Every role-playing game fan has a favorite die. Dice are essential tools in games like Dungeons & Dragons, where they're used to introduce an element of chance; even the strongest warrior can lose a fight if he rolls too low, too often.
So players keep track of the dice they believe are "lucky," the ones that always seem to roll high. you can try the d20 dice roller online here to play various dice-based games.
Sometimes this behavior is just driven by superstition --we don't know that a "lucky" d20 produces higher than low numbers, we just favor it because we like the way it looks, or because it once rolled a 20 at a critical moment that stuck in our memory.
But some dice do produce better results since mass-produced dice never can be 100% truly random.
One of the biggest manufacturers of RPG dice is a company called Chessex. They make a huge variety of dice, in all kinds of different colors and styles.
These dice are put through rock tumblers that give them smooth edges and a shiny finish, so they look great. Like many RPG fans, I own a bunch of them.
I also own a set of GameScience dice. They're not polished, painted, or smoothed, so they're supposed to roll better than Chessex dice, producing results closer to truly random.
I like them, but mostly because they don't roll too far, and their sharp edges look cool. I couldn't tell you if they truly produce more random results.
But the good folks over at the Awesome Dice Blog can. They recently completed a massive test between a Chessex d20 and a GameScience d20, rolling each over 10,000 times, by hand, to determine which rolls closer to true.
After "an insane amount of dice rolling," they determined the following:
"A casual analysis of the results suggests that neither die is rolling randomly... If we had a d20 that rolled perfectly, each face would come up 500 times.
But of course, randomness isn’t perfect and we’d expect some deviation: throughout 10,000 rolls we’d expect, with 85% confidence, that each face would be within about 33 of 500 — so anywhere from 467 to 533 is within the bounds of randomness. (At 95% confidence the margin of error is 45).
Neither die falls within these bounds... The Chessex d20 had a standard deviation of 78.04, and the GameScience d20 had a standard deviation of 60.89.
Simple Guilds For DnD 5e
With all their complexities and room for narrative exploration, Guilds are often a staple of the fantasy roleplay world. Using guilds in your DnD games makes a ton of sense given the nature of the game, its rules, and how stories are generally set up and presented.
In DnD 5e there are already some great starting points available for guild-centric adventures, but today we’d like to present a few simple additions to the guild system that anyone can use with minimal preparation and effort.
What is a Guild?
Simply put, a guild is a group of professionals banded together along common types of work. In real life, guilds are an important part of many skilled labor industries.
In fantasy worlds, in addition to being a gathering and learning mechanism for professionals, they also serve as their miniature governments, quest givers, and major players in world events.
Guilds As Organizations In DnD 5e
At its core, a guild is simply a type of organization. DnD 5e has optional rules for handling organizations laid out in the Dungeon Master’s Guide on pages 21-23.
While it does a good job of explaining that any organization should have some core values, goals, and types of quests they give out, the only other bit of rules presented here are for the renowned system.
DnD 5e Renown System
The renown system is simply a points counter where players gain renown with any organization by completing missions or advancing that organization’s interests and lose renown by doing the opposite.
Each organization will have ranks, rewards, and perks for individuals who gain enough renown. These can come with titles, faction benefits, or monetary entitlements. No matter how you dish out renowned perks, the simple system is very flexible and works for most games without additional fuss.
Guildmaster’s Renown On Steroids
If you think the two or so pages the DMG gives to the renowned system are shameful, then take a look at the Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica for more detailed renowned style factions.
While the book offers more rules and a deeper look at the renowned system, its additions boil down to lore, character customization, and additional monsters more than anything else.
If you want a greater level of detail or examples for your game, you can find them there. On the other hand, if you were looking for an alternative to the renowned system you’re not going to find it on these pages.
Overall it’s a great book and worth the read, especially if you’re a Magic the Gathering fan.
Simple Homebrew Alterations to the Guild System
Instead of relying on renown as the sole base for a guild system in DnD, we recommend a few tweaks to make your guilds a bit more functional and easy to run as a DM.
Let’s look at what we’re keeping: optionally, everything.
What? Everything? Why yes, here’s why.
The simple setup for organizations in DnD works great for guilds and we need all these things. For any guild you create you’ll need at least the following:
- A guild name
- Their trade
- Their core values/beliefs
- Their goals
These are all things you get when creating an organization as described in the DMG. Optionally, you can create a renowned chart with a few ranks and perks, but these are not necessary for every guild and can sometimes be a hassle to track.
Also optional is the motto; it adds a bit of character and flavor, but mechanically it doesn’t do much.
Where You Can Try Play-by-Post DnD?
We recommend you try spinning up a Discord server and trying this with friends. It’s easy to do and completely free. Your first few sessions might be terrible, but it’s a learning experience and you should be okay with being terrible at something at the beginning. Being bad at something is just the first step towards being good at it.
Beyond that, Critical Fayle DM and the Goons have a wonderful Patreon community starting at just $5 a month full of play-by-post opportunities.
From Building Together, a massive Barovian survival camp play-by-post consisting of 12 different chats, to The Arena, a combat-specific play-by-post with characters testing their mettle against various monsters in a gladiatorial style arena spanning three channels!
They also have a more selective play-by-post setting called The Past Adventures of Drogar where occasionally some community members get to be part of a past adventure that Ned’s character, Drogar Stonebreath, a 528-year-old Dragon Cleric, joins you as he facilitates a more intimate and personal play-by-post experience.
There are tons of other play-by-post opportunities out there for you as well. They may not all be the right fit for you or your group, but you should give them a try.
You’ll eventually find one you love or even learn enough to run your own very successful play-by-post game in no time at all. So what are you waiting for? Go give some play-by-post games a try