The relevant question: Dice Notation - Dice that start at 0

Top answer:

According to Wikipedia, this is called zero bias notation, and you simply use a "z" instead of a "d". I.e., your example would be written as 3z8. The only reference provided for this is an RPG.Net post. I've never seen any signs that the notation caught on anywhere, but I do like it as a system.

The top-voted answer is correct, in spirit at least. However, the answer is short and there are many things wrong with it. These include:

  1. Cites Wikipedia on something that was removed on 29 November 2010.
  2. The example is incorrect (according to the cited RPG.net post). An eight-sided die labelled from 0-7 is denoted z7. So the correct example would be 3z7.
  3. The RPG.net hyperlink is actually to the post after the one that is being referred to.
  4. The answer is dated. The notation has caught on somewhat by now and is used in some places.
  5. I can spot at least one typographical error.

Editing the answer to correct all of these errors/mistakes would almost necessitate a full rewrite. Suggesting an edit that would almost completely rewrite the answer feels wrong to me. Writing a new one would also feel wrong since the top answer is correct at large.

What to do?

  • \$\begingroup\$ After a little bit of back and forth between me and SevenSidedDie we have now (as of Apr. 1 2018) arrived at what I suspect will be the final revision for a good while. Future readers interested in this question would do well to compare what I have quoted here and how the answer is now. The edit history might also be of interest. \$\endgroup\$
    – DarkAlf
    Apr 1, 2018 at 12:46

1 Answer 1


The guiding principles for good edits are “Does it improve the post?” and “Does it preserve the intended meaning?” Changing the original author's intended meaning, or not improving a post, are the main reasons that an edit gets rejected or undone.

By that measure most of those are fine edits to do, as they need not change the meaning of the post, only its accuracy. Specifically, this is how I could see them being made:

  1. Citation standards in general (rather than simply here) are to consider them to be specific to their usage date, since sources can change and a date nails down a cite to a specific text and time. Simply leave the cite in, but add an “(as of [date])” to it. The date should match that of the answer's edit history revision where that cite was added. This will allow accurate attribution, and if someone wants to, the ability to dig into the Wikipedia article's revision history for that date.
  2. Since it's reporting what a source says, it's okay to make tweaks to more accurately report. Changing it from “3z8” to “3z7” is fine.
  3. Fixing links is always good! No problem with that change at all.
  4. I would leave the statement about spread as-is, possibly adding an “(as of [date])” to the statement, since it's difficult to correct someone's personal observations for accuracy reasons. The answer's posting date and it being their personal observation makes it mostly okay how it is now.

    However, for this it would be suitable to add a comment indicating that the notation is more widespread now, especially if the comment included details or links that can be verified. That provides the information without rewriting someone's personal observation. It also may lead to the post author incorporating the information themselves, revising this own observation report in a faithful way.

  5. Typographical errors are always fair game!

These edits, leaving out #4, would result in a post that is faithful to the original and to its sources. I think that would be a strict improvement, and not conflict with the original author's intent. I'm pretty sure it would pass an edit review if you submitted such an edit as a suggested edit.

If you do make such an edit, you can also include a link to your meta question in the edit explanation box, so that reviewers and future edit-history readers can follow it for context.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This was very helpful. Especially #1 and #4 which were the major stumbling blocks. I did however find it a bit difficult to understand what you write about point 1. I found the language a bit dense; it might be worth simplifying the language used in that paragraph. I also think the format you ended up using for the latest edit <sup>(retrieved [Aug 31, 2010][2])</sup> is better than the example you use in this post. Replacing the example with what you actually ended up using would (IMO) be a good idea. And don't be afraid of using the specific date rather than a general format. \$\endgroup\$
    – DarkAlf
    Mar 30, 2018 at 23:37
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It may be worth mentioning that Wikipedia (intentionally, for exactly this reason) makes it possible to link to specific revisions. Also, sounds like #4 is quite reasonably a new answer? \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Apr 1, 2018 at 0:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, SevenSidedDie tweaked my initial edit proposal a bit and added (amongst other things) a direct link to the correct Wikipedia revision. The question is about what notation to use and not about how widespread that actual notation is. This being the case I felt that my additional findings and modern observations were more suited for a comment. \$\endgroup\$
    – DarkAlf
    Apr 1, 2018 at 12:38

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