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dice combinations for "consolation prizes"

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MarkD1733's picture
Joined: 07/05/2014

I have a press-your-luck, area majority dice game. When you roll and press your luck towards the main objective of the game, someone may roll more than you and beat you for points. However, you could also simply not roll enough to beat the "threshold" to get points. In either case, I would like the dice rolls to not feel wasted. I would like to have some "consolation prizes" in the form of added currency or some special cards for future turns. Here is my initial solution to this situation:

My current board design produces a 4 x 3 grid, of which we will ignore one row, making it for all intents and purposes a 3 x 3 grid. If I place a die face (1-6) on each of the rows and columns in a random arrangement, do you think rolling your the combination two dice (of the intersecting row and column) would be sufficient to get 2 currency or 1 card, provided that you aren't committing your dice roll to the area majority? Or do you think I should provide some greater challenges per poker combinations, or something like that? Or are there other approaches?

I look forward to your thoughts.

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
Some Suggestions

MarkD1733 wrote:
In either case, I would like the dice rolls to not feel wasted. I would like to have some "consolation prizes" in the form of added currency or some special cards for future turns.
I agree with your opinion about not wanting dice rolls to be a waste. When you're talking about a tactical, high-randomness situation, needing to feel like you still accomplished something with crappy rolls (for example) should stay a high priority. For example: provide for either high excitement, or being able to choose concrete options for at least -some- measure of progress, even when inching forward.

Your consolation prizes, however, may need to be balanced against the conventional rewards in the rest of the game. Personally I don't think I'd be able to help come up with an assessment of, "yeah, that's a good reward," simply because I don't have a feel for how this "losing situation" puts me behind. In other words: how much is the win worth? How long is the game? How much time will I have to make up this difference?

All that being said... I've tried my hand at a big-ass dice-throwing game in the past. It also had "hands" or specific sets of numbers that the player would strive for, and could claim before other players. This game allowed something like ten 6-sided dice per player: lots of options for placing dice, and a high variability on the board.

In that prototype, there were two sections of the board where "wasted dice" could be placed. The two spots provided rewards, but lesser in comparison to the main objectives.

The first spot provided a reward to the player with the most matching dice. For example, players could dump all their 1's in that spot if they weren't useful for other sets, so eventually by the end of the round they might have four or more 1's, now in the running for the prize. This is a set that might have won elsewhere, but instead of it coming all at once, they added to it a little at a time.

The second spot provided a reward to the player for the highest sum of their dice values. In this case, higher numbers became more valuable. In some cases, players would even consider adding a 6 to this area, if they were in competition for the consolation prize and needed a breakaway bid. Again, this is a "set" the player added to one die at a time.

As you might suspect, turn order became useful to compete for in a game like this (provided events are not resolved in simultaneous turns). In the close of a round, for example, players acting late in the round have more information and less competition than those acting earlier.

Those three examples of things to compete for may not provide specifics, but I hope they illustrate the general concepts I was working with. Hopefully, this is useful.

(I had a lot of fun with that game design... I wonder if I should revisit it? :) )

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
How about dice pooling???

Maybe you could "accumulate" dice and use dice pooling... Like if you roll a "1" and it serves no immediate use. You could put the dice aside and wait until you have three "1" and from there you could use your dice for a specific purpose. And then you could discard those dice.

Obviously I'm NOT suggesting to physically collect dice... You could have a scoresheet or a game mat, etc. And use them to track your dice pool.

This would mean you don't need too many dice... But maybe wooden cubes to keep track of the evolution of your dice and pool.

Just an idea. Something to think about!

Juzek's picture
Joined: 06/19/2017
I have a prototype where

I have a prototype where players roll 5 dice Yactzee style to determine actions. It lets players purchase a "pair of dice" via a card. If they can't get a triple, they can essentially save a double for a later turn.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Not sure what you are looking for

Your suggestions will be 100% depending on the dice that are rolled. This is fine though.

What if you want the player to choose a bit?
How about having 1 to 3 being the columns, and 4 to 6 being the rows. Then let the player choose one of the 3 prices. This way, you need only 1 die.

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