Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

[Icehouse] Musings on Martian dice

  • FromBryan Stout <stoutwb@xxxxxxxxx>
  • DateWed, 8 Jul 2009 13:56:38 -0400
As I reflect on the truly ancient nature of the Martian games we know
about, and the Martian liking for pyramids, I wonder whether we are
accurate to use traditional Terran six-sided dice in those games.
What follows is pure speculation -- it will take much more research
into Martian archeology to verify it.

I suspect that the Martians may have used pyramid shapes for their
dice, as well as for their playing pieces.  At first I thought that
this would mean tetrahedrons, commonly known as D4s in gaming circles.
 But I quickly realized that that wouldn't be quite right: a
tetrahedron is a 3-sided pyramid, not 4-sided like the pieces we have
grown to love.  Therefore I believe that Martian dice were probably
octahedrons, D8s, which are simply two 4-sided pyramids attached base
to base.

If my hypothesis is true -- or even if it isn't -- my question is: how
would playing with 8-sided dice affect games that now use D6s?  The
only published game I can think of right now is Martian Coasters;
would that game be better, worse, or just different with D8s?  How
about other games?

I would love to hear the reflections of you all who are much more
experienced in this field.