Double Dodecahedrons   3 comments

I invent games.  It’s no great talent.  Anyone can do it, but most people don’t.  Most people are content to play the games that others make.  Me, on the other hand, I see possibilities for games everywhere–I can make them out of anything, or nothing.

I want to share with you all a little game that I made a few months ago while I was waiting for my son to get back in street clothes and come out and join me after his performance in Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.  I had a couple of 20-sided dice in my pocket–yes, I usually do walk around with dice in my pocket–so I invented a simple game of who can roll the highest number.

Such dice games go way back to the beginning of time.  The Romans used 3 6-sided dice with pips on them the same way we do today, and it was simply who rolls the highest number.  Three sixes was called the Venus throw, and it won automatically.  I wonder if 3 ones were called the Inferno throw.

So here are the rules for Double Dodecahedron–my gift to everyone who simply likes to roll dice.  Play it and improve your skills in addition and calculation.

Equipment needed: 2 20-sided dice numbered 1 to 20.  Your brains and memory.

Object of the game: Roll the highest total to win.

Rules:  Roll 2 20-sided dice and total them.  Example one die rolls a 17, the other a 4, the total is 21.  If the player rolls the same number on both dice or consecutive numbers on both dice, he totals them and rolls again.  Example: I roll a 16 on one die and a 17 on the other.  The total is 33.  Then I roll the dice again and get a 2 on one die and a 2 on the other for a total of 4.  33 + 4 = 37.  Then I roll them again.  This time I get a 5 on one die and a 20 on the other for a total of 25.  37 + 25 = 62.  That is a very good roll and probably wins the game for me.

Each player has 3 chances to beat the previous high total.  Using the example above let us say the first player was my son Corencio, and I was the second player.  He rolled a 21.  Then he gave the dice to me.  I got really lucky and rolled a 62.  Then I hand the dice to you.  On the first roll you got a 3 and an 18–fails.  On the second roll you got a 14 and a 16–total is 30–a good roll, but still it doesn’t beat my 62.  On the third roll you roll 20 and 20 for a total of 40 and then you roll 20 and 7 for another 27.  40 + 27 = 67.  You are winning.

Then Corencio has another 3 chances to beat you.  And I get 3 more chances.  Let us say that neither of us can beat a 67.  You win!

Simple, right?  But surprisingly fun.  This game depends on pure luck, but some people seem to win more often than others.  Is it a flick of the wrist when rolling the dice?  Subtle telekinesis in controlling which faces come up?  Or just pure luck?  I believe in Luck.  One of the rules I live by is that IT IS BETTER TO BE LUCKY THAN GOOD.  Of course, if you are both lucky and good (like I am–grin) that is better still.

Double Dodecahedrons can easily be turned into a gambling game.  You could bet a fixed amount of money on each round of play.  Let’s say you have 3 players and each puts $1.00 in the pot.  The winner makes a net profit of $2 on the round.  Or, let’s say you have the old coin jar handy.  Each player contributes a penny for each point on the dice.  If you roll the dice and get a 3 and a 5, you would put 8 cents in the pot.  The next person would roll and get perhaps a 20 and a 15 and put 35 cents in the pot.  A third person rolls a 17 and a 2 on the first try and puts 19 cents in the pot–that doesn’t win.  He can roll again. Let’s say he rolls a second time and gets 7 and an 8.  15 doesn’t win, but it does get to add and roll again.  He puts 15 cents in the pot.  Then he rolls a 20 and a 4.  He puts 24 cents in the pot and his total is 39.  That is high enough to take the lead so he passes the dice.  Using just a penny a point and several players, this game could get very exciting very quickly.

So, put some 20-siders in your pocket, gamers.  I know you own the dice.  And next time you have some time to kill, get them out and play Double Dodecahedrons.  It’s fun, and the time goes by very quickly when you’re gaming and having fun.

If you ever play dice games, or make games up on the spot, leave a comment, ok?


Posted February 15, 2012 by atroll in 20-sided dice, dice games, inventing games, Uncategorized

3 responses to “Double Dodecahedrons

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  1. I remember creating a gambling game in middle school. I’m not sure if I created it, but it didn’t exist in our world until then. Anyway, I called it “Quarters”. Dice was a banned item in school long before I got there. It didn’t really matter as nobody had dice anyway to begin with, but practically everyone carried or had easy access to a quarter or two. The game goes like this: you challenge a friend. He bets a quarter & you bet a quarter (you can bet more if you have more quarters). You both throw the quarters in the air and someone calls heads or tails. If he called heads, he wins all the quarters with the heads facing up. You win the all the tails facing up. We played that game for nearly a month before campus security caught on to our new game (you could hear the quarters hitting the ground).

    I never thought about creating another game after that. Maybe it’s time to get started again.

  2. I used to make up card games and board games that I and my friends and family would play. My cousin and I made up a game we called Dragon Chess, long before Steve Jackson Games came out with Knightmare Chess and its other chess variants. We should have tried to get a game company to manufacture and sell the game, it was that good, but we didn’t know how to go about that. The pieces in Dragon Chess had different moves than your normal chess pieces, of course, and we also had optional rules where players could cast spells to effect the game play. I don’t remember all of the rules anymore. I might have some notes buried in some box somewhere. I also should have some notes buried in some box about several card games I made up, some variations of Spades and other types of trick and trump card games. I remember one game called Virus that had a rule involving what cards were trump in a game. You’d start with, for example, deuces acting as trump values, rather than spades being a trump suit, which may seem strange, but the rules made it work. Whenever a trump card was played, it would turn some of the other cards played that round to trump cards as well. So the next round, not only would deuces be trump, but maybe eights and Jacks would also be trump. I don’t remember all of the rules, but I wrote them down and put them away somewhere. I often wish that I could make as much money inventing and publishing games as I make as a software engineer, but it just doesn’t work that way.

  3. Actually a d20 is called an icosahedron. A d12 is a dodecahedron. It does spoil the name of the game but not the game itself.

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