Talk:Dice notation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Good set of variations. Perhaps we can expand upon them with more examples? --אמר Steve Caruso (poll) 15:28, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

I've pretty much exhausted my knowledge of variants, though ISTR there was a game that used a pack of cards and called it a "d52", but google turns up nothing about it. I'd never heard of AdXkY - could we put in what game that was from? Percy Snoodle 12:54, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
The Dieroller in Metacreator uses the notation 1p52 to draw from a deck of cards. Bear Eagleson
What about "open-ended rolls"? These are used in many of ICE's games, and the stress dice used in World Tree are "maximum open-ended", i.e. open-ended only on rolls of the die's maximum value?

--Bear Eagleson 12:14, 10 June 2006 (UTC) (comment split by Percy Snoodle)

They're definitely worth a mention if there's a specific notation for them. Percy Snoodle 08:46, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
We need the actual -notation- on these types of rolls. :-) אמר Steve Caruso (poll) 01:57, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
It may not be "official", but in the OpenRPG program and in the Invisible Castle online die roller (which is based on the OpenRPG die roller), the notation for open-ended rolls is, where Y is the first number in the range of numbers for open-ended rolls. Bear Eagleson
Since HackMaster includes an official notation for "penetration" (open-ended) dice, I added that, and at the same time moved it and the existing paragraphs about open-ended systems into a new H3 section titled "Open-ended variations" and left in all three terms. (That's entirely separate from the debate about whether the latter should be included if they don't have specific notations.) GCL (talk) 05:35, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
AdXkY? 4d6k3: Standard stat rolling method in Dungeons & Dragons. Also known as "roll 4d6, drop the lowest 1". I hope that helps. --Bear Eagleson 12:14, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Is it ever referred to as 4d6k3 in the rulebook? Percy Snoodle 08:46, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
No, it's just another place where the keep notation could be used as a shortcut. Bear Eagleson
I see. This article is for notations that are actually in use; proposing new notations would be original research. Percy Snoodle 14:42, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
OK. Bear Eagleson

Low/high roll[edit]

Do any actual games use the Low/high roll notation, or is that section a cheeky advert for the die roller? Percy Snoodle 15:06, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

There are game systems that allow for the dropping of the lowest die—or dice— of a roll, but I have never seen them note the roll like 3d6-L. I have never seen a system that uses either the +H notation, or the mechanic it describes.
Asatruer 18:14, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
It is at least not meant as an advert for the die roller. But I would think since this notation is in actual use (if only in that die roller) this is not really “original research”. Might be a boarderline case, though. --TowerDragon 23:53, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
I would suggest to open an item about this: most rules and written materials about dice use quite simple notation and further manipulation is just described by words, like "4d6 drop lowest". The need for more detailed formulae is only needed for computerised things, like online die rollers. There, players may be compelled to actually translate "4d6 drop lowest" to "4D6-L" or so. Then, two families of notations do exist: a mix of words/formulae in most written rules and players vocabulary, and a more complex one for the computer world (aka dice rollers, online or not online). Further more, since availability of complex notation and online systems permit almost unlimited kind of dice, I see more and more players using very special dice (like 3d6-2d6 for attack minus defense, or combinaisons of different dice size in a throw), including things like d7 or d128 or multiple throws and tests, notably for war games. I don't post this directly, since I could be biased as webmaster of a die roller (one with many actual dice pictures), and statistics may differ for different tools.--Anyplace (talk) 22:59, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Stress Dice[edit]

As I understand it, Stress dice in Ars Magica do not function as described here, rather they are effectively d10-1. In addition, the described mechanic for world tree sounds like what is more often called "exploding dice" as seen in games such as Shadowrun, Feng Shui, Storyteller system, and L5R/7th Sea. Should this type of mechanic be included in this article?
——Asatruer 19:12, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

If there is a specific notation for it, then we can include it. Otherwise it wouldn't really be appropriate for "Dice notation" :-) אמר Steve Caruso (desk/poll) 14:43, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
I think that the person who moved my information on open-ended rolls due to lack of notation, thought that all stress dice were open ended. In World Tree, this is true, where the dice are only re-rolled when you roll the die's number of sides. Open-ended dice that are not stress dice are used in other games, like ICE's title, for example (again, OpenRPG roller reference: i.e. not official notation) in HARP. This is an open-ended roll, but not a stress roll, because HARP doesn't use two "types" of dice. Bear Eagleson
Come to think of it, an article on "dice behavior" might be in order. Refering to open-ended dice as "exploding" is probably a new slang term since this is the first time I've read it. Bear Eagleson
Perhaps it might be a good idea. If someone starts one, I'll be willing to contribute :-) אמר Steve Caruso (desk/AMA) 18:39, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

AEG, for 7th Sea and maybe even L5R, uses the term explode when refering to d10s that get rolled again when they roll a 10, so this term is not just slang. White Wolf calls this the 10-Again Rule. I am fairly sure that neither Shadowrun nor Feng Shui have a specific name for this dice behavior.
Asatruer 19:54, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for the explanation, Asatruer. I think "open-ended" is the more common term. We could still use "exploding" as a reference to how open-ended rolls are referred to in particular systems. Bear Eagleson
It used to be discussed - a bit - on critical hit, but I think it got split off into Natural 20 which was then merged into role-playing game terms. Percy Snoodle 10:45, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Since HackMaster includes an official notation for "penetration" (open-ended) dice, I added that, and at the same time moved it and the existing paragraphs about open-ended systems into a new H3 section titled "Open-ended variations" and left in all three terms. (That's entirely separate from the debate about whether the latter should be included if they don't have specific notations.) GCL (talk) 05:35, 18 July 2012 (UTC)


I believe that d66 are not limited to Necromunda and Mordheim. I will change the wording to reflect this. --David Mestel(Talk) 19:14, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

The D66 was first used by Classic Traveller by (the similarly named) Games Designers' Workshop in 1977. Necromunda and Mordheim from Games Workshop are much later, in the late 1990s, I think. Traveller called the D66 a "base six die roll." It first appeared in Traveller Book 3: Worlds and Adventures. Stilleon (talk) 05:18, 4 October 2016 (UTC)


Does anyone know who came up with the original XdY notation? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 2006-08-30T17:02:44 (UTC)


I've cleaned up the beginning a little. Since there are a few changes, I'll motivate them here: I have never seen the notation 3d6+ and do not see the point in using it. I don't see the need to define B as a natural number; it should be clear what 3d6+1.5 means, even if it is never used in practice. (We don't need to be that formal here.) Also, repetition is not the same thing as recursion. Furthermore, I think the text is easier to read if the examples are broken up a little. Finally, I have never seen anything like 2d10+1d6-3 anywhere so I'm also changing that example somewhat. --Maggu 19:02, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

That’s all OK with me. Just one thing: “repetition is not the same thing as recursion” — This is a case of tail recursion which is equivalent to repetition (iteration). (Writing the basic notation with modifier in Extended Backus–Naur form can make this clear: die-roll=N."d".N.[("+"|"−").(die-roll | Y)]; or, equivalently, die-roll=N."d".N.{("+"|"−").N."d".N}.[("+"|"−").Y]; where N is a natural number, and Y is an arbitrary number.) But as you said: “We don't need to be that formal here.” :-) — TowerDragon 19:58, 31 August 2006 (UTC) + 20:16, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Standard notation.[edit]

I think there is a flaw in the AdX equation. A is the number of dice. X however doesn't mean the faces but the sequenced of objects I guess you would say. You can't physically have a d3. "die with 3 faces" but you can have a d6 with the sequence 1,2,3 apearing twice. This was how the original d10 was made from the 20-sided icosahedron. Normally it does mean faces, but really the number following the d represents the highest number represented in the sequence on the die; or the number of numbers on the die. 0-9 twice for an icosahedron d10, ten possible outcomes for the dice. If I am wrong and an icosahedron is no longer made as a d10 forgive me. Theoretically any dice could be broken into its multiples for a smaller range. There is maybe the correct word for the X, the range of the die. I won't change it but let people think it over. shadzar|Talk|contribs 13:24, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

You are partially correct in that there are some die ranges that could never be made into a fair physical die and physical d3s do exist. Instead of using numbers, the "sides" of a d3 are marked with R, P, and S for rock, paper, scissors. This is easily ammended by painting numbers on the die, or you could just use the letters as numeric values. --Bear Eagleson
I have seen Janken dice, but mine is an actual 6-sided die with the numbers 1,2,3 printed on it twice. It is not altered. I guess then they should be considered variant notations for dice with a range other than its number of faces. shadzar|Talk|contribs 20:50, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
This is the 3 face side Janken die I'm talking about: Razor Edge d3. Perhaps this wording would be more to your liking: "In most cases, the notation AdX means roll A dice with X number of sides, and in a few cases represents rolling A dice within a range of X which may or may not physical have X sides"? --Bear Eagleson
I may be wrong, but think it doesn't always represent the numebr of faces. Can't find my die online, but dug it from my dice bag and sure enough it has 12 pips 1,1,2,2,3,3. Not that it needs to be changed, but just wanted people to look out for a possibility of confusion. Of course blank dice the X does stand for faces as there is no printed range. Sorry to sound so nit-picky about it. shadzar|Talk|contribs 05:18, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
I said the same thing in my previous comment and was therefore agreeing with you. --Bear Eagleson
I heared there exists a d1000 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:18, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Minor addition[edit]

I added a reference to d666 from In Nomine under six-sided variations.

This article seems to me to be of a good standard - should it perhaps be removed from the portal as requiring expansion? Aidan 10:19, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Merge Discussion[edit]

This is the section for discussion for merging D66 (die) into this page.

It is pretty clear to me that everything mentioned in D66 could be put into Dice notation by adding, oh, about a dozen words to the existing section on D66 in the D% section. Nezzadar (talk) 21:17, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Agreed, NN usage, no references, can be safely merged here per WP:NNC. Jclemens (talk) 22:28, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

multiplication and addition[edit]

  • 3 x (2d6+4) means "roll two 6-sided dice adding four to result, repeat the roll 3 times adding the results together."

For my curiosity: why wouldn't you write that as 6d6 + 12? —Tamfang (talk) 01:46, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Percentile Dice[edit]

Under the Percentile dice (d%) section, it says it is more uniformly random to roll two ten-sided dice than to roll a 100-sided die. How is this true? A 100-sided die should clearly have 1/100 chance of each number unless the die is incorrectly weighted. And two ten-sided dice rolled together also have 1/100 chance for each number.

Dbmikus (talk) 18:32, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

For a die to be fair in all conditions, its faces must all be equivalent under some symmetry group. That's true of the common d10 but not of Zocchi's d100. —Tamfang (talk) 07:54, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

Die Symbol[edit]

I think I remember encountering a notation variant where the D was replaced by a die or cube symbol, e.g. 3🎲6. Is that common enough to deserve a mention here? — Christoph Päper 22:23, 20 March 2017 (UTC)