What is the most statistically improbably die roll you've witnssed?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


I've got a few of mine listed below the comic over here.

More recently, I documented sextuple sixes on Roll 20. That's a one in 46,656 chance. The roll? A between-combats lay on hands, confirming my suspicion that Roll 20 is an elaborate troll.

What about the rest of you guys? What are the weirdest rolls you've ever witnessed?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This is easy. Hell's Rebels, the fight against Rivozair. Actually my PCs' second fight, after Rivozair kicked their butts and then flew away in the first encounter.

This time, the PCs were ready. They put together a cunning plan to lure Rivozair out and then slam it with all of their best spells and debuffs right in a row to cripple it.

Rolling out in the open (something I rarely do, but I'm glad I was in this case), Rivozair rolled four natural 20s in a row, completely negating every single surprise round spell and ability the PCs threw at it.

My players were so terrified they almost called a retreat right there. XD


-My first attack roll in front of players (because I had gotten up to walk around the table for some reason): Three 20s.
Rolled out in the open ever since (except when secrecy was necessary) so they'd always believe such rolls.

-Playtest for PF2 in the chapter where everyone's supposed to die. Final boss only had to hit the last PC twice to win, and only needed a 4 or so, so was likely to crit and finish the PC in one blow. Player maybe had hit it once or twice, and it had 100 h.p. or so. Several rounds later (!) they were both still up, the player lands a hit & a crit, after which the boss finally drops him, but succumbs to persistent good damage before it could kill them all off. Three out of four PCs stabilized to "win".

-Barbarian, who had been struggling much of the campaign, destroys some wyverns with critical hits. Everybody's happy for her, and she's clearing out a tough lair pretty much on her own.
Charges the boss wyvern that had just flown up to a nearby ledge.
Miss w/ 1. Miss w/ 1. Falls off edge of cliff w/ 1. Rolls 1 to land for less damage. Rolls 1 to avoid (now-dead) wyvern boss falling on her.
From full health to "Cleric needs to jump off cliff (and barely survive) to save Barbarian".
One of my other players leapt out of his chair, shouting at the craziness.

Silver Crusade

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I once saw a player roll a 17. Followed by a 6. Then a 2. Then a 14. Then a 20. Then a 10. Then a 5. Then a 9. Then a 12.

Thats absolutely incredible. The chances of that set of rolls is
1 in 20^9.

I bet nobody has EVER seen this run of dice before. Or ever will again.


One player in my regular group, no matter what type of die, no matter whose dice he uses (his own or borrowing someone else's), will outright defy the laws of mathematical probability with the number of "2"s he rolls. Three d20s and associated damage dice in one turn: five out of six total dice were "2"s. Everyone at the table rolls a straight d20 to find a trinket, lowest rolls a percentage die to see which one: he "wins" with a 2 and rolls another 2.


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One time I very sternly told my d20 to land on 20. I rolled a 1. The GM pointed out that the die did what I told it to do - it landed on the 20.

I said some unkind words, and now my d20 doesn't listen to me any more.

Grand Lodge

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I once rolled perfect 18s for stats in AD&D2E...in front of 3 witnesses. (Only got a 41 for the 18/ str modifier though)


We played with a triple 20 insta kill rule for a while (20 hit, 20 confirm, 20 kill) and saw a couple of that until we reverted back to normal. As this is a one in 8000 chance we still jokingly say that it takes around 8000 archers to take down even the mightiest dragon...


I saw a player roll four 19s in a row on a D100. He was trying to roll higher than a 20 to get past a blur spell an enemy alchemist had up. The entire table was dying laughing.


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pauljathome wrote:

I once saw a player roll a 17. Followed by a 6. Then a 2. Then a 14. Then a 20. Then a 10. Then a 5. Then a 9. Then a 12.

Thats absolutely incredible. The chances of that set of rolls is
1 in 20^9.

I bet nobody has EVER seen this run of dice before. Or ever will again.

I was just going to do this but you beat me to it.

I think most people here don't understand why this is such a great post.

20^9 is 512,000,000,000.

Each person alive on earth could make about 60 rolls of 9d20 and between all of the rolls, that combination will statistically arise just one time.


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And I thought that my Zen Archer scoring 4 crits with 10 arrows was special enough! :D


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

In one game, I was playing a bard who needed to succeed on 2 rolls before he failed 4 rolls for a successfully entertaining performance. His modifier was high enough that he only needed a d20 roll of 5+ to succeed. My rolls, in order, were 4, 3, 2, and 1.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

An NPC was lying, and the three PCs attempting to Sense Motive ALL rolled natural 1s.

One of those same PCs also confirmed a x3 crit on an enemy spellcaster who had displacement AND a full suite of mirror images going, for a one-hit kill.

And, during the "everybody dies" part of Doomsday Dawn, a PC's three attacks ALL ended up exactly ONE short of the monster's AC.

Dice, man.


The best case was when our table managed to make a full round (Players and GM) rolling Natural 20's. I rolled twice in a roll on top of that.

That was really amazing, because normally our GM is really lucky to the point we're playing pathfinder on hard mode (basically every higher level enemy crits at least once per round on our fights and every fight we receive a critical hit, of course he always hits on top of it as well) while there's some really terrible luck streaks in our end.


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pauljathome wrote:

I once saw a player roll a 17. Followed by a 6. Then a 2. Then a 14. Then a 20. Then a 10. Then a 5. Then a 9. Then a 12.

Thats absolutely incredible. The chances of that set of rolls is
1 in 20^9.

I bet nobody has EVER seen this run of dice before. Or ever will again.

My group once shuffled a deck of harrow cards to use for a tarrot reading start gen system. One in 54! probability.


In one of our old AD&D campaigns, our DM LOVED using some crit/fumble table from an old Dragon magazine. We were on top of a tower, losing horribly to perytons (of all things). My ranger with a 2-handed sword was the last standing - I was going to take one last desperate swing before backing through the door dragging the nearest of my fallen comrades. Of course, rolled a 1. Told to roll percentile - rolled a d20 for a natural 20. Rolled again - nat 20. 100 on the fumble table was self-decapitation. I managed to take off my own head with some wild flailing back swing with a 2-handed sword. I can only assume it was carried off to feed peryton young in a nearby nest...


Assuming my brain has not messed up the details with age, it would've been a Shadowrun game back when I was in college the first time around (1995ish). It had exploding d6s. Our group was being chased by a biker gang. Everyone else was in a car, I was on a motorcycle. My physical adept gunslinger took aim at the lead biker's fuel tank and fired one shot, at 70mph, in the rain, at night. Tons of penalties. Difficulty was super high.

Among several other rolls in the 30s, I rolled a 73 on a d6 (12 consecutive 6s, followed by a 1), so roughly 1 in 2 million odds (not counting the 1).

The GM ruled that it blew up the lead biker and the explosion wiped out the rest of the gang (at least, they could no longer follow). He kinda mock-glared at me and flipped to the next chapter of the module he was running. :)


Foeclan wrote:
I rolled a 73 on a d6 (12 consecutive 6s, followed by a 1), so roughly 1 in 2 million odds (not counting the 1).

I'd say the odds are a bit friendlier than that, as you start with more than one die, but at some point, yeah, you're rolling one die.


Player in an online game I'm in is rolling for attack. Has the ability to roll twice and take the better result. First attack, 4 and 4. Second attack, 4 and 4. GM asks him to roll again 'to confirm'. Another 4. Someone else throws in a d20 roll to see what's going on. [u]Another[/u] 4. I try a roll because at this point it's just hilarious. Got a 5.


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Craziest die roll I've even seen, I was a 1st level character gambling against a 12th level priest of a god of luck. DM says it's impossible for you to win but lets roll it anyway. the Priest got 6 D20 and I got 1 D4 we roll the dice and all look on in amazement, the DM looks at the dice and says in shock "Ok looks like you win." The D4 had landed and stayed on its tip (game science d4 so a tiny flat spot instead of a point) never seen it happen again in 30 years. no idea what the odds of landing like that are.


Not so improbable, but this happened yesterday during the PF1 campaign I'm playing in.
My two friends had to roll to remove a negative level. They had a special blessing that basically allowed them to concentrate their effort to shake off the effect in a particular moment, so our GM allowed short duration buffs to affect the roll.
My character, a Witch, stacked everything she had on her companions: Heroism, Ward Hex, Fortune Hex, and I don't know what else.
One rolls with +16 against DC 22: 4. Reroll: 4.
The other rolls with +10 against the same DC: 2. Reroll: 2.

There go the blessing and the buffs. I have to say that Fortune was expecially useful, yeah!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It might not be the most improbable, but it's definitely the one I remember best at the moment. I was playing 4th ed L5R last summer and rolled 60 d10s over the course of six rolls without getting a single 10. (This was as part of an iaijutsu duel. To the death. I'll let the audience figure out what the end result was.)

Contributor

The one that immediately comes to mind is from Seasons Beatings, a Know Direction Actual Play podcast that I ran a few years ago. In the final episode

Spoiler:
Luis Loza, a Paizo Developer, successfully baleful polymorphed a powered-down version of the Krampus. Thus winning the adventure for his party by turning Krampus into a duck.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

A GM I had in college rolled a 10 on a d10 9 times in a row - 1 in a billion chance of that, if the die was fair. He stopped the game to buy a lottery ticket. He didn't win.

I've seen six or so consecutive natural 1s on a d20. We had a friend who would roll a 4 on d20 so often we just called the 4 a "Dale."

Now, I've been gaming for over 35 years, and average 3-5 games a week for that period with probably dozens of rolls per player per night, so that's a lot of opportunity to see some weird patterns.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I was playing The Commencement at Gencon. The GM had each of us control a different NPC during a particularly complex skill challenge. I rolled six to eight natural 1's in a row, all using my "cursed die". The poor NPC never got past the starting line.

I know its illogical superstition, but the die is totally cursed. It isn't the first time I've rolled "nothing over 4" on the die. My former Venture Captain even suggested some rituals to help cleanse it.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
DRD1812 wrote:
What is the most statistically improbably die roll you've witnssed?

Just the other day I saw someone roll a specific number on a d100 after calling it out!

EDIT: Oh wait, did you mean plural dice?

Liberty's Edge

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KitsuneWarlock wrote:
I know its illogical superstition, but the die is totally cursed. It isn't the first time I've rolled "nothing over 4" on the die. My former Venture Captain even suggested some rituals to help cleanse it.

Dice are definitionally imperfect, and RPG dice more so than something like casino dice. It's probably imperfect so as to be slightly weighted towards bad results.

Which is not to say it might not be cursed, just noting another possibility.

Dark Archive

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I was GMing Strange Aeons and the party wizard was responsible for making all the knowledge checks to do some rituals. First attempt he only fails on a 1 or a 2 and manages to roll fail 3 of the 5 skill checks. After dealing with the consequence they manage the ritual successfully gain a level, and have to do it again. Having put another skill rank in the wizard confidently declares we're good this time and of course proceeds to triple nat 1.


Once I was not the GM and got to be a player in a campaign where we were playing Lanista’s out of combat running a gladiator house where we would buy soldiers and then fight in the arena. We ran social encounters exclusively with our lanistas but all combat was gladiators (with the exception of one pc who did both).

We would roll stats when buying new soldiers and we did 4d6 six times drop the lowest, but we had a special rule where if you rolled 4 sixes, you got a twenty.

My stats were in order with full table witness of 17, 18, 20, 20, 17, 15

And when I got four sixes twice in a row my gm almost exploded.

To be fair though, I made the most MAD character concept in the world on purpose since I’d normally never get away with it (3.5 days I ran a Ninja with kurisarigama and Fighter multiclass I think but it’s been a while). She was a lot of fun.

There’s been a fair share of the instant death rolls over the years, but never on a particularly climactic opponent to my memory.


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Midnightoker wrote:
My stats were in order with full table witness of 17, 18, 20, 20, 17, 15

Ok, so, I knew a guy in college who would roll stats like that all the time, every time. He ran a campaign once and because of this he rolled everyone's stats because he wasn't going to pull punches.

EVERYONE started with at least two 17s or better (before racial modifiers).

He was still a jerk and dropped a bridge on me.

Unrelated game, World's Largest Dungeon, our artificer (at like level 4) crafted a clay golem (CR 14) which has the downside of "every round it is in combat, roll d100. If you roll under the [number of consecutive rounds of combat], it goes crazy and becomes uncontrolled." This was 3.5

Standing orders were that if it went crazy, everyone retreat from the fight, GTFO, and hope something else in the dungeon kills it.

We had a fight where we went 14 rounds consecutively.

So, 1% chance to go crazy the first round (doesn't)
2% chance to go crazy the second round (doesn't)
3% chance to go crazy (doesn't)
4% chance to go crazy (doesn't)
5% chance to go crazy (doesn't)
...
11% chance to go crazy (doesn't)
12% chance to go crazy (doesn't)
13% chance to go crazy (doesn't)
14% chance to go crazy (doesn't)

If you do the math, there is a 33% chance that this sequence of events plays out.

And that doesn't count all the fights it was in before--or after--that. It never went crazy.


Ravingdork wrote:
DRD1812 wrote:
What is the most statistically improbably die roll you've witnssed?

Just the other day I saw someone roll a specific number on a d100 after calling it out!

EDIT: Oh wait, did you mean plural dice?

Naw man. Singular dice totally counts. And if you're going to full on Babe Ruth that mess, it double-counts.


Playing Deadlands; when you rolled damage in the first system, every Ace (max rolled number on the dice) you roll again.

I had my pistols up to a 7d12 damage (and you only take the one highest roll). Calling head shot on the boss vampire cowboy because I figure it's fun to see what the first round will do.

Make my rolls, 2 dice come up 12s. Keep rolling. A 74! That's 6 rolls of 12 then a 2 to finish it off. You'd think that would be enough, but the other dice finished at 104!!

No boss could stave off 18 raises of damage from the baseline. Fight. Over. Glaring ensues.


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pauljathome wrote:

I once saw a player roll a 17. Followed by a 6. Then a 2. Then a 14. Then a 20. Then a 10. Then a 5. Then a 9. Then a 12.

Thats absolutely incredible. The chances of that set of rolls is
1 in 20^9.

I bet nobody has EVER seen this run of dice before. Or ever will again.

So underappreciated comment...!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My wife once rolled a d6 into a dice tray... and it landed on a corner of the die. I have a photo somewhere because it was so utterly unbelievable.


This guy I play with almost always rolls a 2, then spends a hero point to reroll and gets a 1. This has happened hundreds of times at this point, this guy has the worst luck I've ever seen. Meanwhile in my other game we have a guy who's initiative is ALWAYS dead last in order, he's taken Incredible Initiative, he's cast spells on himself to boost dex, he's done literally everything he can, and is always dead last or second to last. And in that group, no matter who DMs (we've had 2 of the 5 members DM at this point, and a 3rd might in the coming months) they always crit the PCs at least once every 3 rounds, even with lvl-2 monsters they get a crit, it's INSANE, I DON'T KNOW WHY IT HAPPENS BUT IT DOES, WE'RE CURSED! Final point, during the playtest I was playing a monk during the genocide route section, he was a Dragon Stance monk, I used flurry and got double crits, and then got near max damage on 8d12s (six 12s and two 11s), and didn't roll below an 8 on the second set of 8d12, I did 200 damage with one (or was it 2 in the playtest?) action, it was silly and our GM had some major salt for a few minutes ^.^


It seems like whenever I GM PF1E and my NPC baddie is using a scythe the dice are nothing but twenties. I've regularly rolled two or three in a row while attacking the party and confirming crits.


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Well, not specifically table top oriented, but I deal craps at a casino. I witnessed a player roll "7" 9 rolls in a row on the come out roll, which is fairly insane.

I've also witnessed a pip "cracking" off of a die, which doesn't happen often, given how often dice are changed in the casino setting.

I've witnessed a single 1 hour long roll in my years of dealing craps: it was kinda magical. The guy just couldn't crap out. Nobody counted the rolls (because why would you unless we suspected he was close to a record) but he had to have rolled the dice at least 60 times without rolling a 7 while having a point.

Table top related, I remember a "test game" of 4th ed during it's playtest (D&D Next I believe). The GM had a set of premade characters for us to try out. I selected the Tiefling Rogue. Our party immediately devolved into a power struggle, mostly to justify a fight to try out our abilities. The player playing the Paladin of course tried to break it up. He had the "sack of gold" we were given by the king/mayor/whoever that sent us on our quest and raised it above his head. I had decided to stay out of the combat and happened to be situated behind him.

The Paladin was attempting to use the Gold as an incentive to get the party moving. I decided I didn't want him to be in charge. So I asked the GM if I could sleight of hand the bag from his hand as he raised it. Seeing that my character was already adjacent, he asked me to roll. As the d20 tumbled he slammed a cup over it, partially to get everyone at the tables attention. The GM informed the rest of the players that I had rolled a sleight of hand, but due to penalties (being in line of sight in broad daylight yada yada yada), he was requiring a Natural 20 on the check. He raised his dice cup and lo and behold: 20.

He allowed me to describe how my tricksy Rogue maneuvered her arm in perfect coordination with the Paladin's, snagging the gold as it left his pocket without him noticing. The paladin was left with his hand sticking out empty, babbling about the gold he could have sworn he had.

So of course my Rogue berated him for losing our pay, then offered to finance the quest out of their own money.

I've never loved a character from a game that I never played again as much as that pregen Rogue.


I run an afterschool tabletop program for middle schoolers. I have all them roll their ability scores in front of me. A sixth grader was all excited and couldn't wait to make his ninja. I asked him to roll his first score: 4d6 drop the lowest.

He rolled four 1s. He went to a corner and looked at the wall and tried not to cry.

(I let him reroll it. But yeah that was pretty improbable!)

Silver Crusade

The Rot Grub wrote:

I run an afterschool tabletop program for middle schoolers. I have all them roll their ability scores in front of me. A sixth grader was all excited and couldn't wait to make his ninja. I asked him to roll his first score: 4d6 drop the lowest.

He rolled four 1s. He went to a corner and looked at the wall and tried not to cry.

(I let him reroll it. But yeah that was pretty improbable!)

This is a great example of how peoples intuition about math really, really sucks.

If you had 20 students in that class, each rolling 6 attributes for 1 character, the odds of at least 1 roll being all 1's is about 9%.

If you had 30 students, the odds go to about 13%.

Even with only 5 students, the odds are a little over 2%.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

24d10, no roll above 7.

Was playing in a New World of Darkness Changeling game and wanted to kill a fetch, went in after it with my swords at 12d10 (focused character, used glamour, etc.) and failed to hit a single time. Triggered an ability to re-roll all failed dice, must accept new totals. They all failed. Again. ST blinked a few times and tried to figure out how to narrate the villain's response. I went and got a daiquiri from the drive through across the street.


PF1. A second level fighter/rogue was knocked unconscious to -2 HP and fell 80' on to hard ground (not half damage) and survived. He added 'the Cat' to his name after that experience.


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beowulf99 wrote:
I've witnessed a single 1 hour long roll in my years of dealing craps: it was kinda magical. The guy just couldn't crap out. Nobody counted the rolls (because why would you unless we suspected he was close to a record) but he had to have rolled the dice at least 60 times without rolling a 7 while having a point.

I've been on the other side of that. I bet on Pass, the shooter made point, and then rolled for the next 20 minutes neither making point nor crapping out.

Everyone who had money splashed on the table was ecstatic. Field bets! Come bets! The yo! The hard ways! I twiddled my thumbs for 20 minutes and I honestly can't even remember what happened to my $5.


Watery Soup wrote:
and I honestly can't even remember what happened to my $5.

Spent it on booze.

Dark Archive

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My currently 16th lvl PF1 fighter was 10th+ level D&D 3E character back then, and we were fighting a horde of spectral undead. In those days we used a house-rule that you could rack up the crit damage multiplier if you kept rolling 20s. I won initiative and rolled 5 natural 20s in a row on the first attack, follower by an 18!

Well, that epic damage never took place, because undead were completely immune to crits. Boring. :(


One time my DM and I were in a one on one combat and neither of us get could anything above a three for 5 straight minutes.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

GM'ing Giantslayer

The Frost Giant stablehand of total badassness.

Starts off with a nat 20 and a good enough roll to confirm a crit flinging the huge bucket of soapy water with which he is washing the boss' war mammoth

Party front line charge in, he pulls his great axe and rolls 4 natural 20s in a row, sundering both the Paladin's divine bonded sword and the warpriest's sacred weapon polearm.

Finally he dies, let down by the fact the mammoth that was supposed to be the focus of the encounter proved totally useless.

He did achieve a victory however - unlike many supposedly tougher or named npc frost giants, he forced the party to retreat and rest up, with party members desperately researching if the cleric can fix things with the right level of make whole spell.

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