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Subject: 20-sided dice with each face showing three numbers, from one to six rss

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Ben Kyo
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We stopped in a randomly-chosen curry stall in Osaka on Sunday, and I noticed a die in the shop of a kind I haven't seen before.

I'm pretty sure it had 20 faces, based on the fact that five triangular faces came to a point as in a regular icosahedron.

Each face had three numbers on it, from one to six, with no number being repeated on a given face, and the numbers appearing in numerical order in the order top - left - right for each triangle.

Face 1, 2, 3 was opposite face 4, 5, 6.

Does anyone know what such a die can be used for? The owner of the stall let me have a look at the die but was obviously too busy to chat and apparently not interested in explaining its origin.

EDIT: The image kindly linked by Laissez K:
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Russ Williams
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Interesting and strange!

Benkyo wrote:
I'm pretty sure it had 20 faces, based on the fact that five triangular faces came to a point as in a regular icosahedron.

Each face had three numbers on it, from one to six, with no number being repeated on a given face, and the numbers appearing in numerical order in the order top - left - right for each triangle.

Face 1, 2, 3 was opposite face 4, 5, 6.

I.e. opposite faces came in 3 types of pairs, like this: ?
123 456
234 561
345 612

If so, it seems strange since 20 is not evenly divisible by 6, so not all types of pairs would occur equally frequently.
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Julien K
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No worry, there are exactly 20 combinations of 3 different numbers from 1 to 6
123
124
125
126
134
135
136
145
146
156
234
235
236
245
246
256
345
346
356
456
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Russ Williams
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jujulautre wrote:
No worry, there are exactly 20 combinations of 3 different numbers from 1 to 6

Agreed if it includes all combinations.

I (probably incorrectly) interpreted "the numbers appearing in numerical order" to mean the 6 gapless sequences 123, 234, 345, 456, 561, 612. But in hindsight your interpretation is probably what was intended.
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Ben Kyo
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Yeah, jujulautre has it right.

So each number appears 10 times, giving a 50% chance of a given number appearing on any one roll.

Lowest total for a face is 6 and highest total is 15, but I can't imagine any situation in which adding up the numbers would be desirable...
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Larry L
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Nice!

I want one.
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Reiji Kobayashi
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Is this the d20 in question?

http://arisuabu.exblog.jp/24696599/

Sadly, the blog doesn't say what it's used for - like the OP, it's a "something I found" thingy.
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Is there some kind of lottery system that requires three different numbers between 1 and 6?
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Aaron Morgan
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Benkyo wrote:
Lowest total for a face is 6 and highest total is 15, but I can't imagine any situation in which adding up the numbers would be desirable...


Fast-rolling of attributes for D&D characters (NPCs, taking the middle of the bell-curve) comes to mind, but that's a pretty narrow situation.
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I doubt it.
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I'd not use this for D&D characters (well, not PCs, anyway) or lottery, but you could totally design a combat system around this. Silent Death: The Next Millennium Deluxe Edition uses a single roll (granted with multiple dice) to generate an entire combat exchange (hits and damage). Imagine rolling a single die and being able to figure out hit, damage, and possibly even criticals...

I'd totally use it for this purpose, personally.
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Ryan Feathers
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I can't even imagine what such a die would be used for, but it is undeniably cool and unique.

I'm subscribed to this to see if anyone comes up with any interesting uses or knows of any.

I'm also curious if there exists a similar die such a d6 with every combination of 2 numbers out of 1-4. (1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 2-3, 2-4, 3-4)
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Ryan Byrd
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It could be used for some sort of look up tables. The first number could be a category, the second a subcategory, the third as a result. The first category could be a common, the second less common, third rare, fourth ultra rare. It would be a lot quicker than rolling 3 times. So it could basically be a d216, except it does not allow for duplicate numbers like 1 1 2. Maybe the lack of duplicates makes for a lock out mechanism.

Or maybe it is just a novelty.
 
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Russ Williams
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It's certainly a way to rather directly select 3 of 6 items uniformly randomly. That's the most obvious natural use which I can see.
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Ben Kyo
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Laissez K wrote:
Is this the d20 in question?

http://arisuabu.exblog.jp/24696599/

Yes, almost exactly the same, though I think the die I saw was slightly better-looking.
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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Yes, that comes under the heading of cool, I want one. No use for it whatsoever. But cool, I want one.

Google "Go First Dice" for another set of "cool, I want a set" of dice. Except I have a set. (Somewhere, not actually sure where.)
 
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Ben Kyo
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russ wrote:
It's certainly a way to rather directly select 3 of 6 items uniformly randomly. That's the most obvious natural use which I can see.


I can see how it would be quite efficient at doing exactly that、and it's the only real use I can imagine for it. It's very niche though - I can't think of any direct applications. I'd love to know why it was made.

In a period of time after Lost Legion and Krang were released, but before Shades of Tezla, if I had ever wanted to play a solo game of Mage Knight while controlling three characters (this never happened, and never will - the idea scares me), I could have used this die to randomly pick the three characters instead of chucking six tokens, for instance.

Clearly I don't play enough games involving dice.

I also sort of like the idea of weighted odds for 1-4 (ten 1s, six 2s, three 3s, and one 4), 2-5 (four 2s, six 3s, six 4s, four 5s), or 3-6 (one 3, three 4s, six 5s, ten 6s), but again a pretty limited use.

Interactions between faces? Then orientation of each face comes into play, which is difficult to visualise.
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Wim van Gruisen
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RingelTree wrote:
Nice!

I want one.

Yeah. Put me on the list as well. In fact, I'd like to have six; if I can find a use for it, I'd probably find out that I'll want more than one.
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Spencer C
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Whymme wrote:
RingelTree wrote:
Nice!

I want one.

Yeah. Put me on the list as well. In fact, I'd like to have six; if I can find a use for it, I'd probably find out that I'll want more than one.


You should also get a seventh to roll to pick which three of your six you'll roll.
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Ben Kyo
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If I find a local source of the dice, I could sell them at cost, but postage from Japan probably isn't worth it. That's not really the purpose of this thread though...
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Christian Gienger
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I'll join the I want 10 or so of those.
 
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A great BGG contest would to be to design a P&P game based on this die.

Maybe it could be a game where people take a number and you roll for your number, like a roulette type game but with 1:2 odds.
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Paradox Games
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remember that, when making tables, the first number is never greater than 4, the middle number never a 1 or 6, and the third number never less than 3.
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Ryan Byrd
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If used for look up tables as I mentioned above, then it really only gives a false sense of table selection since it is still only a d20.
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Dave Lartigue
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It's 6C3 = (6x5x4)/(3x2x1) = 20. All combinations of three unique elements from 6. So anything where you need to choose 3 items from 6 and not have duplicates could be used. Beyond that, no idea.
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Since the small game market is pretty big in Japan, I wonder if it was just produced for a short run of some one-off game.
 
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