Dice Games12/20/2006

Going to Town
Part 5 of 11

Going to Town

Going to Town almost always takes the name of a large city as its location; for instance, Going to Waterdeep in the Forgotten Realms, or Going to Sharn in Eberron.

Three 6-sided dice are most commonly used; however, the use of 4 or even 8-sided dice is not unheard of. The game is fast and easy, and best when played with four or more players.

Each player in turn has three throws of the dice. On the first throw, the highest number is set aside. If two or more dice show the highest number, then only one is kept. The remaining two dice are thrown again, and the highest is again set aside. The final die is rolled, and the total of all three is the player's score. The player with the highest score, after each player has had a turn, wins that round. A set number of rounds are played, and the player who wins the most is the overall winner. (Note: Rolling three 6-sided in this fashion is an optional method for generating characters' ability scores--albeit artificially higher ones.)

Setting Sail

A variant of Going to Town known as Setting Sail is sometimes played in port cities and aboard sailing vessels. In this game, the sum of the first two dice are multiplied by the third, instead of the total of all three.

This game requires three 4, 6, or 8-sided dice (3d4, 3d6, or 3d8). This game is based on dice game known as Going to Boston a lso known as Yankee Grab and Newmarket.

Dice Weirdos

For those who missed the original article, we discussed the various superstitions folks here at Wizards of the Coast harbor about rolling their dice--and, of course, asked for your superstitions and stories as well! This time we share a few stories of colossally improbable odds:

This isn't so much a quirk as it is a miracle. It was before game time and we were calling our percentage shots. For instance, "I'm going to roll an 87". Then we'd roll percentiles and see if it came up.

Well, it was my turn. "I'm going to roll double ought." For those not in the know an 'ought' is also known as a zero, and a double zero is effectively 100 (yes, this was 2nd edition). Lo and behold that's what I rolled!

Well I was telling this story to two of my players and for effect I picked up the same percentiles and rolled them as I repeated, "...and I said 'I'm going to roll double ought'". Well, I did roll double ought...again! I didn't even realize it until I saw the horrified look on their faces. I glanced down and there they were, two zeroes staring right back at me. The two of them had second thoughts about participating in the game that night for fear of my die rolling karma.

This was about 14 years ago, and we were playing AD&D 2nd edition. Mike's character needed to make a resurrection survival check. The character had a 98 or 99% chance of success. Mike was in the other room getting a Coke.

The DM called for him to hurry. He replied, "Just have John roll it." I said, "Okay, but don't blame me if I get a double-ought." Mike: "You won't, just roll it." Me: "Wanna bet?"

I rolled a double-ought. Mike was really mad. I love coincidences.


If you use a dice game in your own campaigns, here's your chance to share it. Send it in to: dndcolumn@wizards.com, and we may feature it in a future edition of Dice Games!

About the Author

Mark A. Jindra has been a fan of Dungeons & Dragons for over 25 years. In 1998 he landed his dream job as a web developer for Wizards of the Coast and is currently the developer of the D&D website.

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