Dice. We love them, we need them, we can't play without them. We hoard bags of sparkly, swirly, glow in the dark little treasures like Chessex dragons. Every D&D player knows that a reliable 7 set is the key to a successful campaign. None of this means that our dice aren't also our greatest enemy. Who hasn't been surrounded by hostile palace guards and rolled a 1 on a bluff check? What player can say they've never hung their heads in shame after critically failing an important combat roll? Maybe you've sat, breathless, as the entire party waits for you to land the killing blow and save them all from certain doom only to see your D20 land on 1. We've all been there and our dice deserve the shame they get.
9 Sick Burn
Every party should have at least one combat-support player. Any party with a healer is 10 steps ahead of a party without one. You can really get away with some serious daring-do if you know you can be patched up without even leaving the dungeon. But what if you put all of your faith in your party's healer only to be betrayed? In this case, it seems like there may have been a case of medical malpractice. Imagine the shock of expecting a shower of divine Neosporin and instead being met with holy fire. How embarrassing for the healer. How unfair for the warrior. How hilarious to the DM.
8 Oh Good
Let us assume, for just a moment, that this die doesn't quite understand its role. Maybe it missed a memo or slept trough an important meeting. Maybe it's all a big misunderstanding. Or maybe it's out for blood.
We may never know its motivations but this much is clear until this D20 is retired this character is going nowhere fast. Everyone deserves a few epic crits here and there. Perhaps this die could get lost at the bottom of the bag permanently. Or the bottom of a lake. This player deserves better.
7 Mommy's Busy
A cleric's bond with his diety is a sacred and essential part of the character. Their faith is where they draw both their power and inspiration. In this case, it's also where they draw pain. This cleric ran to his goddess to drink from the cool, still waters of her mercy. Instead, he was met with ire. It's hard to imagine what this prayer could have done to get this reaction. Did the DM make the player decide how to word the failed prayer? Was he forced to recite a dirty limerick to a prim and proper diety? What could have offended her so? Maybe she just needed a little bit of a break from her devotees to hear herself think.
6 Betrayed By Traits
"Lucky" is a halfling racial trait that usually serves a low rolling player well. When a character with this trait rolls a one they can reroll. It seems this die has a sick sense of humor and a grudge against its owner. In this case, the player fails critically but never manages to roll quite low enough to take advantage of this helpful trait. Imagine the frustration and disappointment of failing every roll in a session and never getting a single reroll. This die deserves to be punished.
5 That's Aggressive
Many times in Dungeons & Dragons the best-laid plans of players don't quite pan out the way the party thinks they will. You may want to disguise yourselves as temple guards and plan a peaceful infiltration but end up burning down a small town. In this case, the character plans to engage in simple conversation. How badly could that go?
Maybe he was even hoping to dig up some intel. Instead, a tragedy unfolds. The details are light and we're left to imagine the scene but the phrase "accidentally slit a guy's throat" is a conversation starter for sure. Was the PC running with their sword drawn? Did they end up in some kind of Sweeny Todd tonsorial snafu?
When one first reads what this die has done there is a moment of pause. First, the reader must accept that the player somehow missed an easily hit target that was within melee range. Questions begin to arise immediately. Then there's the little issue of the second half of the sentence. The player not only hit but killed their ally. Their ally who was standing behind them. We imagine the rest of the party stumbling upon the scene in utter confusion. The body of their freshly slain party member on the ground. Another, cursing and bashing their weapon into a nearby rock.
3 Inner Demons
We all have our own demons that must be faced. Thanks to this misbehaving die this player can now face his inner demons through an outer demon. Through some unknown series of bad decisions and even worse rolls, this character is trapped in a dungeon.
Their only companion is a demon who preys on your deepest insecurities. It starts out with simple things like letting you know that your new haircut isn't as great as your mom said it was. The next thing you know it's whispering in your ear: "You're really bad at rolling dice.".
2 Setting Expectations
This scenario seems like it may be setting a realistic expectation. First sessions are often a time to define roles within the party and find out everyone's strengths. For this player, it seems combat may not be one of them. Maybe these dice are pacifists? It's important to get your low rolls out of the way early. Hopefully, these dice have learned a valuable lesson.
1 Swing And A Miss
This is a scenario any player can appreciate. Reading this evokes images of a proud monk, fists well wrapped for combat. His foe watches, head tilted, as the monk delivers a devastating blow to the party's gear. It's unclear if the wagon took damage.