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Old 06-04-2018, 08:36 AM   #31
Dalin
 
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Default Re: Dice odds without dice

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Originally Posted by kmunoz View Post
Is it a "no dice" because "NO DICE!" or because "no dice /sadface"?

If it's the latter, I'm guessing playing cards would be just as awkward (if not more so). Rolling dice inside a small box with shrink-wrap over the top would keep them from flying around. Or an empty peanut can with the transparent top on.
If I'm interpreting your question correctly, my post was originally prompted by the latter situation (no dice in the car; phone nearly out of juice and needed for navigation). Which led me to ponder the question of how to roughly simulate 3d6 with a simpler, on-the-fly system.

I love all the directions the thread has gone. I now want to include in our permanent car supplies a printout of the text-based system along with a good sample text, some custom decks of cards, and slime containers with dice. Just so we can try them all out on our next road trip.
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Old 06-04-2018, 11:19 AM   #32
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Default Re: Dice odds without dice

If you put the different colored 3d6/2d6/1d6 sets Eric mentions back into one of those Chessex brick containers, you're putting 6d6 into a container that can hold 36 (12 per side).

Tape the top down by taping around the box over the seam, so it doesn't come off when shaking. Shake the dice up any way you like, turn the container on its side, and wiggle it a bit to make sure no dice are sitting on other dice.

This way, you can use a container you already have. It's a bit more brittle than the slime containers, but the plastic is crystal clear.
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Old 06-04-2018, 01:24 PM   #33
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Default Re: Dice odds without dice

Have you considered a pre-roll sheet or two?

In excel,
=randbetween(1,6)
gets you a d6 and
=randbetween(1,6)+randbetween(1,6)+randbetween(1,6 )
gets you 3d6.

With some formatting, you can get a frankly ridiculous number of rolls on a page. With a little trust, you can just have them consult the pre-roll sheets whenever you need results. One sheet of 3d6 for when you need those, mark them off as they're used. One of 1d6 for when you need other amounts and just mark off how many you need.

If you trust them less, give them the sheets for each other and make them consult their sibling for the results of their roll.
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Old 06-04-2018, 02:00 PM   #34
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Default Re: Dice odds without dice

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Originally Posted by Armin View Post
This way, you can use a container you already have. It's a bit more brittle than the slime containers, but the plastic is crystal clear.
That certainly works if you want just one container. If you want several it's less useful, and then you wind up with all those extra dice laying around just wanting to be rolled.


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Originally Posted by khorboth View Post
Have you considered a pre-roll sheet or two?

In excel,
That can certainly work. One suggestion I'd add is that you simply label the rows and columns with letters and call out a random row/column letter to be looked up and used. If it's already been used then randomly call out up/down/right/left until you come to an unused entry to use, crossing off entries as they are used up. While humans are bad at true randomness, when you are randomly selecting something that is itself random the end result will be random enough.

If the kids have a tendency to squabble then give them both a copy of the same exact sheet of generated random numbers, so they can both check and verify the result lookup against each other.
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Old 06-04-2018, 02:10 PM   #35
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Default Re: Dice odds without dice

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That certainly works if you want just one container. If you want several it's less useful, and then you wind up with all those extra dice laying around just wanting to be rolled.
I can't deny that.

In my case, it was a matter of most dice being in bags, and having a number of the brick containers just sitting around, when I needed a portable dice rolling tool for a brief road-trip.
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Old 06-04-2018, 08:08 PM   #36
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Default Re: Dice odds without dice

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Originally Posted by ericbsmith View Post
One suggestion I'd add is that you simply label the rows and columns with letters and call out a random row/column letter to be looked up and used. If it's already been used then randomly call out up/down/right/left until you come to an unused entry to use, crossing off entries as they are used up.
Clever. I was thinking of randomly generating a letter next to each entry and then you could just move through the alphabet repeatedly, so your next roll would be unlikely to be contiguous with your prior roll preventing the annoyance of accidentally seeing what's coming. But I think your matrix idea is even cleaner. Once most entries are taken, it might get frustrating, but then you just print a new matrix.
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:58 AM   #37
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Default Re: Dice odds without dice

I'd define a rule for when the cell is used ("Dad picks move down or move across, mom picks left/right or up/down") instead of random-walking to find an unused cell, as that will be less annoying when you get close to half-used cells.
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:15 AM   #38
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Default Re: Dice odds without dice

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Originally Posted by khorboth View Post
Have you considered a pre-roll sheet or two?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericbsmith View Post
That can certainly work. One suggestion I'd add is that you simply label the rows and columns with letters...
So I liked this idea enough that I decided to make a sheet. On the page in the sheet I set up two tables with rows & columns labeled A-Z, which yields 676 result entries. In the upper-left of each of the two tables you can select 1d6, 2d6, or 3d6 results to fill the table. You can reroll the tables by pressing F9 (or selecting a different die).

Between the tables is a selector that says Random: Distribution. If you leave it on Random: Distribution the sheet will take the 216 possible combinations of 3d6 and distribute them across the table three times, using random rolls to fill in the leftovers. This means that every time you reroll the table you are guaranteed that there will be three 3's & three 18's on the table somewhere; and nine 4's & nine 17's; etc. I took the same approach of randomly distributing results with 1d6 & 2d6 as well.

If you change it to Random: Rolls it will fill the table with random die roll results. This means that the table is fully random and that some results may come up more or less frequently than they "should," so you could generate a table with no 3's but six 18's, or vice versa.


Excel Spreadsheet

OpenOffice Spreadsheet
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:49 AM   #39
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Default Re: Dice odds without dice

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
I'd define a rule for when the cell is used ("Dad picks move down or move across, mom picks left/right or up/down") instead of random-walking to find an unused cell, as that will be less annoying when you get close to half-used cells.
Another option is to always move up, and if it's used then move clockwise to the up-right, then right, then continue on clockwise around the square. If all squares around the choice are used either pick again or continue on clockwise, but starting two squares away.
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Last edited by ericbsmith; 06-05-2018 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 06-06-2018, 04:19 PM   #40
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Default Re: Dice odds without dice

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericbsmith View Post
So I liked this idea enough that I decided to make a sheet. On the page in the sheet I set up two tables with rows & columns labeled A-Z, which yields 676 result entries. In the upper-left of each of the two tables you can select 1d6, 2d6, or 3d6 results to fill the table. You can reroll the tables by pressing F9 (or selecting a different die).

Between the tables is a selector that says Random: Distribution. If you leave it on Random: Distribution the sheet will take the 216 possible combinations of 3d6 and distribute them across the table three times, using random rolls to fill in the leftovers. This means that every time you reroll the table you are guaranteed that there will be three 3's & three 18's on the table somewhere; and nine 4's & nine 17's; etc. I took the same approach of randomly distributing results with 1d6 & 2d6 as well.

If you change it to Random: Rolls it will fill the table with random die roll results. This means that the table is fully random and that some results may come up more or less frequently than they "should," so you could generate a table with no 3's but six 18's, or vice versa.


Excel Spreadsheet

OpenOffice Spreadsheet
The sheet is well done. I didn't trace through all the excel logic, but I assume it works like you say it does.

For obfuscation purposes, you could make one that is just the coordinates randomized. Then, one person could have a bunch of no-dice-required rolls where "looking ahead" requires a bit of work. Most players are trustworthy enough to not do that. I think that might be good enough for the OP's needs. Then each player could have a sheet with a series of coordinates and a lookup sheet to tell them what the result is. Then, there's no need for a rule about "if it's been used" or a third party of number-picking.

Note that while making sure all values are represented in their "appropriate" minimum quantities feels random, it is actually less random and less like real die rolls. I think this is what you were alluding to by putting quotes around "should" but it's really easy for humans to misconstrue what IS random and what FEELS random as our intuition is generally very bad at this. (I am close to graduating with my BS in prob/stat and studying for the actuarial probability exam, so I'm in this every day. More math upon request.)
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