We’ve all felt the pain and the heartbreak. It’s a pivotal moment. The dice fall. They strike the supple leather of your rolling tray, circle like Lady’s Luck’s own roulette wheel, teeter just so… And come to rest leaning against the side.

“It’s a 20!”

“No, it’s cocked!”

“Maybe we should just bump the table?”

“That would be a tilt! If it’s not good enough for pinball it’s not good enough for D&D. Reroll!”

“It’s a nat-freaking-20! No way am I rerolling!”

And more than the oh-so-relatable feeling of inconsiderate dice acting like the sordid little teases they are, it’s the resolution of the conundrum that interests me today. When the dice are questionable and it’s unclear which way is up, you can run with a few different policies.

  • Always Reroll — This one is simple. If it’s even a little bit questionable, you always reroll. Only perfectly flat dice are acceptable, and the leaners nerve count.
  • Players Favor — It’s a friendly game. Why not call the close ones in the party’s favor? If the dice are leaning, the better result becomes the result.
  • Roll for Honor — Similar to the above, the dice can go in the player’s favor. It’s just that the rolling players is the one who gets to choose. And if they can bare to look the rest of the team in the eye, even the most egregious tweeners are theirs to call.
  • GM Fiat — Rule Zero applies. There’s an impartial referee for a reason, and they calls ’em like they sees ’em.
  • The Balance Test — The most esoteric of the methods, this one turns RPGs into dexterity games. If you can balance another die on top of the tweener, you get to keep it. (Steady hands… Steady…!)

What about you denizens of Handbook-World? Does your table favor one or more of the above? Or is is there a tweener resolution mechanic that I haven’t listed? Whatever resolution mechanic you favor, tell us all about those pesky seagulls crying COCKED! at your table.


MINI-DUNGEON TOME II: This sequel to the best-selling Mini-Dungeon Tome by AAW Games is live right freakin’ now on Kickstarter. And the Handbook’s own Claire Stricklin has a fistful of dungeons in the mix! These bad boys are designed to be grab-and-go, easy to run adventures with minimum prep. So what are you waiting for? Get in here and get delving!


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