d12... why bother?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I see that the PF Beginner Box is going to include a d12 in the set, which actually is completely fine with me. But it raises the question: WHY BOTHER?

I mean, I know of only rule in the game that calls for a d12: when rolling up a Barbarian's hit points after first level. And she's the only class that calls for a d12. Perhaps there are some high-level monsters in the Bestiary that use it, but in my experience gaming our d12s sit lonely and unused. (Mind you, we don't have a Barbarian.)

Is the d12 dead? The current game design philosophy favors the d6 -- you see damage for spells, sneak attacks, etc. scale up with the d6. The d12 doesn't get much love.

I must admit, though, that the d12 is the most aesthetically pleasing. There's something beautiful and zen-like about pentagons positioned at odd angles to create a completely symmetrical die. Still, what use is beauty in still form, if it is never rolled?

Now I'm not asking PFRPG to banish the d12. Quite the contrary -- if you're not going to retire it, then create some more rules that use it. But this uncertain middle ground leaves me agitated and asking the question...

Why bother?


Let us not forget the Greataxe, the Stalwart Defender PrC, hit dice for some dragons, and possibly others I'm too lazy to look up.

All of these use the d12. That, plus I've decided that any monster I homebrew from now on will roll d12 damage dice, cuz I can.


A D12 is excellent for selecting a random month for a birthday.


The D12 also made several appearances in spells back in 3.5 splat. I imagine that's still a possibility with PF.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Also good for random hours.

Might not be bad to go back to d12s for initiative.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

ronaldsf wrote:
(Mind you, we don't have a Barbarian.)

We don't have a Barbarian to start off with. We will have a barbarian as a web enhancement. Plus I"m willing to bet a greataxe will be in the equipment you can take.


And now you know


I still use d12's for wandering monster selection. 1st edition thing (or was it in the blue book?).

Plus, d12's are great for spinning on the table top, even better than the d20's.


TriOmegaZero wrote:

Also good for random hours.

Might not be bad to go back to d12s for initiative.

Maybe for small fights. The ones we've had lately need D100's for initiative to avoid congestion. :(


I guess I understand your point about it concerning the beginner box, but I used my d12 just the other day. I'm playing a Dragon Disciple focusing on polearms. I chose the lucerne hammer since it has the highest damage die (d12). I know there are other polearms that do more reliable damage, but I just like it better for some reason. (I have a greatsword as backup, though, fyi.)


  • You can do char-gen with 2d6+1d12 drop the low roll for kicks and giggles!

  • d12's make great time-of-day randomizers

  • d12's can actually be used in other games (good ol' Deadlands for example). This makes the PF beginner box sort of a gateway drug into the wide world of roleplaying games.

  • One word...Pentagon! NO other standard die wins for the number of sides for each face of the polygon (a d10 and d6 come close with 4...but d12 punches it up a notch). It should simply be renamed dClassy

  • d12's don't tend to land all cock-eyed like a d20 does with its tiny inferior triangular faces.

  • Barbarians would disagree that d12's aren't important. I don't want to disagree with any barbarian ever. Except for maybe Groo. Plus Barbarians are the first class in the core book (until those lousy no good Alchemists get top billing in future editions). Think it is a coincidence that they are first and have the best hit dice? PFfff...d12's win again.


  • Herbo makes some good points, but he forgot what great 5' elevators they are - much better than d6's and forget d20's.

    We need a d12 game system.


    I sometimes use them if I need to quickly determine a random direction, and I want a little more reality than a d8. I just impose an imaginary clock on the epicenter of the character or object that needs the direction, and use the Hour to determine the trajectory.


    Herbo wrote:
  • One word...Pentagon! NO other standard die wins for the number of sides for each face of the polygon (a d10 and d6 come close with 4...but d12 punches it up a notch). It should simply be renamed dClassy
  • If we're discussing geometric elegance, do not even mention the d10. It's the only die in a standard polyhedral set that is not composed of Platonic solids. A horror of design, if you ask me.


    Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    They found alot of use when my group was playind d20 modern or star wars saga edition. In that system most abilities added damage dice, not extra attacks, or doubling damage dice (like vital strike). So having d12's with your weapon got the most out of any of those abilities. Since a 1d12 weapon double tapped in modern did 2d12. A 2d6 weapon did 3d6.

    Scarab Sages

    Personally I hate "rolling" the caltrop-ish d4s, and thus use my d12 as a default d4. 1-3 = 1, 4-6 = 2, 7-9 = 3, 10+ = 4. Can also be used for d6's, d3's, and a d2. In fact, you can order your d12 printed that way if you so prefer. Since they roll better and with less flop than the others, I like it like that. Its the action of the spin and tumble against each other that really makes them nicer for me.


    Ron - may I call you Ron? Don't answer, I'll do it anyway! ;-P - you seriously need to play Firefly/Cortex. The game has no d20. It has everything up to and including the d12, which is the king of dice in that game.

    You basically don't get score in abilities, you get dice. Things start with d2 (I think I could be wrong, has been a time since I played) and go up to d12, and then on to d12+d2 and d12+d12 as the top score. You have one of these dice (or sets of dice) for your attribute, and one for your skill.

    So when roll something, you literally roll your attribute + skill.

    If something gives you a boost, you just go up a die instead.


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    Back in my day I was in the service, and we went into the field loaded down with a ton of equipment. If you played D&D out there you went with three dice in your pocket, a D20 ( /2 for D10) a D12 (served as d6 and d4) and a D8. If you didn't have your D8 you rolled a D12 and D20 at the same time, turn your D12 into a d4 result and if the D20 was odd you'd turn it into the low 4 numbers for the D8, even D20 result turned it into the high 4.

    So we could play D&D with TWO dice, one of them the D12. I always imagined that was the same exact thing some prison nerd was doing at that very moment, except he couldn't hide his two dice in his pocket :-)

    Sovereign Court

    Why? Because the first polyhedral sets were sets of teaching aids imported from England. The original D&D game design didn't even need d12's, but rather than discard a bunch of them when shipping out the box sets, they included rules for a 12-sider.

    -Source, Dave Arneson during a poorly-attended seminar at GenCon 2005

    RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

    Bomanz wrote:
    Personally I hate "rolling" the caltrop-ish d4s, and thus use my d12 as a default d4. 1-3 = 1, 4-6 = 2, 7-9 = 3, 10+ = 4. Can also be used for d6's, d3's, and a d2. In fact, you can order your d12 printed that way if you so prefer. Since they roll better and with less flop than the others, I like it like that. Its the action of the spin and tumble against each other that really makes them nicer for me.

    We sell dice for exactly this purpose. I own several, and I think they're great.

    Grand Lodge

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    Spes Magna Games is beginning a "Dodeca" series of 3rd party material that is intended to restore the d12 to regular circulation. I think so far they only have "Dodeca Encounters."


    Herbo wrote:
  • One word...Pentagon! NO other standard die wins for the number of sides for each face of the polygon (a d10 and d6 come close with 4...but d12 punches it up a notch). It should simply be renamed dClassy

  • Barbarians would disagree that d12's aren't important. I don't want to disagree with any barbarian ever. Except for maybe Groo. Plus Barbarians are the first class in the core book (until those lousy no good Alchemists get top billing in future editions). Think it is a coincidence that they are first and have the best hit dice? PFfff...d12's win again.
  • dClassy - That was just plain funny. But Groo is just a lousy mendicant.

    Paizo Employee Creative Director

    I use d12 to determine random directions, especially for when someone misses with a splash weapon. The 12 numbers correspond to the numbers on a clock, and so what I roll on the d12 determines what direction from the intended target the missed splash weapon lands in.

    That said... d12 may be rarely if ever used... but it's part of the game's legacy. And one of the things we want to do with the Beginner Box is be respectful and honor the game's history and roots—and that means including a d12.


    James Jacobs wrote:
    I use d12 to determine random directions, especially for when someone misses with a splash weapon. The 12 numbers correspond to the numbers on a clock, and so what I roll on the d12 determines what direction from the intended target the missed splash weapon lands in.

    Nice. I have a d8 labeled with cardinal directions that I use for similar purposes, but I think I like your method better. These methods are also good for misjudged movement through fog-shrouded or otherwise darkened or concealed areas.

    Dark Archive

    Damaged-based polearm fighters love their Luc Hammers....

    I like the d12 model, better than d10 and d4 by far.


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    Exocrat wrote:
    Spes Magna Games is beginning a "Dodeca" series of 3rd party material that is intended to restore the d12 to regular circulation. I think so far they only have "Dodeca Encounters."

    Thanks for mentioning the free Dodeca Encounters. The beginning of the school year really threw my writing schedule for a loop. I'm almost done with both Dodeca Weather (for randomly determining weather) and Dodeca Decor (for randomly determined dungeon fluff and crunch elements). I hope to have both out by mid-September.

    :)


    Dren Everblack wrote:
    Herbo wrote:
  • One word...Pentagon! NO other standard die wins for the number of sides for each face of the polygon (a d10 and d6 come close with 4...but d12 punches it up a notch). It should simply be renamed dClassy

  • Barbarians would disagree that d12's aren't important. I don't want to disagree with any barbarian ever. Except for maybe Groo. Plus Barbarians are the first class in the core book (until those lousy no good Alchemists get top billing in future editions). Think it is a coincidence that they are first and have the best hit dice? PFfff...d12's win again.
  • dClassy - That was just plain funny. But Groo is just a lousy mendicant.

    Groo is an epic level barbarian. Groo can defeat entire arms by himself, both his and his enemies, at the same time. And if you have to fear one barbarian it's Groo. Forget Conan, Groo will destroy you but leave you alive while he destroys every thing you ever held dear, so he can leave your broken weeping form behind him. And he'll think he did you a favor and expect rewards.

    And the best thing about Groo? All Groo facts are 100% CANON.

    OT: My barbarian LOVES the d12. Mostly because I got some pretty good rolls (2 12s and 2 11s) when rolling hitpoints, so he's now 7th level and has 120Hp. Armor is for the weak.


    The combination of a hex grid with d12 makes it epic.


    I think I used a d12 to represent a flaming sphere on the battlemat.

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

    Heh, a custom prestige class I was just working on has a "disruptive strike" that works on constructs and undeads under some conditions. Naturally, I made it a d12.

    I prefer d8s personally, but d12s are pretty glorious.

    Liberty's Edge

    Herbo wrote:

    ...I don't want to disagree with any barbarian ever. Except for maybe Groo.

    YOU DISAGREE WITH GROO? NOW GROO WILL DO WHAT GROO DOES BEST!

    RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

    ronaldsf wrote:

    I see that the PF Beginner Box is going to include a d12 in the set, which actually is completely fine with me. But it raises the question: WHY BOTHER?

    The d12 often saw a roll in 1st edition D&D, because it was the the die rolled for long sword damage vs. larger than man sized creatures.

    Plato designated a correspondence between the 5 platonic solids and the elements. Fire was the tetrahedron (4 sided die), because it looks like a campfire kinda. Water was the icosahedron (20 sided die), because it was the roundest, and so most fluid. Earth was the cube (6 sided die), because it seemed most solid. Air was the octahedron (8 sided die), because it defined extra directions. That left the dodecahedron (12 sided die). At this point the 4 elements had been expended, so Plato said that the dodecahedron represented the ether-- the cosmic element. Interestingly, before Einstein, scientists of the 19th century thought that the ether was the medium that propagated 'light waves'.


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    BARBARIAN AM DISPLEASED WITH LACK OF D12 LOVE.

    AM GOING TO HOLD CANDLE LIGHT VIGIL FOR D12. AM BARBARIAN BEST BUDDY.

    EVERY GAME AM BETTER WITH D12. BARBARIAN AM EVEN PLAY BESM WITH 2D12.

    IN HINDSIGHT, MAYBE NOT BEST IDEA BARBARIAN EVER HAVE.


    Instead of d100 tables, I do d144 tables (that's D100 in base-12 notation). I prefer the number 144 for generating random stuff like treasure, and it's easier to split into matching fractions.

    To get a d144: roll a d12. If the result is 12, ignore this die. Otherwise multiply the result by 12. Call that number A. Roll a second d12; this number is B. Add A and B.

    It's the same principle as the d100, but decimal notation makes it more complicated than it has to be. I actually have a pair of custom d12s labeled in duodecimal notation, making it a breeze to calculate, and much more elegant than the d100, what with dodecahedrons being platonic solids and all.

    That said, I do not share the hate that apparently some purists have for the prismatic d10 (ie. not an icosahedron labeled 0-9 twice). I think the prismatic d10 is an interesting construction, it rolls fairly, and it has its own place within the universe of dice.


    Lastoth wrote:


    Back in my day I was in the service, and we went into the field loaded down with a ton of equipment. If you played D&D out there you went with three dice in your pocket, a D20 ( /2 for D10) a D12 (served as d6 and d4) and a D8. If you didn't have your D8 you rolled a D12 and D20 at the same time, turn your D12 into a d4 result and if the D20 was odd you'd turn it into the low 4 numbers for the D8, even D20 result turned it into the high 4.

    So we could play D&D with TWO dice, one of them the D12. I always imagined that was the same exact thing some prison nerd was doing at that very moment, except he couldn't hide his two dice in his pocket :-)

    I think those prison guys have other hiding places.


    AM BARBARIAN wrote:


    AM GOING TO HOLD CANDLE LIGHT VIGIL FOR D12.

    Laaaaaaaame.

    You're not a real barbarian. Real barbarians don't hold candle light vigils. Real barbarians go plunder, pillage and burn for their causes. Or for fun. Which is a problem all of itself, because when you see barbarians going PP&B, you never know whether they do it for fun or for a cause. And because they leave no survivors, their message won't be heard, anyway.

    Sure, some victims are ravished instead, but when you're being ravished by a barbarian, you usually have other things on your mind than listening him going on about how d12s are so great.


    I have 12 sided d4's.

    They roll... unlike regular d4's, and if you drop them they don't turn into caltrops!


    KaeYoss wrote:
    AM BARBARIAN wrote:


    AM GOING TO HOLD CANDLE LIGHT VIGIL FOR D12.

    Laaaaaaaame.

    You're not a real barbarian. Real barbarians don't hold candle light vigils. Real barbarians go plunder, pillage and burn for their causes. Or for fun. Which is a problem all of itself, because when you see barbarians going PP&B, you never know whether they do it for fun or for a cause. And because they leave no survivors, their message won't be heard, anyway.

    Sure, some victims are ravished instead, but when you're being ravished by a barbarian, you usually have other things on your mind than listening him going on about how d12s are so great.

    Except he probably meant he would torch the village of Candle in tribute to the d12.


    KaeYoss wrote:
    AM BARBARIAN wrote:


    AM GOING TO HOLD CANDLE LIGHT VIGIL FOR D12.

    Laaaaaaaame.

    You're not a real barbarian. Real barbarians don't hold candle light vigils. Real barbarians go plunder, pillage and burn for their causes. Or for fun. Which is a problem all of itself, because when you see barbarians going PP&B, you never know whether they do it for fun or for a cause. And because they leave no survivors, their message won't be heard, anyway.

    Sure, some victims are ravished instead, but when you're being ravished by a barbarian, you usually have other things on your mind than listening him going on about how d12s are so great.

    I am not sure making him angry is the best idea.


    stuart haffenden wrote:

    I have 12 sided d4's.

    They roll... unlike regular d4's, and if you drop them they don't turn into caltrops!

    So they're less useful.

    I think I have at least one 12-sided d4, too. It might just be the one with Roman numerals or one with "regular" numbers and the Roman thing.

    I also have an 8-sided d4. And a couple of d30s. And a d16, d24 and a d36. 4 d3s. And of course an actual d100. Then I have some near-inception dice (a die within a die - If I ever find a die within a die within a die, I'll get that one, too).

    But that's mainly because I collect dice.

    What else? A small metal set, a big metal set. A set of 7 where the 1 is replaced by "D'Oh". Those glow-in-the-dark CoC dice from Q Workshop. A set of large dice. A really large d20. A set of d10s with numbers going up to the thousands (0000-9000) and down to thousandths (.000 to .009). A set of 200 very small d6. A few edgeless d6. 4d6 with pentagrams (fun for rolling up ability scores - after all, it's supposed to be a diabolic game. And I did roll up awesome stats for a priest of Asmodeus with them).

    And of course dozens of sets of 7, along with four blocks of 36d6.

    Collector's gene. But I'm nowhere near Kevin Cook, so it's not so bad ;-)


    doctor_wu wrote:
    KaeYoss wrote:
    AM BARBARIAN wrote:


    AM GOING TO HOLD CANDLE LIGHT VIGIL FOR D12.

    Laaaaaaaame.

    You're not a real barbarian. Real barbarians don't hold candle light vigils. Real barbarians go plunder, pillage and burn for their causes. Or for fun. Which is a problem all of itself, because when you see barbarians going PP&B, you never know whether they do it for fun or for a cause. And because they leave no survivors, their message won't be heard, anyway.

    Sure, some victims are ravished instead, but when you're being ravished by a barbarian, you usually have other things on your mind than listening him going on about how d12s are so great.

    I am not sure making him angry is the best idea.

    Pfft. Please.

    What's he going to do? Light a candle and sit around moping? :D


    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
    KaeYoss wrote:

    Pfft. Please.

    What's he going to do? Light a candle and sit around moping? :D

    Have you ever seen a barbarian mop? Seen the dirt crushed, the dust bunnies driven before him, heard the lamentations of linoleum?

    It's pretty terrifying.

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

    Sure, Ron's fine. KY -- can I call you KY? :-P -- the game sounds interesting, lots of rolling maadness, but I'm not inclined to learn a new system. However, I do like the idea of rolling d4s with a d12 to gets me some Rolling Elegance, and those special dice look cool. And I much prefer the d12's shape over the unsatisfying d4...

    The d4 doesn't even ROLL, for chrissake! It just... drops.

    Like a caltrop. And it's funny you guys mention caltrops -- I vividly recall getting an ouchie once stepping on a d4. Now if it had been a d12 with it's classy smoothness that would have been more like foot massage instead of a dagger to my soul.


    Talynonyx wrote:
    KaeYoss wrote:

    Pfft. Please.

    What's he going to do? Light a candle and sit around moping? :D

    Have you ever seen a barbarian mop? Seen the dirt crushed, the dust bunnies driven before him, heard the lamentations of linoleum?

    It's pretty terrifying.

    The catch off guard feat will let the barbarian attack with the mop without the -4 penalty. Oh and there is the ground breaker rage power in the apg.


    Being less likely to be used during the game makes the D12 a good candidate for a marker die, such as effect/round countdown. Someone mentioned flaming sphere where its can act both as the physical representation of the spell and duration countdown marker.

    As far as regular polygons go, d12 makes a superb platform for d2, d3, d4 (or even a megalomaniac d6) and any type of specialty dice. The fact that this polygon isn't used much otherwise in the game makes it more recognizable for specialty dice than d10 or d6.

    'findel

    Grand Lodge

    Muskets baybee!
    That's a red hot lead D12 hitting you surprised AND touch AC'ed.
    PEW PEW PEW!


    Also... Cthulu dice...


    ronaldsf wrote:
    Sure, Ron's fine. KY -- can I call you KY? :-P -- the game sounds interesting, lots of rolling maadness, but I'm not inclined to learn a new system. However, I do like the idea of rolling d4s with a d12 to gets me some Rolling Elegance, and those special dice look cool. And I much prefer the d12's shape over the unsatisfying d4...

    The fun part about the d12 is that it can stand in for d2, d3, d4 and d6. It's the Swiss army die. (Edit: Yes, I just read what Laurefindel wrote)

    ronaldsf wrote:


    Like a caltrop. And it's funny you guys mention caltrops -- I vividly recall getting an ouchie once stepping on a d4. Now if it had been a d12 with it's classy smoothness that would have been more like foot massage instead of a dagger to my soul.

    You mean sole, right? For a moment I wondered what was so bad about a caltrop that it stabs your very soul.

    It does remind me of those "security shoes" some thieves wear to protect them from caltrops. They call them priests, for they save their soles. :D


    I wonder what the reaction would have been if they did leave the d12 out of the beginner's box. And then when asked about it the response was "Why Bother?". I think it would have been interesting to say the least.


    ronaldsf wrote:

    I see that the PF Beginner Box is going to include a d12 in the set, which actually is completely fine with me. But it raises the question: WHY BOTHER?

    I mean, I know of only rule in the game that calls for a d12: when rolling up a Barbarian's hit points after first level. And she's the only class that calls for a d12. Perhaps there are some high-level monsters in the Bestiary that use it, but in my experience gaming our d12s sit lonely and unused. (Mind you, we don't have a Barbarian.)

    Is the d12 dead? The current game design philosophy favors the d6 -- you see damage for spells, sneak attacks, etc. scale up with the d6. The d12 doesn't get much love.

    I must admit, though, that the d12 is the most aesthetically pleasing. There's something beautiful and zen-like about pentagons positioned at odd angles to create a completely symmetrical die. Still, what use is beauty in still form, if it is never rolled?

    Now I'm not asking PFRPG to banish the d12. Quite the contrary -- if you're not going to retire it, then create some more rules that use it. But this uncertain middle ground leaves me agitated and asking the question...

    Why bother?

    d12 can be used as a d4 and a d6. So even when you're not using it for d12 rolls it has other uses.

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