Thursday, June 16, 2011

my last post on funky dice for a while

Pie charts in two different charts this week. Huh.

This chart is based upon the responses to question #4 in my post last Friday, asking if the weirdo dice used by DCC changed your opinion of the game. I've posted excerpts of all the results counted below the jump.  There's a little room for interpretation as to where certain responses should be counted, but I doubt the general shape of the chart would change much.

When I first heard the DCC rpg was using the oddball Zocchi dice I thought it was a stupid gimmick as well. Playing in last GaryCon's playtest/demo session and reading the beta has completely turned me around. I see several good implementations of these dice. And the idea of having to remember "Oh, yeah. I need to reroll any 8's every time I make this roll" gets my goat.  So for my birthday next week I'm getting oddly shaped pieces of plastic. (Not the first time.)

I can totally empathize with people who wince at the additional cost or the prospect of convincing their game group to buy these dice. Since I run an open game at my local gamestore if I want to run the DCC rpg I'm pretty much setting myself up to buy dice for a whole game group.  But when I think about all the money I've sunk in read-but-never-played rulebooks and used-once-for-that-one-awesome-fight miniatures over the years, my fairly meagre dice collection starts to look one of the better investments I've made in the hobby.

Q: Does the need for these funky dice change your opinion about trying the DCC rpg?

Pro new dice reponses (14 out of 60 comments)
  • I like it. Given a choice between needing to buy more dice (mmmmm.... more dice) and having to buy a shedload of expensive plastic minis to be able to play the game, I'll take the dice every time.
  • The funky dice add to the appeal for me, the funky dice are part of the appeal to old day D&D back in the olden days.
  • Yes - for the better. I want more funky dice.
  • Any excuse to buy funny new dice is always welcome. It's actually one of the few things regarding DCC that's not a turnoff for me.
  • I love cool new dice, so yeah, I think it's a pretty neat idea.
  • I like collecting dice so the new ones don't freek me out or put me off.
  • While I have no interest in playing Dungeon Crawl Classics, thanks to the use of these uncommon dice the game is in itself not entirely uninteresting.
  • New dice is honestly one of the features that most makes me consider playing DCC. I like that it uses "weird" dice more than I like a lot of the rest of it.
  • I already have the dice, so it is nice to have another use for them. (Except the d7. I should get a couple of those.) If I didn't it would be an excuse to buy more dice, which is always welcome. ... As a side note - none of the people who complain about WotC's Collectible Power Cards for DnD are talking about how great these special dice are, right? Because, I find it very hard not to see them as the same thing. [Interesting comparison. I think the funky dice are more widely useable, myself.]
  • I like me some odd dice. Any game that uses odd dice is more likely to get me to try it, although I'm not sure my players would ever convert.
  • Discourage me? He'll, I bought them in anticipation of the DCC game!
  • I like it. It seems like a fun thing to do and fun is why I play. The wonkier the dice the better.
  • Piques my curiousity.
  • I've been considering getting a full set for a while just for fun.

Con the new dice (27 out of 60 comments)

  • It has completely eliminated all my interest in the game, which was otherwise considerable.
  • Somewhat annoyed; they're easy enough to simulate with regular dice, so I wouldn't buy them even if I intended to play DCC, but I really don't see what they add. They're funky for the sake of being funky, not because play goes any differently rolling a d7 instead of a d8-1.
  • It's just another point of friction keeping me from wanting to play this. Me getting the dice is a small issue (although I really do dislike GS dice in general). Getting the rest of my group to invest in expensive dice they wont use in another game - damn near impossible. [Emphasis mine, this is my only concern.]
  • Absolutely hate the idea of them being in the game. Just feels way too "look at us, using nonstandard dice!"
  • Hadn't planned on buying DCC, but this fiddly dice thing makes me worry about it being "different for the sake of different", rather than "different because it needs to be".
  • I can appreciate a game publisher trying to reinvent the wheel, but this just seems to be a marketing tool to me
  • The tables themselves put me off, but the usage of these dice bugs the heck out of me.
  • I doubt I would buy new dice just to play DCC.
  • the requirement for these ridiculous dice has absolutely killed any possibility of me and my gaming group playing this game. The funky dice bring absolutely nothing to the game... and to me seem to be a verty thinly disguised under the table handshake between Goodman and Zocchi to drum up some demand for what are certainly the poorest selling dice on the planet
  • I guess it does, although confessing that makes me feel like an old geezer since when I started out a d8 was pretty damned strange!
  • It makes me slightly less to try it on my own. I'm not going to invest in a bunch of new kinds of dice to play a fantasy roleplaying game when I already have a bajillion fantasy roleplaying games at my fingertips.
  • I really hate hardwiring them in as much as I disliked having to hunt down and use funny dice in 1980.
  • It makes me wonder about the design decisions made. Okay, maybe a d3 is easier than explaining to a newbie how to get that result from a d6, but a d7? Why would a d6 or d8 not work in that situation?
  • To be honest, yes. I really don't like the d5 and d7, as they seem clunky and ugly.
  • The funky dice aren't, by themselves, a reason not to play the game, but they certainly do dampen my interest. I too get a 'gimmicky' feel from them
  • It depends on if they actually require a dice with that many sides or you can fudge it by using dice with a more stable number of sides. The d5 I have is nice and all but its considerably biased so I would rather just use a d10 with 1-5 being that and 6-10 being the result minus five. [The Zocchi d5 does kinda creep me out.]
  • I like funky dice (as a glance at my bag would show), but it is a major road block for me because it is for the rest of my group. I doubt they would be willing to get dice for just one game, and the workarounds are just clunky enough that I don't think they'd go over well either.
  • Yes. In fact I'm surprised. I'd be a hundred times more interested in a D&D that used only d20 and d6 (or, even better, only d6) than one that adds yet another type of die. [Lord Kilgore should be playing pre-Supplement OD&D!]
  • The fact that DCC requires their use is a turnoff for me. It seems like another gimmick in a game full of gimmicky-seeming content.
  • I am very mildly curious about the game... but not nearly enough to actually spend money on it... not when it has a built in 30 dollar price increase (for the dice) bult in !!
  • It instantly turned off my excitement for the game. It made me feel like the developer gave me the finger requiring me to purchase arcane dice only made by one manufacturer.
  • Absolutely - it puts me right off. Fudge dice were annoying enough, but at least I have them now, and they can be used for multiple games.
  • Any current roleplayers probably has a standard set of polyhedral dice.. in my case I have several sets – and I am not interested in spending so much as one more dollar buying new dice – that are required to to play just ONE of the 20+ rpgs I already own.
  • This taints my view of what is otherwise an interesting system. It seems like a gimmicky way to sell new dice to people who already have hundreds of dice.
  • Removes some interest but the ridiculous 0 level 3d6 in order bit is far FAR worse. Its also the reason "new era" gamers are utterly tearing this game apart.
  • They changed my interest level in DCC from "quite high" to "none"
  • with a single design decision goodman switched my group from: "WOW !! ... to "Meh....
Don't really care one way or the other (19 out of 60 comments)

  • No effect either way -- not much interest to begin with.
  • They haven't affected my opinion one way or the other, since having to buy funny dice to play an RPG is something I've been doing for more than 30 years.
  • Not even a little. My interest is still exactly zero.
  • As it is if the final rules (I read the beta) were a free download, or nearly so, I might get them to read but not play. That's the most I would do with the game at this point, weird dice not withstanding.
  • Nope.
  • Nope
  • Nope
  • Not significantly.
  • Not really; everything except d7/d14 is easy to generate using dice I do have, and I can always expand some tables with one or two entries to get rid of those dice if I want.
  • No real effect.
  • I'd just use the next higher dice and reroll any results out of range.
  • No.
  • Although they're not platonic, I don't see them as being more "funky" than a d4 or d20. So... no. It wouldn't.
  • Nope. I've been buying funky dice for over thirty years. Why change that now?
  • Need? Whatever, proly just house rule them away. d7is just d8 rerolling 8 no big deal.
  • no effect on opinion of the game
  • no, no big problem in using other dice
  • After reading the beta I pre-ordered DCC. All the nerd rage over dice is highlarious.
  • Funky dice aren't really an obstacle for this old nerd.


  1. One thing I forgot to say before is that if we were to play this, all but one person at my table has an iPhone or Android and a dice-rolling app, so I doubt anybody would be buying new dice for DCC.

  2. Put me in the 'pro' camp - a lot of war and RPG games have the 'roll a crap load of (usually 6 sided) dice' mechanic which I hate. I'd rather roll a d30 than roll 5d6.

    Q: I only skimmed the rules but never saw when the funky dice get used - can you clue me in?

  3. My biggest shock, totally dumbfounded about this.

    How the heck is everyone not talking about how great, plentiful, the art is? If we were arguing / bitching / blogging about whether the art was rip off or homage, if retro style is alienating, etc. I'd be down. But dice? really?

  4. I think reading the beta rules, they go to the effort of explaining how to produce gameable results on a 1-7 or 1-24 scale without purchasing new dice, which they really didn't HAVE to do because it's mostly common sense things. Not to mention the fact that, since the OSR community has such an overlap with the DIY community, hacking off or tacking on a bit here and there to create ranges you're more familiar with should be simple enough.

    So I don't see why this would be an impediment whatsoever.

  5. Unfortunately, no one in my group owns the funky dice and they would rapidly become annoyed at having to reroll a d8 to simulate a d7, or using a d6 and a d8 to make a d16.

    So that means that even though I'ld love to arrange a session of DCC this friday I cannot... because of the dice issue.

    And if I decided to order the dice, I would need to order enough for everyone ('cause I game with cheap skates!), which stretches my budget too far.

    So there's a good chance that DCC will be looked at and never played in my circle

  6. Anonymous12:08 PM

    Well, from the poll results it seems like DCC may be embraced by roughly 50% of its target audience.... which is about what I expected a product aimed at a "niche of a niche" market... Cant help but think it would have been different if it used only standard dice.

    As it is, goodman made my choice of next new system to jum start a campaign with a LOT easier (by effectively removing DCC from serious consideration.

    Now I just have to choose between LOTFP, Delving Deeper, S&W Complete, and Advanced Hackmaster

    All of which, by the way - use the same dice (which I ALREADY own)

  7. more funky ass dice is high on my want list, just as soon as I get money for it they're mine. Until then I made one of those spinners over at Aeons and Auguries, cheapest option so far(fo freeeeee)

  8. @Norman Harman:

    You said it.

  9. But when I think about all the money I've sunk in read-but-never-played rulebooks and used-once-for-that-one-awesome-fight miniatures over the years, my fairly meagre dice collection starts to look one of the better investments I've made in the hobby

    Exactly so. I spent about 300 euro recently on Casino and shapeways metal dice. They are the tools of our trade, 'Have dice will travel'. Its like thinking about the right pen for the job and some of us love fountain pens.

    Im not excited about the crazy dice because they are not beautiful, not regular polyhedrons whose faces have edges of equal length and whose vertices lie on a circle.

  10. I consider the d4, d8 and d12 to be funky dice. Adding more dice really seems unnecessary and over the top.

    On the other hand, as mentioned above the art is flipping fantastic!

  11. @Norman Harman
    Even better! Most of the early comments about the art were all like 'too much', etc, blah

  12. My thoughts on the dice issue can be found here:

  13. tpmoney3:05 PM

    Unless I'm missing something, while the dice are indeed funky, and do indeed pose friction for shifting an entire group (especially one with new players. these days it's almost a rite of passage to take a new player to the FLGS and have them buy their first set, and these dice aren't really in any sets anywhere)

    The dice are not particularly difficult to simulate with your standard set.

    d3 is d6 / 2

    d5 is d10 / 2

    d7 is a d8 with a reroll on 8 (or alternatively an uber crit/fumble)

    d14 is a d7 and +7 on even d6 rolls

    d16 is a d8 + 8 on even d6

    d24 is d12 + 12 on even d6

    d30 is d10 * d6/2

    Sure it's slightly irritating, but the math isn't that bad. Certainly worth trying if you're interested, and then trading up to real dice if you get into it.

  14. My last reply on funky dice for a while -

    Just wanted to say thanks to the various replies. I do appreciate the help. Also - because I'm, apparently, an idiot - it took me a bit to realize the important fact that, at levels 0 and 1, you only really need the easily-simulated d3 and d5. So, yeah, problem solved.

    One last note - I am definitely not in the target audience for this game, but it managed to capture my interest anyway. I've noticed OSR production values getting more 'professional' lately; both LotFP Grindhouse and DCC have people talking about their art (well, also nihilism, for some reason, but that's confusing and not the point).

    As this keeps happening, more people are going to be drifting in, giving it a look for the first time. And they're probably going to be as clueless as me when it comes to the dice. Please, be gentle with us.

    Kay, that's all until I've actually played this thing.

  15. Anonymous10:31 PM

    Interesting... Goodman is splintering the community even further, adding yet another game some will play, and others will be dead-set against, with arguments raging (I shall presume) forever. Congratulations!

  16. All you really need is a d14, d16, d24 and d30. The others are emulated easily once you've got these.

    Four dice. Paizo announces two more $40 hardbacks (I will probably buy those two, so this is not a slight against them) and everyone is complaining about four dice.

  17. @Reynaldo: 4 dice, times however many players you have (My players don't share dice). Looks like you can get those 4 dice for about $8.50 US, so for my group of 6 players plus DM a cost of $59.50 added to the cost of the $40 game book. DCC just became a $100 game.

    And I need those dice to play the game from session one, whereas I don't need the two new Paizo books to run Pathfinder.

    So, in my opinion and you may disagree, but the funky dice are an additional obstacle to playing the game.

  18. @Steven

    I suppose the primary difference here is that my group does share dice.

    And if we aren't sharing, we also buy our own dice, and usually rule books, so I guess that arguing here would be kind of pointless since the fundamentals aren't the same.

  19. @Reynaldo: Yeah, my players are usually cheapskates, and highly dice superstitious! But, whatcha gonna do?