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Subject: Six-sided dice that improve as you level rss

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George Shafer

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I don't think I had a particular use for this; just wanted to see if I could get the math to work.

The idea is basically that, instead of pips, each face of the die has multiple (up to 6) numbers on each face, ranging from 0 to 6 and you get to count all the numbers that are at or below your level (levels 1-7).

The dice ended up looking like:

| | |2 | |1 | |0 2| |0 1| |012|
| 5 | | | | 3 | | | | 3 | | |
| | | 5| | 5| |4 6| |4 6| |346|


which gives a pretty even distribution of possible values for each level with each level die having an average value of level/2.


| Face Counts |
Level |0|1|2|3|4|5|6| Average
1 |3|3|0|0|0|0|0| 0.5
2 |2|2|2|0|0|0|0| 1.0
3 |1|2|2|1|0|0|0| 1.5
4 |1|1|2|1|1|0|0| 2.0
5 |1|1|1|1|1|1|0| 2.5
6 |0|1|1|2|1|1|0| 3.0
7 |0|1|1|1|1|1|1| 3.5


So, the main question would be: is this too complicated to be used effectively?

I guess, depending on the number of dice needed, it might be easier/better to just have seven sets of dice printed with the distributions in the table instead of this one custom set that evolves through the seven distributions.
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Russ Williams
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Interesting idea!

Is there a difference between getting a "0" result and getting no result?

E.g. if I'm level 0 and roll the first face ("5"), then I get nothing as a result; if I roll the 4th face ("0246") then I get "0" as a result.

If those are effectively the same, then arguably every face should include a "0", or no faces should.

If they are not effectively the same, then what's intended difference in functionality between "0" and "no result"?

===

Also, since "you get to count all the numbers that are at or below your level", the distribution for levels 6 and 7 should be the same, shouldn't they? There are no 7s on the die faces, after all. So how does being at level 7 give me any additional benefit?

It looks like at level 6 (and 7), 3 of the faces give me a 6, and the other 3 faces give me a 5, so the average would seem to be 5.5. So I am not understanding your table or your calculations.
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George Shafer

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russ wrote:
Interesting idea!

Is there a difference between getting a "0" result and getting no result?

E.g. if I'm level 0 and roll the first face ("5"), then I get nothing as a result; if I roll the 4th face ("0246") then I get "0" as a result.

If those are effectively the same, then arguably every face should include a "0", or no faces should.

If they are not effectively the same, then what's intended difference in functionality between "0" and "no result"?

Uh, yeah, that was a typo. It should be "below your level" with the levels being 1-7. If it were levels 0-6, then it would be "at or below."

So, there is a difference between 0 and blank, with 0s being the only way that level 1 characters get any results at all and, as written, there is no level 0.


russ wrote:
Also, since "you get to count all the numbers that are at or below your level", the distribution for levels 6 and 7 should be the same, shouldn't they? There are no 7s on the die faces, after all. So
how does being at level 7 give me any additional benefit?


Again, should have just been "below", so, at level 6, you don't get to count the 6s like you would at level 7.

russ wrote:
It looks like at level 6 (and 7), 3 of the faces give me a 6, and the other 3 faces give me a 5, so the average would seem to be 5.5. So I am not understanding your table or your calculations.


I meant, you count the number of numbers that are below your level, so, at level 6, you would count


| | |2 | |1 | |0 2| |0 1| |012|
| 5 | | | | 3 | | | | 3 | | |
| | | 5| | 5| |4 6| |4 6| |346|


which make the die faces 1,2,3,3,4,5.

At level 7, you'd get to count everything, making the faces 1,2,3,4,5,6.
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Russ Williams
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playswithfire wrote:
I meant, you count the number of numbers that are below your level, so, at level 6, you would count


| | |2 | |1 | |0 2| |0 1| |012|
| 5 | | | | 3 | | | | 3 | | |
| | | 5| | 5| |4 6| |4 6| |346|


which make the die faces 1,2,3,3,4,5.

At level 7, you'd get to count everything, making the faces 1,2,3,4,5,6.


Aha! I see now that I was more fundamentally misled by misunderstanding what you meant by "count the numbers"!

I thought "count" in the sense of "consider or use", not in the literal sense of "count to see how many there are", so that in this example, I would get to count (on each of the faces), the 5, 5, 5, 4, 4, 4 (i.e. count the best number - on the 4th, 5th and 6th face I cannot "count" (in the "use" sense) the printed 6 values, but I can "count" the printed 4 values).

FWIW having to literally count how many numbers on a face are less than my level sounds somehow more cumbersome to me than just taking the single best printed number which is less than my level. (I assume one could devise a distribution of numbers on the dice faces that would work that way, but I have spent no time thinking about how to do it...)
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Richard Irving
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It seems like it would be easier to use a table (separate dice, where each row in this table specifies a die.)


Level Die Roll
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 0 0 0 1 1 1
2 0 0 1 1 2 2
3 0 1 1 2 2 3
4 0 1 2 2 3 4
5 0 1 2 3 4 5
6 1 2 3 3 4 5
7 1 2 3 4 5 6


But overall this seems like a highly cumbersome system--it seems like there should be some simpler to make things work.

If cards are in the game. possibly using cards--have seven columns at the bottom and draw a card checking only the matching column. (An example of this is Up Front--RPC number comes 10 columns and had 1-N in each column. When you need to randomly choose a man in a group, you draw a card, check the column equal to the number of men in the group.

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George Shafer

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Thanks for the feedback.

It's definitely cumbersome.

This was mostly a mental exercise; could I come up with a way to embed the different dice progressions onto a single die?

It's probably not worth it, when it can be replaced with multiple kinds of dice or the chart that you mentioned.

I might spend some time thinking of applications where it's not 7 different numbers (0-6) but seven different symbols and, at each level, you pick another symbol.
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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I have trouble thinking of a situation where I (as a designer) would choose to use dice like this instead of a more traditional system like "d6 + your level" or "roll a number of dice equal to your level".

I guess your level-dependent die is capable of generating uniform distributions of multiple sizes, which could maybe be used for something...

An alternative way to get a similar distribution would be to roll d(big number) modulo your level, which is probably faster to use once you're used to modular arithmetic but might be harder to learn.
 
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Shawn Dumas
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You could roll two six-sided dice and take the higher/lower of the two. The first level up is to go to one die. Next do two but take the better die's value.
 
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Jake Staines
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Tulkas wrote:
You could roll two six-sided dice and take the higher/lower of the two. The first level up is to go to one die. Next do two but take the better die's value.


Amongst others, the Silhouette RPG rules (Heavy Gear/Tribe 8/Jovian Chronicles/Core Command) use this die system. The result is broadly that early levels are really worth having - there's a huge difference between taking the higher or the lower of two dice - but later levels start to get more and more meaningless very quickly. The difference between the higher of 4 or 5 dice is basically nothing compared to the difference between levels 0 and 1, or 1 and 2.

(In Sil, the general case is that it's nearly always better to go after an effect that gives you a +1 bonus to your result than getting extra levels and rolling more dice.)
 
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John Breckenridge
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I think it would be easier on the player to just print the value of the die for each level on every face

|000| |001| |011| |112| |122| |123|
| 0 | | 1 | | 2 | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 |
|011| |122| |233| |334| |445| |556|


Where the numbers are in these positions for each level:

|123|
| 4 |
|567|


This method could be easily scaled to handle 9 levels.
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Timothy Adamson
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Could you map to (mostly existing) dice with different number of sides? That is, d2, d3, d4, d6, etc. Your Level 1 is 1d2-1, your level 2 is 1d3-1 already.
 
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George Shafer

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jbrecken wrote:
I think it would be easier on the player to just print the value of the die for each level on every face

|000| |001| |011| |112| |122| |123|
| 0 | | 1 | | 2 | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 |
|011| |122| |233| |334| |445| |556|


Where the numbers are in these positions for each level:

|123|
| 4 |
|567|


This method could be easily scaled to handle 9 levels.


Yes, yes it would.

I think I got caught up with trying to have each of the faces have the same number of numbers on it as a standard D6 has pips, but that would be a lot easier to read.
 
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John Breckenridge
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playswithfire wrote:

I think I got caught up with trying to have each of the faces have the same number of numbers on it as a standard D6 has pips, but that would be a lot easier to read.


Well, you could change the layout to

|123|
| 7 |
|456|

and then the faces would have 1-6 in the middle and be usable as a standard die if you needed to.
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Kai Scheuer
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You might want to read this thread:

Dissecting the D6 – a powerful tool of high flexibility.

It offers a way of painting the pips on a die - something you could use as a leveling mechanic as well: for each level paint one pip on a die.
Roll a painted pip - success.
No painted pip - no success.



Kind regards,
Kai
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T Patts
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schattentanz wrote:
You might want to read this thread:

Dissecting the D6 – a powerful tool of high flexibility.

It offers a way of painting the pips on a die - something you could use as a leveling mechanic as well: for each level paint one pip on a die.
Roll a painted pip - success.
No painted pip - no success.



Kind regards,
Kai


I saw the subject of this thread and knew that you'd post on here sooner or later! Great system by the way, will need to look again...
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