GameScience Dice Shape

Let’s revisit dice shape. After seeing the Awesome Dice study I had to acquire some GameScience dice. Not for any real reason except that they seem all the rage now-a-days. I’m not going to try to convince myself that I want dice that roll with the most consistency – because I don’t.

In Vegas, dice that roll all numbers equally might be desired, but I don’t mind dice in D&D that roll skewed. After all, if there are dice that seem to roll more often in my favor I’m all for it. I like random chance as much as anyone, but I like winning a lot more often than losing. As an extension of my previous observations, I took a look at the shape of the GameScience dice. As with the previous post, I used a Neiko caliper (01407A) which has a resolution of 0.01 mm an accuracy of 0.02 mm. I used the axis length of each side measuring from the center of the face then used standard deviation to see how far each die varied from the mean of all axes. I always counted the axis going through the 20 face as axis 1 and then going clockwise then outward to identify the other axes:

Introduction

As mentioned in the Awesome Dice study, the GameScience d20 has a pretty serious burr on the 7 face, so when I was calculating the diameter of that axis I decided to do so both ignoring and taking into account the burr. Let’s see how it did!

Opal

The die in question was the GameScience gem dice with an opal sheen and painted numbers. Here are the numbers when ignoring the burr:

Opal mm axis diff from mean
20-1 19.07 1 0.082
14-7 18.99 2 0.002
13-8 18.91 3 -0.078
19-2 18.98 4 -0.008
17-4 19.06 5 0.072
15-6 19.05 6 0.062
16-5 18.93 7 -0.058
11-10 19.00 8 0.012
12-9 18.99 9 0.002
18-3 18.90 10 -0.088
SD 0.057585

And here are the numbers with the burr adding to the overall axis length. It’s tough to use the added length in a meaningful way in these measurements because the increase doesn’t cause any deformation to the other faces as it would if the entire face was this axis length. Still, the burr must have an affect:

Opal mm axis diff from mean
20-1 19.07 1 0.024
14-7 18.99 2 -0.056
13-8 18.91 3 -0.136
19-2 18.98 4 -0.066
17-4 19.64 5 0.594
15-6 19.05 6 0.004
16-5 18.93 7 -0.116
11-10 19.00 8 -0.046
12-9 18.99 9 -0.056
18-3 18.90 10 -0.146
SD 0.204802

Conclusion

And here’s where the Opal, with and without the burr, stands compared to the previous measurements.

Die Year Mfr. Perception Standard Deviation
Green mid-80s Good 0.029
Opal without burr 2012 Never Used 0.058
Black 2010 Never Used 0.069
Orange Swirl 2009 Good 0.084
Blue-standard 1990s Cursed 0.184
Opal with burr 2012 Never Used 0.205
Blue-large numbers 1990s Cursed 0.229
Pink 1900s Rarely Used 0.280
Blue-bad paint 1900s Cursed 0.333

Without the burr, this precision die is close to a traditional Chessex style die (black) and oddly not as good as the die from the original Red Box (green). The burr then, since it certainly is still there, is a real problem since it skews the axis in these measurements and affects the likelihood of rolling a 14 (as per the Awesome Dice study). So, in order for this die to be effective, removing the burr is something worth attempting in order to ensure that the shape of the die is uniform.

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