June 23rd, 2010


D&D in the academic world

I'm currently teaching a statistics course, and was amused to find that the textbook contained a few exercises supposedly about D&D. Two in particular:

  1. "Role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons use many different types of dice. A four-sided die has faces with 1, 2, 3, and 4 spots....[and goes on to construct a probability space for 2d4, although they don't call it 2d4]."
  2. "The intelligence of a character in the game of Dungeons and Dragons is determined by rolling the four-sided die twice and adding 1 to the sum of the spots....[and asks some questions about distribution of intelligence]."

I'm thinking the person who wrote these problems didn't have a clue. I've been RPGing for about 25 years, and I've yet to see a d4 with traditional pips/dots (and that would be downright silly if you think about it). Nor can I recall ever rolling 2d4 + 1 for INT (or other attributes, for that matter). So has anyone ever seen a pipped d4? And what system(s) use 2d4 + 1 INT?