Deceit is a dice game that challenges players to determine if they are being deceived or not. The game is played with two 6-sided dice, chips or coins, and a cup or mug (that you can not see through).
Each player rolls a die with the highest roll going first. Players place the dice in the cup and turn the cup face down, rolling the dice. They then take a peek, being careful not to let anyone else see the results. The player may now tell the truth about the roll or lie about it.
The dice are always read with the larger number first. For instance if you have a 2 and 5, your read it as 52. 6 and 1 is 61, and so on. Examples of invalid numbers would be 25 or 16.
Play continues clockwise around the table. Each player must always announce a number greater than the previous player, by truth or by lying. The next player decides whether or not they believe the roll. If they do not, they lift the cup to check. If the truth was told, the person who questioned it must give the person who rolled the dice a chip. If it was a lie, the person who rolled the dice must give the player who challenged them a chip. However, if the roll is not questioned, the dice are passed to the next person clockwise; without looking, that players then rolls the dice, continuing the game.
Here is a list of possible rolls in from highest to lowest:
*1-1, 6-6, 6-5, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2, 6-1, 5-5, 5-4, 5-3, 5-2, 5-1, 4-4, 4-3, 4-2, 4-1, 3-3, 3-2, 3-1, 2-2, **2-1
*If you roll (or lie) 1-1 (the highest roll), you may choose any player and tell them to give you a chip. If the person chosen believes you, they hand a chip to you, and the next player continues. If they do not believe you and you actually have a 1-1, then they must give you two chips. If they do not believe you and you are lying, then you must surrender two chips to them.
**If you roll (or lie) 2-1, the direction of the game changes. For instance, the game starts clockwise, but may change to counterclockwise if the next player believes you or if they challenge you and you actually rolled 2-1. Chips change hands as normal on this roll.
In all cases, when someone is paid a chip(s), the next player begins from zero. Each player begins the game with a predetermined number of chips and is eliminated if they have no more chips. The last player with any chips is declared the winner. Games with unlimited chips may conclude after a set number of rounds or all players agree to end the game.
This game requires two 6-sided dice (2d6). This game is based on dice game known as Mexico.
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!
My Red Die of Death
My clear red d20 has been with me for many years, and it's the only d20 I use. It has been dubbed the "Red Die of Death". It does have to be treated the right way though...
First, no one else can touch it. If it's touched by anyone other than me, it shuts down for the night after having been violated (at which point I have to pick a new soldier from the ranks). In one instance, I had taken a bio-break and one of my players reached over and offended my Red Die. When I came back I started rolling some horrible numbers. I verbally expressed my distress and the group started laughing. I was then informed of the desecration. This confirmed for all them that my "superstition" was indeed fact.
Second, my Red Die must be jiggled and then rolled unimpeded. It must not be tossed, flipped, ricocheted, or dropped. If it so much as falls off a pad of paper or is prevented from finishing its roll, bad numbers will be the reward. The good thing is that such interventions are immediately forgiven.
Third, it prefers to be rolled on a non-slip surface (plastic or wood is a certain curse). This ties in with rule #2, as Big Red must roll. Slippery surfaces, of course, offer little in the way of traction and prevent the rolling action. Red Die rolls best on paper.
Some (and at times, all) of my earlier players would "purify" their dice. That is, they would roll the dice they were going to use for the session until the top number came up. So a d12 would be rolled until the 12 appeared. The purified die would then be set aside until game time. This act would be done for each and every die.
What are the Odds?
This isn't so much a quirk as it is a miracle.
It was before game time and we were calling our percentage shots. For instance, "I'm going to roll an 87". Then we'd roll percentiles and see if it came up. Well, it was my turn, "I'm going to roll double ought." Lo and behold, that's what I rolled!
Well, I was telling this story to two of my players and for effect I picked up the same percentiles and rolled them and said, "...and I said "I'm going to roll double ought'". Well, I did roll double ought...again! I didn't even realize it until I saw the horrified look on their faces. I glanced down and there they were, two zeroes staring right back at me. The two of them had second thoughts about participating in the game that night for fear of my die rolling karma.
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.