Sunday, 10 August 2014

Unused, but useable die sizes

If you wanted to out-DCC DCC and recapture the magic and disorientation of early D&D with a new set of die shapes and ranges, what dice are left?

The classics of course are the d4 and d6 - the d2 and d3 included - the d8, d10, d12 and d20, plus the d100. Most are fairly useful, for the spread of factors. DCC uses the d5, d7, d14, d16, d24 and d30, which are still solid. We covered the d1 here.

The d9, d15, d18, d21, d25, d27 and d28 could all be useful, the d18 and d28 most of all, and maybe the d22 and d26 as well, but the rest up to 30 less so: the d11, d13, d17, d23 and d29. The d31 has a certain cracked old school charm, but does it exist? And of course, when rolling with larger ranges, extracting smaller factors can slow the reading.

The shapes would likely play a key role in the decision, given how analogue the hobby has been and is at heart - you might want that d9 and d15, say, for being more distinct.

Does unfamiliarity mean lower practicality from now on, or is there another way to do it?


Stu Rat said...

I believe someone did a kickstarter for a D18. So a D9 would be easy, just number a D18 twice.
Except, I use D9 to refer to a ten-sider where the '0' counts as actually zero, Mostly because I have over a dozen D10s with a '10' on them.

Porky said...

There's a lot of scope for playing around like that, like running with the 6 and 9 confusion by reading them either way if there's an in-game advantage. The only other place I can remember seeing a zero used intentionally is JB's Five Ancient Kingdoms, and he even made up a custom d6 marked with 0, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, essentially treating rolls of 1 as 0.

It makes me wonder about having a null result designed into a standard die, maybe by having the chamfers flat and wide enough that a certain frequency of rolls land edge up, even on a smooth surface, giving no number and suggesting a result outside the game system, either expected or for improvisation. The probability could be linked to die size, maybe 1 in 36 for a d6.

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