Spoils of War
It is rumored that this game started as a way for soldiers to divide their spoils of war, and has since quickly become a local tavern favorite. It is sometimes known only as Spoils.
The game is played with three 6-sided dice and stakes. Each player takes a turn at being the bank. Players lay bets on the outcome of the dice. One of the players (usually the player to the bank's left) throws the three dice. If the dice total less than 10, then the players lose their wagers. If the total is 10 or more, then the banker loses and pays out an equal amount on the players' bets.
The banker is at a disadvantage and some players prefer to make the odds fairer for the banker by making the bankers winning total 10 or less.
A variant is sometimes played with increasing stakes and increasing odds for the bank, known as Bump. If all three dice roll the same number, all players must double their bet, the bankers winning number is raised by two, and the dice are rolled again. This continues if all three dice again roll the same number.
This game requires three 6-sided dice (3d6). This game is based on dice game known as Ten a lso known as Spot, Dicey, Roll-Ten and Birdie.
For those who missed the original article, 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!
In my group there are actually a couple odd-ball happenings with dice. One concerns a random d20 that was left, for no reason in particular, on top of a can of root beer. So the next time someone went for a soda, and the die was discovered in the fridge. Being poor gamers, no dice gets left behind. I swear on my life that thing has not rolled below a 14 since. We always replace it in the fridge though, just to be safe. Our DM doesn't really like us to use it, but he has seen it roll low before the root beer incident, so he can't really tell us not to use it.
There is probably no such thing as good or bad dice, but as a DM I roll all my dice on the table: good or bad, the players can see it. I don't like to fluff rolls because there are other ways a party can be saved (help from an NPC they saved earlier, etc...)
But if my monsters roll too many high numbers and a player rolls too many low ones, I sometimes swap the dice with them so they feel better about themselves. If the players feel lucky, they will make more daring actions; even though there's more risk, there's also more reward. They will also try more things that may or may not be dangerous.
So I'll let my players believe in lucky dice, because it actually helps the game progress. When they feel lucky they will take more notice of good rolls and less about bad rolls.
If you use a dice game in your own campaigns, here's your chance to share it. Send it in to: firstname.lastname@example.org, and we may feature it in a future edition of Dice Games!
About the Author
Mark A. Jindra has been a fan of Dungeons & Dragons for over 25 years. In 1998 he landed his dream job as a web developer for Wizards of the Coast and is currently the developer of the D&D website.