DM of the Rings CXX:
Luck Thief

By Shamus
on Jul 2, 2007
Filed under:
DM of the Rings


Gimli is stealing Aragorn’s luck.
Legolas points out their mistake.

The Truth About 20-Sided Dice:

There are a limited number of “twenties” in any given d20. That is, no matter how many times you roll a d20, you cannot roll another twenty once the supply has run out. These twenties can only be replenished by rolling a corresponding one with the same die. Thus every gamer is duty-bound to protect their supply of good rolls. If a friend rolls a twenty using your die, not only have they stolen your good roll, but they have doomed you to the extra one required to replenish the twenty.

Some players get excited when they roll several twenties in a row, concluding the dice are “hot”. Don’t make this blunder! This is like driving your car for 400 miles without gassing up, and then concluding that your car is a perpetual motion machine. After a few good rolls, pass the die off to an unwitting companion and let them charge it up for you.

Statisticians have known about this behavior for years. They call it “the probability seesaw”. Unlike the bell-shaped curve, in the seesaw system the odds of rolling high or low is directly proportional to what has been rolled in the past. They usually pretend this isn’t true. If a statistician hands you a die insisting that “any given roll has the same odds of rolling a one or a twenty”, it means he’s handing you a depleted die in the hopes of taking advantage of you. Don’t fall for it!

Now the secret is yours. Please put this knowledge to good use*.

*By “good use” I mean, “take advantage of other players”.

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A Hundred!A Hundred!17217 COMMENTS? What are you people talking about?!?

From the Archives:

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  1. Simon Jester says:

    Is it conversely true that if your friend grabs one of your dice and rolls BADLY with it, that you should thank them for “taking one for the team”?

  2. Crystal says:

    In all of the games I’m in, we use the “roll 4 drop low” method, and get to arrange our stats. I have a frightening propensity to roll poorly every time–many times, I’ll actually get lines with a negative modifier. It’s become so bad that I’m the only person allowed to reroll 1’s when rolling stats.

    I have a friend that inherited his dad’s dice, touched by “blessed gygax”, and they would always roll very well, once providing a +15 line. After I used them, they rolled so poorly we had to “baptize” them in very good alcohol. It’s hit the point that someone usually asks another player to contribute one of their lines for me to use so I can at least hit the +3 mod requirement.

    So, really..d20’s aren’t the only ones that store luck. >.

  3. Zalan says:

    Heh yeah we’re pretty superstitious about die rolls around our gaming tables as well. Our DM in particular has a reputation for often rolling high numbers, causing some among us (Not me H I swear! don’t kill my char!) to think he cheats.

    Unfortunately the *EXPLETIVE DELETED* will also roll high numbers when we can see his dice. A conspiracy to steal his dice has been set in motion, using his cats.

    :D

  4. hank says:

    WtrMute had the microwave thing entirely wrong, sorry…

    You put the die in the microwave low number up and cook it for a few seconds. This is to condition the dice that low numbers are bad. You then reinforce that conditioning by removing the die from the microwave and placing them high-side up in a cold drink, a slurpee, or some icecream. It’s all about negative conditioning and positive reinforcement, not silly physics ideas like ‘center of gravity’.

  5. Elyandarin says:

    “Full Frontal Nerdity” did some funny strips on the subject of dice, unlucky or not.
    http://nodwick.humor.gamespy.com/ffn/index.php?date=2003-08-27
    http://nodwick.humor.gamespy.com/ffn/index.php?date=2003-08-13
    http://nodwick.humor.gamespy.com/ffn/index.php?date=2003-10-29
    http://nodwick.humor.gamespy.com/ffn/index.php?date=2005-06-23

    DMotR is turning into one of my favourite webcomics, btw. And considering the amount of webcomics I read, that’s saying a lot…

  6. Jindra34 says:

    I at one point had a D20 that for one straight session rolled nothing but 1’s and 20’s… considering it was the only d20 being used the players were grumpy…

  7. xbolt says:

    I’ve never played D&D, but I have played a fair amount of Risk. Often, I would have a massive army (20+) poised for battle against three or less puny defenders. I think to myself: “Hee hee, he doesn’t stand a chance!” But to my amazement, my opponent repeatedly rolls fours, fives, and sixes, while I roll ones, twos, and threes. This goes on for a while, sometimes the defenders are finally defeated, (After losing half my army,) or they miraculously destroy every single member of my huge army. And I’m left thinking to myself: “What on Earth happened? The probability was on my side!”

    Generally being a statistical kinda guy, I would never believe what you have said, if not for my own experience.

  8. Spongie says:

    I’m so glad you (the player playing Aragorn) called it a “die” and not a “dice”. If he’d got it wrong, I’m sure Gimli would’ve corrected him… :)

  9. PotatoEngineer says:

    While we’re on dice myths, beware anyone who plays games that require only one type of die (only d6s, only d10s): the players will start buying dice with an eye towards what they’re for. “These dice for rolling treasure, these dice for skill checks, these dice for divine intervention, these dice for combat….”

    As a side note, if you’re training d10s for a system that uses percentiles, train them towards 9, not 0. While 00 is very good indeed, 0 – anything is very, very bad. Training is not 100% reliable, and thus it is far better to train towards 99.

  10. Cenobite says:

    Conan’s Cojones?

    And…the next strip should start off with a Faust Post!

  11. Dean says:

    Used to play Axis and Allies. Anyone else ever see “The Killer Transport from Hell”? This is the transport ship that on a 1 in 6 chance to defend will survive 5 rounds of attacks by battleships, planes and subs. Destroying them all.
    Then do it again on another turn.

  12. Jindra34 says:

    Dean: I assume you have never seen 1 army defend succesfully against over 100 in Risk… now that is sad.

  13. Kirenna says:

    I have 3 shot glasses sitting on the shelf. At any given time, there can be up to 3 dice in “prison” for its “crimes” in those shot glasses. I fill them up with cheap scotch and let them get good and enebriated.

    Once it’s time to roll, the ones freshly “liberated” are so hung over they don’t know better than to roll randomly instead of concentrating on killing my characters.

    I let the other dice watch when I’m not playing, so they know what will happen to them if they cross me.

  14. Nob the Hobbit says:

    People, people… there’s no training, or punishment, or physics gobbledegook involved. It’s much simpler.

    The laws of probability are suspended within a metre or so of anyone playing an RPG, or, for that matter, any game involve dice and (in theory) chance.

  15. Jindra34 says:

    Nob: That is what we have been saying … its just some law(s) must replace the suspended laws of probability…

  16. GEBIV says:

    From the complexity and downright perverseness of the laws that replace the suspended laws of probablity, one must assume that they were written by the Congressional Subcommittee that comes up with the Tax Code.

  17. Telas says:

    brassbaboon at #48 has it figured out. The amount of observation will impact the die roll. It’s quantum.

    Which is why you roll a string of 20s when you’re just cleaning out another goblin lair, and you just need a 3 to hit. Who cares?

    But when the entire two years’ campaign is on the line, and it’s “save or die”, and the entire table (including significant others, children, pets, and pictures on the wall) is watching your roll… You get a one.

    “Stop watching my die rolls! You’re getting your observation in my quantum!”

  18. Captain Rufus says:

    As a casino dealer, and someone who hates superstition in general, I find the best way to end dice superstition is to PUNISH it. People start talking about and switching bad dice and whatnot? TAKE A MINUS/PLUS 4 PUNK.

    The only way to end stupid silly thinks is to horribly abuse people who do it.

    And its fun!

  19. Casper says:

    xbolt Says: And I’m left thinking to myself: “What on Earth happened? The probability was on my side!”

    King Xerxes said the same after attacking Spartans.

    • Biggles-the-Brolga says:

      1. Xerxes won at Thermopylae.

      2. Why do people always forget that the rest of the Greeks (medizing Boeotians excepted) sent about 5000 total to Thermopylae as well? And that even at the Spartan last stand, the 300 were joined by 1100 from Thebes and Thespis? (Miller has a lot to answer for).

      3. The point of guarding Thermopylae (and why the Greeks and British defended it against the Nazis) is that is was a *chokepoint*. I think they call that a “equalising factor”. So, no, the odds were not so against the defenders.

  20. Darkenna says:

    This was actually posted in reply to a cross-post of the dice discussion on someone’s LJ:

    But it’s true — your odds of rolling any number on the die are equal. it is a random function. Even softening the corners doesn’t help. YOu are just as likely to roll away from the 20 as toward it. Doctoring a die with some mass is about the only real mod you can do to affect it’s probability curve. For that matter, a 20 being a good thing is an arbitrary decision. A 20 could as easily be a critical miss if the rolls were different; only the ruleset makes any roll a good or bad thing.

    The difference between the car and depleted dice is that the car has a finite fuel capacity. A die has no maximum number of rolls. So unless someone can show me a can of Dice Fuel, there is no analogy to be made.

    To which I respond:

    Spoken like a true non-Gamer.

    Every Gamer knows that dice are intelligent critters. They decide as they will how they are going to roll, a decision which they base upon a set of very specific variables: how much they like the player (some people are just anathema to dice), the race and/or class of the character (paladins and kender have a tendency to survive pretty much anything; rangers have an equal tendency to wind up dead), the “risk of death” of the situation requiring the roll (certain dice will always “fail” except when the character will definitely die upon failure; other dice will only roll a critical failure in a situation where death is the only possible result), and how the dice have been treated in the past (have they been mistreated or have they been coddled?). This is why Gamers go to great lengths–in time, distance, and dollars–to find the dice that like them best, and why some Gamers provide their dice every available luxury (I’ve seen silk-lined mink fur dicebags for sale before)… and why some Gamers take great delight in torturing and punishing dice as an abject lesson to the others in the bag (which may be as simple as “exiling” the die to a different container, or as gruesome as freezing the victim in liquid nitrogen and then hitting it with a hammer in plain view of teh other dice, so that they all know the price of failure, mwahahahahahah—–er… umm… ahem.)

  21. Darkenna says:

    GEBIV says:

    From the complexity and downright perverseness of the laws that replace the suspended laws of probablity, one must assume that they were written by the Congressional Subcommittee that comes up with the Tax Code.

    And GEBIV for the win!

  22. tigerdreams says:

    @Smith: No, you’re both wrong. The default position for a d20 should be with some middling, inocuous number facing up; an 11 or 12 is usually good for the purpose. This is true for three reasons:

    1. It prevents you from “using up” high rolls or 20’s.

    2. It prevents you from “training” the die to roll poorly or 1’s.

    3. It allows you to “sneak up on” the die; leaving the die on a 12 is tantamount to walking past it, whistling innocently. It deprives the die of the opportunity to plot against you.

    The d10s I use for White Wolf have a very specific formula attached to them: After every roll, they have to go *back in the bag*. When I want to make a roll, I need to pull out *exactly* the right number for the roll, without looking. If I pull the wrong number, or if there are still some dice out of the bag when I reach in, only suffering will follow.

    That said, I loved the punchline: “Give me back my lucky die. I need to make a diplomacy roll.”

  23. Gadush Kraun says:

    Yea gods! Die are plotting against us now?

    I find that training it on the 20 is very effective my d20 has been sittting on a high number usually a 20, for about a month now, and probably 8/10 times it will roll over 10, usually a 15 or a 16.

  24. Thomas says:

    In my experience, is the combination of the dice and the person which provide spectacular (and spectacularly bad) results. I have a set of 36 Chessex Marble blue with gold spot dice, and the bell curve on them is about 2 points higher than on standard oness from all appearances. :)

  25. Luke (Thrythlind) says:

    Dean: “Used to play Axis and Allies. Anyone else ever see “The Killer Transport from Hell”? This is the transport ship that on a 1 in 6 chance to defend will survive 5 rounds of attacks by battleships, planes and subs. Destroying them all.
    Then do it again on another turn.”

    My brother and I started with Shogun (later renamed “Samurai Swords” by some unwordly idiot) and we call it “the Lone Spearman effect”.

    It got to the point where we would avoid attacking places with single spearmen (unless the other player didn’t have anything else.

    Round after round, that spearman would steadily be rolling under his target 4 (d12) while his opposing archers, rifleman, samurai and frigging Daimyos couldn’t beat their 6s, 4s (not big difference there save the first shot deal gunners get), 5s and 6s.

  26. Darkenna says:

    “Used to play Axis and Allies. Anyone else ever see “The Killer Transport from Hell”? This is the transport ship that on a 1 in 6 chance to defend will survive 5 rounds of attacks by battleships, planes and subs. Destroying them all.
    Then do it again on another turn.”

    We used to call these “Schwarzenegger Troops”, especially in Risk or Castle Risk: where one lone army could easily hold a breach against 30, without even getting a sore wrist.

  27. Luke (Thrythlind) says:

    Oh, and we haven’t even discussed dice confusion for when you switch game systems.

    Imagine trying to play Champions where you want low numbers on skill and to hit tests and high numbers on damage or effect rolls.

  28. superfluousk says:

    Wait a minute, *Legolas* is the one who notices the error in troop assignation? Something is gravely wrong with this picture…

    Nooo, don’t do it, Aragorn! The balancing 1 is just waiting in the wings for you to make an important roll!

  29. John says:

    Has no-one else read the epic tale of Cohen the Barbarian in Terry Pratchett’s ‘The Last Hero’? He simply and easily explains how it works. Basically there is a statistical anomaly at million to one chances, in that they occur 4 out of 5 times, and as the odds of something happening become infestimately small, it becomes equally inevitable that they will happen

  30. Narmoth says:

    I have a friend that had to test a new dice before buying it. By testing, I mean that he rolled it for an hour in the shop, with the seller waiting for him to decide what dice he would buy, as he was checking if there were a dice which would land more often on high numbers than the other d20. He insisted on that all the dice wouldn’t have their weight equally distributed, so they were bound to land on some numbers more often than on other.
    The seller, a girl in an ordinary bookstore, not a gaming store, was damn mad at him (and complained to me, who were watching and offering my sypathy to her. :) )

  31. Nefke says:

    I do have multiple D20s in my pouch of die, and will grab another one as soon as one start to roll on the low numbers more than once.. I just hope I can ´recharge´ them just by tossing around my pouch once in a while ;).

    The ´what do you want, woman?´ is priceless! The text as well as the pic used!

  32. Bored of Silly Names says:

    Of course you are right about d20’s. That is why wealthy gamers, such as my self, have our d20’s sent to a factory in China, where specially selected unlucky peasants roll a string of 1’s and 2’s to load up the luck.

  33. w00hoo says:

    Argh! Target numbers. I hate it when my players refuse to roll a die without being told what number they need to get on it. Sometimes I’ll just want to know odds or even when I’m working out which one to hit (erm, which character that is) and asking them to roll a die just helps to focus them on what is happening.

    “Roll a d10”
    “What do I need?”
    “Just roll the die.”
    “But, high or low?”
    “roll the bl00dy die!”
    “grumble grumble grumble.”

  34. Little Gen says:

    Oh yes, dice have intelligence. In a previous game, my character was supposed to be an excellent healer, and lo – all my dice gave out 20s and such for each and every one healing. Even the couple of botches came in technically very playable. In this game, my character isn’t so good, so my dice give him a little less spectacular numbers, and a variety of botches which also come in very playable.

    Or it’s just that I’m so ***ng good player… ;)

  35. Joe Werner says:

    Well… in my experience, dice luck is not game / system invariant. While I usually roll quite well in Exalted I just seem to attract critical failures in Ars Magica… I usually confirm about 2-3 of those per night…

    Luck also seems to be dice invariant for some people:
    One in our group has huge pools (usually about 20 d10) and few successes (=7 or higher, 10 counts as two successes). Another player seldom uses more than 5 d10 and gets three or four successes. Using the same dice… that roll bad for everybody else. Except for player No 1 for whom they roll _critically_ bad.

    Theorem 1:
    Denis’ dice suck.
    Corrolary 1a)
    except for Jan (our master of entropy).
    Corrolary 1b)
    do not let either of them touch your dice, they will spoil them!

    Theorem 2:
    Dice can be trained. Ones that are usually being used for d20 prefer to roll low, those used for DSA (a german system) roll high. You can trick them from time to time though.

    Theorem 3:
    If the storyteller says somthing like “and try not to botch this one!” you will fail. Miserably.
    Corr 3a) it is actually the DM’s fault if you roll bad!

  36. Phil says:

    See, nobody else understands why I leave my dice with 1’s face up.

    Oh good – it’s not just me then!

    Meanwhile, I have lots of d6 – so before every session I usually roll each several times to select which 2-3 I’ll use. Usually I choose the ones that rolled highest, but having read this strip now I’m wondering whether I should be choosing the ones that rolled lowest… :)

  37. Zaxares says:

    So THAT’S how it works! O.o I’ve been lied to this whole time!

    Then again, as the DM, I could just have easily fudged rolls behind the screen anyway. Nyaahaha!

  38. Serafina says:

    You are all completely bonkers – I love this discussion! *hugs*

    Finally, I no longer feel odd, geeky or mentally unstable as it appears I am not the only one in taking great pains (and costs) to buy just the right dice. And then to carefully select the right one before playing by taking 7 d20 and having them compete against each other in a k.o. system.

  39. Scarlet Knight says:

    Of course dice are intelligent; and also evil. Who was the wise man who said : “Help! My dice are trying to kill me!”

  40. Jindra34 says:

    That would be Shamus.

  41. brassbaboon says:

    Due to my realization of the inherent quantum mechanical behavior of dice (my PHD thesis on this important probabilistic theory is in the works…) I have not invested a great deal of time or money in purchasing dice. This is because of the realization stated above that dice, being quantum mechanical systems, will react to the circumstances instead of any internal dynamic.

    Those of you who believe that dice have some sort of “seesaw” effect where too many 20s means that a string of 1s is coming up, or those who believe dice can be trained or believe that dice can be intimidated have not yet understood this fundamental fact of quantum mechanical systems. The result of the die roll is affected by the circumstances of the roll, and the amount of attention that you put on the roll. So the more important the roll is, the less random it is. Pure and simple.

    What actually impacts the roll is technically defined as the “collapse of the RPG wave function” and actually involves the state of the entire universe at that instant. Advanced RPG Quantum Mechanical theorists speculate that the result of any RPG die roll actually spawns multiple universes that all become fully functioning universes where the RPG experience continues on with each possible result. Where YOUR consciousness ends up (critical hit, or critical fumble) depends on your karmic balance at that moment.

    So go ahead and train your dice or roll them for hours at the store looking for an advantage. Consider such activities to be a sort of innocent hobby. But just remember that the only rolls that count are the rolls that COUNT, and the dice and the entire universe know that. Try instead to train your consciousness to flow into the universe where your future self rolled the critical hit.

    And when you figure out how to do that, let me know.

  42. NeedsToHeal says:

    Oops, Monday was totally crappy for me and I forgot to check the one thing that brings sanity and joy to my life.

    As always, the best screen capture I’ve seen. I cracked up with “What do you want woman?” and the fruit basket thing. There’s always the classic fruit basket to remedy any situation.

    Nice work.

  43. jperk31260 says:

    How many players would have shot Aaragone in the ass for calling thier male character a woman?

  44. Alex says:

    Another great comic and an even better Comment on it.

    I think all of us, even the ones that went on to get degrees in math and statistics, have always felt a little pinch in our hearts when somebody else used OUR die to roll a natural 20.

    The thought is litteraly: “If I would have rolled it instead of him I would have had a critical!”
    And then you think of the exact action you’d take knowing that your roll would be a 20 so that you can maximize that sweet, sweet natural 20…..

    Good times.

  45. Roxysteve says:

    jperk31260 Says:
    How many players would have shot Aaragone in the ass for calling thier male character a woman?

    I’ve been wondering about the in-game passiveness of Legoless under the constant barrage of “wit” from Aragormless myself.

    Steve.

  46. Jochi says:

    Fickle@25 said
    “What with killing Gollum and everything, [Legolas]’s turning out to be pretty useful.”
    But he didn’t. Go look. He killed somebody or something the GM described as “you think it might be Gollum”. They didn’t drag the river for the body. See the discussion on what is and isn’t ‘railroading’. SOMETHING is dead. Gollum is as alive as the GM wants/needs him to be.

  47. Isoyami says:

    @jperk (#107): Nah, Aragorn has been calling Leggylass a woman and hitting on his(? or her?) character for (I assume) weeks, since they met in Elrond’s Council.

    I daresay Leggy is used to it by now… *shudder*

    @brassbaboon (#105): Easy, grasshopper. One must meditate on the Universe and open one’s mind to the future to gently shape events before they occur.

    As Obi-Wan Kenobi once said: “Luck is merely the suble rearraingment of certain small favorable elements so they move in one’s favor” Or something like that.

    Cause we all know that’s why the Jedi spend years learning the ways of the Force … to cook their die roles.

    Its true! Remember Qui-Gon using the Force when rolling against his DM Watto in The Phantom Episode (that must not be named?)

    Just close your eyes, empty your mind, reach into the very fabric of spacetime itself and be the 20. Be the 20.

    Daoism? Zen Buddism? Jedi meditation? Meaningless babble? The world will never know. ;)

    Oh, and I never said it would be easy. *Wink wink, nudge nudge*

  48. Cenobite says:

    “Finally, I no longer feel odd, geeky or mentally unstable as it appears I am not the only one in taking great pains (and costs) to buy just the right dice. And then to carefully select the right one before playing by taking 7 d20 and having them compete against each other in a k.o. system.”

    Nothing unusual about it at all. That’s just the basics from On the Care and Feeding of your Dodecahedrons.

  49. Althanis says:

    I have always threatened my dice with a little “alone time” in the microwave if they don’t perform well. They usually respond well to this threat. =)

  50. Jindra34 says:

    Of all the methods shown here the microwave and freezer are often mentioned… ever tried drowning them in hot water… now that works.

  51. Rolld20 says:

    Actually, there is a benefit to allowing a fellow player to roll to-hits with your dice: Any successful kills they get count as ‘assists’ for you. Good for bumping up your count if you’re playing a non-combatant, or when you fail a saving throw early in the combat.
    “All right, we got another one! Hey, try the purple one for the ogre, it’s due for at least a 17.”
    ;)

  52. Jindra34 says:

    Rolld20: DO you get anything for an assist i think not therefore do not perform the player assist. 116th comment.

  53. Librain says:

    I had an awesome d20, it got me through half a session of a zombie game, with about 10 saves involved. Sure I didn’t make all of them, just the important ones. The game was in fact d10 based, but my d10’s were all sucking at the time so the GM let me take half my d20.

    Sadly I later gave that die away as a present to my now ex-girlfriend. I have others, but they just don’t seem to be the same. Perhaps they need training, I believe the freezer seems a common suggestion? Smashing them seems a bit extreme, I think I’ll save that for my sucky d10’s.

    Unfortunately they’re all the same so I can’t tell which ones need to be smashed and which ones just need a little gentle coercion.

    Librain
    “I’m not arrogant, I really am that good.”

  54. Dernwine says:

    I remember playing D&D and we all fell into a trap where our equipment had to be sacrificed to avoid drowning. I man edged to keep my sword and bow, but lost my shield (which was the one thing I cared about)everyone else swam back out and dived for their stuff, and got it, but when I went into the water for my shield I immediately rolled a 1 on my check against cold, falling unconscious. I never got my shield back… (I banished those dice to behind my wardrobe for eternity)

    Suddenly Caesars comment “Alea iacta est” (the Die is cast) seems very odd, I mean, all things considered, I would be most unwilling to risk my life and my army on 1 roll of a d6, especially if it was untamed.

  55. Clyde says:

    Superstitious? Me? No, not at all… But I haven’t cut my hair since Hurricane Wilma knocked my power out for a week in 2005. Hey, it kept the hurricanes away last year!

  56. Sewerman says:

    So we’ve gone now from “God does not play dice with the universe” to “Dice playing God with the universe”?
    Just so you know, my dice always giggled with glee whenever they screwed me over. Everyone commented on it.

    -Tortured by dice with wicked senses of humor.

  57. Luke (Thrythlind) says:

    heh, I often buy dice to specific color schemes to match a character theme

    black and gold for my teifling shadow-dancer

    mottled grey for my super-hero Greyskin

    purple dice for my purple-scaled disciple of medusa

    when I ran a game at A-Kon, I had color coded dice for each of the pre-gens. Had a pair for each character so that I could roll notice checks and be able to roll all the dice at once and not have to decide which die was who each time.

  58. Roxysteve says:

    [Shamus] Shamus, I know you’ve answered this for someone else before and I swear I looked high and low with zero success before I decided to ask you again.

    My daughter has become inspired by your work and wishes to publish her own webcomic. I’ve googled and used “The Algorythm” (and I didn’t get what I was looking for) but I cannot find any suitable webcomic authoring software. What do you use?

    I have a couple of professional level image processors, but not anything specifically targeted at producing frame-enclosed webcomic artwork.

    Sorry to bug everyone with this but she’s driving me nuts.

    The hosting I will probably put on a yahoo!group since she wants to kepp it restricted to a closed group of friends and that seems to be the quickest and easiest solution.

    Steve.

  59. Roxysteve says:

    [Dernwine] Did you know that there is a second (disputed) translation of Ceasar’s famous quote that goes “Let the dice fly high”?

    In Esperanto dice are called ĵetcuboj (pronounced zhet-COO-boy) which literally means “throwing cubes” and cracks me up every time I hear it* ‘cos I’ve hurled a few of them away in disgust a few times in my life. I generally roll 7 for 1 (in any combat, I’ll whiff seven times and hit on numer eight, only make one save in eight and so forth). In fact I’ve rolled dice so abominably anti-me during a Wonkhammer 401k tournament that my opponent begged me to reroll almost every combat. I refused of course. The effect on his morale was devastating and I managed an almost-draw as a result (I lost every battle that year and had set my sights by then on reducing the victory point spread to single digits if possible).

    We hates the dice, but we hates re-rolling more my precious.

    Steve.

    * which I only do once in a blue moon owing to the fact that alhough 200 million people speak Esperanto, most of them live somewhere other than NYC.

  60. Roxysteve says:

    While I’m at it, may I wish all my American Friends and Acquaintances a safe July 4th celebration.

    Please take care not to drink yourselves stupid or blow yourselves up as you celebrate your ancestors’ mutinous rejection of benevolent British rule.

    I shall be busy myself draping my house in black ribbons and flying a tattered Union Jack at half mast while my stereo plays gloomy music such as the works of Leonard Cohen.

    Steve.

  61. Jindra34 says:

    Steve: Do you want to cause trouble?

  62. Varen Tai says:

    As I read once on the “Everything I needed to know, I learned from RPGs” list:

    Dice have their own minds. Usually mean, spiteful, little minds.

    (I don’t suppose anyone has a copy of that list anywhere? I lost mine… :) )

  63. brassbaboon says:

    Steve, that was classic. Maybe we need to do “DM of the American Revolution.”

    DM: “The crown has increased taxes on tea to improve the roads between Boston and Philadelphia.”
    Patrick Henry: “Tea, who the heck drinks that girly junk? I stop at the store and pick up some Red Bull.”
    DM: “There is no Red Bull in Continental Boston. High-priced, over-hyped energy drinks haven’t been invented yet.”
    PH: “Oh, uh… well what do we drink then?”
    DM: “Tea. Lots and lots of tea.”
    PH: “And the King just raised taxes on tea?”
    DM: “Again. Yes.”
    PH: “OK, I guess that might tick me off, I attack the King.”
    DM: “The King’s in ENGLAND!”
    PH: “I hate this campaign!”

  64. Roxysteve says:

    Jindra34 Says:
    Steve: Do you want to cause trouble?

    Not here. If you’re offended by wishes that you don’t blow yourself to Smithereens (a small town just south of Cork), please accept my sincere appologies.

    I sent much the same message around the office. No-one complained (and I work with a bunch of reactionaries) so I figured it was safe to pass it on.

    Steve.

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