Unfortunate Dice

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Though we continue to work, we sadly do not have anything new developments to report today, so I’m taking the opportunity to continue the tale of the die we started last week by taking a look at a few unfortunate dice who sadly tend to be left unused at the table — despite their usefulness!

The clearest example would be the unfortunate d2. In principle, it is the perfect dice to represent an action — it either fails or succeeds, and it is certainly an elegant representation. Sadly, the elegance of this binary also lacks the ability to represent any sort player influence on the matter. Add a +1 and you always succeed (so why roll at all).


Another aspect which condemns the d2 to the realm of the never-used is the fact that its most obvious implementation is a simple coin flip — not only do most people have coins readily available, but it means that it is an ill fit in any dicebag. Some dice-makers do provide d2’s as novelty items, or print a regular D6 with only 1’s and 2’s though.

A whole category of unfortunate dice can be described as the “Odd” ones, that is, dice with an odd number of sides. Of these, only the d3 sees common use (more on that one in another blogpost) but when is the last time you saw a d5, a d9 or a d17? And for no good reason from a gameplay perspective — the difference between a d20 and a d19 or d21 in terms of probabilities are negligible. Of course such dice do exist, but due to their rarity, they remain the domain of collectors and enthusiasts, which makes them impractical for game designers as they tend to be more expensive and less available than the common d20.


The other big category of unfortunate dice are the many-sided dice with high, easily divisible numbers, such as the d48 and the d60. Unlike the “odd” dice, these usually have good shape with elegant geometry. Of course, they aren’t platonic solids, but that is hardly an excuse to avoid them. They are at least as well formed as the d10, if not as common, but perhaps they simply have too many sides to be considered, or maybe they are simply too rare.


But there is one more unfortunate die. It does not have too many sides like the d60, nor too few like the d2, and its shape is geometrical perfection unlike odd dice. It is not even uncommon, and you probably have one if you own any dice that did not come with a classical boardgame.

Yet despite being so common and so perfect, the d12 remains a neglected child amongst its peers, always part of the set, but rarely rolled. So when you get the chance, why not take pity on the beautiful dodecahedron and play a barbarian, grab a battle-axe and give it some love. I’m sure it will appreciate you with many high rolls!

Happy dodecahedron!

As always, we have this week’s changelog ready for you, though it is as empty as they get.