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Eric: A random observation.

I want twelve sided dice.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a old school roleplayer. I have twelve sided dice. Plenty of them. Some of them worn almost smooth (though not as smooth as the twenty-siders of that material and vintage. Late 70's gamers know the 20-siders I mean.)

Here's the thing, though. A number of the games I own/allegedly play use six sided dice in abundance. Things like GURPS. Or In Nomine. Or Champions. Or 'insert your favorite 6-sider game here.' They do that because it's easier to get six-sided dice. And it's cheaper.

Of course, gamers are pretentious. And so you have any number of dice companies who create custom six sided dice with... you know. Death's heads or Illuminati symbols or whatever on them. It's just part of the fun.

That's not what I'm after. See, I'm a roleplayer. I'm a geek. A gigantic freaking geek. When I pull out 12d6 to roll for stun and body damage for my Champions energy blast, I don't want a casual passerby to think I'm just really into Yatzhee. I want everything about me to scream "total freaking geek."

So I want 12-sided dice... that have 1-6 on them twice.

You can get 12 sided dice, weirdly enough, with 1 to 4 on them three times, in Roman Numerals. So you can get 12 sided 4 siders. And you can get blank 12 sided dice, to write your own. But the latter doesn't look good enough (I'm not that good with a Sharpie) and the former does me no good.

I can't believe I'm the first person to think of this. It seems way more obvious than hematite dice or 24-sided dice or the other 'innovations' in dice we've seen over the years.

I want twelve sided d6s. Can't anyone hook me up?

Posted by Eric Burns-White at January 31, 2006 12:05 PM

Comments

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at January 31, 2006 12:12 PM

Get blank d12s and good plastic label sheets for your printer. Or blank bumper sticker sheets, whatever. Make the numbers 1-6 small enough to fit inside a standard holepunch circle, punch out the numbers, stick to blank die.

Alternately, go with pips, which you should be able to do reasonably well on a blank d12.

(Aside: I used a dremel to turn a blank d6 into one of those Roman-style d14s. Lots and lots of plastic dust all over the apartment.)

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at January 31, 2006 12:15 PM

Also, michelle@koplowgames.com would be a good person to email. Koplow is the main "weird dice manufacturer" now that Zocchi has retired, and if they don't have d12s with 1-6 twice, they might be willing to start making 'em.

Comment from: Comus posted at January 31, 2006 12:18 PM

or you could use normal d12s, simply divide by 2 and round up.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at January 31, 2006 12:22 PM

or you could use normal d12s, simply divide by 2 and round up.

Meh. Not the same thing at all.

I couldn't tell you why.

I suspect it involves neurosis.

Comment from: Scarybug posted at January 31, 2006 12:50 PM

I suggest getting 36-sided dice, and marking each side with each of the possible outcomes of rolling 2d6.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at January 31, 2006 12:51 PM

Actually, I suspect it's the same as with most role-players. You simply want to have as many cool dice as possible.

Heck, while we're wishing, I'd like a d30 with 1-6 repeated five times. I love dice that take up half a pouch.

Comment from: Mr Myth posted at January 31, 2006 12:52 PM

Learning Resources appears to have what you are looking for:

http://www.learningresources.com/Product.pasp?txtCatalog=Toys&txtCategory=Probability%20Math&txtProductID=7650
http://www.learningresources.com/Product.pasp?txtCatalog=Toys&txtCategory=Probability%20Math&txtProductID=7651

While not specifically designed for gamers, this site seems to have a lot of nifty things that dice-fanatics could make use of.

Comment from: Abby L. posted at January 31, 2006 12:58 PM

I think it would be cool to do your own dice with a neato personal handwriting script. Get someone with good handwriting to do it! Maybe someone on this blog will do it for you, and then you will have the luck of a thousand readers on your side. Or something...

Anyway, someone with good handwriting. (Hint: Not me.)

Comment from: J.(Channing)Wells posted at January 31, 2006 12:59 PM

Admit it, Burns. The only reason you're doing this is so that all the pretty young ladies will stop and gawk at your dodecahedrons.

Comment from: Tropylium posted at January 31, 2006 12:59 PM

Damn, the thread's dead for half an hour and then I'm beaten by a 2 minute margin. :)

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at January 31, 2006 1:01 PM

Mister Myth and Tropylium for the win!

Thanks, guys! Life is good!

Comment from: Kirath posted at January 31, 2006 1:04 PM

I'm amazed that I never thought of that before. I mean.. I *own* twenty sided dice that are marked 0-9 twice...

Comment from: J.(Channing)Wells posted at January 31, 2006 1:21 PM

Yes, but what about twenty-siders marked with 1-4 five times over? Or binary eight-siders? Or hundred-sided spherical dice with five repetitions of 1-20? Or-- or--

*collapses, twitching*

Comment from: TheMatt posted at January 31, 2006 1:25 PM

I think you should pull out the ol' zocchihedron and do that mod 6. And disregard the last four numbers, I guess.

Ahh...the zocchihedron, I once got 18/96 strength off of one. Of course, the character also had like 7 intelligence, so it was like playing The Tick.

Comment from: Canuck-Errant posted at January 31, 2006 1:27 PM

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE DODECAHEDRONS BABY
(all about the dodecahedrons)
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE DODECAHEDRONS BABY
(all about the dodecahedrons)
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE DODECAHEDRONS BABY

And... geez, I wish I could find people to play GURPS with in the Qu»bec City area.

Comment from: Archon Divinus posted at January 31, 2006 1:27 PM

I just wish I could find my old 100-sider. It just vanished from my dice bag one day. Haven't seen it in a year and a half.

Comment from: TheMatt posted at January 31, 2006 1:29 PM

Wait a second, why did no one tell me that there is a "Zocchihedron II"?!?! I don't even play anymore, but I need that so it can join my d3 and d7...

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at January 31, 2006 1:30 PM

Apparently it never occurred to him to ask me.

Volunteered. We'll see what happens.

Comment from: jpcardier posted at January 31, 2006 1:30 PM

I just wish I could find my old 100-sider. It just vanished from my dice bag one day. Haven't seen it in a year and a half.

The only problem is that waiting for it to stop took a year and a half...

Comment from: Pyrthas posted at January 31, 2006 1:31 PM

or you could use normal d12s, simply divide by 2 and round up.
I'm just curious. Am I the only person who does this sort of thing with modulo (with 0 = max) instead of division? That is, if I were to roll a d12 as a d6, I'd break it up into 1-6 and 7-12, not 1-2, 3-4, etc.

Comment from: Canuck-Errant posted at January 31, 2006 1:34 PM

Incidentally: Avalon's updating again.

Comment from: Darth Paradox posted at January 31, 2006 1:35 PM

Word of warning, Eric... The dice linked don't have 1-6 printed on them twice; they've got 1-6 printed on them once, and six blank sides. They'll work - each side is clearly a given number, even if you have to look through to the bottom of the die to see the number - but it's not quite what you described.

Comment from: Pukwudji posted at January 31, 2006 1:36 PM

Unfortunately the Learning Resources dice are only marked on one side...

Comment from: Chaomancer Omega posted at January 31, 2006 2:28 PM

Pyrthas: Nope, I do that as well.

Comment from: Foolsfolly posted at January 31, 2006 2:29 PM

The learning resources dice are actually kind of a neat trick - by using really clear dice, and putting the numbers only on one side, you get dice you can use on an overhead projector. Roll the dice on the lighted platform, and your roll is projected on the wall for everyone to see. Useful in a classroom or with big groups of people who want to see the rolls, at least.

Comment from: Tangent posted at January 31, 2006 2:29 PM

Incidentally: Avalon's updating again.
He knows, Canuck-Errant. I posted something on it on the previous discussion thread about Writer's Fatigue. :)

In fact, I half-suspect the "Writer's Fatigue" article was also saying "yes, I know there are a lot of really cool comics out there you guys feel should be snarked, but I can't right now. Sorry, gang."

*chuckle*

Rob H.

Comment from: Sempiternity posted at January 31, 2006 2:30 PM

My geek cred must be wearing thin (or maybe just my budget) but i cannot understand why you would ever *want* to have a d12 with 2 x 1-6 on it!

Why not just roll two d6, different colours if neccessary?

Don't get me wrong, i love multi-dice systems - i'm designing one myself for the standard 5 sizes (d4,d6,d8,d10,d12), and play games like Dogs in the Vineyard, Stargrunt, Dirtside, and even DND.

...But crippled d12s? That's just *wierd* >_>

Comment from: Godspiel posted at January 31, 2006 2:40 PM

I suggest getting 36-sided dice, and marking each side with each of the possible outcomes of rolling 2d6.

I've been meaning to do that if I ever run a BESM campaign, as it uses a 2d6 die mechanic. Come to think of it I'd like a blank d1296 so I can have easy 4d6-drop-the-lowest stat generation.


I'm just curious. Am I the only person who does this sort of thing with modulo (with 0 = max) instead of division? That is, if I were to roll a d12 as a d6, I'd break it up into 1-6 and 7-12, not 1-2, 3-4, etc.

No, although I try to be consistant for any given game, as mixing the two can give the appearance of cheating. Mostly I use it for when I need a random number that doesn't fit a regular die scheme or 2^N coins.

Comment from: Sempiternity posted at January 31, 2006 2:44 PM

While i'm logged in i should point out that *new* "new school" roleplaying also tends to use multi-dice systems.
And i'll toss in some links, 'cause i love to proselytize:


Dogs in the Vineyard


Bacchanal

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at January 31, 2006 2:52 PM

Actually, the die mechanic I miss, and that if I ever do my homegrown system beyond the stage I've got it in, I'll bring back, is d100. Percentile dice just rock.

It's really amazing, if you think about it. It's more intuitive and versatile than d20 by far. It renders a result that most people understand without needing any math or RPG background, and you can just as easily do transformative mechanics and table based mechanics with it.

And it just takes two standard ten siders. Or a Zocchi. ;)

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at January 31, 2006 2:53 PM

Why not just roll two d6, different colours if neccessary?

Well, see, I'm wanting a cooler version of a d6. It occurs to me a d12 is innately that cooler version of a d6.

Comment from: Sempiternity posted at January 31, 2006 2:58 PM

Cooler, eh?

What about those wierd clear d6s with a smaller d6 inside? They're sufficeiently byzantine to be "geek cool"... ;)

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at January 31, 2006 3:01 PM

"...but i cannot understand why you would ever *want* to have a d12 with 2 x 1-6 on it!

...But crippled d12s? That's just *wierd*"

You just answered your own question there, you know.

Oh, percentile dice. So underestimated, so useful. And a perfect excuse to buy a Zocchihedron.

Comment from: protozombie posted at January 31, 2006 3:01 PM

Just be careful not to grab them when you need an actual d12. Had a friend who played West End Star Wars for several months before he realized all his dice except his wild die were d6 with 1-3 printed on them twice.

After he switched to actual d6s we started letting him do things again, like apply medpacs and shoot at things.

Comment from: Darrin_Bright posted at January 31, 2006 3:11 PM

Koplow brought out a lot of odd 12-siders last summer, including the previously mentioned pip-4's... but also a "months" d12, "rock paper scissors" d12, and I think a "hit location" d12. I haven't seen them do a pip-6 d12, though... and while they were selling plenty of blank d12's that you could easily sharpie in some pips, their d12's were... well, a bit large, too large that you could fit 12d12 in your hand easily.

Lou Zocchi (owner of Gamescience) is technically retired - however, he still does most of the major conventions, so if you can get out to Origins or Gencon, he should have a booth there where you can buy some of his odder die types. His latest creation is a d14, but if you don't have his d3, d5, d7, d16, or d24, then you'll probably want to pick up some of those as well. If you can find an old Gamescience Catalog, his home phone is on there and you can call him up if you're looking for something specific. Be warned, he can talk your ear off. I think he's the only one you can get d10's numbered 1-5 or d8's numbered 1-4.

If you can't get to a convention, then try www.gamestation.net, they have most of the really odd Gamescience dice in stock, as well as Koplow, Chessex, and Flying Buffalo specialty dice.

Recently, both Chessex and Koplow have been coming out with d14's, d16's, and d24's with smoother edges. I never saw anything official, but I'm guessing they either bought the rights/molds or got a license from Zocchi to produce these. I've only seen them in solid colors, so if you want transparent you'll have to try www.gamestation.net or Zocchi himself.

Chessex has also just started to offer "custom" d6's where you can provide your own logo/artwork for each side if you like. Try sending them an email, see if they'd be willing to do a custom run of d12's for you. http://www.chessex.com/Dice/Custom_Dice_Home.htm

If you want some d6's that makes everyone turn and ask "what the heck are those?" then I'd suggest getting a handful of "crystal" d6's from Crystal Caste. Avoid the larger spindle-type dice, though... their "crystal" d20 takes longer to stop rolling than the Zocchihedron.

But if you want jaws to drop with epic levels of dice-jealousy... Q-Workshop - http://q-workshop.com/

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at January 31, 2006 3:44 PM

The crystal d6 just looks SOOOOOO...edible. Like it's a lozenge. And you may get even more geek cred using a handful of them than a bunch of halved d12s.

(I keep a bag of weird dice in my backpack at all times, including the crystal set, the d7, the round d4, some d16s, a d34 and a d50...most from Zocchi.)

Comment from: siwangmu posted at January 31, 2006 3:47 PM

I've got my Dungeon Master's guide.
I've got my twelve-sided die.
I've got Kitty Pryde
and Nightcrawler, too,
waiting here for me.

Yes I do.

Comment from: Archon Divinus posted at January 31, 2006 4:19 PM

the round d4

Now thats new to me. I've seen round d6s, but never d4s.

The strangest thing I have in terms of dice right now is a d10 in a bigger d10, which is pretty useful.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at January 31, 2006 4:23 PM

siwangmu:

Rum-tum-tum-tiddle-um.

Comment from: JoeFF85 posted at January 31, 2006 4:42 PM

"Actually, the die mechanic I miss, and that if I ever do my homegrown system beyond the stage I've got it in, I'll bring back, is d100. Percentile dice just rock.

It's really amazing, if you think about it. It's more intuitive and versatile than d20 by far. It renders a result that most people understand without needing any math or RPG background, and you can just as easily do transformative mechanics and table based mechanics with it."

I guess I'm one of the few people runnign Rifts anymore. Percentile-based skills and percentile-based random generation tables.

Too bad Kevin Siembieda went insane, because the "its not 2nd edition" Ultimate Edition is *really* good.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at January 31, 2006 4:51 PM

Siwangmu, I once had to explain every single reference in that song to my wife.

I dunno... I know a couple places where you can easily get all the crystal dice. Sure, they look cool, but they roll terrible. The geek cred on those suckers is inversely proportional to how often a geek sees them used.

I've never been fond of the d7 casts I've seen - is there more than one model? And a d34 - lead the way, if you would.

Comment from: Cnoocy posted at January 31, 2006 5:16 PM

d14s and d34s seem to be made on the d10 model. Is there a game that uses these?

(I actually use double-sized dice in my regular 3E game. They add the correct sense of scale when playing a halfling.)

Comment from: Pyrthas posted at January 31, 2006 6:48 PM

Most of the dice discussed here (including the d34) can be found at gamestation.net. Sometime I'll get around to getting a d3 and d14 from them. I have their d7, but there doesn't seem to be any reason to think that it's fair (as opposed to, say, the d5, which they say has been tested).

I'd still like to find some of those wedge d4s, but as I understand it, they're patented and not being produced, and I'm too lazy to track some down.

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at January 31, 2006 7:32 PM

The "round d4" is actually a game piece for Rolit, a sort of four player Othello. Koplow was selling them separately at Origins one year.

High concept: take a caltrop and sand it down until the spikes are almost gone, and the tips are sphere segments. The sides are colored rather than numbered, but it's simple enough to come up with some scheme for values (I go with photon energy ordering, so red = 1, yellow = 2, green = 3, blue = 4). They come to a rest with a side facing up.

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at January 31, 2006 7:33 PM

Oh, and I've tested the pentagonal prism d7 I got from Zocchi, and it seems fair with a trial size of a few hundred rolls. I'd have designed it to have 1 and 7 on the pentagonal sides, rather than 6 and 7, just to be sure any unfairness was at least symmetric, but it doesn't seem to be a problem.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at January 31, 2006 8:49 PM

Did you ever feel like the whole world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?

Comment from: miyaa posted at January 31, 2006 9:03 PM

You know, playing Yahtzee with five d12 would be very interesting.

Speaking of dice, I've been looking for a long while for weather dice. Basically they are d6 that have different weather events on them. My advisor has a set of three which I so want to steal. I know that they used to make them, but I can not find them anymore. I like to use them in campaigns where you can randomly determine the weather pattern for the next three days.

And no, meteorologist do not use weather dice when they're stumped. We prefer a dart board and blindfolders. An magical eight-ball has been known to be used as an in case emergency forecasting weapon.

Comment from: Copper Hamster posted at January 31, 2006 9:10 PM

JoeFF85:
When did KS go more insane than he's been for the last decade or 2? (I kinda stopped following the game industry except for what I'm playing in the last 4-5 years. They don't publish Robotech anymore, the only Palladium game I played, so ...)

Pid he finally update the creaking old Paladium engine (who's main problems imho were MDC a lack of consistancy between games on how certain things were handled... I kinda liked it for the most part.)

Comment from: Aulayan posted at January 31, 2006 9:29 PM

Today, while at work, I suddenly had this urge to plan and run Call of Cthulhu. I think it's a mix of my general urge to run Call of Cthulhu and the HBO Series Carnivale. Something about turning the False Sun at Trinity into Azathoth's arrival just amuses me. Of course that'd be a campaign ender...

And now Eric mentions d100s. Gah!

First a small Dirk Benedict coincidence yesterday, and now this today.

Comment from: Jerivix posted at January 31, 2006 9:38 PM

I actually remember reading about these in my High School algebra book. It's a statistically perfect d6, because a six is opposite a six, and so on. Perfectly balanced.



Just a little tidbit.

Comment from: Robert Hutchinson posted at January 31, 2006 10:11 PM

My d2 keeps landing on its edge.

(Sorry, that's all I got. My geeky interest in dice is pretty strongly focused on their geometric and probabilistic properties, mostly to the exclusion of their specific application.)

(Although some of these dice I'm seeing discussed sound like they're weighted interestingly ...)

Comment from: JoeFF85 posted at January 31, 2006 10:37 PM

Siembieda went more-insane when he fired Bill Coffin for writing Palladium Fantasy books that were too good for Palladium's standards, really. The new Rifts editon (which he insists isn't a new addition) consolidates all the modifications that were done to the Palladium system into one place and then doesn't really change them too much, unfortunately. Oh, and now there is *no* consistancy whatsoever about how many attacks per melee chracters get with what HtH skill across the books.

I just wish I could love the system as much as I loved the setting.

Comment from: Benor posted at January 31, 2006 10:43 PM

"Actually, the die mechanic I miss, and that if I ever do my homegrown system beyond the stage I've got it in, I'll bring back, is d100. Percentile dice just rock."

Unknown Armies, Eric.

Unknown Armies.

Comment from: Darrin_Bright posted at January 31, 2006 11:18 PM

The d34 was made by Chessex because at one point the Danish lottery was based on 34 numbers (they've since changed their system, but Chessex still has plenty of d34s). It has a double-conic shape (like a d10, but with 17 facets on each half). I don't recall any games using a d34, not even ButtonMen, which generally goes up to d30s. Zocchi did make a d50 that looks very similar to the d34, except the facets aren't nearly so pronounced, it's pretty much two smooth round cones stuck together, numbered 1-25 and 26-50.

The d14 just came out in 2005, and is based on the d16 (another double-conic shape), except it also has "days of the week" as well as numbers 1-14. I've also seen a "hex code" d14 with hexidecimal numbers... don't own it yet though. d14's could be used as Swing dice in ButtonMen, and I think KoDT and/or Zocchi may be running some kind of contest on how they might be used for RPGs.

The d24s put out by Gamescience/Chessex/Koplow are six tetrahedrons (four-sided pyramids) on a cube shape. I've seen pictures of rhomboidal d24's, but with runes instead of numbers.

Oh, and be careful of Zocchi's d5's. They tend to roll "true" on a hard surface, but if you roll them on a soft surface such as a book or a vinyl battlemat, a lot of the kinetic energy they need to bounce to a new side gets absorbed by the surface, and they tend to roll more 1's or 5's (the big flat triangular sides). Not sure if d7's have the same problem, I suspect not but haven't tested them in any scientific way.

Comment from: Sean Duggan posted at January 31, 2006 11:36 PM

Gamma World (in at least one of the 4 editions) also used percentile dice. I remember trying to explain to my mom why I was learning yet another gaming system when there was nobody to play with in our Bible Belt town... Ironically enough, our town is now a hotbed of LARPing (and occasionally tabletopping) World of Darkness players. Rebels, the lot of them, in their identical Hot Topic GothWare (tm).

Heh... and D&D and its dice was the reason I did well in geometry. I was practically raised on Dodecahedrons and Duodecahedrons. Although I remember an elementary school teacher having a talk with my mother when I introduced "assassinate" and "backstab" as action verbs in second grade...

Comment from: quentin mcalmott posted at February 1, 2006 1:22 AM

I actually remember reading about these in my High School algebra book. It's a statistically perfect d6, because a six is opposite a six, and so on. Perfectly balanced.

That doesn't mean it's perfectly balanced, or even uniformly random. It could still be very true that one number is gotten more or less than another number. It's possibly less likely, but it's not sufficient to call it uniform.

Comment from: Kaychsea posted at February 1, 2006 6:55 AM

"Actually, the die mechanic I miss, and that if I ever do my homegrown system beyond the stage I've got it in, I'll bring back, is d100. Percentile dice just rock."
Runequest. Going yet further back Chivalry and Sorcery, and I suppose Rolemaster.

And RuneQuest is making a comeback baby! Yeah!

Comment from: baf posted at February 1, 2006 8:11 AM

You know what I want? A rhombic d12. Because the rhombic dodecahedron is a lot neater than the regular dodecahedron.

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at February 1, 2006 8:14 AM

Way back in the mists of time, somene manufactured rhombic d12s out of melmac (the weird plastic that old cafeteria trays are made of).

Comment from: Darrin_Bright posted at February 1, 2006 8:40 AM

The new edition of Warhammer FRP still uses percentile dice. Call of Cthulhu is still percentile. There's been a movement away from that, however.

Some folks have issues with a binary resolution mechanic... there's not as much "degrees of success/failure" with percentile, and most games now like to put more control over the dice mechanics in the hands of the player with karma/fortune/fate/drama points and whatnot. Most percentile systems try to work in "critical success/failure" mechanics, but they just aren't as... elegant as, say, rolling a "natural 20" or "natural 1", or what have you. And some people get bent out of shape by the flat distribution curve... many folks prefer the bell curve, hence they want several dice added together, enough so that some of them are pushing for replacing d20's with 2d10, under the impression that it's more "dramatic" or "cinematic". (They're wrong, actually... switching to a 2d10 mechanic drops the frequency of critical success/failure from 5% to 1%.)

Still... it's hard to beat the drama of rolling a couple ten-siders, watching with elation as the first die stops on "0", and then the sudden shift into agony as the second die comes up "0". Unless you're rolling for mutations or potion miscibility, of course.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at February 1, 2006 10:03 AM

Sean, you know there's no such thing as a duodecahedron, right? A solid with twenty sides is an icosahedron.

Comment from: mara posted at February 1, 2006 12:14 PM

Twelve-sided dice????

Oh my god, WEDNESDAY, YOU MUST STOP HIM, PLEASE STOP HIM!!!!!!

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at February 1, 2006 12:20 PM

Twelve-sided dice????

Oh my god, WEDNESDAY, YOU MUST STOP HIM, PLEASE STOP HIM!!!!!!

See, this is why I need the twelve sided six siders. THis right here.

Comment from: Jerivix posted at February 1, 2006 12:39 PM

That doesn't mean it's perfectly balanced, or even uniformly random. It could still be very true that one number is gotten more or less than another number. It's possibly less likely, but it's not sufficient to call it uniform.



True, but I just assume they know how to make a die properly. If they do, a six on a standard d6 pops up more often, statistically speaking. Of course, if they counterweight...or microwave....

Comment from: Reave posted at February 1, 2006 12:49 PM

What *IS* the target number for stopping a Level 3 Geek action? And what skill would that be under?

Hmm... well, I only ever play the old WEG DCU game, so I guess for Weds it would be either Persuasion or Seduction - depending on how it is done. As for the difficulty... hmm... I guess Eric would need to roll his Willpower with a +2 bonus to the roll since the roll involves getting new dice. I mean... NEW DICE!

Comment from: jpcardier posted at February 1, 2006 1:14 PM

Siembieda went more-insane when he fired Bill Coffin for writing Palladium Fantasy books that were too good for Palladium's standards, really. The new Rifts editon (which he insists isn't a new addition) consolidates all the modifications that were done to the Palladium system into one place and then doesn't really change them too much, unfortunately. Oh, and now there is *no* consistancy whatsoever about how many attacks per melee chracters get with what HtH skill across the books.

I just wish I could love the system as much as I loved the setting.

See this why I snagged the setting and redid everything in GURPS. All of the sugary setting goodness with GURPS rules crunchiness for nutrition.

It was a little awkward, but it worked pretty well, and allowed me to play RIFTs with someone who happened to be passionately anti-Pallladium.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at February 1, 2006 2:27 PM

"What *IS* the target number for stopping a Level 3 Geek action? And what skill would that be under?"

Judging by my wife, there are a few appropriate skills.

First, there's always Sex Appeal. This check has a negative modifier equal to the positive Geek Cred modifier of the item in question.

Second, there's an Economics check, with a positive modifier equal to the percentage of monthly income the item in question will cost.

A solid Bluff check might work, but that has modifiers based on the proximity to the target's birthday (given that Eric's birthday was last week, a positive one here), the Geek Cred of the item, and the finances of the bluffer.

Finally, of course, there's always Holdout to keep the geek in question from his wallet.

Comment from: NthDegree256 posted at February 1, 2006 2:29 PM

My biggest fear with twelve-sided d6s is mistaking them for d12s at an inopportune moment.

"WHY does my barbarian have only TWO-THIRDS as many hitpoints as he ought to?"

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at February 1, 2006 2:33 PM

If you want a "fair" d6 (they're ALL random, unless weighted so obviously that they always come up on the same side), there's two obvious ways without messing about with the interior. One, paint the pips on, with no holes. Vegas dice often do this. Two, drill the pips to different depths (not as simple as it sounds, since you have to account for the spread of the pips too).

You can also use recessed numerals instead of pips and vary the depth of the recessing based on the length of line used (i.e. 1 would be deeper than 2).

If you want to get really fancy, fill in the pips or numerals with plastic of a different color but the same density.

If you want to get silly, BTW, you can use those plastic yarn card things to make your own dice (they make hexagons for snowflake patterns that are six triangles joined together). To wit:

http://www.dvandom.com/images/bigd4.GIF

http://www.dvandom.com/images/bigd8.GIF

http://www.dvandom.com/images/bigd20.GIF

Not particularly fair, but fun.

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at February 1, 2006 2:41 PM

mara: Oh my god, WEDNESDAY, YOU MUST STOP HIM, PLEASE STOP HIM!!!!!!

But the Guitar Hero is at your house.

Comment from: Godspiel posted at February 1, 2006 2:44 PM

I actually remember reading about these in my High School algebra book. It's a statistically perfect d6, because a six is opposite a six, and so on. Perfectly balanced.


The, um, first time I failed out of college, after having given up on passing any of my classes, I took an interest in this stuff. I spent a week rolling dice and entering the results into a BASIC program.

Opposing faces on the dice I tested (various d6, d8, d10, d12, d20) are going to have roughly the same probability of comming up (baring ridiculously low manufacturing standards), but because of manufacturing limits, a pair are not going to be as close to other pairs as their elements are to each other. This is why most die manufacturers put numbers adding up to twice the ideal average die roll value (an x.5 for even sided dice) opposite each other. It gets the actual average die roll value closer to the ideal average die roll value.

If you make a bar graph with Die Face Value on one axis and proportional frequency on the other, for dice with the 1 opposite N, 2 opposite N-1, etc. scheme, you will get a slight "curve", concave or convex, depending on the individual die (I place curve in parentheses, because one of the variables is categorical. The curve I'm talking about is the one that best fits the points at categorical center-points.). Now, by slight, I don't mean statistically insignificant, just that it's gradual.

I didn't have any specialty dice when I performed this little study, so I don't know if it holds up for Zocchi-balls, odd sided dice, etc. I also didn't take confidence intervals into account, although my sample sizes were in the 500-1000 rolls per die range, so they probably wouldn't have made a huge difference. I've lost the data over the years, and can't remember if I bothered with the d4 or not.

The d6s casinos use for craps tables are made to much higher tolerances than those we hobby gamers typically use, so presumably the curve is less pronounced.

Ultimately, what this means is that you can load a die simply by labeling it after you've found out which axis has the higher probability of popping up. The difference is so minor it wouldn't be worth it.

Numbering a 6*N die 1-6 repeatedly may get you closer to an "ideal d6" if you pick which faces the numbers are on carefully, but even if you do achieve a perfect 1-6 die, statistically speaking you can never be completely sure you've got it.


If that text book was referring to theoretical ideals, it still doesn't make a lot of sense. A perfect die by definition would have all sides equally likely to come up, so a perfect 12-sider with 1-6 on it twice would have a 1/12 + 1/12 probability of resulting in a six. Same as a perfect d6.

Comment from: quiller posted at February 1, 2006 3:35 PM

Hmm, now I want to create a system based on rolling 2 12 sided dice and getting percentiles in base 12...

I actually saw some fun dice this weekend that I hadn't actually seen before. They had one large transparent outside die, and a small opaque inside die of the same type. Of course, the one that actually looked useful to me in that was the one with d10s as it would make percentiles even easier. But while intriguing, I can currently fit my percentiles in my dice box (I have the matched set with one marked 00 to 90 and the other marked 0-9.) and I like a little more durability in my dice than one is likely to get from transparent hollow plastic (I'm imagining telling the merchant, "Hey can I test this out by dropping this backpack full of D&D books on to it?").

Someday, I may pick up a dice corral though, as I definitely suffer from poor control in keeping my dice from wandering off the table when I roll them.

Comment from: quiller posted at February 1, 2006 3:43 PM

Oh yeah, and I still do have my set of original D&D dice which are worn as heck, including the 20 sider that had 0-9 on it twice and came with a crayon to color half of them black. They have been removed from my dice case, but still travel in my backpack with me (my dice case stays in my backpack so I never forget and leave it at home during a game) as an emergency loaner set. (I also don't take all my 10 siders with me, as I had picked up quite a few when I tried running a VtM game back in the early 90s and needed to sometimes roll a lot for the older vampires.)

Comment from: Reave posted at February 1, 2006 3:47 PM

[quote]
Siembieda went more-insane when he fired Bill Coffin for writing Palladium Fantasy books that were too good for Palladium's standards, really. The new Rifts editon (which he insists isn't a new addition) consolidates all the modifications that were done to the Palladium system into one place and then doesn't really change them too much, unfortunately. Oh, and now there is *no* consistancy whatsoever about how many attacks per melee chracters get with what HtH skill across the books.

I just wish I could love the system as much as I loved the setting.
[/quote]

Er... odd, that's not how I've heard the story. Eric Wujick, who is probably biased toward Kevin, reported that Bill was... well... kinda being a dick. Even more so after he was fired. Now, granted, K.S. is a dick as well, but I also think he's too dedicated to the product to shoot himself in the foot like that.

Oh, but I'll totally agree - system was horrible. Ultimate really did fix all the problems I had. Like, you know... guns. And magic. And dodging.

Jeebus R. Krick, how many times did Kev 'put the final word' in on dodging guns? First you could, then you couldn't, then you could at massive penalties, then you couldn't at... massive... penalties... I dunno.

The attacks thing never bugged me, since I followed the everyone-gets-4 rule, except in Ninjas and Superspies (which, to my knowledge, is the only place where that rule didn't apply).

Ahhh... Rifts. One of these days I'll be able to run a campaign that doesn't quit after 2 months because of bad or missing players.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at February 1, 2006 3:55 PM

Oh, Guitar Hero will sufficiently distract Eric? Then I'm on the case.

Comment from: Archon Divinus posted at February 1, 2006 3:58 PM

Oh yeah, and I still do have my set of original D&D dice which are worn as heck, including the 20 sider that had 0-9 on it twice and came with a crayon to color half of them black.

Are you by any chance talking about the dice that came with the old Basic boxset, because I still have those too, and I use them.

Comment from: Archon Divinus posted at February 1, 2006 4:02 PM

Or I would if I had a gaming group right now.

Comment from: JoeFF85 posted at February 1, 2006 4:55 PM

Re: Palladium and Kevin Siembieda's maddness.

I read an article by Coffin himself on the now-defunct Quality in Rifts webpage. I don't know GURPS (hangs herad in shame) but I do know Palladium, so I use Rifts out of the book. Strangely, most of the stuff Ultimate Edition fixed was using the same house-rule fuixes my group developed.

I'm currently running two Rifts campaigns one is rules-lite online at the Sluggite Zone, and the other is tabletop at college.

And regarding percentile dice.. I have like 4 matched sets.

Comment from: Josy posted at February 1, 2006 4:58 PM

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE DODECAHEDRONS BABY (all about the dodecahedrons)
Response:

Dr. P:
"And this is a do-
Dodecahedron.
A do- dodeca- do-
Dodecahedron."

-The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Michael Nyman

Comment from: squidfood posted at February 1, 2006 6:47 PM

Of course there's a reason to have them, as follows:

"I know what you're thinking, punk."

"You're thinking, 'Are those damage dice real d12's, or are they just d6's printed twice?'"

"Well you should ask yourself, punk...do you feel lucky?"

Comment from: Jerivix posted at February 1, 2006 6:54 PM

Wow, Godspiel, I feel like I've been raped. By science.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at February 1, 2006 6:59 PM

Man, that phrase brings me back to college.

Comment from: Godspiel posted at February 1, 2006 8:06 PM

Science is a harsh mistress.

Comment from: Copper Hamster posted at February 1, 2006 8:17 PM

My problem with Rifts was we had this one guy that joined my Robotech campaign that was a Rifts player.

He was a 'late book' player (You've heard the joke about how MDC of any particular mecha can be determined by taking a base number and multiplying it by the book # I assume?) and was always complaining about how little MDC the Alphas had, and how low damage the weapons were. He kept wanting to bring stuff in from rifts; I for some strange reason wouldn't let him.

I've played Rifts. It ain't bad, especially if you don't stress over little things like KS's calls on the rules.
(My rule was you can dodge a bullet if you know you are going to be shot at. You could also dodge the ol' Macross Missle Massacre, with penalties (The Bandit Alpha fires 54 missles at you, do you wish to dodge? You're -26. You wish to Eject? ok.)

Comment from: JoeFF85 posted at February 1, 2006 9:04 PM

Yeah, Rifts has that classic arms race mentality, each book needs to have better toys than the last.

Thats Why I like to play "Main Book Only" Games, or maybe "Main Book plus Coalition War Campaign" since honestly, the CS should have the best stuff, being the honest-to-goodness military state.

Comment from: Tangent posted at February 2, 2006 1:04 AM

Because Weds doesn't allow comments in her threads I have to comment here.

*snicker* *snortle* *bwahahahahahaha!!!*

Yes, I think they do get cold. But the sight of man-nipples is enough to cause people to recoil in horror and fear (other guys at least, and maybe lesbian Otra as well) which gave Reagan the chance to pound the gun-toting punk into the ground.

So the real question is this: who would survive the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Power, Mr. Rogers or Shortpacked Reagan? :D

Rob H., just being silly

Comment from: miyaa posted at February 2, 2006 1:50 AM

First of all, I am 31 years and 1 day old this day, according to the Websnark Timex. Whoopie. And I see my shadow. Six more weeks of very long snarks by Eric.

The best dice concept I've ever played under is the exploding dice rule, best exemplified by the old AEG 7th Sea game. (Pirates, Magic, Europe. Yaarrr.) The system was all d10, and everytime you rolled a ten, you get to reroll it. And if the rerolled dice was a ten, you reroll it again, and you kept rerolling exploding tens until you stopped getting 10s, so you could have an insane accomplishment of beating a check of 150. That was great.

The worst dice concept I had ever played was the dice table system used in the really old Lord of the Rings game where every number from 0 - 100 or sometimes up to 10,000 (using a faux d10000 of four d10s) means something in a table. More time was spent looking up the table than was actually playing. And I understand Hackmaster uses something similar where every dice roll corresponded to something on a table except (or even possibly including) damage results. If you could put all of these random generator tables on a computer program, this might actually turn out to be a fairly cool game.

Comment from: Doug posted at February 2, 2006 9:13 AM

A real geek, a true geek would raid his parts box and part out an old 6800 microprocessor evaluation kit, an old power supply, toss in some .5" numeric LEDs and a leftover hexadecimal keypad to breadboard a handy-dandy multiple dice roller. He'd (c'mon- it's a manly geekness here!) burn a program onto a prom using machine code he had hand coded - no assembler here, bucko - along with a single 1k X 8 RAM chip. It would allow one to enter the standard die-rolling "[number]D-[die size]," for any number/size between 1 through 255, and hit the 'ROLL' button to have the result displayed in cheery manner on the perceptibly flickering LEDs...

Oh, God! I'm so ashamed.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at February 2, 2006 9:29 AM

Well, Doug, maybe the sense of shame wouldn't be there if you didn't implicitly suggest that a person's geekiness is related to either their age (to be around when those parts were easy to come by) or their luck (if they're too young to remember when those parts are new). Don't mistake Geek Cred for geekiness.

Though this is really getting me tempted to make a card game out of this and sell it to Steve Jackson. Presuming, of course, I can make it sufficiently different from Chez Geek.

As for Tanget's, well, tangent, I always assumed in modern times that the heroic pose of ripping off one's shirt to show a built chest was cribbed from Superman, and the pose of Clark Kent ripping open his button-down shirt to show the S logo. Of course, that brings up the chicken/egg question - is it a sign of virility because Superman did it, or did Superman start doing it as a sign of virility?

Comment from: Reave posted at February 2, 2006 9:33 AM

RE: The Bill Coffin debate.

Yeah... see, I think some of the things he said were true, but a lot of what he said just wasn't true. If you hit the Palladium message boards and do a search, you'll find Eric Wujick going through the entire affair, step by step. And Eric's a cool guy. The biggest difference that makes it less he-said she-said is that Eric had evidence to back up his claims. But we may never know the truth.

Re: Rifts

Yeah... slap that player. Robotech is lower tech than Rifts (it's supposed to be). This is because mecha are supposed to explode after 3-4 hits, not 10-20 (ala Rifts). As for the Rifts was escalation, I think the only books that need to be powered down are SA1 and SA2. Everything else is fine. Japan has the best tech at the moment because they never lost any ground. But the CS (using the war campaign) can easily match anything else. Granted, you'll find some... crap... every so often, and you just have to nod and say 'yeah... no.' Much like new D&D books, you have to read through and declare "the Scout class and Magic Thief class are BS - nobody use them." Or in Rifts case... "if any of you try to play an Indian Spirit Warrior, I will kill you... IN the face..."

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at February 2, 2006 9:37 AM

A real geek, a true geek would raid his parts box

When I want a random number I write an Excel formula for it. For a dx numbered y to x (unless y=0), "=INT(RAND()*x+y)". E.g., "=INT(RAND()*6+1)" or "=INT(RAND()*100)".

Comment from: larksilver posted at February 2, 2006 9:39 AM

See now, when Superman did it, I never took it as about virility at all. It was a little peek at the Shift from Alter Ego to Super Hero. It was a "haha! A secret under my regular joe clothes!"

Sure, sure, Supes had a serious chest.. but then, he's Supes, right, so that's expected. He's sort of the essence of virility anyway, and thus doesn't need to show it off.

I think anybody else who does it as a show of virility is going to come off looking .. well, less than Super.

Comment from: siwangmu posted at February 2, 2006 9:47 AM

A real geek, a true geek would [thing] his [thing]. He'd (c'mon- it's a manly geekness here!) [more things].

Alright, let's see if I can do this: I am not attempting a personal attack, because I am pretty darn sure you Know Not What You Do, and I feel no animosity towards you at all, but purely on the level of ideas and concepts?

I'm giving you the finger right now.

I would've let you get away (an expression: I don't mean you, I mean the content of this post) with going from "a real geek" to the things "he'd" do. I have a decently tight leash on the things I'll actually decide need responding to. But good Lord, it had to progress to the manliness bit? It's practically over-the-top enough to seem like a parody of the gender things, but doesn't quite give me that impression, thus me deciding to say something about it.

So. Yes. Your expressions (and, naturally, the cultural baggage they represent to me)? They are getting the finger from me, with all my little girly emphasis.

(Did I manage the not-personal-attack thing? I hoped that the explanations would go ahead and let me express things forcefully but am very willing to be corrected and sorry if I have in fact crossed the line)

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at February 2, 2006 9:59 AM

siwangmu: I suspect we're not over the line, but I'll put up the smoke signal just in case. Um... smokily.

I wonder though. I'm reminded just slightly of Dave Barry's The Complete Guide to Guys. Though Mister Barry was able to separate innate 'guyness' from gender, he made it clear that the difference between a man or woman and a guy was the little voice in the back of a guy's head that's thinking either "you know, I can build my own shelves despite never holding a hammer in my life" or "I wonder what happens when we set a golf ball on fire."

I agree that true geekiness transcends gender, and is itself distinct from a Barrian Guyness. I think if Doug had substituted "a Geekly Geekness" for "a Manly Geekness," his actual intent would have been better served.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at February 2, 2006 10:01 AM

See now, when Superman did it, I never took it as about virility at all. It was a little peek at the Shift from Alter Ego to Super Hero. It was a "haha! A secret under my regular joe clothes!"

"I know all there is to know about the crying game...."

Oh, come on. You were thinking it too.

Comment from: siwangmu posted at February 2, 2006 10:19 AM

"I wonder what happens when we set a golf ball on fire."

Or stuck it in the microwave. So if I wonder, too, that means I have innate guyness? I don't know whether I totally love the concept. I mean, I'm all about ways to reference things that are simple and clear, but... it reinforces.

"I think if Doug had substituted "a Geekly Geekness" for "a Manly Geekness," his actual intent would have been better served."

The fact that I do believe that would've been closer to his intent is why I tried so hard to make it not a personal attack. But it does get old, this whole thing where geeks are guys and girl geeks are girls who are like guys and have guy traits. Kind of like how Elizabeth I was so awesome she ruled like a man, or smart women in history who were praised with total sincerity by hearing that they were so very smart they were like men.

And a slight tangent: humor frequently succeeds by grabbing hold of social constructions, archetypes and stereotypes and treating them as natural. The fact that the results often read as intuitive is to be expected, but not necessarily the best base ever for social theory. Please excuse me if I'm being overly serious here, it's just how I think.

Comment from: Doug posted at February 2, 2006 10:31 AM

Normally, I'd not double post, but I feel this needs clarifcation, if only to satisfy myself.

It's practically over-the-top enough to seem like a parody of the gender things

Perzactly. I outgrew most of my heavy-duty nerd/geek behavior decades ago. While I still remember portions of it fondly, I tend to cringe at the memories of the balance of it. I still poke fun at the well-meaning not-quite youngster that thought spending way too much time and money on something to roll dice for his gaming (C &S, for those keeping track) was a neat thing.

As Eric has noted, geekiness is an equal opportunity state of mind.

It's still manly when it's aroused, though!

Comment from: Bahimiron posted at February 2, 2006 10:52 AM

Man.

Chicks sure can get sensitive!

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at February 2, 2006 11:23 AM

Golf balls generally don't burn very well, sadly. You have to coat them in some sort of sticky fuel to get them up to the flash point.

Comment from: larksilver posted at February 2, 2006 12:36 PM

Eric: I've never seen The Crying Game. Is this something dreadful about me that I should remedy?

Siwangmu: I just took all that to mean that since the geek posting was a guy, he just naturally used the masculine form of geekness. If I'd posted it, I would have used "she" and "geeky-girliness" instead of manliness references.

Still.. you giving him the finger cracked me up. It's just so.. soo.. not girly. And yet, it is. Does that make sense?

Dave: I once watched the he-geeks and the guys at the comic shop burn poke-mon figures.. apparently their flash point is also fairly high. They managed, but it required lighter fluid...

Comment from: larksilver posted at February 2, 2006 12:37 PM

Oh, and Bahimiron: /bonk. Silly wabbit.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at February 2, 2006 12:50 PM

But the thing is, when Superman ripped his shirt open, it was the very essence of virility.

Take how Clark Kent was depicted when pulling his shirt open became so emblematic. Clark was, no doubt about it, a wuss. He went out of his way to demonstrate that Clark Kent couldn't possibly be Superman, because he was an ordinary man, and a weak one at that.

But the second he's alone, and someone needs help, he rips off his weakling shirt and reveals he is not a normal man, but much more powerful, strong, and yes virile than all other men - he is a superman in the Nietzsche definition of the word. Ripping off the shirt is a symbol that Superman is here, and he is powerful enough to take care of you. Paternalism away!

And as Dave pointed out, golf balls don't burn well at all. Unless you can get a hold of some serious fuel, you might get some scorch marks on the ball and that's it.

Actually, Eric, I wasn't thinking about The Crying Game. Mostly because I remember watching the movie and wondering afterwards what the big flipping secret was. Maybe being only 13 at the time made things a bit too subtle for me to figure out. I was instead thinking of that old show, "I've Got A Secret!"

Finally, Lark, the movie is pretty good, but it's more known for its twist than its actual thematic content. It also features the fastest fence-hopping scene in cinematic history.

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at February 2, 2006 12:54 PM

Because Weds doesn't allow comments in her threads I have to comment here.

Once again: there are alternative feedback methods available to one, including emailing websnark @ gmail.com, posting to Snarkoleptics, and (where applicable) making use of one's own weblog. Hijacking a post of Eric's makes it more likely that comments will be lost in the undertow because they are simply not going to be relevant to the ongoing conversation, and I am not necessarily going to see that feedback on any given thread.

Of course, if one's goal is less to discuss the post and more to draw the regulars' attention to one's observations, then obviously there is nothing I can suggest that might be of use. That said, the compulsion is, at best, overstated.

Comment from: Christopher B. Wright posted at February 2, 2006 1:02 PM

The compulsion to draw attention to one's observations on the web is overstated? I have no idea how that is possible. :)

Comment from: Bahimiron posted at February 2, 2006 2:07 PM

Gotta say, I kind've find the idea that the best place to discuss an essay posted here on this blog is ... in my own blog? On a blog list wholly separate from this blog? to be kind of awkward.

I understand if you don't want to take questions after the lecture, Professor, but it seems odd to suggest that the best place to discuss it afterward is on the bulletin board in the dorm community area.

Anyway, given the history of comment thread on this particular blog? Hijacking one is something akin to hijacking a truck that's going to go off the cliff anyway. Sure, it might not be kosher, but the thread has gone off the path anyway. From 'I want dice!' to 'let us discuss the potential gender insensitivity inherent to the word 'geek''. Tossing in 'shirts and the men who do not wear them!' is not apt to start wearing away at the integrity of the superstrings that hold Websnark together.

Or maybe it will!

Either way, jus' sayin'. Some people might be in the .02% of the world's population that don't have a blog. This is their best bet at being heard.

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at February 2, 2006 2:13 PM

It is perhaps a little disturbing that so many of us know how hard it is to burn a golf ball.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at February 2, 2006 2:28 PM

Possibly... but then again, maybe setting golf balls on fire is secretly the real Great American Pastime (tm).

I mean, it's not like we're discussing how long you can be on fire when covered with alcohol before you are a threat to receive massive burn scars.

Based on personal experience, at least 5 minutes.

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at February 2, 2006 2:38 PM

I understand if you don't want to take questions after the lecture, Professor, but it seems odd to suggest that the best place to discuss it afterward is on the bulletin board in the dorm community area.

We've been over this. It should be a testament to the ineffectiveness of thread hijacking that it wasn't noticed.

Non-webcomics weblogging has managed the interblog dialogue quite nicely over the years. If people are interested in writing essays inspired by established subjects, this is appropriate and there is a long-established precedent.

If people want to read about something else, such as webcomics, there are venues appropriate for that where their concerns will be more immediately visible. If people want their insights to be visible to all (as opposed to simply wanting to talk about what they've read), it's more appropriate for those people to post in their own dedicated environments at their own targeted readership.

I am happy to take questions after the lecture; that's why we have a contact address.

The problem with sticking things wherever it's most convenient to do so is that the mess rapidly becomes difficult to sort out. This is as much about organization as anything else. So I want to discourage people from taking the lack of a comments area on my posts as an open invitation to post them with Eric's.

Comment from: Darrin_Bright posted at February 2, 2006 3:23 PM

I'm still confused... I think I missed the "we've been over this" part of, well, "we've been over this", because I'm not recalling exactly why you're not enabling comments on your posts. Could you explain it again?

Comment from: Tangent posted at February 2, 2006 4:20 PM

For a comment that wasn't noticed it is being talked about a bit.

Ever think it was just a moment's whimsy and silliness that I didn't mind would be mostly ignored by the masses? :) Basically I wanted to say "good job, Weds!" and say something silly while doing so?

Still, 12 sided d6s would be rather fun and unique for whenever I play a game of Warhammer or Warhammer 40K. I mean, those 6 siders tend to get caught in crannies and the like, and get cocked uneven and so forth. Sure, I'll have to roll the 12 sided d6s more often because I won't have 60 of them... but it'll stand out. And who knows, maybe they won't get lost as quickly! (Yeah, riiiiight!)

Rob H.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at February 2, 2006 4:46 PM

Heaven forbid there be anything resembling anarchy on the Internet.

Comment from: siwangmu posted at February 2, 2006 5:20 PM

The evidence re: thread hijackings and ineffectiveness is, I believe, the bunch of comments on this thread.

Also, "From 'I want dice!' to 'let us discuss the potential gender insensitivity inherent to the word 'geek''."
Wow. I realize this was intended as caricature, but... the disparity in the validity of seeing sexism in the word geek and seeing sexism in, you know, a thing about "Manly Man Things" is, well, striking. And Doug, I gotta admit that I'm actually less clear than I was before on things (your parody of your habits amounts to a gender issue parody? Geekiness is manly when aroused?), but I can live with the confusion and I'm not sure we'll profit from me trying to get my head around things further.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at February 2, 2006 6:08 PM

When I want a random number I write an Excel formula for it. For a dx numbered y to x (unless y=0), "=INT(RAND()*x+y)". E.g., "=INT(RAND()*6+1)" or "=INT(RAND()*100)".

That's not right. It ought to be: For a dx numbered y to (x-1+y), "=INT(RAND()*x+y)". I think. Anyone?

Comment from: Canuck-Errant posted at February 2, 2006 8:58 PM

I do wish there were a readily accessible link to the LJ community from the frontpage, though.

Comment from: Archon Divinus posted at February 2, 2006 9:10 PM

The excel formula I know is

=RAND()*(6-1)+1

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at February 2, 2006 9:56 PM

=RAND()*(6-1)+1

Well, it comes to the same thing as mine, except yours doesn't render just an integer. You could format for no decimal places, but then .5 or over rounds up. So with a virtual d6 you have only a one in twelve chance of rolling a 1, and you have a one in twelve chance of rolling a 7. My way's tidier, I think.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at February 2, 2006 10:00 PM

No, I'm wrong. With that "(6-1)" there, you can't roll a six, unless you format to no decimal places and you get a one in ten chance of a 6 on a virtual d5.

Comment from: Bahimiron posted at February 2, 2006 10:00 PM

[quote]Wow. I realize this was intended as caricature, but... the disparity in the validity of seeing sexism in the word geek and seeing sexism in, you know, a thing about "Manly Man Things" is, well, striking.[/quote]

Simmer down, now. Let's not get hysterical.

Comment from: Bahimiron posted at February 2, 2006 10:02 PM

Ooooh. I actually meant to click preview and then I didn't!

Man. On Wikipedia a mistake like that would have the plus side of making my vote count just a little bit more on AFD arguments. Here I just feel silly.

Comment from: Eric the .5b posted at February 3, 2006 12:13 AM

I've long wanted d16s numbered 0-F.

Aside from rolling random colors for web page design, I'm not sure what I'd use them for, but hey.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at February 3, 2006 12:21 AM

Traveller, one assumes.

Comment from: siwangmu posted at February 3, 2006 12:57 AM

Bahimiron, you are so lucky I connected you to the earlier comment about sensitivity; for a second there I seriously contemplated the possibility that you were just a tremendous dumbass :).

Comment from: miyaa posted at February 3, 2006 2:45 AM

What about 30-sided dice? It's not percentile games and it is bigger than d20 games (which are a dime a dozen). Where you would use a d30? When you can't figure out which flavor other than vanilla you want at the 31 Flavors Ice Cream store?

And yeah, I have been listening to I'm 31 Flavors...and then some. Or is it 32 flavors?

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at February 3, 2006 7:39 AM

It's 32 flavors at Breyer's, I think.

Comment from: Bahimiron posted at February 3, 2006 7:47 AM

The most awesome geek die I ever had was an authentic d100.

Man, that thing was just stupid.

It never stopped rolling. You could actually throw the d100, grab two d10s and throw them, then make a sandwich and when you came back that d100 would still be spinning around.

Stupid, stupid die.

Comment from: Cnoocy posted at February 3, 2006 8:04 AM

Eric the b/2, The previously mentioned gamestation seems to have you covered:
http://www.gamestation.net/prodinfo.asp?number=QPI0001

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at February 3, 2006 8:24 AM

Well, there are certain situations is Cheapass Games' Button Men that require a d30. That's why I own two of them.

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at February 3, 2006 11:38 AM

I thought Traveller didn't actually go all the way to F, topping out at D or something? Then again, I last read the rules in the mid 80s. (No need to interject "this makes me feel old," as even KNOWING about Traveller makes one feel old by default, eh?)

While we're still dice-geeking, here's a complete inventory of my Weird Dice Bag (I use the d50 as a plug, since the bag comes untied eventually no matter what I do...I suppose I should wire it shut or something). All numbers are either black or white, except for the d16s which are uncolored.

d50 (beige).
d34 (black).
d30 (black, large size).
Crystal d20 (ruby swirly), d12 (gunmetal swirly), d10 (gunmetal swirly), d10 (amethyst swirly), d8 (emerald swirly), d6 (ruby swirly), d4 (blue swirly).
pipped d10s (one red, one black).
Slightly defective d16s (tan and lavender).
pipped d8 (ivory).
d12 with zodiac signs (black) (I used to also have one with planet symbols, but I seem to have lost it).
d7 (black with multicolored pips, white 6 and 7 on pentagonal faces).
Fraction dice (green d10 with the tenths, blue d8 with the eighths, four different d6s with various progressions).
Five 1d6+N dice which each give a range six wide starting at some arbitrary number (starting at 5, 6, 13, 19 and 25).

Also, in my office I have a film canister with 137 tiny (6mm) d6s, a portable radioactive decay simulator. And another pill bottle full of an unreasonable number of 6mm d6s from Pirates of the Spanish Main and Rocketmen is in my gaming bag. I used to carry a film canister full of all the "0-9 twice" d20s from the TWERPS sets I bought in grad school, but recently did some cleaning and dropped it from the roster.

And, of course, a hundred or so other non-d6 dice in various places around the apartment, a half pound solid copper d20, a tennisball sized plastic d20, a couple of giant display clear plastic d6s, several sets of those "d6 inside a hollow d6" dice, etc etc etc.

Comment from: Pyrthas posted at February 3, 2006 12:19 PM

I still think that the most important non-standard dice to have are a d5 and a d24, because with one roll of each, you can reproduce any of the standard D&D dice.

Comment from: Christopher B. Wright posted at February 3, 2006 2:04 PM

there are five sided dice?

*hangs head in shame*

*surrenders his gaming geek credentials*

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at February 3, 2006 3:08 PM

They're just triangular prisms, with a thickness such that it's equally likely to fall on a rectangular or triangular side. The numbering on the rectangular side can either be along the bottom (like a d4) or on a truncated edge just thick enough for a number.

Personally, I'd prefer something like a cross between the pentagonal d7 and a crystal die.

Comment from: Mazlynn posted at February 3, 2006 3:45 PM

"I do wish there were a readily accessible link to the LJ community from the frontpage, though."

I agree - if we're being encouraged to use alternate means of communication rather than the comments, it would be nice to make those means easy to find. I didn't know about the LJ communities for the longest time, and after catching a few references in the comments, eventaully went to track them down. Similarly, I don't see any easy way to get addresses on the front page. It would be kind of nice to have those available.

(Not that it makes such a big difference to me, since you can tell by the frequency of my comments that I love to lurk. But I had been thinking this earlier today and was going to send an e-mail suggesting it, but couldn't find an e-mail link in the 10 seconds I was willing to look before I lost motivation. :))

Comment from: miyaa posted at February 3, 2006 4:46 PM

The only game I ever saw that used those zodiac d12 was the really, really, really silly card game Killer Bunnies. That game kept adding rules and other trinkets with every new colored card expansion it produced. That game isn't as silly as any of the Steven Jackson "Munchkin" games. But close.

I can understand the regular sized and smaller 6mm dice (I call them fairy dice). I don't understand those really large dice that are about the size of your fist and when you roll them on the table they either leave a dent on your table or go through the table. I mean they could make a mean shot-put with those very large dice. Or dumbbells.

Comment from: miyaa posted at February 3, 2006 4:47 PM

The only game I ever saw that used those zodiac d12 was the really, really, really silly card game Killer Bunnies. That game kept adding rules and other trinkets with every new colored card expansion it produced. That game isn't as silly as any of the Steven Jackson "Munchkin" games. But close.

I can understand the regular sized and smaller 6mm dice (I call them fairy dice). I don't understand those really large dice that are about the size of your fist and when you roll them on the table they either leave a dent on your table or go through the table. I mean they could make a mean shot-put with those very large dice. Or dumbbells.

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at February 3, 2006 4:58 PM

The largest of dice are usually manufactured as window display things, not for use. However, they do have a certain intimidation value when used in actual play. And they're good for keeping shelving units from tipping over. :)

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at February 3, 2006 6:41 PM

I've seen giant foam dice used as projectiles frequently. It wouldn't surprise me to see someone use the more solid dice for the same purpose.

I'd love to have giant dice, myself. I'd probably bring a small bit of carpet to roll them on, just for effect and to be allowed to use them more than once.

Comment from: Denyer posted at February 4, 2006 9:15 AM

I don't see any easy way to get addresses on the front page

MT is easy enough to make template or code changes to.

you can tell by the frequency of my comments that I love to lurk.

Likewise. Part of the interest is the discussion. Not like, say, Slashdot, where the original article is an afterthought, but of some interest.

Anyone know whether casino-style dice can be found in gamer shapes? i.e. Somewhat oversized and translucent, with sharp edges and a satisfying heftiness.

These and these are quite funky, as are the real stone ones.

Comment from: Mazlynn posted at February 4, 2006 12:55 PM

I don't understand those really large dice that are about the size of your fist and when you roll them on the table they either leave a dent on your table or go through the table.

They are extremely usefull if you are gaming with someone who has toddlers - that way you can give the kid a dice to play with that they can't swallow. The same is true if you have cats that like to steal the dice off the gaming table - the huge ones are much easier to find and harder for the cat to hide under the fridge. :)

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at February 4, 2006 3:25 PM

MT is easy enough to make template or code changes to.

That wasn't what the poster was saying -- at least, I took it to mean that he couldn't easily locate alternative contact information.

I suppose now is the time to casually drop that a site overhaul is in the works.

Comment from: Mazlynn posted at February 4, 2006 4:02 PM

I took it to mean that he couldn't easily locate alternative contact information.

Precisely. Basically, I was refering to the fact that there's not an easily visible "contact us" link on the front page, or the like.

Comment from: Copper Hamster posted at February 4, 2006 4:52 PM

DvD: Friend of mine (plays Champions) refers to the big display d6 of his as his 1d6 Ranged Killing Attack. (Bout 5" on a side.)

good place to keep your various dice is a plastic toolbox. When you need some of them pull out the tray and toss the ones you need that evening in it.

Alas I've gotten complacent in my old age, my gaming bag has an altoid's tin with a set of... let me do some math here... 22 year old lucky crystal dice that I have to redo the numbers on once a year's worth of handling or so, including one of the old style vorpal d4's that were really a bad idea to step on. They are lucky because I've had my dice (in one case all my dice) stolen or lost 3 times and somehow they have not managed to go away with the others. (Is that lucky or is it Cursed items you can't throw away?) and another tin with 8 pipped d6's (I have to count up numbered dice. I can tell the total of up to 2 dozen pipped dice at a glance, though everyone makes me count anyway...)

I don't 'carry' anything in the odd dice department, I've just not needed them.

Denyer: I've got a set of 'oversized' pipped dice.. about an inch on a side? I used to have some oversized d20's, but they went missing when someone broke into my car. (nerdthieves, they stole my gaming stuff and left the cd collection, discman, easily removable DIN mount stereo, and the $15 in dollar coins/.50 pieces I had lying on the dashboard.)

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at February 4, 2006 4:59 PM

Mazlynn: email contact information is in the FAQ, but websnark @ gmail . com is what you're after at the moment.

Comment from: Lilamrta posted at February 4, 2006 5:29 PM

Copper Hamster, I think "nerdthieves" is one of the best new compound nouns I've heard lately. Very nifty. Not your being robbed, but the word. Right.

Comment from: miyaa posted at February 4, 2006 7:57 PM

I wonder, would an oversized d100 double as a bowling ball?

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at February 4, 2006 9:43 PM

Depends on how oversized it is. It could qualify as a wrecking ball depending on size and solidity (given that Zocchi always made his d100s hollow).

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at February 4, 2006 11:01 PM

Zocchihedrons are hollow because there's chips inside that slow it down and keep it from rolling forever on level surfaces.

Comment from: gwalla posted at February 4, 2006 11:45 PM

Back in my high school gaming group, we used to refer to a d20 as the "Die of Awakening", for waking up on particular player who would always nod off in non-combat bits (but during combat would complain about runs being "nothing but combat". Prick.)

A friend once bought a terrible, terrible independently-published (read: printed at Kinko's) game called Proteus. It was almost entirely d30-based, which the rules actually said was due to d30s being "good projectiles".

Six-sided d3s seem to be surprisingly hard to find, given that they're just relabelled d6es, and presumably require no specialized equipment to manufacture, unlike the cylindrical d3s I've seen.

Comment from: larksilver posted at February 5, 2006 2:52 PM

Y'know.. websnark is a site that I love. I am a geeky gal, and I know it. I'm a bit of a dork, too, and that's cool - dorks have more fun, and are more comfy within our own skin, methinks.

But this thread scares the hell outta me. It's just... wow. I feel like I've just come around the corner to find everyone engaged in something.. icky, that never occurred to be me before now. I mean, this thread has gone on for 5 days .. five days about dice.

I'm not trashin' anybody or anything. I'm just flummoxed - I never dreamed there could be that much to say about dice. Wow.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at February 5, 2006 5:20 PM

I think it's less that there's this much can be said about dice than that Eric's offered us nothing more recently to comment on. Not that, my own meager contributions notwithstanding, I'da thought there was so much to be said about dice, either.

Comment from: siwangmu posted at February 5, 2006 6:35 PM

If I were Eric and Weds, I would be sore tempted to just put up a one word post, like "Badgers," leave for a week, and see what we do. And then there's the whole kind of Zen of Nothing New On Websnark, with stages like denial, grief, acceptance, rage and "look, I thought of something else to say about dice." And a special one in my catalogue for the sestina incident.

Comment from: larksilver posted at February 5, 2006 7:08 PM

You're probably right, Siwangmu and Paul G. This group loves to talk so much they'll talk about dirt if Eric and Weds put it out there.

Still... dice. Wow.

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at February 5, 2006 8:59 PM

Geeks have said far more than is necessary about dice for almost as long as I've been alive. It's gonna happen. :)

Comment from: Canuck-Errant posted at February 5, 2006 9:59 PM

Yes, the joys of polyhedrons are many. I'd link to the Dork Tower series on dice, but I'm too lazy.

Comment from: cencithomas posted at February 5, 2006 11:48 PM

I would be sore tempted to just put up a one word post, like "Badgers,"...
Badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger mushroom mushroom!

*ahem*

...

Oh c'mon, you know someone was going to do it. :-/

Ooh- BTW Siwangmu, This American Life had an article I found entirely fascinating awhile back...OK, found it: it was act 2 of the August 30, 2002 episode, entitled Infinite Gent (I can't figure out the exact URL or I'd post it). The summary reads as follows: An interview with Griffin Hansbury, who started life as a woman, but began taking massive testosterone injections seven years ago, and now lives as a man. He explains how testosterone changed his views on nature vs. nurture for good. Thought maybe you might find it of interest.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at February 6, 2006 10:30 AM

I'm almost convinced that this is an experiment to tell how we'd react if Eric and Weds stopped writing Websnark.

I guess, Lark, you've never seen role-players talk about dice before. To put it bluntly... we sometimes get fanatical about it. Probably the best way I can put it is this - the corresponding expression for role-players to "worth their salt" is "worth their dice bag."

And to be fair, I provoked the sestina incident purposely.

Comment from: Godspiel posted at February 7, 2006 12:59 AM

Oh God I love dirt....

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