I am reminded of an anecdote (of which, our entire history books are made
I have played a lot of Dungeons and Dragons, and related, games in my life.
Rolling dice are an intrinsic part of such games, because they allow
unusual things to happen, unusual results that surprise and amaze. Dice
also give people the illusion of control over Fate...dice are random, yet
people often feel like they are able to 'control' the probabilities, in a
kind of real magick, some unexplained ability. When highly improbable
events with dice occur, it is easy to believe such nonsense. Or perhaps we
humans can affect probability...I will let you be the judge, for yourself.
One time, during my days as a paid, professional DM, I had been running a
free game for some people I was involved with at the time, and the brother
of the person I was most involved with at the time came up to me and made a
rather incredible statement.
His friend was visiting, had heard of what fame I had back in those days,
and wanted to meet me...and by the way, this friend could ALWAYS roll
within one number of any target on a 20 sided die. Without fail. On any
die. Any time.
Sheah, my ass! Still, since the fellow was visiting, and since it really
would not take any time to see for myself, and since he was a big fan of
mine, I agreed to put up with whatever farce would be tossed to me.
The first five or six rolls, each on a different die from my personal
collection were all perfect and exact. The value '20', time after time.
Then I borrowed the dice collection of an observing friend, doubting my own
dice, despite the fact that I had painted them myself (you had to in those
days) and knew my own dice inside and out (I have an enormous collection of
polyhedral dice). The next five or six rolled I called at random....just
picking numbers out of the blue. Whether it was an 18, or a 3, or a 12, or
20 again....this young man always, and without fail, on any die I gave him,
(so long as it was a twenty-sided die, he could not do it on any other die)
he could roll within one number. When I called 18, as I remember, he rolled
17, for instance. He never missed, not even once, and I must have tested
him several dozen times. I wanted more, but he was getting bored, besides,
I had run out of fresh, new d20's to use. We used every d20 anyone had. I
would not repeat using the same die, trying to see if somehow the dice were
He did not know how he did this trick. He just noticed, one day, that he
could do it. He was not that amazed by it anymore. He had been doing it for
several years. Adults could not care less, or refused to even bother to
look. I was almost so skeptical myself, that I nearly shunned him as well.
I am glad I did not, in retrospect.
To this day I have no explanation whatsoever for what I saw. I tested the
lads claim as carefully as I could, given the situation, and there was no
shortage of witnesses from every angle. He did not palm the die, or do
anything odd....several times I asked him to simply hold out his hand, palm
up, where I deposited a d20, and had him just roll the die off of his palm,
without closing his fingers. Just let the die fall off and hit the table.
It made no difference.
I have no idea what ever became of the boy, but I will always remember
whatever it was that he could do.