It’s official. My staff thinks I am old. That is me on the box (with the white hair). The running joke at AEG is that I am not allowed to approve dice games. It makes sense. I have an unnatural connection with dice and it is a distinct advantage in a dice game if the dice will listen to you.
Dice are finicky, but they will listen. This is a learned skill and so as a PSA to gamers I am going to give you some advice on how to get your dice to listen.
Let’s start with how you treat your dice. If you do not respect your dice they will just not listen or even worse they will listen and then disobey. Punishing dice seldom works, but occasionally benching dice for poor performance is OK. Remember that if you punish dice too severely they will remember and jump up to bite you when you need them most. I suggest retiring dice that fail too often and if they were once good dice I would retire them with honor so your other dice know that success is rewarded, even at the end.
I recommend that you keep your special dice in special containers. If you are a dice bag person make sure that the dice bag is a nice one. I have always recommended a Crown Royal bag. It shows you care without trying too hard. There are lots of styles and colors now.
You need to talk to your dice when you are not using them. It’s training. It’s also not crazy, although I don’t recommend you do it around other people. Pep talks for your dice when you are not using them should be private time.
Expensive does not mean better. I will admit to being sucked into some of the dice crazes. I have ordered some very nice dice recently on Kickstarter and can’t wait to get them, but how much you pay for a die does not determine its value. How it rolls determines its value. Think of your dice like the characters from Toy Story. Your older dice know you come home from conventions with new buddies.
Recalls – Give your old dice a chance to step up during important rolls. Test your dice against each other when the rolls are less stressful. See which dice are responding on certain days. Then when the roll counts, go to the dice who have continually stepped up.
Style Matters – Craps is the ultimate in “style matters” dice games. Everything matters; how you pick up dice, what you say, how you roll. Dice respond to style. Confidence, commitment, and belief are all part of the science of making dice listen. Bring that style to your other dice games.
Respect the Streak – If you start doing one thing like rolling left-handed or saying something like “Here comes the hammer!” when you roll and it works you must respect that power and continue using it. You should not abandon a hot way of throwing dice until it has failed at least 3 times. It’s not about total control, it’s about bending the odds in your favor.
The Zone – A smart person once told me that the zone is our mind and body in perfect harmony. Our brains are powerful and if you clear your mind of everything else and just let your mind control the roll then it can do the million/billions of calculations to get you the result you want.
Dice Can Smell Desperation – Dice respond poorly to desperation and fear. You see, dice respond to powerful emotions. If you are afraid of your dice failing or desperately need a number to come up, the emotional power will find its way to your dice and YOU will be responsible for the failure. Power over dice is like the Force.
Don’t Ask Too Much, Too Often – Finally, don’t ask your dice to respond on every roll. Every roll is not equally important. Don’t waste dice kharma on rolls of little significance.
Now who wants to play some Space Base? 🙂
Do you have a special set of dice? Show them some love and share their picture and story here.