[RPG] How reliable are dice rolling programs


Dice programs and their use around the table are on the rise:

  • Are there any characteristics, qualities, or quirks of results obtained by using dice programs which might detract from play? Improve it?

  • Are there dice programs which are below standard in their generation of reliable results? If so, can such results be recognized and assessed easily?

    I am asking this question about the results obtained by using dice rolling programs, not the experience or tradition of using actual dice. Personally, I prefer using dice, but am often required these days to resort to programs. Some of these programs produce what I consider to be suspicious results in much the same way those soft blue dice used to from a certain boxed game in the '80s. However, being aware of my own diceward bias, but lacking the tools to determine the veracity of my suspicions about some programs for certain, I thought this might be the place to ask~

Best Answer

Any well written dice roller will give you perfect random rolls (well, pseudo-random — the difference doesn't matter for gaming).

Some dice rollers are not well written, or depend on the underlying OS/language's source of random numbers, which itself can be well written or not.

The vast majority of the time you will find dice rollers more random than actual dice, which, being physical objects, will be flawed.

I know of one product that had to change the library it used to generate rolls because the OS implementation was poor, but that is a rare case.

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