Evil Empryss
 supporter, 1573 posts
 Insert witty and
 appropriate quote here
Fri 3 Jul 2020
at 01:54
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
I read once, years ago, that the dice roller is affected by the color you choose to present the results in. I think it was BigBadRon who said it, but I wouldn't swear it under oath.

You might want to do a google search of the site for "dice roller" and see what else people have said about it.
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 288 posts
Fri 3 Jul 2020
at 01:55
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
...that would make so much sense, if it was, because I sometimes tend to make the dieroller go in whatever my character's speech color is, and it definitely /hates/ my D&D fighter with a burning passion. (And he's the only character that uses his particular color.)

This message was last edited by the user at 01:55, Fri 03 July.

nauthiz
 subscriber, 661 posts
Fri 3 Jul 2020
at 01:56
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
Here's more information regarding the roller and its programming.

https://r.rpol.net/display.cgi?gi=9590&ti=2&date=1113503852&msgpage=&show=all
slogworx
 member, 7 posts
 https://slogworx.com
Fri 3 Jul 2020
at 02:04
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
In reply to nauthiz (msg # 5):

Thank you! I'm familiar with perl and Debian, so I can find the code.
slogworx
 member, 8 posts
 https://slogworx.com
Fri 3 Jul 2020
at 02:06
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
Though if the above link is accurate for this site, the answer is likely no. Your cookies and no HTML (including color of text) is going to affect the random result.
slogworx
 member, 9 posts
 https://slogworx.com
Fri 3 Jul 2020
at 03:16
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
Looking at the post above referenced by nauthiz (2005), the random number generator looks legit enough. And as somebody that's coded stuff for frontend and backend stuff for many years, there is no reason to include the cookies or any POST data (html colors, cookies, etc) in the seed. Any coder worth his salt (pun intended for coders that get it) wouldn't do that. And it's actually harder and requires more code to include POST data in the code. But obviously there is no way to know for sure without actually seeing the code that the website uses. But if they're using the standard Perl libraries and random device, you can trust that the random number generator is random enough. But that being said...

Programmatic random number generators and seeding devices aren't designed for roleplaying games. They're designed for encryption. You're potentially getting rolls that are "more random" than they should be. Since there is no money in researching hand-rolled dice vs. programmatic generators in roleplay games, we can't really collect the data we need to test if the difference is statistically significant. Personally, I believe it is statistically different. There is a data set out there where it may be tested, though. We just have to devise the best way to test it (https://www.critrolestats.com/ has 5ish years of weekly rolls available via the google docs api.)
rastashana
 member, 2 posts
Fri 3 Jul 2020
at 04:12
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
In reply to slogworx (msg # 8):

By nature random is just that but doesnt mean its all over the place. Best example is a pack of cards. Toss them up in the air and watch how they fall. That is pure random chance. Some cards are going to be further away but there will always be overlap. Some cards will have stayed together or fallen nearer, others further but again random does not mean equal distance apart.

Best seed to use is system time, this is from coding experience. Otherwise if you use the same seed you will get the same results every time. Kinda like insanity >.>

This message was last edited by the user at 04:13, Fri 03 July.

Imladir
 member, 34 posts
Fri 3 Jul 2020
at 08:27
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
Except that a computer can't do random. It's NEVER purely random. All a computer can do is pseudo-random. No matter which algorithm you take, if you initialize it with the same seed, you will always have the exact same sequence of numbers, no matter how many of them you want to take.

And of course, not all psuedo-random number generators are equal. There are lots of trade offs being made regarding complexity, time, memory use, sequence length, etc.

One thing for sure, is that for anything a little bit serious, you should never ever use the rand() function from a unix system it's just straight awful (bias towards low numbers). urandom doesn't have that specific problem, but it's not true random either. Of course as long as it does the job, it doesn't matter all that much.

That being said, as someone who's been on the wrong end of a roller who's been angry for quite some time (20d20, 2 rolls above 11...) I can't help but have my doubts. That being said... We're the type of people who would just change a die on the table as if it magically solved everything despite knowing perfectly well that it doesn't, so...
Egleris
 member, 187 posts
Fri 3 Jul 2020
at 08:34
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
In reply to Imladir (msg # 10):

One of the things about true randomness though is that concentration of numbers (both on the high and low end) is a thing that can happen, isn't it? So a generator that can give you a string of low (or a string of high) results is actually one that is working much better than one who'd only give you equally distributed number - the latter, in fact, is one that isn't working properly at all.

Personally, in eleven years on the site I haven't really found any prevalent patterns in the rpol roller that are worth speaking of. I've had times where the same number was rolled multiple times in a small sequences, others that were all high, or all low, or all over the place, and I don't think I've ever seen it gamed yet. So... I think it's working fine, for whatever value anecdotal evidence of one person might have.
Imladir
 member, 35 posts
Fri 3 Jul 2020
at 08:56
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
Of course it can happen. Anything could theoretically happen, including rolling twenty 1s in a row. Some results are just more likely than others.

In the end (i.e. with a large enough sample) though, you have to get uniformly distributed numbers. It's just that in most cases, we tend to focus on samples that just aren't big enough.
Bruiser419
 member, 17 posts
Fri 3 Jul 2020
at 15:57
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
Thanks to everyone for replying.  I assumed it was just "bad luck" but just needed to ask for peace of mind if nothing else.

I'll admit, I did try the site with a different browser, and rolled similar if not worse.

It is what it is I guess, even if it's super frustrating.
bigbadron
 moderator, 15905 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Fri 3 Jul 2020
at 16:06
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
In reply to Bruiser419 (msg # 13):

You will find that if you change your target numbers so that you need to roll low instead of high (eg: roll d20 with a target of 4- instead of 17+)... the roller will somehow know this and will always roll high so it can continue to frustrate you.
Zag24
 supporter, 640 posts
Fri 3 Jul 2020
at 21:26
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
Imladir:
Except that a computer can't do random. It's NEVER purely random. All a computer can do is pseudo-random.

Untrue in practice, as long as the computer has constant human interaction and all you're looking for are dice-sized random numbers.  If you take the milliseconds digits at the time when a human has done something, these are perfectly random.
facemaker329
 member, 7226 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Fri 3 Jul 2020
at 21:27
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
Yeah...I play in a variety of games, that all use different criteria for succeeding with whatever you're attempting (sometimes even within the same game).  I have long maintained trained that, regardless of the game, I suffer from 'dramatically appropriate dice', in that the dice will fail me abysmally when it would be comedic and relatively harmless to fail...but when lives are on the line, somehow the dice just come up beautifully.  It's happened to me in D&D, Star Wars, a couple of home-brew games, Palladium Fantasy, Marvel Super-Heroes, Battletech, Shadowrun...both in tabletop and here on RPOL.  It's a little unsettling, sometimes...
Imladir
 member, 36 posts
Fri 3 Jul 2020
at 21:36
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
No, they are effectively random. They are not, and simply cannot, be pure random. It's simply impossible: a computer will use a deterministic algorithm to generate numbers. If you know its parameters, you will always know what will come next. If it's effectively random, it's because it's initialized with a seed (typically, the time at which it is started), which isn't something you can exactly predict.

But with the same seed, you will always have the same sequence (which is quite useful when you want to debug a random process). No matter when it's asked, by whom or anything. Hence the pseudo.

But we can still consider it random, because it will stick to the desired distribution pretty closely (more or less depending on the algorithm), so it can be considered, for us, random...but once again, that's because we don't know the seed, that's all.
Zag24
 supporter, 641 posts
Fri 3 Jul 2020
at 21:49
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
For my bona fides, let me mention that I'm a software engineer with 35+ years of experience.

Imladir:
It's simply impossible: a computer will use a deterministic algorithm to generate numbers.

Absolutely true

Imladir:
They are not, and simply cannot, be pure random. It's simply impossible: a computer will use a deterministic algorithm to generate numbers.

Absolutely untrue.  You're assuming that the numbers are generated by an algorithm.  That's one way, and I agree those are not truly random.  But you can also acquire (note that I don't say generate) random numbers from the randomness that humans generate as they interact with the computer.

For instance, it took me about a minute to write this note.  For the sake of argument, let's say that it is between 40,000 and 120,000 milliseconds.  If the computer were timing it, rounded off to the nearest millisecond, and then took that number modulo 1000, it would have a truly random number between 1 and 1000.  It isn't the computer generating the random number, it is my interaction with the computer.

This message was last edited by the user at 21:52, Fri 03 July.

Imladir
 member, 37 posts
Fri 3 Jul 2020
at 22:00
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
Yes, but it's pure theory (and even then, the time you take to write a post could be said to be deterministic and not random, thus the whole algorithm isn't either, though of course, the more data you add, the closer you get).

In any case, no one generates random numbers like that. You could, theoretically, re-seed a random algorithm before you roll the dice. But it has a cost (in time), so it's not done either, especially for something that's (mostly) good enough as it is.
Zag24
 supporter, 642 posts
Fri 3 Jul 2020
at 22:31
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
Have you used PuTTYgen to make a private key?  That's exactly how they do it.  Some languages are also adding the option to generate numbers that way.  In an app that my company recently made, my customers wanted to be able to say that our randomness was truly random, so that's sort of how we did it.  (Admittedly, we didn't need very many random numbers, so performance was not an issue.)  random.org uses atmospheric noise to generate random numbers, which is also truly random.  Be very careful when you say "no one."

This message was last edited by the user at 22:35, Fri 03 July.

Imladir
 member, 38 posts
Fri 3 Jul 2020
at 22:37
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
Alright, no one who needs a large amount of random numbers or anywhere where performance is (or could be) an issue.
Kagekiri
 member, 195 posts
Sat 4 Jul 2020
at 01:55
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
You know, the topic of this thread could be the future in terms of how RPOL becomes a virtual gold mine. The dice roller could yield more favorable results based on a user's browsing history. Purchasing WotC products could make natural 20's more likely. You might call it "pay-to-win," but I prefer to call it "win-win." Just think it over admin folks, and when you make it big don't forget the little guy with the big ideas. =P
facemaker329
 member, 7228 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Sun 5 Jul 2020
at 07:21
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
Given the definite (some would even say vehement) way in which RPOL has deliberately chosen to NOT monetize features, I'd call that one highly unlikely...
Zag24
 supporter, 644 posts
Sun 5 Jul 2020
at 16:32
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
Face, how's your sarcasm detector working these days?
facemaker329
 member, 7229 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Sun 5 Jul 2020
at 17:54
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
Depends on whether it's been running so long that the batteries are dead that day...
jase
 admin, 3764 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Wed 15 Jul 2020
at 14:19
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
Think we definitely stayed true with the technical discussions aspect of this forum.  (c;  I won't bother arguing about how good or bad the random generator in CentOS is (the Linux flavor we now use), you can door own research on that (or stick with your current beliefs, up to you!).

Instead I'll point you to what you've all actually rolled -- all of the die rolls analysed into a table for you at https://rpol.net/info.cgi?action=analysedice.  We've been recording them for some time now so you can have fun checking the bias of 6.6 million rolls.  Correction... the lack of bias...

The page talks about colouring but you'll see none as everything is so close to the expected.

Enjoy!  (c;
bigbadron
 moderator, 15908 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Wed 15 Jul 2020
at 15:53
Is Dice Roller affected at all by browser cookies/cache?
Nice.  :)  Are the figures adjusted to take into account human sacrifices?