Those Funny Dice

Those Funny Dice

The history (and mystery) of dice.

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I can't be the only one who's ever rolled a Barbarian for no other reason than to get the most use out of my D12.

Good times.

I love Dice they are so fun to play with in RP's until they starts being all 1's then they become small projectiles

One interesting thing I find about D12 that could probably be noted in this column (and will be henceforth noted in the comments) is that the D12, due to its shape, is the dice most likely to roll off on some weird path, right off the table.

The D20 is more spherical, but the D12 is the die that is always trying to escape.

Anyone else able to confirm that? because it's proven true time and time again with me.

Dice are one of my favorite things about RPGs, how can anyone NOT love them?

They're also a great ice-breaker for trying to explain the hobby to someone, as soon as you break out those funny little polyhedral lumps of plastic then it doesn't matter how nerdy they thought you were before and they're now instantly paying attention utterly fascinated.

Mmm, I do love tabletop RPG dice. Nothing like rolling a few dice and hoping the Dice Gods will bestow victory upon you.

I'd like to have a necklace with a die on it. Or one with loads of dice.

The very notion that ancient Romans had d20s is brain-meltingly insane to me. "Ave, Meridius! Roll to see if I'm getting drunk."

Singular: Die; "Roll one die."
Plural: Dice; "Roll two dice."

On can no more roll one dice as they can eat one bananas.

Altorin:
One interesting thing I find about D12 that could probably be noted in this column (and will be henceforth noted in the comments) is that the D12, due to its shape, is the dice most likely to roll off on some weird path, right off the table.

The D20 is more spherical, but the D12 is the die that is always trying to escape.

Anyone else able to confirm that? because it's proven true time and time again with me.

My experience confirms that.

as for the off the table or cocked dice rule, we always do re roll of the die/ce in question

Anacortian:
Singular: Die; "Roll one die."
Plural: Dice; "Roll two dice."

On can no more roll one dice as they can eat one bananas.

The New Fowler's Modern Usage (Oxford University Press, 1996) would disagree with you: "The small cubes with faces bearing 1-6 spots used in games of chance are the dice (pl.); and one of them is also called a dice."

In point of fact, "dice" is one of those words in English that has multiple accepted singulars/plurals. There's no "right" answer, only personal preference.

Dice are as much a part of RPGs as Monty Python quotes. But you forgot the D2, commonly known as the coin. :)

I'll have to side with the "die"-for-singular people, even if "dice" is considered OK by some in modern usage. It just sounds wrong. Of course we all got used to using "agenda" and "data" as singular too, so it'll probably be a matter of time before the entire world does it the wrong/modern way.

While on the topic, I'm pretty sure those two things are called hexAhedron and octAhedron; As, not Os.

Retodon8:
While on the topic, I'm pretty sure those two things are called hexAhedron and octAhedron; As, not Os.

Quite correct. I'm surprised I let those misspellings through.

Behold: The D2.

SnootyEnglishman:
I love Dice they are so fun to play with in RP's until they starts being all 1's then they become small projectiles

Thats been my luck as of late...god, Critical Fail for the los ><

Scrythe:

Behold: The D2.

Your link isn't working for me but I'm sure it looks something like this:
image

I still have my dice, although I haven't played any Pen and Paper Rpgs in over a decade. I also must note my dice always give me crappy rolls, which doesn't help get me back into gaming.

Retodon8:
I'll have to side with the "die"-for-singular people, even if "dice" is considered OK by some in modern usage. It just sounds wrong. Of course we all got used to using "agenda" and "data" as singular too, so it'll probably be a matter of time before the entire world does it the wrong/modern way.

While on the topic, I'm pretty sure those two things are called hexAhedron and octAhedron; As, not Os.

This drives me fucking crazy. Especially when I say "die" or "datum" and people look at me like I'm speaking in tongues, or when I type "these data" and people are like, "lol word-use fail."

The people I used to roleplay with all said "die", though. So it sounds to me like someone is saying "a bananas" when someone says "a dice".

U know what's cool, spherical d6's, they're really bad as dice, but they're still really cool.

James Maliszewski:

Anacortian:
Singular: Die; "Roll one die."
Plural: Dice; "Roll two dice."

On can no more roll one dice as they can eat one bananas.

The New Fowler's Modern Usage (Oxford University Press, 1996) would disagree with you: "The small cubes with faces bearing 1-6 spots used in games of chance are the dice (pl.); and one of them is also called a dice."

In point of fact, "dice" is one of those words in English that has multiple accepted singulars/plurals. There's no "right" answer, only personal preference.

I did not note the Canadian citizenship. While Oxford is the conventionally definitive body in determining True English (as spoken in England), Webster is the accepted standard for American English and disagrees both in dictionary.com and my hardcover from 2001. Siting a "modern use" guide is about as far as one can get from an official source. So far as I can tell, "dice" is only plural throughout the history of the word. Relying on "modern use" guides would also lead one to omit the comma before "and) in a list, accept "ain't" as anything but first-person singular, and allow 7331 speak and emoticons in formal writing. I maintain a firm prejudice against "modern use" guides.

I'm addicted to collecting dice.
Even during dry periods where I wasn't playing D&D I could never resist buying a cool looking D20, D6, D10 (which are the ones I tend to collect the most of) to add to my freaking too large collection.

I carry mine in a large Crown Royal bag and although I don't take the whole thing when I play, my "best choice" collection is still like going to the table with a bag of bricks.

I pour the whole thing out then pick which dice are "speaking" to me for that game :P

I say that comfortable in the knowledge that others have far stranger dice habits.

As a heavily involved member of a my local games society, we have quite the morass of dice. We even handed out small bags of gaming dice (1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d12 and 1d20) to each and every member who signed up at SocMart.

I'm amazed you all but glossed over the d10 and its strange 0-9 range (opposed faces always add up to 9, unlike most dice which add up their highest value +1), and its counterpart, the d%, with its even stranger 00-90 range. As a pair, they can generate numbers from 00 to 99 (although most people treat 00 as 100). That's used in Warhammer Fantasy, Dark Heresy, and other Games Workshop RPGs derived from their wargames (which use d6s). With many d10s, you can play White Wolf's World of Darkness tabletop game, which relies on dice pools. For each point in an attribute, skill, etc. involved in the challenge at hand, add a whole extra die. Each die showing 8, 9 or 0 after a roll counts as "one success" against the target difficulty of the roll. It's a really good system.

viciouspen:
I say that comfortable in the knowledge that others have far stranger dice habits.

Dice habits and dice rituals are bloody amusing, provided they don't get out of hand, annoy, or interrupt the flow of the game (whether that flow is serious roleplay or "lol I kill the monster"). I have a friend who is bloody obsessed with finding and practising dice habits. Me, I just spin the dice on their points and built ascending towers. d20 at the bottom, then the d12, then the 2d10, then the d6... and then it all falls over as I place the d4.

Anacortian:

James Maliszewski:

Anacortian:
Singular: Die; "Roll one die."
Plural: Dice; "Roll two dice."

On can no more roll one dice as they can eat one bananas.

The New Fowler's Modern Usage (Oxford University Press, 1996) would disagree with you: "The small cubes with faces bearing 1-6 spots used in games of chance are the dice (pl.); and one of them is also called a dice."

In point of fact, "dice" is one of those words in English that has multiple accepted singulars/plurals. There's no "right" answer, only personal preference.

I did not note the Canadian citizenship. While Oxford is the conventionally definitive body in determining True English (as spoken in England), Webster is the accepted standard for American English and disagrees both in dictionary.com and my hardcover from 2001. Siting a "modern use" guide is about as far as one can get from an official source. So far as I can tell, "dice" is only plural throughout the history of the word. Relying on "modern use" guides would also lead one to omit the comma before "and) in a list, accept "ain't" as anything but first-person singular, and allow 7331 speak and emoticons in formal writing. I maintain a firm prejudice against "modern use" guides.

you are aware that english is a living language right?

It's healthy for a living language to change over the course of time, and in fact it is inevitable.

However someone chooses to word something, that's how it's worded, as long as there is consistency for long enough, that will become tomorrows formality.

eventually, what we currently think of as "modern" will be "classical", and there'll be some new modern parlance for people to cry about.

Shakespeare was "common language" when he wrote it. It was lowbrow stuff, and he invented LOTS of words that are normal everyday words nowadays, like Eyeball. I'm sure there were plenty of cranky victorians that thought along your lines.

I carry my d20s around with me most of the time. There's something strangely comforting about holding them in my hands. I can also impress people by spinning them on their tips.

In my nearly 30 years of playing D&D (and other tabletop RPGs) I've bought a lot of dice. In my youth, I'd head over to the hobby shop ("High as a Kite", long-since closed down) and pick through the box of dice looking for the ones that rolled "just right". Inevitably, once used in-game, the carefully selected dice would roll poorly and let me down. I'd head back to the hobby shop and repeat the selection process. Again, and again, and again.

Now, I just buy them by the set. I've long since realized it's not the dice's fault (despite Lou Zocchi educating me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR2fxoNHIuU & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxmkWrDbn34 ) but, instead, my own inherent bad dice luck. I've had others use my dice and not have nearly the in-game failure rate that I do. I rarely offer to roll for a player as it'll most likely fail. It's me. I've taken to using a dice cup for the rolls, thinking maybe if I don't touch the dice prior to rolling maybe it'll help. So far, this has proven false. I'm thinking maybe a dice-tower (for rolling) and some ice tongs so I don't touch the dice at all. This, of course, is based on my luck being passed on by touch. If it's aura-based then I'm probably hosed since I don't know how I can roll dice from across the table.

Anacortian:

James Maliszewski:

Anacortian:
Singular: Die; "Roll one die."
Plural: Dice; "Roll two dice."

On can no more roll one dice as they can eat one bananas.

The New Fowler's Modern Usage (Oxford University Press, 1996) would disagree with you: "The small cubes with faces bearing 1-6 spots used in games of chance are the dice (pl.); and one of them is also called a dice."

In point of fact, "dice" is one of those words in English that has multiple accepted singulars/plurals. There's no "right" answer, only personal preference.

I did not note the Canadian citizenship. While Oxford is the conventionally definitive body in determining True English (as spoken in England), Webster is the accepted standard for American English and disagrees both in dictionary.com and my hardcover from 2001. Siting a "modern use" guide is about as far as one can get from an official source. So far as I can tell, "dice" is only plural throughout the history of the word. Relying on "modern use" guides would also lead one to omit the comma before "and) in a list, accept "ain't" as anything but first-person singular, and allow 7331 speak and emoticons in formal writing. I maintain a firm prejudice against "modern use" guides.

The oxford dictionary doesn't SPEAK english. Think about it.

Besides, english is a living language so any dictionary is out of date the instant its finished anyway.

What about the D1? No love for the D1?

Dark Templar:

Anacortian:

James Maliszewski:

Anacortian:
Singular: Die; "Roll one die."
Plural: Dice; "Roll two dice."

On can no more roll one dice as they can eat one bananas.

The New Fowler's Modern Usage (Oxford University Press, 1996) would disagree with you: "The small cubes with faces bearing 1-6 spots used in games of chance are the dice (pl.); and one of them is also called a dice."

In point of fact, "dice" is one of those words in English that has multiple accepted singulars/plurals. There's no "right" answer, only personal preference.

I did not note the Canadian citizenship. While Oxford is the conventionally definitive body in determining True English (as spoken in England), Webster is the accepted standard for American English and disagrees both in dictionary.com and my hardcover from 2001. Siting a "modern use" guide is about as far as one can get from an official source. So far as I can tell, "dice" is only plural throughout the history of the word. Relying on "modern use" guides would also lead one to omit the comma before "and) in a list, accept "ain't" as anything but first-person singular, and allow 7331 speak and emoticons in formal writing. I maintain a firm prejudice against "modern use" guides.

The oxford dictionary doesn't SPEAK english. Think about it.

Besides, english is a living language so any dictionary is out of date the instant its finished anyway.

Yes, and one cannot see how something smells, but every language allows for it.

Altorin:

Anacortian:

James Maliszewski:

Anacortian:
Singular: Die; "Roll one die."
Plural: Dice; "Roll two dice."

On can no more roll one dice as they can eat one bananas.

The New Fowler's Modern Usage (Oxford University Press, 1996) would disagree with you: "The small cubes with faces bearing 1-6 spots used in games of chance are the dice (pl.); and one of them is also called a dice."

In point of fact, "dice" is one of those words in English that has multiple accepted singulars/plurals. There's no "right" answer, only personal preference.

I did not note the Canadian citizenship. While Oxford is the conventionally definitive body in determining True English (as spoken in England), Webster is the accepted standard for American English and disagrees both in dictionary.com and my hardcover from 2001. Siting a "modern use" guide is about as far as one can get from an official source. So far as I can tell, "dice" is only plural throughout the history of the word. Relying on "modern use" guides would also lead one to omit the comma before "and) in a list, accept "ain't" as anything but first-person singular, and allow 7331 speak and emoticons in formal writing. I maintain a firm prejudice against "modern use" guides.

you are aware that english is a living language right?

It's healthy for a living language to change over the course of time, and in fact it is inevitable.

However someone chooses to word something, that's how it's worded, as long as there is consistency for long enough, that will become tomorrows formality.

eventually, what we currently think of as "modern" will be "classical", and there'll be some new modern parlance for people to cry about.

Shakespeare was "common language" when he wrote it. It was lowbrow stuff, and he invented LOTS of words that are normal everyday words nowadays, like Eyeball. I'm sure there were plenty of cranky victorians that thought along your lines.

lolz ur rite. willy spear didnt uber work 2 phit his prose n2 acsepted modes. lowbrow funnys = lobo language & workg makeuping wwords ?en none xsist w/ needed valu s = 2 iust ritingoff conventon. yay, i c it now. u rockxor & pwnd my newbass roflmao. poetry s no diff then witetrash rantg. uve opend me is, tyvm.

Interesting. I had been told (and cannot verify the accuracy of this) that various "dice" were used in wargaming circles that were not the standard six-sided dice. These were pieces of cardboard that were cut into regular shapes with the number of sides equal to the range you wanted to generate a random number, which were numbered. A thin dowel was fixed through the center of the cardboard and the entire device was spin like a top, coming to rest on the resulting number.

I have seen such an item in the Parker Brothers board game Ruffhouse, but I do not know if such things were ever used in wargaming and were the reason why Wesley or Arneson or anyone involved with RPGs would have thought to use dice with sides other than six. It seems strange if they were upon reflection as early D&D boxed sets came with "chit" sheets that were numbered tiles to be cut apart and drawn randomly from a bag or hat. This seems like it would be a more likely randomizer-of-choice for low-budget wargames.

I have a board game that came with a D8 called "Key to the Kingdom." I've had it for quite some time now, actually - it plays sort of like a D&D Light. I tabletop rp on and off as I find people to play with, but I can't resist the lure of the dice jar at my local game store. So fun to dig through!

Hulyen:
I have a board game that came with a D8 called "Key to the Kingdom." I've had it for quite some time now, actually - it plays sort of like a D&D Light.

Wow, never heard of Key to the Kingdom; looks pretty cool...I'll have to hit up eBay for a copy. Trying to get my kids into non-videogames (I know, weird) when I can. Now if only I could pick up a copy of TSR's Dungeon boardgame. This was my kinda D&D boardgame when I was a kid.

TraumaHound:

Hulyen:
I have a board game that came with a D8 called "Key to the Kingdom." I've had it for quite some time now, actually - it plays sort of like a D&D Light.

Wow, never heard of Key to the Kingdom; looks pretty cool...I'll have to hit up eBay for a copy. Trying to get my kids into non-videogames (I know, weird) when I can. Now if only I could pick up a copy of TSR's Dungeon boardgame. This was my kinda D&D boardgame when I was a kid.

Aaaggghh - beware: although fairly straight-forward and fun, the rules to Key to the Kingdom are a bit broken. If your fellow players discover the game's flaw (and it's not house-ruled away) you could find yourself in a game that goes on for hours! (I know I did.)

The tactile sensation of dice rolling is something I enjoy as well, and I definitely do have favourite dice. As for dice habits, one of my favourite to watch is a mate of mine practices a dice shaming circle when he gets a particularly bad dice. He gets all of his dice puts them in a circle with their maximum number showing and then puts the shamed die in the middle showing a one. He never lets this rare practice interupt the flow of the game though.

As for my habits my main one concerns Shadowrun (4th ed) which uses alot of d6's, I use Games Workshop dice due to their small size and the large dice pools. I bought two 30 packs, which at the time contained 20 red & 10 black, so I could have 15 red & 15 black. As a once off I did a roll off to find the top 15 of each colour, and I now take the chosen 30 to each session in a GW dice tin. Once I'm there I do a roll off (5 dice of the same colour at a time) to find the top 9 of each colour (my main combat pool is 18) with dice showing 1's automatically relgated and dice showing 5 or 6 promoted. I find this tends to work fairly effectively, and luck has been with me consistantly over the extended peroid of the life of the game.

One of my pet hates concerning gamers are those who use dice that are not easily readable from across the table. Recently my shadowrun group, I'm a pc, told an offending player the new group standard was to use gw dice with the 2's, 3's & 4's blacked out with a black or red sharpie and that no other dice would be accepted, except for the gm. I have required fellow players to put aside dice which were a bit too lucky, some players can be trusted to just be having a good day and some can't.

As for dice containers; my GW dice are in a GW dice tin, my WOD Promethean dice for Vampire are kept in a tin that looks like a original NES controller and for D&D and other games I keep them in a Chivas Regal (21yo) Royal Salute bag, with excess dice staying in cardboard tube on my rpg bookshelf.

 

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