dnd 5e – Techniques for hiding dice rolls when an NPC/enemy has advantage/disadvantage

I recommend using a phone app to roll your secret dice. I tried “RPG Simple Dice” and it seems fine; one click to roll any die, and I didn’t see any ads. There’s probably a fancier one with better animations.

In my games, my policy is that all dice rolls (both mine and my players’) must be public. The main reason to roll dice in secret is so that you can lie about the result of the dice; you know this, I know this, and players also are very aware of this. So, whenever I notice that someone is rolling dice in secret, I start to wonder if they’re lying about the result, which leads to me having less fun in the game.

Some people feel that it’s necessary to roll dice secretly when checking if an NPC is spotted, but I use a technique like this:

Instead of:

Alice: “I walk into the room!”
Bob: (rolls a secret Stealth check to see if you notice the spider on the ceiling before it attacks)

I do:

Alice: “I walk into the room!”
Bob: “Well, there’s a spider on the ceiling of that room, and it’s trying to attack you stealthily. Give me a Perception check, DC16, to see if you notice the spider; if you fail, it gets a surprise round.”

The outcome is the same in both cases, but the players feel more powerful and have more fun when they have all the information at their disposal.