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General Forge Forums => Game Development => Topic started by: whoknowswhynot on January 22, 2011, 02:33:20 PM

Title: [MAYA] Your thoughts on the twelve-sided die
Post by: whoknowswhynot on January 22, 2011, 02:33:20 PM
Some things have sparked my interest in the twelve sided die as opposed to the good ole' ten sided die.  There are not many games that use d12 instead of a d20 or a d10.  Does anyone know why this is or have some example systems using d12?  Also, of course, I have been thinking that I should use d12 for MAYA instead of d10.  Just wondering what everyone thinks about that.

Title: Re: [MAYA] Your thoughts on the twelve-sided die
Post by: Ron Edwards on January 22, 2011, 03:44:52 PM

No die is better or worse than another in isolation. But given all the other aspects of a game system, often the right die is quite definite.

To figure out what's right for your game, I suggest you not apply poll-based, gee-everyone's-opinion logic. Instead, let us know what features of the game benefit from the d12.  For instance, 12 is divisible by more numbers than 10 is - does that matter in this case?

As for games that use d12's, it's true that only a few do. Some of the more ambitious ones include Shattered Dreams (1994), Dread (the not-jenga one), and the game in development, Rats in the Walls. There are probably a few others people can name, but my point is, there isn't much point in merely listing them. We should focus on your game and its features, especially the features you consider the most important.

Best, Ron

Title: Re: [MAYA] Your thoughts on the twelve-sided die
Post by: Paul DuPont on January 22, 2011, 06:42:16 PM
Ah, the D12, I love D12s! I have a dice-pool system that uses only D12s. Twelve is a very important number in the setting and the mechanics are designed to reflect the world-view of the characters to keep the system immersive and flavorful. However, that is the only system I have that uses D12's at all!

As Ron said, the decision to use or not use a D12 depends upon your design goals. Here are some pros and cons on D12s that I can think of. Some of this depends upon the target audience for your game, among other things.

-They are beautiful (at least I think so)
-They roll well (not too many sides that they roll off the table [D20's do that often for me], but enough that they do roll rather than bounce once then land[D4's])
-They fit the themes of your game /setting (like if the society used base 12 math for instance)
-They provide an even spread from 1-12 (for instance, 1D12, 2D6, and 3D4 offers a range of predictable or chaotic dice rolling options or ... if you have skills that go between 1-10 and the character succeeds when they roll equal or under their skills, the D12 may provide that 'chance of failure' you need for your characters)
-Exotic (sometimes it is nice to have something different, it adds a little flavor to your game to differentiate it from other games)

-Rare/Price (many gamers have few D12's so a D12 system, especially a dice pool system may require many players to go out and buy new dice)
-Exotic (sometimes it is undesired to make your game different from 'common' systems)
-don't fit themes or mechanis

Title: Re: [MAYA] Your thoughts on the twelve-sided die
Post by: whoknowswhynot on January 23, 2011, 06:38:42 AM
12 is divisible by more numbers than 10 is - does that matter in this case?
Not too much. 
I want the system to have an organic feel to it, if that makes sense.  I have wanted the system to have an almost sacred feel to it.  Like the rules were designed by the architect of the universe.  I don't want MAYA to feel scientific or oversimplified.  I originally chose d10 because it brought a very simple feel to the system that I am thinking might be LESS valuable than the organic feel and mystiqe that the d12 has.  Aside from this, I have also been thinking about this for the following reasons:
I have always loved the look and feel of a d12.
There are 12 notes in an octave.
The dodecahedron has great significance within studies of sacred geometry (not a subject I am too knowledgable in, but very interested).
Physicists say the universe is, or may be a dodecahedron.
10s are rather noisy when rolled, making a loud 'clack-clack-clack' sound.
D12 gives even the highest ego (10) a chance at success - the success would be marginal.
I am fairly confident that changing will not amount to a lot of work.

Just because I COULD doesn't mean that I SHOULD, but I can barely resist the power of the dodecahedron!  With ALL this in mind do you feel it would be a mistake?

Title: Re: [MAYA] Your thoughts on the twelve-sided die
Post by: Eigil Rischel on January 23, 2011, 06:45:52 AM
Well... if you feel it fits well with the system/setting, by all means, go for it!
Also, on the subject of geometry, it could be added that d10s are not regular polyhedrons, and in fact in 1st edition DnD, a d20 with the numbers from 1 to ten printed twice on it(if that makes sense) was used. This is one reason why i find them to be less aesthetically pleasing than other dice(though aesthetic concerns usually isn't something i usually use in game design

Title: Re: [MAYA] Your thoughts on the twelve-sided die
Post by: happysmellyfish on January 25, 2011, 06:33:00 AM
Just want to confirm that at least one gaming group (mine!) has had to turn down games because they require a lot of relatively uncommon dice.

We tried Agon with only one of each die size - god, never again.

Obviously I don't know how and why any particular dice is better for your game, but you might get fewer playtesters (particularly at this stage of development) if people physically don't have what they need to play.