Dice Superstitions: Blessings, Rituals & Punishments
In tabletop RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons, success or failure often hangs upon a single roll of the dice. That’s why so many gamers treat their dice with great superstition. Is taking the time to perform a dice blessing or punishing a dice that has rolled too many 1’s just a silly waste of time? Or do you believe that you can influence the way your dice roll through superstitious rituals?
Here are a few common D&D dice superstitions from around the web.
Keep Coins in Dice Bag for Luck
Some players believe that keeping a few coins in your dice bag will bring luck to your rolls. This belief may stem from ancient traditions to appease the gods or goddesses of luck and fortune that appear in various world pantheons. The thought is that with a few coins, you might be able to bribe one of these deities to bless your rolls with a little extra luck.
Some examples include:
- Caerus, the god of luck & opportunity from ancient Greece.
- Fortuna, the goddess of luck and fortune from ancient Rome.
- Tymora, the fictional goddess of good fortune in the Halfling pantheon of Faerun.
How to Train Your Dice
Many RPG players believe that the way a die sits at rest can influence how well it will roll. One common belief is that you can train your dice to roll better by resting them with the highest number face up. This way, they will be more naturally inclined to roll a critical success.
While there are certain illegitimate ways to cheat and make it more likely that your dice will roll well, simply “training” them to roll better like this seems harmless. And hey, you never know – it might be worth a shot!
Some of the more superstitious gamers out there may already have a ready arsenal of rituals for D&D dice. For the rest of us, here are a few D&D dice rituals that can supposedly cleanse the negative energy from your dice or infuse them with positive energy to roll better.
Dice Blessings at the Shrine to Gary Gygax
Gary Gygax is one of the original creators of Dungeons and Dragons. Although he passed away in 2008, there is a small shrine to him in his hometown of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. This shrine includes a tile engraved with a 20-sided die. Gamers who make a pilgrimage to this shrine can place their dice upon the tile and ask the spirit of Gary Gygax to bless their dice with good fortune.
Dice Cleansing Rituals
Dice that roll poorly time and time again are a constant source of agony for RPG players. A crit fail and fumble at the wrong time can mean the death of your character. Here are a couple cleansing rituals that some superstitious gamers use to restore balance to dice that haven’t been rolling well.
Smudging is the act of burning a tightly wrapped bundle of sage and letting the cleansing smoke banish evil or negative energies. This ritual is similar to those used by Wiccans and other believers in the supernatural realm to cleanse a home of ghosts, spirits, or negative energy.
This type of dice cleansing ritual is reserved for strong believers in real-world witchcraft and other highly superstitious individuals. Candle magic involves a spell that can channel your positive willpower into your dice and banish the negative energy that is causing them to roll poorly.
To perform this ritual, light a white candle and pass your dice over the flame while exerting your will that they roll better. It might help to express your will out loud in a sort of incantation.
Sometimes your dice might just need a little bit of punishment to set them back on the path to good rolls. The D&D dice punishments can range from the equivalent of a time-out to complete and utter destruction.
Putting your dice in “jail” is a concept that has recently been popularized by actress Laura Bailey on Critical Role. The idea is to take dice that have been consistently rolling poorly and stick them in a jail of some sorts until they learn their lesson.
This can mean simply putting them back into the dice bag, or placing them in a hand-crafted miniature jail cell. For dice that have only failed on one or two rolls, you might leave them in for a turn or two. Dice that caused your character to fail an important saving throw might be left in jail until your next game session.
Lots of gamers use freezing as a punishment for bad dice. When a die fails you, place it in the freezer until your next game session for a non-destructive way of shaming it into rolling better. Some players might even go as far as to freeze their dice in an ice cube tray.
Some dice are beyond any hope. Perhaps they were manufactured poorly or they rolled a critical failure at a crucial moment. Gamers around the internet have many different preferred ways of destroying their most terrible D&D dice.
For acrylic or resin dice, melting is one sure way to destroy your bad dice. Toss them into a fire, microwave, or hit them with a blowtorch and watch as they reap the consequences of failure.
A trusty hammer is a good way to destroy nearly anything – including a worthless set of dice that constantly let you down. Smash those naughty dice with the fury of Thor and don’t stop until they’re dust.
For those who truly like to watch their dice suffer, crushing them slowly in a vice might be the way to go. Place your D&D dice in the vice grip and twist it a little tighter for every roll they failed. For bonus points, make sure the rest of your dice watch so they know what fate to expect if they fail as well.
What Are Your D&D Dice Superstitions?
Do you agree or disagree with these rituals or punishments? Do you have your own unique set of dice superstitions that you follow? Let us know in the comments below!