The truth behind cursed dice.


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Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:

Why not just keep track of what you roll, and perform a chi-square test?

Mathematics is really way more reliable than witchcraft.

Eh. Physical science experiments have the benefit of being instantly observable, and at times more visually satisfying.

I plan to also check my dice, both with mathematics and dark witchcraft, and see if it differs, and what my trends are.

On a slightly different note, I would advise checking the see through dice, if for no other reason then to check assumptions


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Pandora's wrote:
pauljathome wrote:

I am a computer programmer and your friends are only partly right.

A GOOD random generator is going to be pretty darn random, certainly WAY more random than dice rolled in a hand the way gamers do. There is a reason when money is involved (eg, craps) dice are shaken very vigorously.

Bad random number generators are still quite likely better than most dice rolled at most tables.

Really bad generators and programmers do, however, exist

Mostly this. Technically most computers make pseudorandom numbers, which means they are not truly random in the statistical sense. With the correct information, you can predict the result, but that only matters when a sophisticated attacker is willing to take the time. For the purpose of everything but computer security, pseudorandom is much better than dice.

If you happen to really care, it is possible to generate true random numbers using special hardware that reads white noise created by solar particles. That's the nuclear option for combating dice cheaters :)

This one time, a nova in another galaxy, caused my character to get critted by an ogre.


Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:

Why not just keep track of what you roll, and perform a chi-square test?

Mathematics is really way more reliable than witchcraft.

I think Love Doctor Babaji would disagree.


Meh, my dice are brass so floating is really not an option...

Scarab Sages

I did not think any of those metal dice sets were intended to be used in actual play? I thought they were all just for show.
Are there ones that they say are to actually be used? if so which do you use?


Berti Blackfoot wrote:

I did not think any of those metal dice sets were intended to be used in actual play? I thought they were all just for show.

Are there ones that they say are to actually be used? if so which do you use?

I got them at Gencon a couple of years ago (4 to be precise), they were labeled as good for play. I know they are brass, I'll see if I can't find brand name when I get home.

I like using them but they tend to be loud, and I use a rolling tray so I don't damage tables/etc.

I would say usable but impractical once you consider noise and potential damage factors to the environment.


Scythia wrote:
Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:

Why not just keep track of what you roll, and perform a chi-square test?

Mathematics is really way more reliable than witchcraft.

I think Love Doctor Babaji would disagree.

Vashikiran indian love doctor baba ji get your love back inner mantra discover the truth about cursed dice with this 1 great weird old trick!

Waits to get banned.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
How much salt to what amount of water?

For 4 quarts of water, I recommend a half cup of salt and a half cup of sugar, plus a teaspoon of cayenne and a couple drops of liquid smoke.

(We are talking about brining pork ribs, right?)


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Vic Wertz wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
How much salt to what amount of water?

For 4 quarts of water, I recommend a half cup of salt and a half cup of sugar, plus a teaspoon of cayenne and a couple drops of liquid smoke.

(We are talking about brining pork ribs, right?)

Liquid Smoke? BLASPHEMY! You should use a 1/4 ratio of apple cider vinegar and water, a half cup of kosher salt, a half cup of sugar, one minced serrano pepper and a tablespoon of garlic. And you smoke those ribs proper-like!

Seriously, though, you can brine your dice any way you like. :)


UnArcaneElection wrote:
cnetarian wrote:

{. . .}

Wait, you cook in heavy crude or halogenated hydrocarbons? I'm not eating your french fries . . .

Don't be silly, heavy crude is lighter than water, are you thinking of the extra heavy sludge (bitumen) which comes from coal sands, because that isn't really crude oil. I use the oil that is so good it is sinful, I use milk of the animal as my cooking oil - cow milk for beef usually. As for French fries, I gave up long pig as it has too many chemicals in it. Unless you are talking about french fries made from plants dug out of the ground, which might be interesting if I could find a potato oil to cook them in and were wiling to accept that vegetables actually are food.

For the first, I do mean heavy crude, that sinks in seawater after the lighter stuff has evaporated (probably somewhat similar composition to the bitumen you are thinking of).

For cooking oil, I have never seen cooking oil (or solid grease) that failed to float on water, as long as it wasn't stuck to whatever surface was under the water.

But I accept that if you have trouble convincing yourself that vegetables are food, we might be thinking of different things, and might even have mutually alien metabolisms . . . .

* * * * * * * *

Abraham Spalding wrote:
Meh, my dice are brass so floating is really not an option...

Unfortunately, you're probably right. As far as I know, brass is soluble in anything that is dense enough to dissolve it. Going to have to use the statistical mathematics somebody posted above . . . .


Yeah I've used the unofficial, "they roll like any other dice I've ever used" method.

It's odd because I'm a rather lucky fellow. I either roll 15+ or 5- it's very rare for me to roll something inbetween.

I'm very lucky, sometimes it's good luck, sometimes it's bad luck but there is always luck!


UnArcaneElection wrote:

For the first, I do mean heavy crude, that sinks in seawater after the lighter stuff has evaporated (probably somewhat similar composition to the bitumen you are thinking of).

For cooking oil, I have never seen cooking oil (or solid grease) that failed to float on water, as long as it wasn't stuck to whatever surface was under the water.

But I accept that if you have trouble convincing yourself that vegetables are food, we might be thinking of different things, and might even have mutually alien metabolisms . . . .

It's a definitional thing, once crude oil gets to the same density as water (actually little higher) it ceases to be heavy crude oil and becomes bitumen. As for the milk thing, it was a too subtle (judeo-christian) biblical joke, sometime maybe 5,000 to 6,000 years ago a religious injunction forbidding cooking an animal in it's mother's milk came into effect, which I spun into the "modern fashion" of using oils for cooking instead of milk.


^I got the biblical reference, but still have yet to find an oil (or other substance that isn't salt brine) suitable for cooking that is significantly denser than water. Although given the existence of sugar substitutes like sucralose, I shouldn't be surprised if somebody comes up with a chlorinated fat substitute that is heavier than water, although I wouldn't recommend eating such a thing or food cooked in it even if it does get rammed, stealthed, or bribed through FDA approval.


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UnArcaneElection wrote:

^I got the biblical reference, but still have yet to find an oil (or other substance that isn't salt brine) suitable for cooking that is significantly denser than water. Although given the existence of sugar substitutes like sucralose, I shouldn't be surprised if somebody comes up with a chlorinated fat substitute that is heavier than water, although I wouldn't recommend eating such a thing or food cooked in it even if it does get rammed, stealthed, or bribed through FDA approval.

Just because something is chlorinated doesn't mean it is bad. Heck, table salt is chlorinated.

I know a lot of people hate on sucralose, but it is very safe. You have to consume a massive amount before you start seeing toxic effects. Like an equivalent amount to McDonald's quarter pounder hamburger in a single day. (My back of the napkin calculation is about 0.23 pounds worth for an average sized adult male). .

So while some chlorinated compounds can be bad at low doses (certain dioxins are a good example), the mere existence of chlorine isn't enough to indicate toxicity.

Toxicity is determined primarily by dose, then by the route of administration and the organism in question. It is not determined simply by the molecular make up.

Sucralose wasn't just rammed through the FDA; from your own link there are over 100 different studies all showing the safety of sucralose; that's a massive amount of scientific research and there are a lot of compounds used in everyday life that don't have nearly that much safety testing - yet we assume they're safe. Heck, almost every single dietary supplement can be described that way - there is no safety or efficacy testing required to put a dietary supplement on the market in the U.S. The entire dietary supplement and alternative medicine market is buyer beware. At least with the FDA - even with some of the shady things that go on - there's still a minimal requirement for giving some effort with proving safety and efficacy before its allowed on the market. And evidence to the contrary after approval can be enough to remove it from the market. The same is not necessarily true with dietary supplements or alternative medicine products, which have an extremely minimal - if anything - regulatory requirement.


bookrat wrote:
Just because something is chlorinated doesn't mean it is bad. Heck, table salt is chlorinated.

Table salt doesn't have a carbon-halogen bond -- that's where you get into trouble. Not with every compound containing a carbon-halogen bond, but with an awful lot of them.

bookrat wrote:
{. . .} Sucralose wasn't just rammed through the FDA; from your own link there are over 100 different studies all showing the safety of sucralose; that's a massive amount of scientific research and there are a lot of compounds used in everyday life that don't have nearly that much safety testing - yet we assume they're safe. {. . .}

Sucralose itself might happen to be okay, but that does not lessen cause for suspicion of the FDA approval process -- see the problems with the approval process for aspartame.

With respect to the original topic, I noticed that sucralose (1.69 g/cm^3) is slightly denser than sucrose (1.587 g/cm^3) in solid form, but its solubility in water is much lower (283 g/l compared to 2000 g/l), so I strongly suspect that it will be inferior for getting dice to float.


Okay, just to keep this slightly on track (I'm assuming talk about the bible and crude oil is off topic) I have 36 D20s of various brands and I tried to do this test

2 of the dice are from QWorkshop.com, 14 are from a Chessex 'pound'o'dice, and the rest come from conventions over the years so I have no clue of the 'make and model'.

I tried the salt test in a glass of tap water water. I didn't measure a 1/4 cup, but I am sure I put a lot in, because there was a lot sitting in the bottom, no matter how much I stirred the glass.

I didn't try hot water. Half the dice didn't float and maybe I will try again with hot water to see if that works tomorrow.

Of the dice, 5 of the Chessex dice floated. One of those Balanced on 20. The other 4 would not balance on any specific number.

I tend to roll low, so I was looking for low numbers.

The other 10 Chessex dice sank to the bottom.

I got two other sets of dice from Atomic Empire Games. Both sank. However one of those, the Kanji d20 rolls just fine.

Of the rest, miscellaneous dice that I got from conventions. Some sank and most didn't. some were solid and others were the old clear kind with the plus to the side of the number.

All of the ones that floated I didn't get a clear 'balance number' like I saw on the one with the d20. Some would come up on a corner rather than a flat.

This really hasn't changed anything.

I'm wondering if Rock Salt (driveway salt) would have a better chance of making the sinking dice float.


I'd like to say, I haven't tried dunking in salted water yet, but other night, I had some seriously good rolls, 4 in a row plus a confirming critical on one player, then mediocre rolls on rest of party, same die whole night, it only rolled high against that single player! I even took a minute and did a roll check on each character and it again rolled high only when that player was called. Some times it's just Karma...


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I fear the dice gods will come after me if I dare question their wisdom and test the tools of their will.


ngc7293 wrote:

Okay, just to keep this slightly on track (I'm assuming talk about the bible and crude oil is off topic) I have 36 D20s of various brands and I tried to do this test

{. . .}
I tried the salt test in a glass of tap water water. I didn't measure a 1/4 cup, but I am sure I put a lot in, because there was a lot sitting in the bottom, no matter how much I stirred the glass.

I didn't try hot water. Half the dice didn't float and maybe I will try again with hot water to see if that works tomorrow.
{. . .}
I'm wondering if Rock Salt (driveway salt) would have a better chance of making the sinking dice float.

Rock salt is sodium chloride, but some driveway salt might be at least partly calcium chloride instead, which should make a dense solution at saturation (which is at a high concentration) -- worth a shot if you already have some. Malwing also mentioned Epsom salt above, and cnetarian mentioned using the combination of salt and sugar above to get a denser solution than you could get with either one alone. Note that some of these solutions are going to be really syrupy, which could conceivably cause a die to get caught in a local energy minimum caused by the polyhedral shape rather than a weight imbalance -- doesn't seem very likely for a d20, but might be an issue for dice with fewer sides.

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Chemicals are toxic.

Everything is chemicals.

-Skeld


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Dice used in casinos are specifically carved and weighted to give each possibility an equal chance of coming up. The dice most of us gamers use is not. It's just injected plastic. As such, there's a definite possibility that a given die favors certain faces.


How about corn syrup?

Some D6s for casino use have the 1 an extra wide pip to balance things.
Accept no other die with pips.

Grand Lodge

StabbittyDoom wrote:
Pandora's wrote:
pauljathome wrote:

I am a computer programmer and your friends are only partly right.

A GOOD random generator is going to be pretty darn random, certainly WAY more random than dice rolled in a hand the way gamers do. There is a reason when money is involved (eg, craps) dice are shaken very vigorously.

Bad random number generators are still quite likely better than most dice rolled at most tables.

Really bad generators and programmers do, however, exist

Mostly this. Technically most computers make pseudorandom numbers, which means they are not truly random in the statistical sense. With the correct information, you can predict the result, but that only matters when a sophisticated attacker is willing to take the time. For the purpose of everything but computer security, pseudorandom is much better than dice.

If you happen to really care, it is possible to generate true random numbers using special hardware that reads white noise created by solar particles. That's the nuclear option for combating dice cheaters :)

For further fun, note that some video games don't just stop at generating a random number between X and Y, they do other silly stuff that throws a wrench into the mix.

For example, in some of the Fire Emblem games they roll a d% twice and average the result for determining if you hit. This means an 80% hit chance is actually more like a 94% hit chance, while a 20% chance is closer to 6%. Only a 50% remains unchained.

Other games will skew the random results based on previous results. So if you got lots of good rolls it might deliberately force a bad roll to keep things "even". Or visa-versa, of course.

Many games save where they are in the psuedo-random sequence when you save your game. This means that if you reload and do the same things in the same order, the same things will happen. This doesn't mean that the RNG is broken! It's just to prevent people from reloading until they win. (I think X-Com does this.)

In other words, never...

Sorry for reopening old wounds but I wanted to tell a story.

I'm a DBA and I've been a programmer for several years.

First time I encountered an obvious problem with random numbers generated on a computer was when preparing a mod for Quake so I ended creating my own random generator function, which still is not random but far more random than the original in the API.

A few years ago I programmed an aplication to check the diference between 4d6 keep 3 highest and 2d6+6 (sort answer: 2d6+6 excels the other by much) as a checking for some friends, I did it in Delphi 6 and the random functions were AWFULLY wrong so I ended recoding my random generator function which I recalled for long years before.

And if you are curious how the function worked i just created a huge "random" number and then took the mod of that number divided on the dice I wanted to roll (+1, of course) so at the end even if the numbers randomized by the original function were not really random, it served it purpose more than well on my tests.


Skeld wrote:

Chemicals are toxic.

Everything is chemicals.

-Skeld

Does that make humans toxic?


YES!!....errr, yes...some of them are indeed toxic...like jellyfish.


Alberto Mejias wrote:
StabbittyDoom wrote:
Pandora's wrote:
pauljathome wrote:

I am a computer programmer and your friends are only partly right.

A GOOD random generator is going to be pretty darn random, certainly WAY more random than dice rolled in a hand the way gamers do. There is a reason when money is involved (eg, craps) dice are shaken very vigorously.

Bad random number generators are still quite likely better than most dice rolled at most tables.

Really bad generators and programmers do, however, exist

Mostly this. Technically most computers make pseudorandom numbers, which means they are not truly random in the statistical sense. With the correct information, you can predict the result, but that only matters when a sophisticated attacker is willing to take the time. For the purpose of everything but computer security, pseudorandom is much better than dice.

If you happen to really care, it is possible to generate true random numbers using special hardware that reads white noise created by solar particles. That's the nuclear option for combating dice cheaters :)

For further fun, note that some video games don't just stop at generating a random number between X and Y, they do other silly stuff that throws a wrench into the mix.

For example, in some of the Fire Emblem games they roll a d% twice and average the result for determining if you hit. This means an 80% hit chance is actually more like a 94% hit chance, while a 20% chance is closer to 6%. Only a 50% remains unchained.

Other games will skew the random results based on previous results. So if you got lots of good rolls it might deliberately force a bad roll to keep things "even". Or visa-versa, of course.

Many games save where they are in the psuedo-random sequence when you save your game. This means that if you reload and do the same things in the same order, the same things will happen. This doesn't mean that the RNG is broken! It's just to prevent people from reloading until they win. (I think X-Com does

...

Don't feel too bad if your game RNG isn't perfect. Several older games have RNGs that depend partially or fully on input, allowing sufficiently skilled players (or TASes) to manipulate it. Because sometimes you really need that 1% crit.


Does thread necromancy have the Evil descriptor?

Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:

Why not just keep track of what you roll, and perform a chi-square test?

Mathematics is really way more reliable than witchcraft.

I've got to agree. I am notorious for bad dice rolls. I figure a lot of that is confirmation bias, but some is due to bad dice. So I learned about this float test and tried it out. But then I got really nutty and did a chi-square test on all my D20s with 1000 rolls each. I've tested 22 dice, 10 failed the test and were retired. In my observation, the bias shown in the float test has little relation to bias in rolled results. A few dice that did fine with the salt-water float test failed my chi-square test, and a few that came up with a bias in the float test passed the chi-square test. And of the ones that failed, they didn't necessarily roll the number that shows up most in the float test more often. I had one die that came up with 20 in that test, it did roll a lot of 20s (7.3%), but it rolled even more 1s (9.2%). Another showed a bias towards 15 in the float test, but in rolling came out exactly 5% of the time, with seven other numbers coming up more often.

My experience (sample size 2 d20s) does back up the idea of Gamescience dice being more fair than standard plastic dice. And the Zucati Perfect Plastic line seems to be similar, especially the single polish ones (I haven't tried a raw one, but those are likely even better due to the lack of polish). I like their look and feel over Gamescience too.

But really the gold standard for fair dice is with machined dice, instead of the standard molded ones. I haven't seen plastic machined dice other than casino dice. So machined metal is the way to go. Aluminum is the most available and cheapest, and in my opinion ideal for weight and feel in the hand. You might still want to put down a pad to keep from dinging up a wood table though, a book or even a few sheets of paper is enough). Lighter metals like titanium and magnesium would more table-friendly but also more expensive. I've got several; 2 plain D20s and an anodized D12 from Zucati and a really cool floating face D20 from Sly Kly (the one downside is the floating face means . I got them from Kickstarter campaigns, their options to get individual dice outside of the Kickstarter sems a bit limited, and the full sets are rather expensive. But dice campaigns, including machined, start up on Kickstarter quite often, so it might pay to keep an eye out there if you're in the market.

I have rolled better since I started testing all my D20s. I still feel like I roll bad, but that's probably mostly confirmation bias.


A while ago I got a brick of 12mm d6. I grabbed some to use with ASL, and after several losses, I tested them with the chi squared test. Yes, they were badly biased. Small d6 tend to be biased to the high numbers because of the molded pips.

Use mathematics, not folk tales.


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Hey Doktor, does all that mean I have a prescription from you for biased dice syndrome, and the only cure, is awesome new aluminum dice?

Cause if that is true...you are the best Doc ever!

:)


@GM_Beernorg,
I once asked a vendor of precision dice if their dice had been tested to see if they were biased. They didn't understand the question, all they kept saying is that "there are precision dice". You can have biased dice manufactured to extremely tight tolerances, but they're still biased.


Balance..all about the balance.

True nuff Scott, true nuff.

I just really like getting new dice LOL.

Especially if they are green dice...


My personal test is, if it rolls 2 1s in a row, I bury it in the trash.
This one die ruined 2 true strikes in a row for a ranger/sorcerer, at a convention. It could have been an air bubble in the plastic. It could have been bad luck. How do you test dice again?


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My source is an article in Dragon #78, "Be thy die ill-wrought?". You roll the d20 a large number of times, recording how many times each number turns up. You sum the square of (the number of times the number showed up - the number of times you expected it to show up) for all 20 numbers, then divide by number of times you expected a number to show up. This is the chi-squared value, which you compare to a table that shows the chance of a fair die getting that value.

Example:
To test a d20, I will roll it 400 times. Each number is expected to show up 20 times.
I record how many times each number does show up.
I then calculate (number of times 1 showed up - 20)^2 + (number of times 2 showed up - 20)^2 + (number of times 3 showed up - 20)^2 + ... + (number of times 19 showed up - 20)^2 + (number of times 20 showed up - 20)^2.
I divide that sum by 20. This is the chi-square value.
[The "^2" notation means "squared".]

For 20 categories, there is a 10% chance that the chi-square value will be 27.204 or more _just_by_chance_given_a_perfect_die. There is a 1% chance that the chi-square value will be 36.191 just by chance.

d20 are cheap. If I tested one and it produced a chi-squared of 36.191 or more, I'd throw it out. If the result was 27.204 or higher, I might retest it and toss it if it failed again.

Remember, rolling a die is a random process. There's a chance (1 in 100) that a fair d20 would give a result of 36.191 or higher, and a chance that a biased die would give a result below 27.204. There is no black-or-white division here, just degrees of certainty.


GM_Beernorg wrote:

Hey Doktor, does all that mean I have a prescription from you for biased dice syndrome, and the only cure, is awesome new aluminum dice?

Cause if that is true...you are the best Doc ever!

:)

It's even better than More Cowbell. :) A lot more expensive though.

I do like the Zuccati Perfect Plastic for a cheaper alternative. He recently did a Kickstarter campaign for a new and improved version of those. It failed, but should be being reworked and relaunched soon. Apparently early November is the current plan. So it might be worth checking that out when it relaunches.

Goth Guru wrote:
How do you test dice again?

I used several sources, here is one of the sources I used, be sure to follow the links at the bottom to the followup blogs. And here is Wikipedia's page on the Pearson's Chi-Squared Test used. There were a few others sources I used, but I can't recall where they were.

But my procedure is pretty similar to Scott Romanowski's above. My main differences are that I do the sum of squared error slightly differently, but functionally identical, and I compare against three different scenarios, 5%, 1% and 0.1%. The value for 5% is 30.143, 1% is 36.191 and 0.1% is 43.82. My understanding of all the math isn't as good as it cold be, but the percentages given are the chance that die that failed the test is actually fair. So if a die fails at the 0.1% level, then it's close to certain it's a bad die, but at the 5% level it has a 1 in 20 chance of just being a bad set of rolls. I also roll the dice more, I've just done d20s, and roll them 1000 times each. The more rolls the more confidence you can have in the results. For other dice type you can get away with a lower number of rolls for the same level of confidence. I'm doing 50 times the number of sides, so a d6 to the same level would only need 300 rolls. 100 times the number of sides would be even better, but more rolling.

If I had the electronics and programming knowledge on how to do it, I would be tempted to make a die rolling machine that rolled the die, captured the result with a camera and then rolled again, so I could just set the thing going all night and get a crazy number of results by morning. Sadly I don't. It'd probably be something like this self-loading dice tower, motorized and with an OCR camera reading the result and plugging it into a spreadsheet.


Scott Romanowski wrote:

A while ago I got a brick of 12mm d6. I grabbed some to use with ASL, and after several losses, I tested them with the chi squared test. Yes, they were badly biased. Small d6 tend to be biased to the high numbers because of the molded pips.

Use mathematics, not folk tales.

There's another bit, that I'm not certain about but does make sense, the idea being that smaller and lighter dice are more sensitive to imbalances and imperfections. Basically they've got less momentum when rolled, so all the little imbalances make more of an effect than on a larger and heavier die with momentum behind it overcoming the small effects of weight distribution. So this would be another reason small dice are more biased. I do have a brick of those little d6s that I use when a large number of d6s are needed. But I'm thinking I should probably phase them out, partly due to this issue.

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