Monday, February 19, 2018

TSR Dice: Mentzer Basic

TSR replaced the Moldvay edition of the basic set with the Mentzer edition in 1983. At perhaps the same time TSR started producing dice from new molds.
Like the Moldvay dice, the new dice came unpainted in a baggy with a crayon. They were also sold separately from the basic set in a blister pack.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

TSR Dice: Moldvay Basic has diagrams for identifying dice manufacturers. The diagrams are partial dice nets—they show the digits on the faces adjacent to face with the highest digit. The orientation of the digits on the faces is also significant. Even though the diagrams don't describe all the faces, they often narrow down the possibilities to a single manufacturer.

The problem with partial dice nets is they require having the die in hand. To make it easier to identify dice in photos, I thought it would be nice to make some complete dice nets available.

My first set of dice nets are for the dice which came with the Dungeons & Dragons Basic set edited by Tom Moldvay. The copyright on the rulebook is 1980, but the product wasn't announced in Dragon Magazine until August 1981. There were four identifiable printings of this box set. I have the 3rd and 4th printings. Both came with a set of the light blue dice pictured above. The dice came sealed in plastic with a white crayon.

My apologies there is no dice net for the d10.

Update: d10 dice net courtesy of Scott Sturm:

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Falling Distributions

In a previous post I suggested some ways to generate falling distributions with dice. I was looking for a technique where all numbers between 1 and n have nonzero probability and where the probability of k is greater than the probability of k + 1. The ideal solution in my mind would use a single cast of the dice and wouldn't require consulting a table.
Such a solution exists. It's so simple I'm sad I didn't see it right away. Just roll several dice and take the lowest.  As a bonus you can decrease the expected value by using more dice.