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To make sure everything folds correctly, a separate file for US Letter and A4 was required. Next, I needed to define what a "page" was, within the booklet. I could have faked this, or spent hours dragging-and-dropping guides in Scribus, but I prefer to let the software do the calculation for me.
Next, I generated some simple grids. To avoid confusion between page-turns and roll results, I decided to use letters as references. A player chooses a letter , which has the number of page turns to their destination, making their "roll" result the number found next to that same letter in the grid they find when they turn the page. An advantage to the PocketMod design is that it can be an infinitely looping book if you let it, with no obvious beginning or ending.
If a player feels like the unexpectedness of their die rolls are suffering, then the offset of the initial page turns can be changed just by making a new page the "first" page.
Suddenly, all destination tables have changed! Unpredictably returns. To add even more unexpectedness, I realized that the booklet is not only infinite, but also flippable and floppable. There's no need to define a beginning, an ending, a left-to-right or right-to-left, or top or bottom. So I added upside-down tables to each page, giving a player the option to decide which way the book should be oriented for each roll. And finally, to make the system even more diverse, I decided that both a six-cell table and a cell table would be provided.
The six-cell table simulates a six-sided die "d6", in gaming terminology and the cell table a sided "d10" roll. Additionally, a d12 and d20 can be simulated by rolling twice and taking the sum of the rolls, or by taking the results of both right-side-up and upside-down tables on the destination page. The "problem" with my system is that it is, strictly, statistically incorrect. The action of a "roll" is simulated by differently arranged cells in a number of tables. On a d6, there are six sides of the die, so there should be six snapshots of the die's arrangement.
PocketMod booklets, however, have eight pages. Doubling up on tables per page results in 16 snapshots, so no matter what, the system has space for more snapshots than possible roll configurations. There's certainly a "right" way, mathematically, to solve this glitch, but ultimately I chose to follow the path to greater unexpectedness at the expense of statistically accurate pseudo randomness.
The project is Creative Commons licensed, however, so if a statistician is interested in formulating "correct" tables to balance out potential results, it's open for improvement! To make the system self-contained, I wanted to write instructions on how to use it and, possibly more importantly, how to fold it into a booklet, on the opposite side of the printed page.
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There are instructions on folding pages into a PocketMod online, but I wasn't able to find licensing information, so I decided to recreate the instructions myself. My go-to tool for hand-illustration is the excellent open source Krita. Armed with a cheap Wacom tablet all of which ship with Linux drivers and Krita, your illustrations can look professional and even a little artistic. Generally, I find that the trick is in the brush choice. The difference, for instance, between a really great Krita brush with tapered strokes and variable thickness and a pixel marker straight out of KolourPaint can make all the difference:.
Since I found most instructions online a little confusing, I based the instructions mostly from what I'd been taught at the Zine workshop. It took me no more than 15 minutes to complete. I saved the file and exported a version as a png , which I imported into Scribus and positioned on the second page of my design.
All design files for the project are open source, available from a git repository located at gitlab. There are plenty of ways to distribute a one-sheet analogue dice rolling emulator; distribution paths are not a problem that open source software and free culture have. However, I didn't want to assume that a player would know what git was, or even how to print or build a PDF from Scribus.
I wanted to be able to deliver the final product to players, ready to print from home. The Pocket Dice Roller works best if you have multiple copies of it lying around; one in your purse or wallet, one tucked away in your RPG rulebook, another in your backpack, and a backup in your notebook.
- The Pocket Guide to Dice and Dice Games - AbeBooks - Keith Souter: .
- Skyhorse Pocket Guides: The Pocket Guide to Dice and Dice Games by Keith Souter (2013, Paperback);
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Only then can you ensure you're never without an Unexpected Number Generator. To my surprise, many online distributors expect you to want to sell your product. I didn't want to charge for my product, but ultimately I found the perfect site for it: rpgnow. It's a site already attracting a hardcore gamer audience, and while it does allow vendors to charge for their work, it has no built-in expectation of charging.
This site allows gamers to discover the system by browsing a site they already go to, download the product for free, and then print it at home. I recently had the pleasure of flying for over 24 hours straight not counting the layovers between each flight. That gave me plenty of time to play some solitaire dice-based games. The latter game system uses a d10 sided die and the former a d6, so I was able to test both tables extensively. Without actual dice, I was pleased to find the games as difficult, complex, nail-bitingly entertaining as ever.
Pocket Guide to Dice and Dice Games
The numbers were completely unpredictable; even when I started to think it was becoming predictable, it surprised me by proving I had no way of knowing what number I'd land on upon turning to the seeded page. First of all, you can either use rolling seeds your previous roll value becomes your new seed , or you can re-seed each time, from any table. You can even use the wrong table for seeds; just because you're playing with a d6 doesn't preclude you from seeding from the d And if you feel sufficiently confused about the orientation of your Pocket Dice Roller booklet, you're free to skip the seed process entirely; just pick a letter and turn to a random page.
The Lone Wolf system uses a combat ratio to calculate damage for both you and your enemy, so one roll per attack is all that's required, but the Tunnels and Trolls system requires two rolls: one to calculate your damage, and another to calculate your enemy's damage. When a game required two rolls, I found myself picking a letter and turning to a page and using either the letter result on the facing tables, or on the two tables of the same page the north- and south- facing tables.
I established a rule about which result was the hero and which was the enemy, so it was essentially two rolls in one action, which sped things up a little in the physical game play and actually made the attack process more exciting, as if it was all happening at once. After several hours of a card-based dungeon crawler and the two day flight 24 hours there, 24 hours back RPG marathon, I'm confident that the Pocket Dice Roller is as satisfyingly unpredictable as the roll of a die.
Download it and try it. Better yet, open up Scribus and make it your own! Make your own random number generator How to make your own 'unexpected' number generator. Image credits :. Get the highlights in your inbox every week. The problem with a die Analogue gaming solved the problem of getting random numbers long ago, most notably with dice.
Full of fascinating facts and useful tips, this is a must-read book for everyone interesting in games, gambling and social history. Did you know? Dice derives from the Latin, datum meaning ought to be played The black marks showing the numbers are called pits Dice were first played in India c.
Contains their history and clear explanations to popular dice games, including Farkle played since the Middle ages , Gluckhaus a German game of fortune, played since medieval times and jacks. It also includes tips on winning and how to avoid being tricked by loaded or crooked dice.
This is a must read book for everyone interested in games, gambling and social history.
Dr Keith Souter is a part time doctor, medical writer and novelist. Keith writes about medicine and science with his real name, Dr Keith Souter, historical novels as Keith Souter, Westerns under the name Clay More and crime novels under the pseudonym Keith Moray.
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Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. This pocket guide contains their history and clear explanations to popular dice games, including farkle played since the Middle Ages , Gluckhaus a German game of fortune, played since Medieval Times , craps and Jacks, including tips on winning and how to avoid being tricked by loaded or 'crooked' dice. Famous dice players include Augustus and Caligula, the Roman Emperors - the latter lost all his money playing dice and quickly stole other people's and carried on gaming. Dice derives from the Latin, datum meaning 'ought to be played'The black marks showing the numbers are called pitsDice were first played in India c.
Seller Inventory PAS More information about this seller Contact this seller. Book Description Remember When. Condition: Brand New.