Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Gaming Enigma

Here is something that struck me this morning...

What the hell is the 12-sided die for?

It looks like some early polyhedron owner filed the points off a 10 sider. I can think of few really important uses in gaming history. Here is what I remember (think I remember) it has been used for. The barbarian hit points from Unearthed Arcana, and maybe the cavalier too? I can't really remember any spells or weapons that use it.

Most dice have a regular purpose:

4-sider: small weapon damage, magic-user hit points. Deadliest die to step on in bare/socked feet.
6-sider: the most important die in gaming, possibly the oldest method of determining a random number, aside from the coin flip (boolean).
8-sider: fairly popular choice of weapon damage, as well as many spells.
10-sider: got two? Roll a percentile.
20-sider: the main die that seperates us from board gamers.

So, here are some suggestions on use for the 12-sider:

Make a Spinal Tap game. Roll the 12-sider to see how hard you are rocking. On a 12, your drummer dies inexplicably.

You are gaming and desire Krispy Kreme. You decide to send the guy playing the bard, as he's not really needed for anything (zing!). You cannot determine a fair ratio of classic-to-chocolate-glazed. Roll the twelve to determine the number of classic.

Figure out your character's penis length. Applies only to humans, half-elves, and oddly enough, halflings.

Any true, normal uses for the 12-sider you remember/use? I don't know all the games, and am pretty D&D centric. Post them as comments to earn shiny Geek-Fu points!


Dave Tackett said...

The only "normal" uses I can recall are 1st ed. AD&D - Damage against large creatures when using a Long Sword or a Pike and Barbarian hit points.

skeleri said...

Cartoon Action Hour uses only 12-siders. Fun game, every session ends with someone laying down a moral of the story to the kiddies watching.

Jamdin said...

I use the 12-sider for rolling up the time for specific events like time of births. I use it along with a 6-sider (odds=am, evens=pm) and my big red 30-sider (the 6-sider tells me if the time is 01-30 or 31-00).

I also use the 12-sider for the month and the big red 30-sider for the day.

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