Design & Development09/08/2006

Your Votes & Dice Weirdos

We're hoping this column becomes your window into roleplaying design and development -- or at least the way we approach these things here at Wizards of the Coast. We'll handle a wide range of topics in weeks to come, from frank discussions about over- or underpowered material, to the design goals of a certain supplement, to what we think are the next big ideas for the Dungeons & Dragons game. All of this comes bundled with a healthy look at the people and events that are roleplaying R&D.

First of all, we have a few voting results to share! You Craft the Creature has at last reached a conclusion:

Baker 2: 48.8%
Baker 1: 32.6%
Baker 3 : 18.6%

Our thanks once more to everyone who took the time to vote, and helped shape Codename: Baker into the fearsome villain he’s become. We haven’t announced what future sourcebook Baker will appear in, but we’ll keep you posted and be sure to share further previews of your crafted creature along the way.

Monster Makeover

Second, last week we asked you to vote on which creature you’d like to receive a future makeover. Mike Mearls remains chained to his desk, working on the revised beholder. In addition, here were your choices for future selections:

mind flayer: 16.7%
rakshasa: 11.3%
gelatinous cube: 9.8%
hydra: 8.6%
doppelganger: 7.0%
bodak: 6.5%
wyvern: 5.1%
carrion crawler: 5.0%
will-o-wisp: 5.0%
centaur: 4.7%
drider: 4.3%
titan: 4.2%
klurichir: 2.4%
athach: 2.1%
purple worm: 1.9%
ghaele: 1.6%
grick: 1.6%
girallon: 1.3%
delver: 0.8%

(Producer’s Note: It was a tough field, to be sure. But frankly, I was amazed that the delver managed to pull in 40 votes!)

Dice Weirdos

Oh, how we loved the stories! For those who missed the original article, this summer we discussed the various superstitions folks here at Wizards of the Coast harbor about rolling their dice—and, of course, asked for your superstitions and stories as well! To share a few:

It Was the Best of Rolls
Back in the 2.0 days, I rolled a paladin with absolutely great stats, including an 18/00 Strength. All the rolls were made with the DM and players watching, but with that 18/00, the DM claimed he missed the roll. My fellow players howled in protest, but he was DM, so I rolled again, this time ensuring he was watching.

Bam! Another 18. The DM grimaced while the players chuckled, and I rolled the dice for the exceptional score.

Bam! Another “00”.

Thus was born "Ahnold", my übermensch of a paladin.

It Was the Worst of Rolls
I'm not sure if this counts as a dice story or not, but I can recount many events where my luck (or lack thereof) with dice is unparalleled. A few highlights:

  • I have rolled five consecutive "1"s in game on a d20.
  • Recently, our gaming group returned from a three month hiatus. My first two rolls on the d20: 1 for initiative (no positive modifiers) and 1 on the first attack roll.
  • When one of the gamers purchased a new kitchen table, he allowed me to christen it by having the first roll (perhaps to allow my luck to change): it was a "1" on a d20.
  • Most notably, I recently got a fortune cookie that stated: "The best roll of the dice is to throw them away."

My luck is so consistently bad that my group has allowed me to roll 2d12 and add the result in place of a d20. That's why I always play a cleric. Even if you botch a roll on a cure spell, you're still healing the barbarian one point per die.

Bad Dice! Bad Dice!
I have to punish dice that consistently roll bad as an example to the other dice I own. What I do is throw the offending die in a large body of water. The bigger the body of water, the better. I was in the U.S. Navy for 6 years; as it stands now I have one d20 in the Atlantic Ocean, one d20 in the Indian Ocean, and two d20s in the Pacific ocean (one near Oahu, HI, and one near Adak, AK), and one d20 in the Huron River in Michigan.

And Finally
During play, a fellow player had the tendency to shout a rather obscene name for a prostitute whenever his dice happened to roll low. After a couple sessions with him I suggested rather snarkily that he pay his dice, and that maybe he'd have better luck. I then handed him a quarter. He laughed and set the quarter down next to the die. His next roll was a 20. Being rather superstitious he set down another quarter next turn, and again rolled high. By the end of the night we all sat in rapt amazement as, so long as he paid his dice, he never seemed to roll under a 15. While this hasn't held true for subsequent gaming sessions, said player has been know to bring some spare change along with him to game night.

Plus, our favorite quote on the subject:

I have never met a player without some superstition. We are all a little unstable that way.

Dice Games

The 1st edition Player’s Handbook (pg. 122) had an entire section regarding “suggested agreements for division of treasure,” which included equal shares, plus dicing for magic items. For those interested in dicing for items, we offer the following dice game.

By Mark A. Jindra

Originating in back alleys and played by thieves and other unsavory types, Cutpurse has made its way into local taverns and gambling establishments.

Cutpurse is a simple game played with two six sided dice by any number of players for stakes. Each player rolls a die, with the highest throwing first in the game and the lowest "setting the point". The player with the lowest roll throws a die again, and the number rolled becomes the point number.

Each player in turn rolls the dice and scores one for every occurrence of the point number. A player who rolls a double point number scores 3 points instead of 2. The first player to reach 11 points wins the game.

Rogue, Thief
A variant of Cutpurse known as Rogue or Thief is played with two 4 sided dice. Rolling a double point number in this game however counts as 0 points and requires you to add a set amount to the pot.

This game requires two 4 or 6 sided dice (2d4, 2d6). This game is based on dice game known as Passage.


We’d still love to hear more about your own dice rituals and stories; feel free to send ‘em in to

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