While I was at the Source to see B&C on the spinner racks, I got a set of the new Fate dice. The Core set, specifically, with translucent green, blue and purple dice. You may have noticed that I like purple a lot, and translucent purple is my standard preference in dice. So having a set of Fate dice that match my aesthetics is very nice, and they glow beautifully in sunlight.
I’m a little confused as to why they put the markings such that opposite sides add to 0. With the + sides next to each other, it seems that manufacturing defects such as uneven plastic distribution could lead to a die being more likely to roll + or -. The previous set of Fate dice I got had +’s opposite from each other, -‘s opposite and 0’s opposite. Seems more likely to be fair, that way. Then again, a standard D6 has opposite sides add to seven, with high numbers clustered next to each other and low numbers next to each other. So maybe there’s some mathematic or manufacturing reason for it.
Regardless, they’re very pretty dice, and my enthusiasm for playing Fate is now even higher!
The reason one makes opposite sides add up to 0 is the same reason why on familiar dice the opposite sides add up to (max + 1).
It’s because if the die rolls just a little off-true along any axis, it’s less likely to distort the expected value of the roll.
Putting the +’s opposite one another means if the inherent bias avoids those two sides, the expected value will shift negative. If the two sides add up to zero, making them less likely doesn’t shift the overall expected value at all.
I get that; it just makes me wonder about other imperfections. An extra bit of density in one corner of the die could easily lead to significant skewing towards positive or negative results. But then, as you and I noted, a regular D6 does the same thing. Just makes me wonder.