Archive for the ‘20-sided dice’ Category

Dice   10 comments

This is an old set. The 2011 dice are gray.

Every year when I go to GenCon or Origins, I try to get some interesting new dice.   In 2011 I bought the GenCon polyhedral dice set for the first time ever.  In truth, I have no use for polyhedrad dice, except that I use D20s for life counters when playing Magic the Gathering ™.  But I must admit that they are intrinsically cool, and so I have some, and if I found a D7 lying in the street, I wold stop and pick it up.

Over the last several years I have watched as the dice available have gotten cooler and cooler.  My Tunnels and Trolls game uses D6es.  The Death Dice from Flying Buffalo are excellent for playing T & T.  Their gimmick is that the ones have been replaces by skulls on the dice.  Thusly:

These dice come in many colors. I prefer the black ones, but I like them all. Note the nicely beveled corners for better rolling.

Flying Buffalo has several other distinctive dice.  Many of them are gimmicks, good for a laugh, and not much else.  Examples include the Pizza Dice and Decision Dice.

Can't decide what to put on your pizza? Let the dice decide for you--one roll per person involved.

Need an impartial decision? Let the dice decide for you. Choices include oldest, youngest, alphabetical, owner, left, right.

Game Science, a company founded by Lou Zocchi, is famous for their many strange dice.  I saw some real beauties at their booth during Gencon.  The one I just had to buy was this everything die.  Each face has a value for all the regular solid dice.  See if you can figure it out!

To use this die, you have to be enough of a dice geek to recognize the different faces. Do you see a D6, a D4, a D20 and a D12 here. D30 is in the center.

Perhaps Zoccchi’s most famous die is the D100.  The first time I saw one, I knew I had to have one.  It is practically a ball, and you want to roll it in a box or something so that it won’t simply roll away from you and disappear into the far corners of the room.

I have a white one. Don't think it was available yet in black when I bought mine from Lou Zocchi in person.

While I’m talking about Mr. Zocchi, let me put in my belief that this man is the single greatest expert on dice and the creation of dice in the 20th century, and maybe the 21st.  It is an education just to hear him talk about what it takes to create a D100 or D30 or everything die.  Being an extremely lucky person, I have had these experiences.

Lou Zocchi, wizard, hard at work selling dice and games at a convention.

A big hit at GenCon were the so-called Iron Dice.  These were metallic dice in various colors–gold, silver, bronze, iron, coldsteel, etc.  They were gorgeous to look at, heavy as hell, and cost a fortune.  It was a minimum of $12 for a single die.  I didn’t buy any.  Don’t know what I would have done with them if I had, but they sure looked fine.

Nobbly and heavy. Talk about dice weapons. If you got hit with one of these, it would really hurt.

Dice aren’t just about numbers.  Sometimes they are all about pictures or symbols.  Steve Jackson Games is especially good at producing such monsterpieces.

Madness! It's madness I tell you, and the tentacles don't help.

Losing your sanity has never been quite this much fun before.  And if gibbering mindlessly to the Elder Gods doesn’t turn you on, how about the neverending quest for brains.  As food.  Yes, it’s zombie dice from the same lunatics that brought your Cthulhu dice and Flux.

The first zombie to collect 13 brains wins, but watch out for the shotgun blasts.

Well, I could go on, but by now you either see the fascination of dice collecting or you don’t.  I like them.  I have a lot of them.  I’ve invented several little games that are really nothing but dice rolling.  Tunnels and Trolls uses lots of dice, mostly because I like dice.

(I began this blog in August of 2011 shortly after GenCon was over.  I finished it on March 19, 2012.  Just goes to show that when one of my projects gets interrupted I have a very hard time coming back to it.  Sigh.  But, at least this one is done now.)

If you like any of these dice, or have some pretty cool ones of your own, why not leave a comment about them?


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