Last night was Critical Hit night here are Stately Spoilers Manor East, and I gotta tell you: Sometimes I miss my physical dice.  First of all, I got a matched set of red crystal ones a few years ago (after my old set was stolen by some jerk face), and secondly, pushing the buttons on Roll 20 just doesn’t have the same emotional heft as throwing a real 20-sider.  Heck, even my impossible-to-use chip dice are fun to throw on the desk, and the clattering noise is an integral part of my gaming memories.  ‘Course, it is MUCH easier to game with the integrated system, and the computer never forgets to add in my bonuses, leading us to today’s dodecahedral query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) actually doesn’t believe that the computer is inferior, but it sure feels like it sometimes, asking: For your gaming needs, could you ever give up your physical dice?


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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. For me personally, it would be difficult because I enjoy them. For a time I even collected interesting sets, either because they were in a style I liked (such as using Roman Numerals for numbers or fictional language symbols), a color or something I thought looked cool (such as fake bone dice or a “sparkly” translucent material) or were novelty dice (such as comically oversized dice, humorously marketed as for aging gamers with bad eyesight).

    There is something about holding and rolling them I like more than simply letting a program simulate the process. That isn’t to say I wouldn’t use a virtual dice program or device (I play plenty of RPG video games that use a similar program mechanic), but I don’t think I’ll ever truly stop using my physical dice as long as I have them and have a choice to use them.

  2. Malone_hasco on

    No, I’ve seen apps, I’ve seen this and that. Nothing really is any improvement or works as well as real dice.

  3. I’ve played exclusively through the use of digital tabletops. With a handful of games in roll20 and numerous games through Maptools, yea digital dice is good for me.

  4. For me, you lose the illusion of control with digital dice. With physical dice, you can trick yourself in to believing that when you REALLY need that dice roll to come up in your favor you can make it happen if you hold your hand just so or place the die with that certain number face up in your palm before you throw it.

    I work with computers for a living and I love playing games on them, but when it comes to a pen-and-paper RPG, nothing beats the tactile feel and “control” that you get with physical dice.

  5. Frederick Pagliarulo on

    To me the traditional set of six dice is one of the best parts of the D&D experience. Ever since I opened my red box and got my first set of red dice, I’ve enjoyed them as part of the game. I would rather sit in a room with a group of people and everyone rolling physical dice and perhaps sharing a pizza, than any other type of gaming experience.

    That being said, it’s the people, and the story they tell that’s far more important. So if the only way to play D&D was via the internet and rolling virtual numbers on Roll20, sure, I’d give up my dice to play with those people, especially if those people are as great as the players on Critical Hit. Oh, and I’m available to join that game if you need someone to play a halfling bard. Just kidding, I’m tall and a terrible singer. ;)

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