Skip to Content

Is there a such thing as too many dice?

17 replies [Last post]
xbustercannon
Offline
Joined: 01/02/2019

I'm currently working on minis game where every character has an inherent "Power" value that can fluctuate based on abilities or criteria met. For a lot of abilities, characters roll the number of dice equal to their power value and then do something based on the results.

My concern is, as you get to higher level characters you start to see power values equal to 4-7, which would require that many dice. I'm starting to feel like this might be problematic, because it would involve a lot of rolling/slash using a lot of dice.

Thoughts on this mechanic?

Currently my alternative is to make the Power value correspond with a type of die, for example:

Power 2 = 1d4
Power 3 = 1d6
Power 4 = 1d8
Power 5 = 1d12
Power 6 = 2d6
etc etc.

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
Use colors

Instead on relying on Polyhedral dice as an option, do custom colored dice.

The idea being that each color has a format:

White = 1,1,1,2,2,3
...
Red = 2,2,4,4,6,6
...
Black = 4,4,4,5,5,6

This is just an example to illustrate what I mean. You can UP the type of die individually as a player gains more experience.

Cheers!

xbustercannon
Offline
Joined: 01/02/2019
Nicu

That's actually a pretty sick idea, that makes things alot more manageable for everyone and brings a unique spin. Thanks for the insight :)

pupulesurfer
pupulesurfer's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/21/2019
Lots of Dice Bad

So with the game I'm developing, I too had many dice, to the point where players were going with 10 dice at a time.

This was a bad play. Too many to calculate, to many to fit in hands, and even getting this to a smaller amount was still a bit awkward.

If you haven't played Formula D, I'd suggest looking at their dice. They have your polyhedral idea and mixes it with the above suggestion. For instance, their D4 has results of 1,1,2,2, their D6 is 2,3,3,4,4,4, and it goes up from there. You could attempt something like this as it would provide you with one die to roll, an obvious sequence of power level by how many sides are present, and gives it a unique twist to your style of game.

X3M
X3M's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013
crt dice

Example:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NoENE3aGoUk/UaCqZPvcdVI/AAAAAAAABjw/v7N3YPh9HJ...

A simple d6 with each side having multiple answers. Depending on the level, you roll, then select the right number.

I used for a while crt as well. Since I needed to roll 12 of them at some point. But those where dummies and got damaged really quickly. If you use them, get the real stuff.
Eventually I made the rules as such that, I only had to subtract 0, 1 or 2 from the result for comparison. Thus needing only simple d6. 1 die was on itself, I never combined. Combining seems to create a lot of trouble.

Tim Edwards
Tim Edwards's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/30/2015
If the main problem with lots

If the main problem with lots of dice is adding them up, you might choose to deal with Best Roll rather than Total Roll. No maths, and having more dice still makes you stronger.

Or a hybrid for a wider range of outcomes: Pick out the top 2 rolls and total them.

Jay103
Jay103's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/23/2018
For actual manufacturing,

For actual manufacturing, it’s a bit more of a pain to make custom dice. I paid about $0.10 per d6 with moq 1000 and some setup charges. I don’t know how many companies can make custom dice with other numbers of faces, but not nearly so many.

john smith
Offline
Joined: 06/26/2017
On BGG there are debates over

On BGG there are debates over buckets of Dice systems verse other systems etc. For all the griping about math in games get into a dice debate on BGG and out comes heavy probability theory mathematics. I started playing games that used percentile die mostly. I thought it easy to conceptualize your chances of success when expressed in a percentage. I always liked them from design as ti gave the most options for outcomes and modifiers. Other complain it has a flat distribution.

These days it seems many people prefer custom dice as talked of above.

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
Custom dice are not that expensive

Jay103 wrote:
For actual manufacturing, it’s a bit more of a pain to make custom dice. I paid about $0.10 per d6 with moq 1000 and some setup charges.

To my knowledge the price of making a custom 6-sided die mold costs about $65 USD. Add to that the amount of "custom" dice you'd like... There should be no MOQ for dice. $0.10 is a reasonable amount... I'd venture it could be closer to $0.08 a die (especially with a MOQ of 1,000 dice).

My recommendation is to speak with "Wingo" and ASK them "How much would it cost for ONE (1) custom die and a order of 250, 500, and 1,000 dice."

That will give you sufficient "price breaks" and maybe get you at UNDER the $0.10 a die (if structured in that fashion). The idea is to price the die first and have an idea... Then if you have MULTIPLE dice, you'll have a pretty good idea about the cost of several dice.

Best!

FrankM
Offline
Joined: 01/27/2017
It depends

There is definitely a type of gamer who enjoys the Bucket o’ Dice style of play, but it’s probably not wise to limit yourself to that corner of the market.

I like the idea of custom dice in a progression, and you can also have a progression of symbols on those dice. For example three different symbols that indicate a hit (fist, hammer, sword), and under some conditions only some of those count (a defensive power might nullify fist hits, being on higher ground makes swords count double, etc.). A high-power die’s side could easily have two or even three symbols on it.

Working out the probabilities can get tedious, but it allows for many many different mechanics on at most a handful of dice.

Jay103
Jay103's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/23/2018
questccg wrote:Jay103

questccg wrote:
Jay103 wrote:
For actual manufacturing, it’s a bit more of a pain to make custom dice. I paid about $0.10 per d6 with moq 1000 and some setup charges.

To my knowledge the price of making a custom 6-sided die mold costs about $65 USD. Add to that the amount of "custom" dice you'd like... There should be no MOQ for dice. $0.10 is a reasonable amount... I'd venture it could be closer to $0.08 a die (especially with a MOQ of 1,000 dice).


Hmm, I think mine included the setup charges, now that I look at it.

But it was also part of a large order of other stuff, and I had actual quantities of 1000-4000 of different dice.

Mine were also printed, not engraved.

If you're getting custom engraved dice (all six sides custom, not five normal sides and the "6" special) for $0.08 with no MOQ and $65/mold, I think that's pretty good. (and by "pretty good", I mean "absurd")

wob
Offline
Joined: 06/09/2017
d6s arent the only dice.

d6s arent the only dice. instead of 2 d6s try a d12. actually that wont give you the same results, the d12 has a flatter distribution, but you could level up from a d6 to d10 and gain 4 extra points/options etc. try anydice.com for dice analysis.

Jay103
Jay103's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/23/2018
I think the thing you really

I think the thing you really want to avoid is making people add up the totals on dice.

Having my power attack represented by 8D6 is fine, but totaling that to 31 is slow and annoying for most people. Now, if the mechanic AFTER you roll the dice is that you use the top 2 (for example), that's much easier.

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
I am using 4d6s for Monster Keep (MK)

In MK the 1st Player for that round rolls 4d6s: 3 white and 1 black. The Black die is the "Arcane" die and is the first operand in the equation (ex: "3 ...", where "..." is +3, -1, /3, x2, etc.)

But the three (3) White dice, you get to choose HOW you want to allocate them across three "resources": Power, Skill and Magic.

Usually you want the HIGHEST die to be your Power, since most Melee Attacks rely on Power to attack or retaliate against your opponent. But sometimes, you'll want MORE "Magic" to use Spells or Advanced Tactics that require more Magic...

The point I wanted to make with all of this is that FOUR (4) dice is ENOUGH! More dice would just be ridiculous and I explored a bunch of possibilities like multipliers (Each Power = 4x, Skill = 3x, Magic = 2x) but it became unruly.

My suggestion is to use four (4) to five (5) dice at max.

Note: One of the MOST popular dice game (Yahtzee) uses FIVE (5) dice. And it's purely a "dice game". What this means is that probably using 5d6s in a game is probably a peak or maximum.

Also if you picture how many dice your hand can hold and shake... Five (5) MAYBE six (6) would be maximum ... I don't like games where you need to divide the dice into piles and roll each pile separately.

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
I already asked this question

I already asked this question before, and the answer I got is that people actually like rolling up to 10 dice even if I had 2 different rolls.

The white wolf RPG system use that many dice for the skill system. In my case I was using only D6.

If you combine various type of dice, the only issue could be the production cost as D6 are cheaper than other type of dice. There are also small d6, but smaller version of other dice type are rarer.

X3M
X3M's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013
I experienced

Smaller versions of other dice don't really work. They don't roll that well, despite their "rounder" form. It's due to friction with the surface. I think, that spiky dice do better. Since their connection time with the surface is less. Also, smaller dice are harder to read. Especially when there are bigger numbers in play.

I Always loved 12 d6. A 3 x 4 pick. Then remove any die that rolls bad. That is my way.

FrankM
Offline
Joined: 01/27/2017
White Wolf isn’t a lone wolf

larienna wrote:
I already asked this question before, and the answer I got is that people actually like rolling up to 10 dice even if I had 2 different rolls.

The white wolf RPG system use that many dice for the skill system. In my case I was using only D6.

If you combine various type of dice, the only issue could be the production cost as D6 are cheaper than other type of dice. There are also small d6, but smaller version of other dice type are rarer.

This was a fun bit of the White Wolf games, and it also came up regularly in Champions. Most attacks gave you a die per 5 active points in the power, and a power in a superhero-genre game could easily clock in at 75 active points.

Both White Wolf and Champions made 1s and highest-faces special, so there was more than just adding up the total. Like I said, there’s a corner of the market that likes chucking a bucket full of dice.

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
IDK about that!

larienna wrote:
I already asked this question before, and the answer I got is that people actually like rolling up to 10 dice even if I had 2 different rolls...

I think 5-6 d6s is more or less the "AVERAGE" quantity. Yahtzee the MOST popular and common dice rolling game has FIVE (5) d6s. So I would think that the average is around 5 to 6 d6s (at maximum).

While I understand some Gamers are WILLING to roll 2 different pools of 5d6s for a total of 10 d6s... That is NOT the usual. That is a smaller specialized segment of the market.

Personally I feel 5d6s is the limit (when I think about dice and dice pools and allotting different d6s to stats from a pool, etc). In my own attempt to fix the Mana system in some TCGs/CCGs I was using 3d6s all white and players could choose HOW to allocate the dice (which of the three stats used by the CCG). That was in the past since I've moved on from "battling" or "skirmishes" to a more "intellectual" game focusing more on mathematics.

Bottom line: I think you should cap at five (5) d6s. Custom or not. Colored or not.

Cheers!

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut