Skip to Content

Polyhydra | A Battling Polyhedral Dice Game

Polyhydra | A Battling Polyhedral Dice Game

Polyhydras are powerful and dominating creatures. Whenever they encounter other polyhydras in the wild, they fight one another to the death to claim the surrounding territory.

Each round, players roll polyhedral dice, representing their hydra heads, dealing damage with “locked” dice, sequenced by number of sides and increasing value. Push your luck to deal more damage, risking a miss if no dice can be locked. Eliminate all other players to win the game!

Game Rules

What do you think of the game play? Thanks!


Some clarification questions

If you rolled doubles or better, deal damage to your opponent equal to the combined strength of your dice.

Example: Your opponent rolled a 2, 2, 5 using a d6, d6, d10, attacking you for 5 damage.

A hit makes it sound like the sum on all three die, but the example shows the damage is the remaining die that is not part of the doubles. Am I misunderstanding something?

I get the Hit Value concept for the doubles.

If you rolled triples, you can either deal extra damage to your opponent equal to the strength of your weakest die or restore health equal to the strength of your strongest die.

If you are rolling 3 dice and a critical is triples, then wouldn't the extra damage or health gain just be the value on any single die doubled, as they are all the same value? (In otherwords, where is the weakest and strongest Maybe an example for this case would help clarify.

Oh wait, does the dice strength dictate the damage? (i.e. 2d6 at strength 1 each plus 1d10 at strength 3 equals 5?) If so, I would rewrite the existing example as follows: "Example: Your opponent rolled a 2, 2, 4 using a d6 (strength 1), d6 (strength 1), d10 (strength 3), attacking you for 5 damage (total strength)." so people don't confuse the 5 strength for the 5 rolled. And probably add a triples example to further reinforce how it's understood on the first read through.

Looks like a fun little quick dice dual. Since it seems to only be two player, I would seperate the color of the dice from the abilities (which I would not normally recommend). In this case though, you could make the game with 1/2 the number of dice and randomly hand out a passive power. Just my thoughts. Hope it helps.

Example added, other updated

I made an example for triples and further clarified and broke down the defend example. Hope that helped.

Right now, this is a byod (bring your own dice) game, so the colors would coordinate with your personal provided set. Ideally, I would have a passive for most common colors but the list is incomplete.I may just assign the passives to an adjective like "aggressive","willful", etc. and players would pick an adjective during setup and say "I am an aggresive polyhydra" or something to reference a passive during the entire game. We'll see.

Nice!Reminds me a bit of the


Reminds me a bit of the old Demon Dice game, the name is a good choice as well.

Another idea would be to make the hydra have body-parts represented by the dice themselves. So that you can chop off the heads and the dice represent the hydras health (instead of using a extra die). But then it would be VERY close to Demon Dice.

Hydra Theme, Dominant Strategy

A couple questions for you...

1. Can you think of any mechanics that can bring to life the aspect of hydras that grow new heads when one is cut off?

2. What's stopping a player from simply choosing the same three dice every round? For example, I imagine that a typical dominant strategy is to hope for doubles or better when you throw 2d6 and 1d12. Even if the 1d12 doesn't match, then I still cause 4 damage by including it in my maneuver. In the event that it -does- match, I maximize the benefit of its inclusion, causing a minimum of 3 damage each round.

Any thoughts on this potential dominant-strategy issue? There are ways around it in my opinion, but I wanted to hear how you felt about this.

I KIND of have regrowth in

I KIND of have regrowth in the game through the critical hit restore x health mechanic but you aren't the first one to bring this up.

The only thing I can think of is starting with a smaller pool and whenever you take x damage, the opponent can cut off (remove) a head die of that same strength or weaker. The player then gets two more dice that add up to the removed die.

I.e. I deal 4+ damage to you so I can cut off a d12 (4) or lower. If I force you to remove a d12 (2), you can get 1d6 (1) + 1d10 (3) or 2d8 (2+2). You'd start with 4 dice (1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d12) to start and gain more (weaker) heads over time.

I'd have to test and balance that. So you'd lose when the you have x number of heads or something?

Players can use the same three dice every round but if you're rolling 2d6 (1x2) and a 1d12 (4) you're doing 6 damage on doubles. But your defense is also very weak against overall stronger dice. If I roll double 1s and my opponent rolls three values higher than 1, I only deal 3 but those 1s have NO defense against any of his hit values. If he rolls 1d8 (2), 1d10 (3), 1d12 (4) and gets double of 7s, I'm am taking the full force of that 9 damage unless my d12 happens to roll above a 7 lowering it to 8 damage.

Miss/Will change

Ok, I made one minor tweak to Misses and gaining will that incentives diverse dice choices.

From: Miss — If you didn’t roll doubles or better, gain 2 will.

to: Miss — If you didn’t roll doubles or better, gain 1 will for each unique die you rolled. Example: Rolling 3d6 gains 1 will, 2d6+1d8 gains 2 will, 1d6+1d8+1d12 gains 3 will.

That's a nice touch with the Miss change, but...

You know some Math nerd (like X3M [I say that with love and respect @X3M]) is going to figure out the optimized dice combination to maximize the damage on average, taking into account the chances of doubles and triples, the available rerolls, etc.

If our game group ever gets together again, I'll take this and Juzek's game to test.

Thanks for sharing.

AdamRobinGames-ARG wrote:You

AdamRobinGames-ARG wrote:
You know some Math nerd (like X3M [I say that with love and respect @X3M]) is going to figure out the optimized dice combination to maximize the damage on average, taking into account the chances of doubles and triples, the available rerolls, etc.

If our game group ever gets together again, I'll take this and Juzek's game to test.

Thanks for sharing.

Ha true true.

Major Rules Overhaul

I completely overhauled the game rules to use an entire set of standard polyhedral dice per player and to accommodate multiple players. I also added a nifty way to "grow heads" as you take damage.

Let me know what you think.

Some quick questions and a few opinions

This isn't criticism, just trying to explain my thought process as I read through it the first time.

Where you state "You can “lock” any dice that increase in value, locking at least one die per roll.", what do you mean "that increase in value"? The example indicates 3 of the dice rolled can be locked, but it isn't obvious as to why. Maybe after "...sort them by number of sides" add (d4 to d12). Then change the next sentence to read something like: "You can “lock” any dice that is greater in value than it's preceeding die. You must lock at least one to continue. And you may lock the D4 on any roll."

Do you always include the locked dice in the order after each re-roll or just the re-rolled dice? I would assume the former as the later would always imply the dice with the lowest number of faces could be locked.

You may also want to clarify that the "lock" lasts through the turn. (i.e. in your example, if you re-roll, you can't choose to lock say the d8 and then re-roll the d12).

Just my two cents on the read through.

Now for my opinion. Honestly, I'll have to play both versions to see which one I like better before making any definitive decision. (I saved a copy of each version thus far to try.) So take this with a grain of salt. But just from reading the rules, from a mechanics point of view, I kind of liked the structure of the older version. It had some unique ideas, which I liked. I think it just needed some limits, so a mathematician couldn't readily optimize damage.

Some thoughts I had since my last post (based on your old rules, that is):
Start with only the d12 and 2d10s available as the three heads of your hydra. Then when you take damage (regardless of amount), the head of the opponents choice (out of the ones you rolled) gets ripped off (removed from your pool) and 2 heads of the next lowest polyhedron are added to your pool. (i.e. if a d10 is removed, you get 2 d8s in your pool.) Essentially, as you take damage, your successful attacks get weaker but more frequent as you get more lower face die in your pool and lose your higher ones. (Which thematically makes sense as a wounded animal gets more aggressive but is weaker.) If a d6 gets removed, it does not regenerate (it's too weak). Then on the life gain component, whenever you "heal" have one of the heads used in the roll increase 1 polyhedral (If you rolled 3d6 and get triples, then one of those d6 gets replaced with a d8.) Again, thematically, it ate the head it just ripped off the opponent and got stronger.

Another thought I had regarding multiplayer (and this would likely require some testing to vet), is you choose who you target at the start of each turn, it takes at least 2 heads (dice) but no more than 4 heads can attack each target. Provided you have enough dice, you can target any number of other players. You roll each group of dice for each target separate and double/triple rules apply only within each dice group. If defending player rolled no dice against your attack, then ignore the reduce damage rules. Since in this variant you can use up to 4 dice, on 4 of a kind do both the life gain and extra damage.

I'm sure there are some other challenges to work out with either of these variants. And again, these are just some thoughts. I really like the concept and it seems to be coming along nicely.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Syndicate content

blog | by Dr. Radut