Saturday, January 31, 2015

Simulating (or Replacing) the Zocchi Dice

One of the major differences between Great & Small and other “old-school” rpgs is its reliance on non-standard Zocchi dice, especially d3s, d5s, and d7s.  This choice was made mostly to give such dice something to do other than take up space in old Crown Royal bags, and give them a place of their own in the tradition of role-playing games.

However, Zocchi dice may not be to everyone’s taste, and can sometimes be hard to acquire (though at the time of this writing, most of them could be ordered from Chessex and DiceShop). If you do not have or do not want Zocchi dice, here are some things you can do to simulate them using the more standard set of RPG dice. 

I rolled a natural 176. Does that hit?
-- 1d2, roll 1d4 and divide by 2.
-- 1d3: roll 1d6 and divide by 2.
-- 1d5: roll 1d10 and divide by 2.
-- 1d7: roll 2d4-1.

These are the most commonly used Zocchi dice in Great & Small.  The larger, less frequently used ones can be simulated like so:

-- 1d14: roll (2d6 + 1d4) -2
-- 1d16: roll 3d6 -2
-- 1d24: roll (2d10 + 1d6) -2

Alternately, you could just use the standard array of dice in place of Zocchi dice.  If you use this option, the following guidelines should keep things relatively balanced.

The 1d2 and 1d3 are already fairly common in other classic fantasy games, so keeping them as is shouldn’t promote too many problems.

Niche die progression should be changed to 1d2 at 0-level, 1d3 at 3rd level, 1d4 at 6th level, and 1d6 at 9th level.

In general, damage dice or other non-core rolls calling for d5s should use d6s instead, and d7s should be replaced by d8s.