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How many d10s? [low content]

Started by Tim Alexander, October 19, 2004, 12:39:59 PM

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Tim Alexander

Hey Folks,

So I'm finally getting around to running the Ordinary Tragedies game in a week or so. Being my first live experience with Sorcerer I realized I have no good idea of how many d10s is reasonable to have on hand to keep the pace going smoothly. It's obviously of only minor concern in the grand scheme of things, but I'm curious if people have found that there's a sweet spot number that comes up? Multiple colors? Pretend I don't have a single die to my name, how many would be the suggestion to purchase and why?

Admittedly this feels like a pretty low content topic, but in my prep I realized that since my group is really new to gaming that anything I can do to keep dice handling time low and visually unconfusing the better. I have no doubt they'll do fine on content, but the mechanics might take some adjusting to and I'd like to give them every edge in getting up to speed. I'm thinking things like a different color for the dice I give for RP bonuses, etc.

-Tim, who's probably overthinking this.

Michael S. Miller

Hi, Tim.

Good of you to think ahead. Sorcerer works best, I find, with gobs and gobs of dice sitting on the table. Y'see, each player is likely going to be rolling 4-7 dice each round. Since they all roll at the same time, it's best to have at least 6 dice per player just on the player's side of the table.

For the GM, it's more complex. You'll be rolling for most everyone's demon plus an NPC or two, and maybe their demon. Plus, demon scores are generally higher. Color-coding is VERY helpful when handling multiple NPCs. I used 10 dice of each of 3 colors, and sometimes it wasn't quite enough.

For how to read them most efficiently, check out my post on this old thread: I Ran Sorcerer And It Was Awful[/quote]

The above is my experience only and certainly not the minimum requirement. Just what I find comfortable. Hope that helps. Good luck with the game.
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Ron Edwards


I have about 20 ten-siders and very occasionally use them all at once. The players do well to have five or so on hand apiece.

It's much, much easier to read them when dealing with multiple NPCs than most people anticipate. Just assign a spot on the table to a particular NPC as well as PCs, verbally and openly, and everyone helps everyone keep track. That's one of the neat side-effects of everyone rolling at once.


Tim Alexander

I've placed a nice order for a gaggle of dice. If I end up not having enough I'll be very surprised. Thanks for the tips folks.


Andy Kitkowski

A very, very, VERY minor point, but I find it's easier to figure out what you've got "that much faster" (half a second or so, but still) if most of the dice you have are the same general color, and not, like, black writing on white dice, white writing on black dice, gold writing on blue specled dice, etc all at the same time.

Just a thought as you buy your Dice Load.  I specifically bought runs of d10s (10 each) of similar colors for Sorcerer at GenCon.
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Ron Edwards


Good point. I tend to segregate my dice by approximate color while playing Sorcerer, so this goon is the "yellow guy" and similar.


Tim Alexander

Hey Folks,

I ended up buying about fifty in groupings of ten identical colors. Hopefully that should take care of myself and the players (3-4). I've got odds and ends in case that ends up not being enough, but I'm thinking that for all but the largest of conflicts I ought to be sitting pretty.

Thanks for the recommendations,



Not a direct answer to your actual question- Ron pretty much licked that- but a nice GM trick Greg Stolze suggested for GODLIKE has proven quite useful to me running Sorcerer.  

Bring a few pages from the phone book, and read phone numbers like a handful of d10's- 0 being 10.  I don't really know the distribution of digits in phone numbers (there are likely some odd statistical hickups caused by regional number schemes), but it wasn't anything I actually noticed.  

It breaks something of Sorcerer's "dice on the table" transparency, but plays fine if you are running your game sans-table or without a bucket of dice.  When I used it last, the group was sitting around a living room, in various chairs and whatnot, and rolling on handy flat surfaces or D&D books in their laps.  The phone book page made my life much easier, especially when dealing with "mooK" NPC characters.  For "big bads" I'd roll normally though.  I just had them roll their own demon's dice too, once their actions had been worked out.

There are also some handy dice rollers for PALM if you like that sort of thing.


Tim Alexander

Hey Bailywolf,

The phone book is pretty neat idea, especially if I ended up without dice or without the room to roll dice. You could play Sorcerer at a bar! Palm dice rollers though, it's not really my thing. I like the feel of dice and there's something empowering about everyone involved having something physical to do. Even the phone book has a tactile component that's attractive.