Do players roll their own dice?

D&DBeyond: Advantage and Disadvantage

Sometimes a special ability or spell tells you that you have advantage or disadvantage on an ability check, a saving throw, or an attack roll. When that happens, you roll a second d20 when you make the roll.

  1. If a player is to ‘make a roll’ does that mean they physically roll the die themselves and observe the result?
  2. Does this apply to all rolls that a player is to make, or only the listed ability check, saving throw, and attack roll?
  3. Do players know the result of the roll?

I am asking only about RAW/RAI. I include this statement because when researching this question I came across countless threads without any kind of official sourcing claiming that players do not always roll their own die.

How do you play D&D when we don’t have dice to play with?

Now I came all the way from Indonesia, and I can tell you that D&D is not a thing. Hence, it will be tough for me (and for my wallet) to find shops that sell d4, d12, d20 and so on. Let these dice alone. You rarely see people selling “just” the common d6 alone. I do not have a lot of money so buying a game and taking the d6 from it, for example, is not feasible.

So, how do you play D&D, when you have no dice to play with? I know, for d6, I can use 6 sided pencil and roll it, but I never saw a 20 sided pencil.

I’m particularly looking for a method that is hard to be manipulated (cheat-proof) and is reasonably fast.

Assume you have no access to technology. That includes everything that uses electricity. Iphone, laptop, so on.

Are hit dice used to add damage?

I know it’s a stupid question, but allow me to explain. I’m a dm with a group of players who all learned how to play at the same time about a year ago, (me included). We got off to a rough start and still don’t know all the rules, but it’s dnd, 5e by the way. And we’ve always played in the way that you can use hit dice to heal like you’re supposed to on rests, however, we’ve done something else as well.

  • I’ve always allowed my players to add their hit die rolls to their damage rolls on successful attacks.

    Is this a thing?

I’m pretty sure I read it somewhere but could not find anything about hit dice for damage in any rules. If I just didn’t look for it good enough, my apologies. But if I’m just crazy and thought of some really cool homebrew rule, then I’d still like to know for future reference in adventures league and stuff.

What homebrew dice mechanic can I use for PvP in Amazing Tales?

I’ve recently started playing Amazing Tales with my children. As a summary of basically all the mechanics of the game (it’s pretty simple since it’s targeting children), each character has four skills, each of which is assigned one die from the four available (d6, d8, d10, d12). When the GM wants to call for a skill check, he determines the appropriate skill, and the player rolls that die. A 3 or greater indicates success, and a 1 or 2 indicates failure. The GM then continues narrating, trying to keep the story interesting based on what happened.

The challenge I’m running into is that my children often want to play opposing sides. (That is, one will be the “good guy” and another will be the “bad guy” of whichever fictional universe they want to play in that day.) The rules as written pretty much assume that the entire party is on the same side, and doesn’t have any sort of player-vs-player mechanic. But the stories we’re coming up with are fun for the group, so I think that PvP is working for us. I think it’d help me with some of the narration, though, if we had some sort of “opposed roll” mechanic for when two players are trying to do something directly in opposition to each other.

My first instinct is to just pick an appropriate skill for each character, have the player roll the die for it, and the highest die wins. While that certainly accomplishes my objective, I’m a bit worried about it being too “swingy” if the dice are significantly different. That is, if the d6 skill of one player goes against the d12 skill of another player, then (if I did my math right) the d6 player would win ~21% of the time, and the d12 player ~71% of the time (with a tie the remaining ~8%).

I’m looking for something with a bit more “bounded accuracy” (if that’s the right term), where having a better skill gives some advantage, but not a really big advantage. Maybe something where the favored player is likely to win more like 60% of the time, though I haven’t really thought through what the ideal number would be.

My next thought is something like “1d20 + the skill die”, where the d20 adds a lot of “randomness”. But I’m not sure how close this meets my needs, and I know that adding more dice generally ends up ironically reducing the “randomness” by lowering the standard deviation, and I’m not sure how to fully evaluate how adding more dice to rolls helps with the overall probabilities. I will probably playtest this at our next session unless I get a better idea, though.

So I’m looking for an answer of what mechanics I can use to do a PvP opposed roll, with different skill levels of the players, within the simplified skill-checking system that Amazing Tales has.


  1. Using a better skill should give some level of advantage, but not a big advantage. The odds should be 50%/50% if they’re using the same skill, and somewhere near 60%/40% (though this is negotiable) if they’ve got the biggest gap in skill (d6 vs. d12).
  2. Really simple and quick to calculate, since this is being used by children without much patience. Rolling two or three dice and adding them, or taking the highest, or something like that is about the most complex I want to get. If there’s a lot of cases and rerolls of numbers or whatnot it gets tough to explain and would take us too much time during an exciting action scene.
  3. I expect it should use the skill die itself in some way, just because that’s the core of the system and it can be helpful to put the physical die on top of the skill on the character sheet. (That is, rolling some other die and just adding the skill die size seems like it’s not in the spirit of the system, though perhaps something like it may work too.)

Is the Spell Bombardment additional damage die subject to critical hit dice doubling?

Level 18 Wild Magic sorcerers have the following feature (PHB, p. 103):

Spell Bombardment

Beginning at 18th level, when you roll damage for a spell and roll the highest number possible on any of the dice, choose one of those dice, roll it again and add that roll to the damage. You can use the feature only once per turn.

When you score a critical hit with an attack (even a spell attack), you double the amount of dice you roll.

Does the additional damage die from Spell Bombardment also get rolled twice on a critical hit?

Does the effect of the spell Entangling Staff deal varying constriction damage dice based on weapon size?

The spell Entangling Staff (Spell Compendium p.83) causes the caster’s quarterstaff to grow vines and constrict opponents. The relevant section reads:

If your grapple check succeeds, your quarterstaff’s vines that can constrict one’s foe, dealing 2d6 points of damage

Normally, constriction damage changes with size just like other natural weapons. I am unsure how it would play out in this case, though. For example, if a large hill giant druid uses this against a player via his large quarterstaff, would the constriction damage be 3d6, or would it stay at 2d6 no matter the size of the caster/quarterstaff being used?

Is it a bad idea to supplement Itras By’s freeform style of gameplay with dice?

I’m a pretty experienced TTRPG player planning on running an Itras By campaign with a slightly modified setting. Several of my players are new to RPGs, and a couple are slightly experienced.

While I really, really love the setting of Itras By, the system feels perhaps too freeform for new players, and I’m worried that the Resolution Cards won’t provide the players enough of an opportunity to utilize their characters’ skills, as they have all have the same chance at succeeding in a task, regardless of the task at hand or their experience with that task. I do love the Chance Cards, and was planning to keep them.

My working plan is to replace the Resolution Cards with something like a FATE system, in which the game’s existing character creation is supplemented with skills from FATE, and fudge dice are used to see how situations are handled. Maybe more in line with the original setting, I might also get a pack of FATE cards, though I don’t have experience with those and I’m not sure if they’re any good.

My brother had an alternate solution, in which the cards in the Resolution Deck change based on a character’s skill in a situation.

Does anybody have experience modifying Itras By like this? Would it detract from the surrealism of the setting, or create a disconnect between gameplay and setting? Would the FATE cards help make up for this? Am I completely wrong in the first place about this potential failing of the Resolution Cards?

Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks.

If the Shillelagh cantrip is applied to a club with non-standard damage dice, what is the resulting damage dice?

Let’s suppose, for the sake of argument, this weapon exists in a campaign:

Unusual Club of Unusualness

Simple Melee Weapon (Club), rare

Weight: 2 lbs.
Damage: 2d4 bludgeoning
Properties: Light

The Shillelagh spell is explicitly described as:

[…] you can use your spellcasting ability instead of Strength for the attack and damage rolls of melee attacks using that weapon, and the weapon’s damage die becomes a d8. […]

Shillelagh, Player’s Handbook, pg. 275

If the Shillelagh spell is applied to this specific weapon, does the damage become 1d8 or 2d8?