# binary dice

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wob
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Joined: 06/09/2017

hello.
the main game I'm working on at the moment is a solo dungeon crawl. in it certain things get resolved with dice rolls (some combat, most events and a few other things). up to this point i have used a D6, but i have recently thought of binary dice.
they consist of 3 tokens (more tokens = higher total) in three colours (and symbols for the colour blind). 1 token (red) is 0/1 the next (orange) is 0/2 and the third (yellow) is 0/4. strictly speaking they are all 1/0 with different place values.
players cast the tokens and count the totals to get a result between 0 and 7 (or a d6 with an extra reroll and an instant fail).
this gives me some pros and cons...
pros: the game doesnt need traditional dice so it can just use a punchout sheet.

extra tokens can be obtained through the game to fight bigger bads (and be themed as collecting jewels etc)

it seems different and thematic (casting stones in a fantasy setting)

i can change odds (ie a card requires the red/yellow tokens. makes a die with 0/1/3/4)

cons: it isnt as natural as a die. do people understand binary well enough?

it is harder to make perfect dice (ie my d6 is a d8, my d4 swaps a 2 for a 0)

do you think its worth the change? are there any games that use somthing similar? should the tokens all be 0/1 with an explanation of place values or should they be 0/1, 0/2, 0/4 etc?

X3M
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Joined: 10/28/2013
Confusing at first

Because, binary is something strange (not hard) to grasp.

To anyone wondering:
https://anydice.com/program/147f2

Using all 3 tokens results in a perfect linear line. Just like a d8-1

I'd say, it is a brilliant start.

Edit: leaving out the middle man, gives stranger results. But this might give way to strategy and gambles.
https://anydice.com/program/147f3

wob
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Joined: 06/09/2017
correction. a red/yellow

correction. a red/yellow gives 0/1/4/5. which may answer if people understand binary.
incidentally using this doesn't change the odds, you have an equal chance of rolling any of the possible numbers. a 7 token system gives the numbers 0-127 all with equal odds
i think missing a middle number would be counter productive. dropping the yellow gives 0/1/2/3. same odds but a lower total and less messy

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
I think runebound 3rd edition

I think runebound 3rd edition use tokens as dice. The main advantage is that each token can have different effects, and you can easily add tokens to the pool of thrown token. It's like if you added additional faces.

That could be an alternative I have not considered in my game. Still, many people complained in Runebound that it was odd to toss.

wob
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Joined: 06/09/2017
ive seen a few games that use

ive seen a few games that use tokens by counting heads vs tails, or x heads to pass. is that what runebound does? (i haven't played)

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
I was

I was right

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/3963634/runebound-third-edition

Pretty neat, they put them in coin capsule. I did not know such thing existed. Else I assume that you need very thick tokens for the tossing to work. It might be more convenient to stick labels on plastic tokens which are less likely to damage themselves over time.

Another idea that came to my find. I thought once of having units as dice, when once engaged in battles you simply roll the die. Dragon Dice used to do that, but on a map, they don't stack well. So you need to handle them in pool.

But as tokens, that could be an alternative solution. When the unit enter battle, you simply toss them to know the combat result. Again, it might be more convenient to put labels on plastic tokens. It increase the cost per token. Those tokens on gamecrafters would be perfect for such job:

https://www.thegamecrafter.com/parts/token-chip-indented-green?dept_uri=...

Fri
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Joined: 09/06/2017
Alternative

As an alternative method your character could start the game with a one red, one orange one yellow and three neutral (whatever color) tokens in a bag. Then when it is time to make a check draw three of these tokens and see if you pass. After every check the pulled tokens are returned to the bag. This method allows a players power to increase throughout the game, but still provides some uncertainty as to whether you will pass of fail for all tasks.

IMO this could be an interesting space to work in. Obviously you can vary the make up of the bag. You could also have one time use tokens that can give a bonus, act a neutral or even have a negative effect. You can vary the number of tiles pulled. These are just a few examples, I am sure there are a lot more.

Thematically you would be attempting to harness the power of something. I would use the spirit of you ancestors. Then you could say that you are attempting to use the power of you ancestors to do X. If the characters fails then it is because the ancestors are guiding them down another path.

Feel free to disregard, use or improve upon. Good luck with your game.

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
Another option, depending on

Another option, depending on how natural you think binary dice (coins?) are for folks to understand, would be custom dice. My game has a bunch of different dice that give me things like 000111 and 011223. They cost me about 10 cents each (1000 unit game order), plus some setup. Printed, not engraved.

Fri
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Joined: 09/06/2017
D6 + Fudge Die

If you want to go with a non custom dice solution you can use a d6 and a fudge die to produce a 0-7 result. I not sure if it produces the probabilities you want though.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fudge_(role-playing_game_system)

https://anydice.com/

output d6 + 1d{+1, 0, -1}

wob
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Joined: 06/09/2017
hi.custom dice are nice but

hi.
custom dice are nice but they soon add up. binary dice are cheap and flexible. with 3 i can make a d2, d4 or d8 or use them for x vs y (ie have more 1s than 0s)
i was also thinking more 3d coins with a separate number of sides can be used by visually impaired players. i wont be making them that way for my game but its a nice side effect of the component.

i like the idea of pulling a hidden one as well but i dont think it would be the main use.

the colours were mainly to denote place (to stop confusion between 110, 101 and 011). and colours come with a built in order. i could have them with 1/0, 2/0 etc but that might limit things later.

im planning on having players start with 3 and go to 7 for the big bad, collecting the other 4 to be able to roll up to 127. but most things will use only 3.

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
If you're using coins and

If you're using coins and they're not that expensive, you can also ship with (for example)

0-1
0-1
0-2
0-2
0-4

Then you can not only generate a 0..7 result, but you can also use (for example) two of the "1" coins to get a 0-1-1-2 spread.

wob
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Joined: 06/09/2017
thats an excellent idea. but

thats an excellent idea. but i might have to do more math to see how the different combinations distribute things (i like that binary is so even).
i have hp tokens so i was planning on just adding some binary dice to the punchouts

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
Well, the "win" of the extra

Well, the "win" of the extra coins is not just that you can, if you need it, have something closer to a gaussian distribution (or other weird distributions), but also you probably want a few extras for sharing among players anyway. Nobody wants to keep handing the coins/dice back and forth all the time.

My game ships with four of the most common die, which one player uses by rolling a pair, and monsters frequently use. Could've shipped two, but having four works much better in practice.