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3d6, d20, d30, d10, What do you like?


New member
I am working on my system and have thus far assumed that it would use a d20 because that is what I am used to.

But, now that the system can stand on its own I can see that the d20 is not crucial to the system. It could as well be a d10, 3d6, 2d8, 1d30 or could actually run diceless for that part.

The basic idea is that you either pass or fail, and you skills or preparations help you to succeed and determine how well you succeed.

The base target number is the middle of whatever dice you are rolling, so it would be 10 for a d20, or 15 for a d30, or 10 for 3d6, or 9 for 2d8, or 3 for 1d4.

One could even go as far at to say there are no variables, you either have the skill/spend the time to do something or you fail.


My point is the rest of the system does not depend on this one die

So, my question to you is, if you had the choice, what would you pick?

I personally would go with either d20 because everyone has one and it is a single dice.

Or, My favorite would be to go with a d30 because it is big and you can hit people with it and you don't get to use one very often.

The other part is how much of a variable would you want? a small variable of pass or fail like 2d6 or a wide margine for pass or fail like 1d20?

Which do you prefer?


RPGnet Member
Y'know what gets me? That the d20 provides me with what I feel is an ideal level of variance for rolls. The problem is that no one has yet provided me with a system that takes advantage of this in a way I like.

See, it provides a wider range than d10, isn't as annoying as d100, and doesn't have any of the curve problems that mess me up with multiple die systems. 5% steps of variance sound just perfect to me. However, all of the d20-based systems that I have found like to use real small numbers, so d20 ends up being uncomfortably random.

Other than d20, I like d6s. No particular reason, I just like cubes.


New member
I like D20s as well, but i agree with you in that I hate all those thousands of little + and - 1s

here and there like millions of ants.

They're all over me, Gah!


I am shooting for smaller amounts of those and am going with a Success system.


Registered User
Validated User
D20's are about right for the linear success check. By linear, I refer to the probability curve. As I'm sure you all know, a D20 has an equal likelihood of rolling a 1 as a 15 as a 12, etc., unlike multiple dice. 3D6 makes for an interesting curve, but you have to be very mindful of it when making a decision about how it will be handled. For a good example of how it is used, take a look at GURPS.

D30s would be okay, I guess... if you have them. I don't own one, because I don't ever use them. You're right in saying that a single D10 is not so good. As far as D10's go, though, take a look at how White Wolf deals with them. It's a little different from the norm.


New member
I thought WW was the greatest thing until the dice began to grow and grow.

Wait, give me more d10s, I get to roll 26 this time.

Ok, soak 17

Hmmm, I only have 19 dice, can I borrow 5 more?

Screw that.


Radical Dreamer
well, i like d10s just because i like the 1-10 scale. very metric. other than that, i think the die type should reflect the trait range. the tri-stat system is a good example. so, if your traits go from 1-6, i would use some combination of d6s. if they go from 1-20, then a combo of d10s or i suppose a d20, but i don;t like the wide range of that die.

Harlequin Jones

I'd vote 2d6. It feels like gambling. *smirk*

I like d6s in general. I've sometimes been turned off by games that used multiple die types with no apparent benefit. Even if you don't go d6, I would pick one type and stick with it.

I also hate counting successes, taking the high die, or any other tricks. I like adding dice together. I'm weird, I know.

Have you thought about 1d12? No one uses the poor d12. It's such a neglected Platonic solid - and it rolls so smoothly.

I've never liked the d10. It's so...lacking in spherical symmetry.



Lounge Communist
I recently had a huge debate about this in my gaming group and it was decided that 2d10 read as 2-20 gives the best variance and curve, primarily because there are a lot of numbers that add up to "10" (5+5,4+6,2+8, etc) which makes 10 a nice number for an average difficulty and only two combos that equal critical failure (2 = 1+1) and 20 (0+0)

2 cents.


Retired User
I have tried them all.....

But I always come back to d100\ open ended, naturaly.

Great sucess, bottomless failure

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