Here is a collection of “Dice Advice” for your edification and amusement. Do with it what you would. No guarantees. A few of these ideas seemed to make sense to me for some time. But then some other completely contradictory instruction comes along and it too makes sense, in its own superstitious way. The whole thing is rather confusing. Continue reading and you’ll see why.
What to wear:
Never thought about the very best what to wear while gaming? Well don’t worry, you don’t need to get dressed up to possess good luck. In fact, in line with the traditional stories surrounding the overall 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 lot of REALLY lucky gamers in there!)
Where to sit:
Well, sitting on a handkerchief while gaming is meant to be lucky. (Best never to combine that one with the “Dirt brings luck” concept… ewww.)
Sitting astride your chair is lucky too. (Tipping your chair back isn’t lucky however, especially when we were teenagers and anyone’s mother caught us carrying it out. Ouch.)
“Never leave a d20 sitting with the #1 facing up. It’ll get used to sitting this way, and roll 1’s more often.” The “scientific” excuse because of this belief says that there is a “molecular drift” or “dice creep” due to 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 will get tired of being that way, and seldom roll any 20’s.” Hmmm. Besides, how do i tell which way all those dice jumbled up in my dicebag are sitting all week between games? Oh, such anxiety! I believe I want 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 regarding mirrors reversing things, providing you the opposite of what you need I guess.
But getting the dice roll off the table onto the ground is misfortune too. When playing Craps the next roll after that is sure to be a 7 (minimal desirable number). Plus you might lose the die, a) in the cat’s dish, b) down the heating vent, c) between the collection of cheesies, chip crumbs and dust-bunnies under the gaming table. Any bad luck associated with the dice falling off the table can be remedied by having the “Dealer”, or the in our case the GM, grab the errant die and present it back to you. Of course, some GM’s don’t like ahead from behind the screen for anything… so if you keep asking them to chase down your dice you just 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 say:
Never say “You will need anything but 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 area of the charm.)
The Hackmaster Player’s Handbook includes 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… filled 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 close friends are redheads!)
Cleansing dice of bad luck is another approach to blessing your dice. This is often done by burying them in salt, or washing them in cool water or mineral water. (Holy water might work extra well, but not for evil characters.) Just don’t use alcohol to remove bad luck from your dice… it could take away the ink from the numbers too! Needless to say, cleansing dice when they have been performing well, would be counterproductive. You’ll only be washing away the good luck (and all that “lucky dirt”!).
A “friend of a friend” used to put 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 because of their bad deeds. Some people will leave the offending dice in the home when they venture out to play: “House Arrest”. Some gamers provides the dice to the overall game, but not let them out from the dice bag. The bad dice have to sit there listening to their other dice friends having a great time and rolling merrily, while they sit at night. Dice Box get out of the bag, but have to sit on the sidelines watching the other dice frolicking around. (That’s really too cruel, I believe. It reminds me of high school gym class, when I so often waited for the turn that never came. Sniffle. Sob. I’ll be okay ina moment.)
The worst things I’ve ever heard of people doing to poor unsuspecting dice are, a) putting them in the toilet (not flushing though), b) ejecting them into the atmosphere with a slingshot, and c) going for 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 case, actually were innocent, rather than “bad dice” at all. These were sacrificed to the gods of luck so that you can bring fortune to a newly created character.)
I’m not discussing Chi Squared tests here. That’s for another article.
I’m talking about testing the loyalty, balance and general luckiness of dice through such highly rigorous methods as “dice stacking”. During a lull in the game, stack up your dice on top of each other. If any fall off the stack they are obviously not very loyal for you, making you look foolish like that… so don’t use them any more that night.
If any fall off the stack and land on really good numbers, well, that’s different. Maybe they are going out of their way to prove how lucky they’re, and you should give them another chance. Kindness counts, I figure. (I’m not the murderous type, you may already know.) Call me soft, if you want, but I love my dice, and when I’m nice to them maybe theyll give me that natural 20 when I must say i need it!!