[RPG] Dealing with large amount of dice rolls for a single damage roll without making it drag on


There are a number of spells and abilities that involve large amounts of dice rolling. For example, a high level rogue can have up to 10d6 in Sneak Attack, and a high level Wizard can have a staggering 40d6 for Disintegrate. This is DnD, but I'm fairly sure there are other games with similar issues.

I don't really think that rolling and adding up a d6 for several minutes is fun to watch.

Now for the 40d6, I figured out: the least you can roll is 40, the most is 240, so maybe you can roll percentages twice, add them up and add 40, but that's probably not as accurate and would have a different distribution.

So, how do you deal with rolling this many dice? More specifically: what methods exist that can reduce the amount of dice you need to roll with minimal loss of the randomness properties of the original roll?

Best Answer

At the moment I can only see two solutions to this particular problem. The unfortunate thing is that both solutions offer their own challenges and difficulties as well. I agree with you that rolling a bunch of dice and adding it all together is tedious- let's see what we can do about that!

Let the Robots take care of it

For large sums of dice getting rolled together, a great way to speed up the process is to use a Dice Roller program that can be found through a quick Google search (I'm at my office right now and can't link you, sorry.) You type in how many dice you want to roll, select the value, and the computer instantaneously gives you the sum.

You can either use truly random dice generators like Random.org's, which are based off atmospheric data. Other generators will be pseudorandom number generators which run off a mathematical algorithm. The difference between either doesn't really matter unless you're doing cryptography or quantum mechanics, so either is just as good as the real dice for people playing RPG at a table.


You could also, when there is a ridiculously large amount of dice to be rolled, use average value instead. So 40d6 becomes 140 damage (3.5 x 40). No rolling, just flat damage.

The Problem

People like rolling dice. It is the part of the game that is most "tactile" and therefore is very satisfying to many people who enjoy the hobby. Clicking a button on the computer can sort of emulate the feeling, but just doing average value cheapens the experience. Not to mention that some players may balk at the idea of not getting the chance to do more than average damage with their awesome spell/ability.