Wednesday, June 15, 2011

If you think the DCC rpg is a dice-selling racket...

...there are alternatives to funding Colonel Zocchi's retirement.

My buddy Stuart owns a d6 labeled 1 to 3 twice.  The number is in a weird font so it's easy to pick out on the table.  I'm not sure where to buy one though.

Chessex sells blank polyhedrals.  You could make your own cubical d3.  A d10 numbered 1-5 twice ought to be a snap as well.  The d7 could be d8 with the 8 replaced with an R for "reroll that sucker".  A blank d20 with four or six R spaces could be used for a d14 or d16.

The d24 is slightly trickier.  I'm pretty sure Chessex makes d24's.  I think the non-precision d24's I own are by them.  Another route for a d24 is to number the faces of a d12 "1/2", "3/4", "5/6", etc.  Some rolls you won't need to distimguish which number of the pair you got.  For those times when it would make a difference, any other even sided die could be rolled for high/low. 

(If you don't already own a d30, you need to hop on the bandwagon.)

Maybe someone could talk Crystal Caste to manufacture some of their signature prism-shaped dice to fit the sizes needed.  Or some 3-D printing/fast prototyping people could get on the case.  A sculptor who works with CAD/CAM type software may be able to produce whole new shapes for our random number needs.

Or we could all go back to drawing chits from a cup.  I suppose nowadays instead of cardstock squares we could paint numbers on those little glass beads and put them in tiny bags.


Kevin Cook, the Dice Collector, suggests Shapeways as a place to get weird dice.  Doesn't look cheap, but there's a d7 with symmetrical faces right on the first page.


So you don't have to sift through 27 pages of weirdo dice (though don't let me stop you), here are the ones I found relevant to this discussion:






d24 (Is this one stable?)


Update 3
RPG Shop sells non-precision d10's marked 1-5 twice:


  1. Anonymous2:11 PM

    What I really need at the moment are some blank d30s ; I have a cunning scheme for a variant version of Frank Chadwick's Command Decision that's stalled for lack of a handful of customisible 30 siders.

  2. Your Highness may be interested in this item:

    Pricey and it looks like a pain in the patoot to paint, but at least its something.

  3. I'm a bit baffled at how much the use of non-standard dice in the DCC seems to chap some people's hides. (old man voice) When I was young we had only one set of those crumbly, crappy TSR dice and we all had to take turns... and we liked it!(/old man voice)

    Is there any exotic 'Zocchi' dice combo that can't also be done without using the existing dice I first bought in 1978?

  4. I'm pretty sure my d3 came from a boardgame of some sort. Blank d6s are probably not that hard to come by, though...

  5. d3: ROUND_UP[d6/2]
    d5: ROUND_UP[d10/2]
    d14: ROLL_AGAIN_HIGHEST[d8]*ROUND_UP[d6/3]
    d24: d8*ROUND_UP[d6/3]
    d30: d10*ROUND_UP[d6/3]

    No special dice needed. Linear spreads are matched exactly.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. d24: d8*ROUND_UP[d6/2]
    d30: d10*ROUND_UP[d6/2]

    can't type.

  8. People have been talking about using Zocchi dice to create a game forever. Someone finally did it, and now we complain. What the heck is wrong with us. I say just buy the dang dice if you want to play the game, or don't buy the game. Now get off my lawn. :)

  9. Anonymous3:53 PM

    Jeff :

    Thanks for the suggestion! It's great, except that it's €9.70. Still, it might not hurt to buy just one. For test purposes...

  10. Considering the number of times AD&D asks you for a d3 roll, the d3-on-d6 could be real handy. I suggest marking it with Roman numerals (or chicken scratches), I-III.

  11. What I really need is a d9

  12. d9: ROUND_UP[d6/2] + d6[1-2=+0; 3-4=+3; 5-6=+6]

    Captcha word: guessein. No, it's math. No guessein involved.

  13. Lemme just say it again -

    This is something I am *kind of* interested in.

    My gaming group will be a hard sell.

    These dice would *not* see use outside of this game that I don't even know for sure I'll play.

    What is the cheapest I can get dice for? I'm fine with blank dice (I don't think I'll drop dead of writing numbers on them), but not one that tells you to re-roll it 20-25% of the freaking time (12.5% is my limit). So, basically, I just need a blank 6, 8, 10, plus a 14, 16, 24, and 30. If getting all that runs me more than twenty bucks (and looking over the sites suggested in the beta made it seem so), it's just not worth it for me.

    Yes, I am aware that I'm an outlier case. If you *can* afford the dice (due to more spending money, and/or the ability to find more use for them, and/or the fact you just like funky dice), more power to you. But seriously, I was actually looking forward to this. I hadn't realized the amount of expense the dice would be, and how crucial they are for playing. I mean, it makes me feel like I'm not supposed to be playing this game - and the 'Come No Further' page in the beta doc really doesn't help.

    I swear, I'm not trying to be an ass here. I just want to know if I'm not looking hard enough.

    word verification - iPionsi, Apple's latest model of automated picaresque squire.

  14. Anonymous5:17 PM

    Has anyone else got a D-Total? It emulates most of the dice in question and is only $20. Just sayin'.

  15. Chaos Clockwork:
    I bought a 'Zocchi Pack' that includes a d3, d5, d14, d16 and d24 for $9.00 plush shipping on ebay. It may not be the cheapest, but it seems pretty cheap to me.

  16. You could use a d4 to determine a range (1-2=1st die, 3-4=2nd die), and then a normal and a blank d7 (or one normal one, with a conversion chart for if it comes up high) with the following numbers:


    d3 conversion chart:

    1-2: 1

    3-4: 2

    4-5: 3

    For a d24, use the same procedure as above, but with a normal and a blank d12.

    For a d30, use a d6 and convert to a d3 for a range, and use a normal and two blank d10s, marked as follows:




  17. @A Paladin In Citadel:

    For a d9 you can use a d3 (see my comment above for the d6 conversion chart) to get a range, and then use a d3 to see which number in that range it is.

  18. Anonymous6:48 PM

    umm.. it pretty clearly IS just such a racket. other than ponying up 30 dollars for the dice, the options are rerolling, table lookups, or mental conversion.

    Me and my group will just wait for Hackmaster advanced.

    Too bad goodman screwed the pooch so badly on this - bety Kenzerco will be REAL happy about it though !

  19. Umm, you don't NEED any special dice you know...

  20. Anonymous12:09 AM

    Why not try They've got a box in the upper left hand side of their site with several search fields in it, one of them says "shape". They seem to have all the ones we are talking about and then some (d34 and d50). They seem to be pretty cheap. Koplow d24's are a buck fifty, and all the Zocchi dice seem to be three bucks a pop. Ok, not that cheap, but still.

  21. Those blank polyhedrals in the picture look delicious.

  22. Anonymous6:14 AM

    @ JrandoM:

    Of course you dont NEED the dice to play - youi could just use chits like in holmes basic.

    The fact is -if you are gonna play DCC you are gonna get the dice sooner or later. To pretend otherwice is just being dishonest with yourself. Yeah you couldve saved the price of the dice and kept playing holmes with chits - but Id be willing to say 99.9999999999 people broke down and bought the dice.

    regardless, this design decision has virtually ensured that Hackmaster Advance will be more popular and sell more copies than DDC will.

    and I am OK with that. Sure I would play DCC - if the DM or another player had the dice. But I would certainly pass if I had to do table lookups, rerolls, conversion in my head of what a number really meant, spinners, chits, or anything else.

    The discussion at my table went like this:

    Hey you guys want to play DCC ? Take a look at the free BETA it looks AWESOME !! Initial excitement rapidly gave way to : WTF !!?? 30 more dollars in dice to go with the uncounted amout I already have invested ?? To play just this one game ?? No Way - lets just steal the coolest bits as house rules for our saturday S&W game !

    Nice Job, goodman

  23. Make a game spinner for the funky dice.

  24. How about a dice roller:

  25. C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...
    @A Paladin In Citadel:

    For a d9 you can use a d3 (see my comment above for the d6 conversion chart) to get a range, and then use a d3 to see which number in that range it is.

    LOL! Yes, I get that. But I want one die that will do that, not two!


  26. Cool to see a blog referencing some of my dice. I made a D30 as a result of your blog:

    My shop is sorted by style, and number of sides so if you are looking for anything in particular check it out: and I will happily design anything I can for you.

  27. Anonymous11:33 PM

    d30: d10*ROUND_UP[d6/2]

    Nope, this doesn't give you prime numbers like 11 or 17.

    Try this: d30: d10 + (10*ROUND_DOWN(d6/3))

  28. don't forget "averaging dice" used by old timey wargamers. It's a d6 numbered 2,3,3,4,4,5. This wipes out the crazy high and low results in favor of producing more 3s and 4s. Why? 'Cause old timey wargamers loved their morale checks and fire effectiveness rolls to follow a more predictable pattern and get rid of those wild high and low rolls. They also liked it when their games lasted FOREVER.