Several game designs I have floating around in my head all have the need for some mechanism to generate biased random numbers, where the bias is unknown to the player(s). For example, imagine a black box where each time you press a lever you get out a number that is basically 1d10 + X, where X is a fixed but unknown amount.

An example usage - say you have a farming game where there are three farm fields (each represented by one of these boxes). The three farm fields give semi-random yields - some fields are better than others. Only by observation can the players decide which field is on average a better investment.

Now, the tricky part. I'd like to devise a physical/mechanical device that can generate these kinds of numbers, but is easy to use. Some ideas I've considered are:

- Large pre-generated charts that have the desired distribution. Values are 'selected' by rolling a number of dice and using those as lookup keys (using 2d10 to get a number from 01-100)

- Something like the code wheels they used to use for game copy protection

- Drawing tiles from bags

The first two are cumbersome to use, the third is difficult to seed in a consistent manner.

Any other ideas? I'd even be open to building a simple machine

There are tons of applications of this, but I'll give just one more to maybe help demonstrate where I'm going with this. Each 'black box' could represent a racehorse, the output could represent it's speed. A game could consist in a series of many races, with the players placing bets on various horses in each race

And - I'm looking more for ideas for how to implement this, rather than ideas on how to use it once it's built