Monday, September 3, 2012

Lucky dice

The following information reconfirms my favoritism for the multi-d6 method of gaming for Heroes and Other Worlds. You see a single die (d20) resolution will not produce an average result because of manufacturing vagaries. As a result, yes there are "lucky" or "unlucky" dice because of how they were made.  Don't take my word for it, see the results below from Awesome dice blog.

Do Your Dice Roll True?
The founder of GameScience, Lou Zocchi, has long claimed that GameScience dice roll more true than other gaming dice. In a well-known GenCon video Zocchi explained why GameScience dice should roll more true.
His logic is that due to how dice are made, traditional RPG dice are actually put through a process similar to a rock tumbler as part of the painting and polishing, and this process  causes the dice to have rounded edges. In theory the uneven rounding gives the dice an inconsistent shape that favors certain sides. GameScience dice are not put through this process, which is why they retain their sharp edges and is also why their dice come uninked.

While Zocchi’s makes a good argument about egg-shaped d20s, what was lacking was any kind of actual testing of how the dice roll. Nowhere were we able to find any tests of d20s — either GameScience or traditional d20s — to determine whether or not they roll true. As giant fans of dice and an impartial third party, we decided to run a test ourselves and see just how randomly RPG d20s really roll.

We pitted GameScience precision dice against Chessex dice (the largest RPG dice manufacturer) to see what science has to say.
Test dice condenders


For the principle test we used one Chessex d20 and one GameScience d20, both brand new right out of the packaging. The GameScience d20 was inked with a Sharpe to make it easier to read the results, but the dice were not modified in any other way.

The dice were rolled by hand on a battlemat on a level table. For this experiment the dice were rolled on the surface for at least two feet and had to bounce off a flat backstop before coming to rest. This is similar to the requirements of craps tables in casinos. Our logic is that if this method successfully prevents cheating with six-sided dice, it will more than suffice for d20 dice being rolled without any intent to alter the results. (Since casinos are not losing money on gambling, we assume they know what they’re doing).
Each die was rolled 10,000 times, and the results recorded.

Test Results


Bard said...

That was a fascinating article. I remember when I got my first gamescience dice and was immediately concerned by the flash on the 7 thinking "how is this flash going to make my die more precise?" Of course I did carefully cut/sand it down, but who knows what kind of job I really did?

Fenway5 said...

It in interesting to see the claims thoroughly tested. I think a little exacto knife and find grain sandpaper probably does the trick nicely with game science dice!

M. Jared Swenson said...

I too was sold by Gamescience sales pitch, so i bought myself a set.

That gamescience d20 is my best roller ive ever had. I have never rolled so many numbers higher than a 10 than on any of my other dice. It is considered my reliable dnd die.

So does that mean Mr. Zocci wasnt correct in his pitch? I'm not sure. But i sure as hell am not complaining.