so don’t use them any more that night.
If any fall off the stack and land on excellent numbers, well, that’s different. Maybe they go out of their solution to prove how lucky they are, and you should provide them with another chance. Kindness counts, I figure. (I’m not the murderous type, as you know.) Call me soft, if you want, but I like my dice, and when I’m nice to them maybe theyll give me that natural 20 when I really need it!!