Guest Writer: Tim Myers
It couldn’t really be that easy, could it?
It needed to be debunked eventually, it just doesn’t do what it claims. This link will lead you to a website, obviously. This website claims that you can create a pair of “trick” dice, if you are unscrupulous enough to cheat. It says all you need to do is place the dice that you want to modify onto a baking sheet, crank the oven up to a certain temperature, and leave them in there for 10 minutes. The temperature isn’t so extreme that it would melt your dice, which are commonly made out of a type of plastic. What it purports to do is to make them lose a little bit of their cohesion and make the weight settle to the side that you have them sitting on. Basically, if you want to make a pair of six-sided dice that roll one all the time you would place them with the single pip on the top and having the side with six dots on the bottom. No matter what somebody’s opinion on cheating is, few would claim that no one would try to do this.
I set the dice on a baking sheet, preheated the oven to the appropriate temperature, and then placed them in there. I checked them when the time had elapsed and they appeared no different. Perfect: you wouldn’t want them to look strange, as that would be a dead giveaway that they had been tampered with. This seemed like a pretty solid theory. After 10 minutes when I removed the dice from the oven and they had not changed at all, I thought it might have worked as the how-to guide claimed, so I let them cool off and then tried rolling them, expecting them to perform at least a little bit, but they didn’t. I must have rolled them 20 times and there was no method to what numbers turned up. After that, I assumed that I must not have left them in the oven long enough and so I placed them back in there for another 20 minutes. Once I took them out and let them cool to give them another try, they still didn’t look any different, but they’re not supposed to so I thought it still might’ve worked.
After 20 minutes, I took them back out of the oven, let them cool, and gave them another try. Still no change in what numbers ended on top. All right, I don’t think it works, at least not the way they said it would. Now let’s talk about why it didn’t work. You see, I really enjoy science, always have and probably always will.
Dice are manufactured with a polyethylene mixture that has been heated to between 110°C and 130°C so it turns to a liquid. It is then forced into a pressurized mold, usually cubicle in nature, and quickly cooled off. They then take and polish them and many times they eliminate the sharp corners of the cube. The mold that they are formed in also contains the pips and the pips are later filled in with the same material to maintain the center of gravity but colored differently. This ensures that when the dice are rolled the results are truly random. A good portion of six-sided dice are slightly larger than the common dice used for board games or role-playing games and they are also formed from an opaque material so you can be certain that they have not been modified in any way. Because these dice are commonly used in casinos and involve large sums of money, this is no laughing matter. While the 250°F would seem to be high enough to reach the melting point of polyethylene, there is something else added to the polyethylene to make it harder, less brittle, and more resilient. That is probably a trade secret, but one thing is for certain: it isn’t easy to load dice. Besides that, the modification of the dice would be rather obvious to anyone gifted with the power of sight and a sprinkling of common sense.
If you think about it for a minute, you would realize that the most likely result of trying to hack dice would be for them to be quite misshapen and obviously tampered with. The bottom line is that if you are intent on getting your hands on some loaded dice, your best bet is to buy some that are professionally made and not waste your time trying to make some. You will only ruin the dice you try to do it with, not to mention the fact that you would grow increasingly frustrated when it doesn’t work.
Tim Myers is an adult student at Southern New Hampshire University’s online school working to update his writing skills. He has been an avid role-player for over 20 years and a fan of comics and graphic novels since he and his son started reading them together around four years ago.