The Curse Of The D20 – Interview With A Superstitious Dungeon Master #SSAWeek

Welcome to Hour Twenty of the Token Skeptic Sunday Sessions!


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This is blogpost Twenty. This is an interview with an unnamed gamer, about superstitions and gamers. It was done at the first comic convention I ever attended overseas, called Dragon*Con.


Dungeon Master: I have one player at my venue, where he has a whole cube of dice, holds about thirty or so dice? Whenever it rolls badly, he’ll put it back on the stack. And he’ll keep doing that, continually, throughout the round. So…

Kylie Sturgess: He’s culling them?

DM: Yes! If it rolls bad, it goes away. And he’ll grab another set. Then I have certain people, when they play with their dice? They’ll put them down in a certain position. Like, they’ll either put the ones, the snake eyes, or all sixes up.

When they’re done with them, they’ll put them back exactly like that. And then there’s some who have them continually in their hand, just rotating them all the time.

Sturgess: Something I’ve noticed – people putting them away after they’ve rolled badly, into a dice bag? To “teach them a lesson”?

DM: Yes. If they roll bad, I’ve got several players where they immediately put them away. They don’t play with them again. If they make two or three bad rolls in a row? They get very ugly with the dice… I’ve seen people throw them across the room cursing them for doing them wrong?

Sturgess: Really?

DM: Oh yes. And I quickly will go grab them! Because once dice have been banished by someone else, they will want to roll good for the next player.  So, I’ve ended up collecting them. I have some dice that have been tossed!

There’s one player in my venue,  who several years ago, his first Dragon*Con that he came to – Dragon*Con had their own dice, Dragon*Con dice? And he brought them – and they rolled badly for him. They rolled good here, but when he got them back home, they didn’t roll so good for him. He brought two sets, he actually tried tossing one out the window of his bedroom and they came back.

Sturgess: …wow.

DM: Yes, so when those are the only dice he can find, he loses the tournament. He loses all the time. So, there are some interesting superstitions regarding dice.

Sturgess: …you don’t say.

About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a former Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide. She regularly presents a news and current affairs show on RTRFM's The Mag (tune in on Tuesdays!).
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science. She files her nails while they drag the lake.