Die, die, die!

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We have been working on code cleanups to aid future development, as well as some big upcoming features, but those are still several weeks away at least, so as a partial sneak hint about upcoming releases, I wanted to talk about dice.

Most roleplaying games today use polyhedral dice in one way or another, with the four-, six-, eight-, ten-, twelve- and twenty-sided dice being the most common, and buying your first set is often a bit of a right of passage within the roleplaying community, marking the step from ‘casually interested’ to ‘actual gamer’.

One interesting fact though is that these sets usually come with seven dice: one of each, but with a second ten-sider with extra 0’s. The ten-sided die is already an exception in that it is the only one in the set that is not a platonic solids, but it still sees a lot of use, some systems like Vampire relying entirely on d10s even.

While it could simply be a matter of continuing the range of even numbers of sides (4, 6, 8, ?, 12), the ten-sided die in particular also neatly fits with the range of our decimal number system, which is echoed in the second ten-sided die, commonly referred to as a decader d10 or d% — it is used with the other d10 to generate numbers between 1 and 100. Some even refer to it as a d100, which is technically incorrect, but practically equivalent.

So much cooler though!

One reason to use a d% instead of a proper d100 (besides the size and rarity of the latter) is that a d% is much easier to read — even on a slightly crooked table, or lying slightly crooked because of a pizza crumb, paper map or dent in the rolling surface, you can tell what number is on top - this isn’t as easy on a 100 sided die.

Ease of reading is not an unimportant distinction at the table. Some gamers go so far as to pick their dice by whether or not they follow the rule of tincture for maximum readability, or buying a set of each color term so they can refer to a die of a certain colour without confusion.

High Contrast for faster combat

Others though consider the aesthetic value of the die to be of equal or even greater importance, preferring the beautiful colour patterns of the likes of the Chessex Gemini series, even venturing into the down-right intricate such as the 3d-printed ‘Made by Wombat’ Thorns Dice set.

As seen on https://www.shapeways.com/product/T3ZY4LFDB/thorn-dice-set-with-decader

Of course these examples just scratch the surface of what can be said on dice, pun intended. That will have to wait for now though as we continue our development. Do you have a story about your dice though? We’d love to hear about it on our community forum, where you can also find this week’s short little changelog!