Sunday, February 26, 2006

No love for the d12

Why is the d12 used less often than other dice?

9 Comments:

Blogger Sven Holmström said...

The most beautiful of dice. Reminds me of the old song "God is a d12-GM". By that that band with the black singer. Related to Dido.

12:15 AM  
Blogger Elliot Wilen said...

Most beautiful of the platonic solids, yes, but I like the new-style d10's (by which I mean, real d10's instead of d20's marked 0 to 9--I call them that so you can see how old I am) better.

And I think that's about it: d10 and d20 are natural tools for decidigital species, with the latter offering a granular-but-not-too-granular proxy for percentile skills/resolution. d6 is traditional and easy to roll; d4 and d8 provide useful distributions in the same neighborhood as the "standard" d6, even though both are hard to roll (d4 particularly so).

In short if we had twelve fingers I think the d10 would never have been invented, the d20 would be anomolous, and our "d%" would go from 1-144 on two d12.

10:01 PM  
Blogger Jonas Barkå said...

When you wrote "new-style d10's" I first wondered if there was something new I had missed. You must be ancient :)

d10's are natural in our decimal number system, but the fact that they are not platonic solids makes me dislike them a bit. Knowing I'm such a geometry nerd feels even more disturbing...

I have had to come to term with my d10 aversion during the nWoD playing I have been doing lately.


The d4's are better used as caltrops than dice, but that fact gives them a special place in my heart.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Jonas Barkå said...

Talking about caltrops, Wikipedia shares this information:

"In role-playing games, some players refer to tetrahedral 4-sided dice as "caltrops" because the corners are arranged in a similar manner to a caltrop's spikes. When stepped on with bare feet, plenty of pain will result. A hazing event used by some gaming clubs is known as the "walk of a thousand caltrops": The experienced players scatter their dice (sometimes all the dice if the club combined lacks a sufficient number of 4-sided dice) across the floor in a walking path and require the new player to walk across them. Use of sharp cornered dice is considered bad form as the intention is to humiliate, rather than actually injure, the new player."

I've never heard of anything like it before.

10:21 PM  
Anonymous Jason M said...

The D12 is the terminal end of a progression-by-two starting at D4 (or D2 if you want to use coins), and therefore has a lot of design utility. I use them in The Shab-Al-Hiri Roach as the reward for bad behavior - the currency tops out at D10 unless you are obeying the Roaches commands, which are always bad news.

Rock on, D12!

8:31 PM  
Blogger w176 said...

Because it booooring. But i appriciate your blog anyway.

1:37 AM  
Blogger Dacke said...

Just found this blog.

You should try out TSR/WOTC's old sci-fi RPG Alternity (it was released in 1997 or so and cancelled a few years later because of both poor sales and because they didn't want to support a non-d20 system). Not only does it use d12s quite a bit, but it also refuses to use d10s!

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dimfrost at Rollspel.nu is working on a system using d12. Don't know if it matters, though, but I thought I should point it out.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Jonas Barkå said...

Everything matters! :)

I just got a copy of Axis & Allies: Battle of the Bulge. It includes no less than twelve beautiful black D12!

11:50 PM  

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