Upon going through my budget for the month I realized I had some spare money to spend on toys. After ordering a hardback copy of ACKS, as well as a kickass shirt, I decided to take care of something which was long overdue. I hunted down, and purchased, a set of Zocchi dice. For the uninitiated, Zocchi dice (named for their creator, Lou Zocchi) are role playing dice which are funnier than the funny dice we’re all used to. Every tabletop gamer quickly becomes well acquainted with the standard set: d4, d6, d8, d10/d%, d12, and d20. A full set of Zocchi dice includes a d3, d5, d7, d14, d16, and a d24. Mine arrived a few days ago*, and I’m rather in love with them. I think my girlfriend is getting really frustrated by the incessant clattering of my d5, as I roll it over and over again to marvel over the way it consistently lands on its edge. It doesn’t look like it should, and yet it does!
Long time readers may recall that I have something of an obsession with randomization, so gaining access to different ranges of numbers I can randomize is exciting. I will admit that zocchi dice lack some of the beauty inherent in regular polyhedrons, but in my opinion, they make up for that lack of inherent beauty by being examples of the beauty which is human ingenuity. Seriously, that d5, mang. It mystifies and fascinates me. I also have a more utilitarian need for the dice, since Dungeon Crawl Classic (which I received as a birthday gift) utilizes a full range of Zocchi dice, as well as a d30 (which I also purchased). Furthermore, while fiddling with the mechanics of the RPG system I’ve been working on, I’ve concluded that part of the game will work best if a d24 is used.
I think the last week’s worth of posts have referenced that project. I guess it’s pretty easy to tell what has inspired me to write recently. But after all of this talk, I’m going to look like a real dick if I’m not able to deliver, wont I?
The decision to include a d24 in my game has given me pause. While I have no delusions of grandeur about my project, I do hope I’ll be able to share it someday and get feedback from others. As it stands, this will be my first full-fledged attempt at game design. It’s hard enough to get people to pay attention to a sourcebook written by an untested designer. If people need to buy a new die to play the game, will they even bother? I wonder how Gygax and Arneson felt when they created a game which required a 20 sided die way back in the ’70s.
The relative success of DCC RPG would seem to imply that there is a market for games using non-standard dice. After all, the designers of DCC were able to get a wide release for not only one hard cover sourcebook, but a special edition as well. Given that, I have no doubt that it’ll be easier to release a game using Zocchi dice now than it would have been before. But I still wonder if I can get away with putting such a game out there, without it being completely ignored. It doesn’t help that a complete set of these dice is a pain in the ass to find.
I put it to you, readers: would you buy Zocchi dice if a game you were interested in required them? If you aren’t willing to buy the dice, would you be willing to play the game using standard dice to model the appropriate ranges? You could always replace a d24 with a d12 and flipping a coin. (heads is normal, tails add 12 to the result).
*My set, oddly, is missing the 7-sided die. Further research indicates that Game Science (Zocchi’s company) does not produce d7s using the same style or materials that they use to produce their other dice. I couldn’t figure out why this is, however, so if anyone has information I’d love to know!