Dungeons and Dragons Superstition: Wil Wheaton Dice Curse

Main Piece: 

“Yeah, so, when Wil Wheaton was on Critical Role, kinda like he has a dice curse. Like any dice he touches, he curses- so many nat 1s, so many low rolls. It’s uncanny. And, you know, that’s just kind a fun thing, but my side of it… His dice curse is folklore on its own, but, for me, I had this set of dice that I got when the guy I was dating at the time promposed to me. It was this whole like Critical Role promposal. Super cute and he gave me these dice. And they were fine. But then, after we split up because we weren’t actually interested in each other, these dice rolled like shit. Not always nat 1s, but just kinda rolled like shit. And then I took them to a convention that summer. Wil Wheaton was a guest. And I went up, like had Wil Wheaton sign my DM screen and was like ‘Hey. I have these dice that roll really badly. I know you have your dice curse. I was thinking maybe the two will cancel each other out and… I don’t know, it’ll work, just do something. Trying to see if it’ll backfire.’ And he pulled my bag of dice out, tries but could not break the curse on these dice. He still rolled poorly. Has not rolled a nat 20, he’s below 10 every time. I had to get rid of those dice. I gave them to a friend ‘cause his dice curse is so strong. I think he cursed them even more… I think it still lingers within me, because I still roll so poorly today. My plan backfired.”

Collector: “Is there a way to avoid or counteract the Wil Wheaton dice curse?”

Informant: “Just don’t interact with Wil Wheaton. Don’t give him your dice. I was a fool.”


My informant is an active participant in online Dungeons and Dragons communities and an engaged member of the fan base for the D&D live-play show Critical Role. The Wil Wheaton dice curse is apparently established meta-lore of the show. It’s widely acknowledged and talked about in conventions surrounding the game. He has become something of a miniature celebrity for his terrible luck. Rituals are concocted in response to this curse, such as testing Wil Wheaton with fresh sets of dice, using his curse on dice that could be used against you, and so on. My informant interprets this as a legitimate curse. For an example of how the folk groups associated with this curse respond to it, see Critical Scope, “Liam and Travis’ secret plan to win the fight in E52 [Spoilers E52],” YouTube Video, 2:13, May 5, 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwuU5ZPiqpY. 


The wide acknowledgement of this curse as a valid and actual curse shows an above average degree of superstition within the Dungeons and Dragons community. I believe this is an example of how superstition appears more prevalently in groups that are dependent on fate or chance for their success, such as gamblers. This is a different circumstance, since even those that make their money from D&D don’t make their money from rolling well in D&D rather than just playing it in an entertaining fashion. However, that the game is based entirely on dice rolls creates a certain value for luck and fate. The specifics of this curse enforce a sense of urgency. My informant needed to get the dice physically away from her. She had it bestowed on her by the presence of a cursed person. She believes she is still cursed. It falls into the same pseudo-disease like formula as “cooties” for children. Bad luck coalesces and becomes virulent in the eyes of D&D players.