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A Basic Guide to Rolling Dice at RPG Crossing
A Basic Guide to Rolling Dice at RPG Crossing

As the mechanics of many role-playing games are based on dice rolls, we have a dice rolling system for you to use on the site. Dice rolls work in both posts and private messages.

When you first start out, using bbcode dice tags can seem daunting. However, the system has a core set of simple rules outline below that you can use to get going right away, without worrying about any of the more complicated functionality.

Note: These instructions apply to posts made on or after 29 April 2010. Before that, an older version of our dice roller was used, which is still used for those posts in order to ensure that all results remained as they were.

The syntax (structure) of a basic dice roll is:
basic syntax[DICE](Number of dice to roll, if greater than one)d(Number of sides on the dice)+(Modifier)[/DICE]


The parentheses are added for clarity, but should not be added in a real entry. If you make an error (for example, inserting spaces between the numbers and the 'd'), the dice roll will not be processed.

We recommend that you also add a title, like so:
dice with title[DICE=Your Title](Number of dice to roll, if greater than one)d(Number of sides on the dice)+(Modifier)[/DICE]


There are limitations on what you can put into these tags:
  • Titles may not be composed entirely only of quotes and/or spaces, and may not include line breaks or the characters: <,>, ", & or [. Double quotes, ", are allowed on the outsides of the title, but will be ignored.
  • You may have up to 200 Dice, and a maximum of a d1000 for sides of dice.
  • The Modifier is any integer that you wish to add to the roll.

Some Basic Examples

To roll a twenty-sided die, type in:
[DICE]d20[/DICE]
to get:
Dice Roll:
d20 5


To roll four twenty-sided dice, type in:
[DICE]4d20[/DICE]
to get:
Dice Roll:
4d20 18, 18, 16, 9 Total = 61


To roll four twenty-sided dice, add them all together, and then add 16 to the roll (i.e. 1d20+4 four times), type in:
[DICE]4d20+16[/DICE]
to get:
Dice Roll:
4d20+16 (18, 13, 11, 17)+16 Total = 75


To construct a roll with a modifier and a title, type in:
[DICE=Fortitude Save]d20+3[/DICE]
to get:
Dice Fortitude Save:
d20+3 (20)+3 Total = 23


To roll make more than one roll per tag, separate them with spaces, for example:
[DICE]1d20+5 3d6+3 [/DICE]
to get:
Dice Roll:
1d20+5 (8)+5 Total = 13
3d6+3 (5, 5, 1)+3 Total = 14


To roll fudge dice, use a letter 'F' in place of the die type (case insensitive), for example:
[DICE=fudge]4df [/DICE]
to get:
Dice fudge:
4df 1, 0, 0, -1 Total = 0


After making a post that utilizes the dice roller, the results are stored in the database. This means that posts with dice rolls in them may be edited without causing 'Fixed' tags to appear (these tags were shown by the dice roller used prior to August 2009). However, the text surrounding the rolls will not be saved in the database along with the dice rolls. Therefore, to be extra careful as a game master, it is strongly recommended that you request that all dice rolls be titled clearly with the purpose of the roll, as in the fortitude save example above.

Rolls that appear with an asterisk (*) and a red border do not exist in the database, and may have been altered. The primary means to produce such marked rolls is to either enter a roll with the seed already in place (i.e. set the roll's result ahead of time), or to edit any part of a roll in a saved post. Both of these are generally frowned upon (or worse!)

An example of such a roll is this one:
Dice * example of a modified/cheat roll:
d20+4 (12)+4 Total = 16


We at RPG Crossing hope this has explained the basics of our dice rolling system. There's a thread for you to practice in here.

If you're ready for more, please visit the Advanced Guide to Rolling Dice at RPG Crossing.

An Advanced Guide to Rolling Dice at RPG Crossing
An Advanced Guide to Rolling Dice at RPG Crossing

Here, we will attempt to describe all the options available with our site's dice roller.

A complete roll tag has a number of parts not shown in the basic guide. There are two types of information that can be entered between the tags. (The parentheses here are for clarity, and would not be entered for a real roll.)

Type I: [DICE(optional = "title"](optional tag operator) (at least one space-separated dice roll)[/DICE]

OR

Type II: [DICE(optional ="title")](method name)[/DICE]


element type optional? description
title I or II yes adds title text to the output; important for identifying a roll so that it cannot be re-used in a different way if the text of the post is changed
tag operator I yes describes an operation performed on the entire roll; described below
dice rolls I no the actual dice roll requested; they may not contain spaces and must be separated by spaces; described below
method II no a shorthand that simplifies common rolls; described below

Tag Operators
Tag Operators

The following are valid options for tag operators:
  • inline operators: inum, isucceed, isucceeds, isucceeded, isucceeding, idid
  • multiplier: (integer between 1 and 9)x, e.g. 3x

Inline Tag Operators

Inline tags operators transform the roll output such that it appears in-line with the message text. They either introduce the roll result (inum) or roll success-dependent text (the rest of them) with the full roll output available in a mouseover tooltip.

The ones that produce success-dependent text require a success check produced by the success option described in the dice roll section below.

Important notes for inline tag operators: the inline tag operators allow only one (1) roll after them. If more rolls are included, they will be ignored. Furthermore, the 'repeat' and 'critical expansion' dice roll options described below cannot be combined with the success-dependent text-producing inline tag operators.

Examples:
[dice="pick lock"]inum d20+5[/dice]
Dice pick lock:
d20+5 (11)+5 Total = 16
(16)

I [dice="climb check"]idid d20+4sh10[/dice] make it up the wall.
I
Dice climb check:
d20+4sh10 (8)+4 Total = 12
did make it up the wall.

Multiplier Tag Operators

These simply repeat everything within the entire dice tag the number of times specified.

Example:

[dice]4x 2d6 1d8[/dice]
Dice Roll:
2d6 1, 2 Total = 3
1d8 1
2d6 6, 2 Total = 8
1d8 6
2d6 4, 4 Total = 8
1d8 5
2d6 4, 1 Total = 5
1d8 7



Dice Rolls
Dice Rolls

This is the core element of the dice tags. As mentioned above, they can be listed separated by spaces to make multiple rolls per set of dice tags. A roll with all options displayed (you would probably never do this, and would certainly never use this example) looks like:

[dice]6x1d20+3kh7ro2tsmch20cx5,20gpbPF10mod[/dice]


Dividing the craziness between the dice tags into three sections gives:

piece name description
6x multiplier a roll multiplier for just this roll (as opposed to the multiplier above, which operates on all the rolls in the tag)
1d20+3 basic roll the basic roll tag described in the basic guide
kh7ro2tsmch20cx5,20gpbPF10mod options a series of options, described below

Multiplier

Preceding the basic roll with an integer between 1 and 20 followed by an 'x' causes the roll to be repeated that number of times.

Basic Roll

The roll as described in the basic guide, except that there are more options for the modifier than just '+': any one base mathematical operator is allowed ('+', '-', '*', 'x', '/'; '*' and 'x' are equivalent). Also, the brackets can be used around the basic roll and modifier (e.g. ((d20+3)/4) as long as the result (with the xdy part being replaced by the integer result of the dice roll) resolves to a proper mathematical expression with correctly paired brackets.

Options

In the following table, each option is surrounded by braces, the '/' character means 'or', 'num' means an integer, and the '-' character means the entry is optional. For example, <a/b/-> would mean that either 'a' or 'b' or nothing could be entered.

name options example description
subsets k<h/m/l><num>
Dice Roll:
6d6km3 6, 2, 3, 4, 6, 4 (keeping 4,4,6) Total = 14
6d6km3
keep the highest, middle, or lower num results
rerolls <r><h/o/l/c*><num/num,num,num*>
Dice Roll:
d6ro1 4 (Rerolls: less than 2; greater than 5)
d6ro1 or
Dice Roll:
d6rc1,3 4 (Rerolls: rerolled 1,3)
d6rc1,3
reroll (exclude) the highest, outer (lowest and highest), or lowest num possible values; *alternatively, reroll a collection of numbers in a comma-separated list (num,num,num,...)
running total <t>
Dice Roll:
d6 2
d4t 2 Running Total = 4
d3t 3 Running Total = 7
d6 d4t d3t
calculate a sub-total based on the sum of this roll and previous roll(s)
test and count successes <s><m/-><c/-><h/l><num/-*>
Dice Roll:
5d6smh3 2 ✘, 3 ✔, 5 ✔, 6 ✔, 1 ✘ (3/5) Total = 17
d20scl4 18
5d6smh3 d20scl4
test and count successes either for each die (multiple dice) or the whole roll (default); successes are either lower than or higher than or equal to a target number, which must be provided except when the critical (automatic) option is present, in which case it is optional and the highest and lowest possible rolls are automatic successes and failures (or vice versa, depending on whether h or l is chosen). Whether a roll is successful determines the behaviour of the 'g', 'c' and inline text options.
criticals <c><i/x><number of repeats/-><,><natural roll required/->
Dice Roll:
d20cx,10 14
→ d20cx,10 4
d6ci2 4
d20cx,10 d6ci2
the critical option provokes an extra roll(s) (explosion / crit confirmation) when conditions are met; the number of times it will go through this process is determined by the number of repeats (default 1); the natural roll required for success can be specified (default 1); critical success can also be inherited from the previous roll, in which case the number of repeats is the number of additional times that roll will occur if the preceding roll is a crit; if success is also measured (e.g. 'sh17') then crit confirmation will also require success by that measurement to provoke more rolls [unlike success, the 'natural roll required' part of crits only works in the 'higher is better' direction]
groupie <g>
Dice Roll:
d20sh20 15
d20+1sh1 (3)+1 Total = 4
→ d5g 2
d20sh20 d6g d20+1sh1 d5g
groupie rolls only show if the previous roll is successful
pointbuy selection <pb><PF/3E/4E/EQ><num>
Dice Roll:
15pts (PF) 14, 12, 9, 14, 12, 12
6x3d6pbPF15
a tool for getting a random set of rolls that conform to a pointbuy value; pathfinder (PF), 3rd edition (3E), 4th edition (4E), and 1:1 (EQ) are supported; the maximum pointbuy number is 60 (108 for EQ); this option is only supported for rolls in groups of 6 (6x) with a maximum outcome of 30 per roll (though 18 makes a lot more sense, as all the point buy systems are capped at that value...)
ability modifier calculation <mod>
Dice Roll:
4d6mod 4, 2, 3, 6 (keeping 3,4,6) Total = 13
4d6mod 3, 5, 4, 6 (keeping 4,5,6) Total = 15
4d6mod 5, 1, 3, 3 (keeping 3,3,5) Total = 11
4d6mod 6, 6, 2, 5 (keeping 5,6,6) Total = 17
4d6mod 3, 4, 4, 2 (keeping 3,4,4) Total = 11
4d6mod 1, 2, 6, 2 (keeping 2,2,6) Total = 10
total modifier: 6
6x4d6kh3mod
output an ability modifier total for groups of ability rolls; this option is only supported for rolls in groups of 6 (6x) with a maximum outcome of 30 per roll

Options can be combined in any order. If an option is repeated, the last occurrence will be used (not recommended).


Methods
Methods

The dice roller supports a number of shorthand requests. Currently, they are all for making ability rolls.

EQ, PF, 3E, and 4E mean the same thing as for the point buy options above.

Example:
[dice=my awesome stats]EQstat5[/dice]
Dice my awesome stats: [using: EQstat5]
90pts (EQ) 17, 15, 18, 11, 14, 15
total modifier: 13


label point buy system points   label point buy system points
EQstat1 1 for 1 66   PFstat1 Pathfinder 10
EQstat2 1 for 1 72   PFstat2 Pathfinder 15
EQstat3 1 for 1 78   PFstat3 Pathfinder 20
EQstat4 1 for 1 84   PFstat4 Pathfinder 25
EQstat5 1 for 1 90   3Estat1 3E/3.5E 15
rstat1 random 3d6 ("iron man")   3Estat2 3E/3.5E 22
rstat2 random 4d6 drop lowest   3Estat3 3E/3.5E 28
rstat3 random 5d6 drop 2 lowest   3Estat4 3E/3.5E 32
rstat4 random 3d6 reroll 1s   4Estat1 4E 22
rstat5 random 3d6 reroll 1s and 2s    
rstat6 random d10+8    

Example Rolls
Some Example Rolls

Saving Throw: auto-success on a 20, auto-fail on a 1; DC 15; saving throw bonus +5
[dice=Saving Throw]d20+5sch15[/dice]
Dice Saving Throw:
d20+5sch15 (3)+5 Total = 8


To Hit Roll: auto-success on a 20, auto-fail on a 1; vs. AC 18; to hit bonus +3; damage d6+2; crit range 19-20; crit multiplier x2 (roll 1 extra time)
[dice=To Hit Roll]d20+3sch18cx,19 d6+2ci1[/dice]
Dice To Hit Roll:
d20+3sch18cx,19 (20 (natural 20))+3   Total = 23
→ d20+3sch18cx,19 (18)+3 Total = 21
d6+2ci1 (4)+2 Total = 6
→ d6+2ci1 (3)+2 Running Total = 11 Total = 5


Skill check, ability check: no auto success; +4 bonus; DC 15
[dice=Skill Check]d20+4sh15[/dice]
Dice Skill Check:
d20+4sh15 (5)+4 Total = 9


Get ability scores for a strong NPC in D&D 3.5
[dice]3Estat3[/dice]
Dice Roll: [using: 3Estat3]
28pts (3E) 14, 14, 15, 11, 12, 9
total modifier: 6

Using the old (pre 29 April 2010) Dice Roller (DEPRECATED)
A Guide to Rolling Dice at RPG Crossing (DEPRECATED)
Note: These instructions apply to posts before 29 April 2010. Before that date, an older version of our dice roller was used, which is still used for those posts in order to ensure that all results remained as they were.
As the mechanics of D&D are based on Dice Rolls, we have a dice rolling system for you to use on the site. Rolling dice, when you first start out, can seem confusing. However, it is really a rather simple system if learned properly from the get-go.

The syntax (structure) of a dice roll is shown below. In order to demonstrate this to others, it is common to use a '{' instead of a '['.

[DICE](Number of dice to roll, if greater than one)d(Number of sides on the dice)+(Modifier)[/DICE]

Recommended: Dice rolls may be titled. This is done by using the following code -

[DICE=Your Title](Number of dice to roll, if greater than one)d(Number of sides on the dice)+(Modifier)[/DICE]

The following are valid characters for the title: any letter, any number, spaces, and any combination of the following special characters: -'#:+/*_
Using other characters will lead to your rolls being interpreted incorrectly.

You may have up to 200 Dice, and a maximum of a d100 for sides of dice. Take notice that the "d" between the Number of Dice and the Number of Sides is lower case. Entering an upper case "d" will result in an output of 1. Inserting any spaces around the + signs will also result in a 1. The Modifier is any integer that you wish to add to the roll.

If you want to roll four twenty-sided dice, with a modifier of four each--i.e., four 1d20+4--all at once, you will have to write 4d20+16. The order of operations is that the modifier is added to the final dice result, not each individual one.

The above elements should be replaced as follows, without parenthesis, of course:
(Beginning Tag) = [DICE]
(Your Title) = The title you select for the dice roll. It will appear above the roll.
(Number of Dice) = An Integer
(Number of Sides) = The Number of Sides
(Modifier, if present) = An Integer (so, a positive or negative whole number)
(Ending Tag) = [/DICE]

A simple coherent dice roll tag should look as follows:

[DICE]1d4[/DICE]

One with a modifier should look as follows:

[DICE]2d6+4[/DICE]

A dice roll with a modifier and a title should look like this:

[DICE=Fortitude Save]d20+3[/DICE]

Remember that you can roll dice with as many sides (up to 100) as you like. Roll a d3, a d25, a d71 if you need to--it'll all work if you follow these instructions. Also, if you're rolling a single die, you need not stick a "1" in front of the "d".

And you may have noticed you can roll several dice in one tag to yield separate results. Example: rolling stats can be done [DICE]4d6 4d6 4d6 4d6 4d6 4d6[/DICE]. Or, rolling an attack and damage in the same DICE tag might look like [DICE=Attack/Damage]d20+3 d8+2[/DICE]. This method saves a lot of space in the threads.

After making a post that utilizes the dice roller, the results are stored in the database. This means that posts with dice rolls in them may be edited without causing 'Fixed' tags to appear (these tags were shown by the dice roller used prior to August 2009). However, the text surrounding the rolls will not be saved in the database along with the dice rolls. Therefore, to be extra careful as a game master, it is strongly recommended that you request that all dice rolls be titled clearly with the purpose of the roll.

Rolls that appear with an asterisk (*) do not exist in the database, and may have been altered. The primary means to produce such marked rolls is to either enter a roll with the seed already in place (i.e. set the roll's result ahead of time), or to edit any part of a roll in a saved post. Both of these are generally frowned upon.

As an aside: although their use is expected to be minimal, the dice roller will accept -, *, or / operators in place of the + in the above examples.

We at RPG Crossing hope this has explained the workings of our dice rolling system. There's a thread for you to practice in here.


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