Skip to Content

Not deck-building... DICE building

26 replies [Last post]
RyanRay
Offline
Joined: 03/27/2014

Hi All,

Everyone here knows about deck-building games (Dominion, Thunderstone, etc.), but are there any games that feature dice-building?

I have no themes or anything else yet, but the mechanic concept is that players somehow gain/purchase/receive different dice to add to their roll capabilities.

Players may start the game with only 1 or 2 dice, but then they (somehow) acquire more that are added to their personal stash of dice. Acquired dice are taken from a general bank/stash/supply of dice, and once a certain type is gone, it's gone for good.

Yes, obviously the game would probably require around 30-40 dice for 2-4 players :)

Insights?

Greggatron
Greggatron's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/21/2012
Its a great idea, one that I

Its a great idea, one that I myself have thought about. But the specifics of how it will work is what will make or break your game idea.

And I assume you have seen Quarriors before.

devaloki
devaloki's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/15/2014
Personally I'd absolutely

Personally I'd absolutely love to see more dice-building games and I hope you make a good one!

btronk
Offline
Joined: 09/08/2008
I love the idea, dice

I love the idea, dice building sounds really fun, really simple to make (in terms of cost of game components) and also it is really fun rolling dice (as opposed to drawing and playing cards).

I imagine this game to be a civilization building game. Many games use dice to represent population: Roll through the Ages, Alien Frontiers, Euphoria to name a few.

There are different colored and possibly different shaped dice with non-standard die faces. You accumulate through the game as you say and your turn consists of rolling all the dice you have and assigning them to different aspects of your economy. There could be something like Food, Production, Culture, Military as resources and maybe the dice could be flavored similarly like one color die represents Farmers, another Engineers, Artists, and Soldiers. Each one is really good at getting their specific resource but at the same time it is possible to roll the one face on the die that gets them some other resource, etc.

Let me know if you go anywhere with this, I am quite intrigued.

McTeddy
Offline
Joined: 11/19/2012
Yes there are dice building

Yes there are dice building games. The first I remember was "Lord of the Rings: The Dice Building Game" and the latest was "Marvel Dice Masters."

Both game's you start with a small number of weak dice and can purchase new powerful ones as the game goes on.

You can definitely use them to see how it works.

RyanRay
Offline
Joined: 03/27/2014
btronk wrote: I imagine this

btronk wrote:

I imagine this game to be a civilization building game. Many games use dice to represent population: Roll through the Ages, Alien Frontiers, Euphoria to name a few.

Oddly enough, I've got a similar but completely different game in the works that's a city-builder (see my "SimCity plus Yahtzee" thread) that uses dice as main component.

I've been getting into dice mechanics a lot lately, but really haven't played too many really engaging dice-based games. Someone mentioned Quarriors earlier, and I somehow still haven't played it!

Greggatron
Greggatron's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/21/2012
The LotR and Marvel games are

The LotR and Marvel games are derived from Quarriors so I haven't seen anything new in the dice-building genre since then.

Skyline is a literal "dice building" game with some lite yahtzee and dice building elements thrown in.

I am very interested in the direction you take because my original idea Soulstone from two years ago was a muddled mess and I haven't touched it since.

kevnburg
kevnburg's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/02/2014
To Court the King

To Court the King has some dice-building elements. On your turns you roll dice and use combos to buy cards. The cards either give you more dice or an ability to manipulate your dice. You should consider mixing in dice manipulation opportunities in addition to more-dice opportunities.

schattentanz
schattentanz's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/18/2014
Whack & Slaughter

My own skirmish game "Whack & Slaughter" (http://www.catzeyes.de/blog/?page_id=110) takes a different approach on dice building:
While using D6, you "reconfigure" the D6 according to your needs by colouring the pips.

Aside from that, Quarriors and its derivates are the only dicebuilders I know of. But I'd love to see more of those.

Kind regards,
Kai

Toa Lewa
Toa Lewa's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/31/2013
Militia Carcinus

RyanRay, you made me start thinking about a game I started working on a year ago. It was a board game, but it utilized a dice building mechanic as one of the core mechanics. I called it Militia Carcinus (Latin for Military Crabs). It was a war game, and you would send crabs to fight each other on the beach. You could also send them out to scavenge and dig in the sand for gold, which allowed you to buy special dice. The dice allowed you to get the edge in battle. The dice could boost your agility, speed, strength, defense, etc.

RyanRay wrote:
Yes, obviously the game would probably require around 30-40 dice for 2-4 players :)

Not necessarily. When I was first introduced to the dice building idea, I loved it. However, I hated that the game would have to so many dice. Because of this, I created an alternate system that only requires a few dice. My game requires only 8 dice (each of them unique). Instead of having tons of dice, I have cards that represent the dice. When a player buys a die, he adds a card that represents the die to his or her deck. When the player wants to use a die card, he or she discards it and rolls the die that it represents. So in a sense, my system is still a deck building game, but it is also a dice building game since each card represents one die.

danieledeming
danieledeming's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/21/2014
Love this thread

Ryan - as far as dice building goes, Quarriors --> LOTR/Marvel from Elliott/Lang (same guys for all three of those) is the only one I know that is a "deck-builder". FYI, they TMed the term Dice-Building game...

Anyway, I really liked Quarriors, but I think there's some major flaws in it, at least in the base game, so I was working for a while on version that would fix what I didn't think worked. Even though it was thematically different and the action aside from 'dice purchasing' was different, I ultimately tabled it because the basic mechanic made it feel way too similar to Quarriors. But I definitely think there should be MORE dice builders...I'll probably come back to it eventually.

Right now I'm working on one that involves drawing new dice each turn from an available pool of characters. Not technically "dice-building", but it's in the same family. We'll see soon how/if it works.

Greggatron
Greggatron's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/21/2012
Im interested to hear what

Im interested to hear what you think the major flaws are because I felt the same way about it.

I really like its core concept but the combat falls flat for me.

danieledeming
danieledeming's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/21/2014
The combat is definitely part

The combat is definitely part of it. Certain creatures (looking at you, quake dragon) are just too powerful to be defeated. If you get lucky and roll enough to get one of those early, you might as well start over.

I do like the structure of the combat, where when you introduce creatures to the yard they attack everyone, and you have to weather all attacks to score, but the balance can get thrown off very easily.

Spells...they're too expensive and don't provide enough offsetting value to be worth buying, then cycling through, just to have a 'chance' at casting them. IMHO.

End game comes too soon. Seems like every game, I'm at the point where I have a great 'deck' and I or someone scores enough to win and you never get to use some of your best dice.

I don't want to sound completely negative - I still think it's a great game.

RyanRay
Offline
Joined: 03/27/2014
The game I'm working on now

The game I'm working on now doesn't really have the dice-building feature, but does relate.

Everyone is building features of the same city. Each round, players choose a different 5-dice set to attempt to build something using Yahtzee-style rolling. For example, to build up the Rail Station you need to roll 3 Rail Station faces on the Transportation dice set, which then furthers the building by one phase.

The trick, however, is that there is only one set of dice per "feature." One set for Transportation, Businesses, Entertainment, Housing & Education, and Public Spaces each (5 different sets so that even the player who goes last has options).

Starting with player 1, players choose their set of dice in clockwise order, so if Player 1 chose the Public Spaces dice, no one else can roll them that turn. On the next round, the person to the left of player 1 would choose first, and so forth.

There is more to the game than just this, of course, but this sums up the rolling mechanic pretty well.

Thanks for the wonderful insights and feedback, everyone!

JohnduBois
Offline
Joined: 12/22/2011
I've been working on a more

I've been working on a more literal interpretation of the dice-building idea - using 1x1 Lego tiles to represent actions or resources and having players add them to Lego dice throughout the game. Thus, instead of building a dice pool like in Quarriors or MDM, you're actually building the die faces as the game goes on.

That said, I haven't been terribly successful so far - I think the most accurate feedback I got was at Protospiel Ann Arbor last year, where I was told that it was a good mechanism in search of a game ;)

kungfugeek
kungfugeek's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/10/2008
My beef with Quarriors was

My beef with Quarriors was that the dice you buy go into a bag. Out of the bag you pull 5 dice (or whatever it was) and roll them.

This created an extra layer of randomness that I felt got in the way. In regular deck-builders, when you buy a card, you know you'll be able to use it eventually, you just don't know when. That's one random aspect and it's fun. But with Quarriors, you din't know when *in addition to* not knowing what the die will roll. You could buy a dragon on one turn, not see it at all for a number of turns, and when it comes up roll something useless with it. That made the game frustrating for me.

In short -- I would like dicebuilders better if I got to roll all my dice on every turn. The randomness is in how they roll; not when.

I've been thinking of one of my old prototypes that I should get out again. You started with just 2 dice, but by the end of the game you were rolling handfuls of them. It was ridiculous and fun. And would probably have to be toned down a little before any sensible publisher would consider it.

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/07/2011
LEGO Dice

I bought one of the LEGO buildable board games a couple years ago, just to see what it was like. Although the game itself was rather basic and didn't have much going for it, the one concept I liked was the dice.

Each die had six faces, and since they were LEGO parts you actually had to add faces to the dice during the game-building. Each of the faces had a specific outcome, even though it could easily be considered a basic d6.

I hope you understand where I'm going with this...Has anyone else considered (or published) a game that features customizable/upgradeable faces of dice? Would this be a unique feature of LEGO dice?

Personally, when I think of the idea of dice-building, this is what comes to mind... NOT changing the dice you use. That's more horribly random than a deck-building game - and someone else mentioned the extreme disadvantages a player encounters in attempting to acquire any desired result. Using the same dice, but upgrading the faces, might provide more of a sense of progress. It's the way I would build a dice-building game were it in my sights.

JohnduBois
Offline
Joined: 12/22/2011
let-off studios wrote:I

let-off studios wrote:
I bought one of the LEGO buildable board games a couple years ago, just to see what it was like. Although the game itself was rather basic and didn't have much going for it, the one concept I liked was the dice.

Each die had six faces, and since they were LEGO parts you actually had to add faces to the dice during the game-building. Each of the faces had a specific outcome, even though it could easily be considered a basic d6.

I hope you understand where I'm going with this...Has anyone else considered (or published) a game that features customizable/upgradeable faces of dice? Would this be a unique feature of LEGO dice?

Personally, when I think of the idea of dice-building, this is what comes to mind... NOT changing the dice you use. That's more horribly random than a deck-building game - and someone else mentioned the extreme disadvantages a player encounters in attempting to acquire any desired result. Using the same dice, but upgrading the faces, might provide more of a sense of progress. It's the way I would build a dice-building game were it in my sights.


This is what I'm working on. I started with a civilization-building game. Didn't work well, let it go while working on other projects, haven't gotten back to it yet.

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
One idea I had but that could

One idea I had but that could probably only be done as a video game, or maybe with a set of removable stikers, is to be able to litteraly build your dices.

You can add or remove faces to your dice as the game progress while acquiring new dices. That could be pretty cool.

As for quarriors, I'll easily give my point of view by transcripting my BGG comments

Quote:

The idea behind this game is very interesting, but the implementation is not that good. It's basically a deck building game with dice. Each dice is represented by a card to know the rules of the die. The cycling of the dice is exactly the same as a deck building game.

The only good idea I wound in this game is how targeting and scoring is done. You summon creatures that are going to attack all players at the same time, but on your next turn, you discard these monsters and get victory points for them. So you only temporarily build up your army.

The problem with this game is that there is almost no decision. You don't have a choice to re-roll dice like it is the case in dune express and to court the king. You also have the problem of double randomness since the dice are also draw randomly. So it ends in a pure random fest. I would suggest to add a bit more strategy that the players could select the dice they want to roll from their bags.

Second, I think the game ends really short. You have little time to build your deck (dice pool). Spells are also not that interesting to buy because you actually need creatures to be supported by spells. So spells alone are useless. But the worst is that you cannot split you buying power on 2 dice, like buy a weak creature and a spell, you can only buy 1 die at a time. So the progress is just really slow and the game ends before you know it.

Greggatron
Greggatron's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/21/2012
I had thought about building

I had thought about building the faces of your dice as you level but couldn't find how to get around lego's patent utilize it.

JewellGames
JewellGames's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/03/2012
Paradice

I think I finally have a unique dice building game that can be played with 2-8+ players.

There will be 7 colors of "creatures". The die's color represents the creatures color and the creature symbol will represent its special ability. The goal is to be the first player to collect 3 creatures for four of the seven colors (and any three of their creatures have to be rares).

To start the game. X number of creatures (dependent on number of players) will be randomly drawn from the creature bag and rolled into the wild. Then, each player will take 6 standard six-sided dice (called common resource dice) as their starting dice pool.

Rounds of Play
All players simultaneously roll all the dice in their dice pool.

The player with lowest total roll has priority on choosing a creature or any special actions and priority order continues based on ascending roll totals. Actions and abilities other than capturing a creature can occur simultaneously.

A player can use their rolled dice results to:

1) "Capture" Creatures
2) Add a Common Resource if you didn't Capture Creatures
3) Upgrade Dice

Capturing a Creature

You can capture any number of creatures from the wild per turn as long as you have the dice to do so.

Place a die (or multiple dice) on each side of the creature. The sum of the dice on each side MUST be the same or higher than the creature's displayed value.

Example: The player captures a red creature displaying a "4" by surrounding it with five dice (a 6, 3+2, 4, 5)

The captured creature is added to your dice pool to be rolled on the next turn.

Then, randomly draw a new creature from the bag and roll it into the wild.

If You Don't Capture any Creatures

If you don't capture any creatures this round, automatically add 1 common resource die to your dice pool to be rolled on your next turn.

Upgrading Dice


Any results that have matching numbers can be turned in and upgraded to a higher tier.

Example: Two common resource dice display a "5" so they are paired and both put back in the community pool. Then that player adds an uncommon die to their dice pool. Different rarities cannot be paired together.
Common = White, Uncommon = Grey, Rare = Black
A pair of Common Resource Dice = 1 Uncommon Resource die (4,5,6,7,8,9)
A pair of Uncommon Resource Dice = 1 Rare Resource die (8,9,10,11,12,13)


Creatures

Rolled creature results can be used just like resource dice to capture other creatures or its ability can be used. However, the creature's ability only activates when it is not used to capture another creature.

Stronger creatures have more powerful effects.

Example: A particular creature has an ability that allows you to reroll two of your other results.

The player rolls a 5,4,1,7,and 3 (creature)

In attempt to capture a yellow creature displaying a "4" they use the 5,4, & 7 but only have the 1 or creature's 3 for the last side. So, they use the creature's ability to reroll the 1 into a 6.

Last, every creature has either white, grey, or black ink to associate with a resource rarity. If a player captures a creature with results that exactly add up to the creature's displayed number on all four sides they automatically add that 1 matching resource die to their pool as well.

Example: A red creature with grey ink (uncommon) displays a "9". The player rolls a 6,3,8,1,3,4,4,9,1 and surrounds the creature with 8+1,9,4+4+1,3+6 so not only do they capture and add the creature to their dice pool but they also add an uncommon resource die as well.

danieledeming
danieledeming's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/21/2014
Paradice

@Jewell - I like what you're working with, but I think that many dice is going to get very bulky very quickly...going to need a bigger table.

Maybe a mechanism that creatures actually *cost* the dice used to capture them would help? It would reduce the amount of dice a player is rolling with, at least temporarily, but also level the playing field for those players that might have had a poor roll and couldn't capture anything on their respective turn.

Of course this makes an issue of using creatures to capture creatures. So maybe they're different, especially given that if you're using them to capture, you're *not* using their special ability? Or maybe the creature doesn't go away but goes back to the wild area and could be recaptured?

Just spit-balling here. I may throw out a brief summary on my first attempt at dice-building, see what folks think...

JewellGames
JewellGames's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/03/2012
Quick question, how many dice

Quick question, how many dice would you feel comfortable rolling per player?

I know in Dungeon Dice that 2-3 players are rolling ~4-10 dice at a time (I know thi sgame would be more than that) with all the other unused dice on the table and it doesn't seem too obtrusive or overwhelming. That game now has over 120 dice btw.

Also, I am picturing Quarriors with all the cards and dice and that seems to still be manageable as far as space goes.

danieledeming
danieledeming's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/21/2014
Quarriors does take up some

Quarriors does take up some room, but the unused dice are physically on the cards and players are only rolling 6 dice at a time, one at a time.

I think 10-12 at a time is a maximum - if there's central components that need to stay in order. Otherwise, I think you could get away with more, but they're going to be everywhere, so not with simultaneous rolling.

Or maybe my table is too small. :)

Also, I put my dice-builder out there here:

http://www.bgdf.com/game-journal/iron-curtain-deck-building-dice-game

All thoughts are welcome. Especially negative ones. Seriously.

McTeddy
Offline
Joined: 11/19/2012
While I have no problem

While I have no problem rolling 10+ dice in a game, I would worry about the price tag. The more dice you have, the more expensive it will be and the less likely I am to buy it.

I don't have specific numbers, but I'd recommend you look into them. Worst case, shrink the base game to 4-5 dice per player with the understanding that they can buy more for bigger fun.

JewellGames
JewellGames's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/03/2012
Yeah, I am looking at

Yeah, I am looking at Quarriors and Dungeon Dice that seem to be successful despite their higher price tags ($50-$60).

The game would probably start as a 4 player game with available "Additional Player" Add-Ons or unlocks containing more resource and creature dice. I haven't gone into large detail about the logistics because I'm more concerned about feedback on gameplay mechanics right now. But, I can go into that detail if you guys still have concerns.

I will look over Iron Curtain more closely. From quick glance it does appear similar to other DBs with a few differences.

I made a "mock" game last night with over 100 large indented dice on the table and it really didn't feel that tight but I have a nice sized dining table to play on. (Dungeon Dice now has over 175 dice on the table at once).

Also, I had dice cups available to roll out of for when 15+ dice got to be too much for some people. I have bigger hands and it was OK for me but smaller players would struggle to roll all of them without a cup.

The one common thread was how this dice builder felt much different than other DBs out there.

danieledeming
danieledeming's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/21/2014
Thanks for taking a look at

Thanks for taking a look at IC. Like I said, I tabled it, at least for now, because it felt like a Quarriors clone.

I hadn't even thought of the small hand factor with that many dice. Cups or a backboard to roll into would definitely help, though. Also, I believe Quarriors uses 14mm dice to reduce the overall heft of everything. DD (I was just reading) uses a combination of 18/16/14mm for easier gameplay. I'm sure there's other ways to make the game 'seem' to take up less room too.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut