Friday, August 26, 2011

Discussion: Dice Etiquette

This may date me, and that's fine, but when I started gaming you could be thrown out of a gaming store for touching another person's dice without permission. I'm not sure if that trend is still in place, but people in general seem less concerned about character sheet sanctity and are more free with their dice than I remember from my early days.

With that in mind, I am curious as to how you and your group handles dice etiquette. Does everyone have their own set of dice? Does one player share his with everyone? Is their a public pool? Is it considered a faux-pas to reach over and grab someone else's die without asking?

On the more technical side, is it cool for one player to do the actual rolling for another player, or does everyone have to roll their own checks?

Finally, do you think any of this has had an impact for the feel at your table?

In my regular groups, we usually do D10 based games, and there is a jar full of D10s that are used as public dice. These dice have all either been repurposed, or specifically bought, to be a public pool that the game as a whole can pull from when they want. Aside from that though, people do borrow dice fairly freely when needed - though you still ask before taking someone else's die.

I'd like to think the shared pool has helped with a general shared feeling at the game table, but I'm not sure if it would matter with this group. The group as a whole is just more open and more 'group oriented' than the groups I played with where touching another man's dice bag was akin to sleeping with his wife.

How about you?


  1. I am rather supersitious and protective when it comes to my dice. I really don't like other people touching them. It's weird, I know, but true. I have this odd belief that they are keyed to me alone, plus I have carefully compiled a collection of very sparkly, pretty dice that I don't want to lose.

    In the group table top game I play in now, everyone has their own dice, but there is also a group dice pool as well.

    Sometimes I will lend my less desired dice to a player if they need an extra d6 for a roll or something, but I expect it back immediately after the roll is done.

    Yes, I am a possessive freak when it comes to my dice and honestly I think many gamers are, so yeah, I do think it's a big faux-pas to take someones dice without asking.

  2. I've played in environs before where player sheet and dice sanctity rules were in effect. That is, in a game store, and I find these rules -- particularly regarding dice -- to be the most beneficial/sensible there. After all, don't have your own? Look around! Plenty of dice to buy. I'd be tempted to say dice sanctity in those stores is encouraged, if such a statement didn't call into question the integrity of the owners, all of whom were very nice people.

    Personally, I hold neither to dice nor character sheet sanctity, though it is rude to take dice or examine another's character sheet without permission.

    Unless you're the GM.

  3. We have a community dice bag but slowly all my players are building up their own collection. So far no one is offended if you use their dice. Character sheets are passed around for viewing but only the player and the GM may mark or erase on a character sheet. On occasion some blue soda is spilled on someone's sheet though.

  4. I always considered it fairly normal to have boundaries concerning dice, though I've never really considered character sheets. In the games I play, nobody (save the GM and player) has much of a reason to look at another player's character sheet, so it's never come up.

    As far as dice go, each player has his or her own set and uses that. Dice are borrowed for rolls and extra sets provided for those without, but are always returned. And in the situation where someone will be rolling 3d6 but has only 2, that person will borrow from someone else, but must acknowledge before handling the dice and must return it after each roll, as is our understanding. I've never had someone deny another person access to his or her dice.

  5. Seems to be about as varied as I'd imagine.

    The general rule of being polite (ask before you borrow) seems to be a common one, and I like seeing it so widespread. It's not like the person will say no just to be a dick, but you still ask first.

  6. I think a group that has (or has had) a problem with dice disappearing into another person's collection either accidentally or maliciously will tend to be paranoid. This makes sense when it comes to gaming in a store. They're too easily mislaid or palmed to just trust people to them and represent a small financial investment.