The d10. Ah, the d10.
I have what may be truly considered a love-hate relationship with the d10 that you may identify from the presence in my collection (above) of a number of very similar-looking d10s. For my journey to my current calling as a game designer and publisher is very much established upon foundations built during my time enthusiastically playing one of Games Workshop's fringe publications, Inquisitor. So it's fair to say that I owe the d10 a debt.
However, my experience of the d10 in those days was in its more benign guise as one half of the awesome team called the d100. And I'm going to come back to the d100 next week. This week, we are sticking to the scurrilous villain, the unsuccessful solo act, the d10.
I need to admit up front that, even though my opinions in these #diceday articles really don't matter and are based on a fair amount of irrational prejudice, my prejudice against the d10 is by far the most irrational of all. There's just something about its shape that gets on my nerves.
It's not as bad as the d20, with its unclear results. It's marginally more prone to cocked dice than some other options, for sure, but not egregiously so. It's technically possible to manipulate its results slightly depending on how you throw one, but doing so is difficult and far more so if you throw more than one at once...
Those facts simply aren't enough to explain why I dislike the d10 so much. I think it comes down to the fact that it's not a true Platonic solid. It's pure mathematical chauvinism. And I'm not proud of the fact.
Actually, the d10 has some important things going for it. For a start, it has a pointer. That is, when you roll it, it has a point that points in a random direction. This makes it enormously useful for things like scatter mechanics. And unlike every other traditional polyhedral dice, it has a "0" (for the ten). And zeroes can be incredibly useful things for a designer to have at their disposal (for example, in the aforementioned scatter mechanics, the "0" can mean "does not scatter").
And, of course, it is one half of the Two Ronnies of polyhedral double acts that is next week's blog star, the d100.
I don't like it. I just don't. I've not been able to bring myself to buy Rogue Stars even though sci-fi skirmish is so my jam, purely because it's a d10 system. But my dislike is as irrational as it is intense, so I promise to work on it as hard as I am working on all my other irrational prejudices. And recognizing the prejudice is the first step to moving past it and starting to heal.
So next week... d100s.