Sunday, February 9, 2014

Dicers - A board game for dice lovers

I love dice! I have too many sets of polyhedral dice at home and not enough games to play with them. I wanted a game where you play with dice, but not just for rolling, so I decided to challenge myself and try to invent a game using my polyhedral dice sets.

My goals in making the game were:
  1. A game played on a board where the dice are the game pieces, not a means to manipulate a separate piece on the board.
  2. The rules need to be simple, as few pages as possible, so just about anyone can understand.
  3. Players should not have to buy a bunch of new items to be able to play the game, and should use things many gamers may already have.
  4. The game needs to embrace the fun of dice and embrace their ability to roll and the randomness they can bring to a game.
  5. Embrace the "open source" mentality and share it with the world so dice lovers everywhere can experience the game.
Using this list as my key goals, what I came up with is “Dicers" (the name being a mix of "Dice" and "Checkers" even though it may more closely resemble chess.)

It is a game played on a chessboard, for 2-4 players, and it requires nothing but a gameboard, dice, and friends to play with.  So if you own 2 or more sets of polyhedral dice (like these from chessex), and a chessboard, then you already have everything you need to play a game of Dicers. And if you don't have a chessboard, and you do have a printer, the last pages of the rules have printable boards which are sized to work well with standard 8.5 x 11 paper.

If you don't own any sets of polyhedral dice, you can get them from, or just stop by a local comic shop, hobby shop, or game store, especially if any of these have tables set up for people to play RPG or collectible card games. I was surprised at how easy it was to find these Chessex sets (and feed my collector's obsession) and each set is only $4-$5 for standard colors.

Each time I have played Dicers the play session is short (always less than 15 minutes), even when teaching people how to play. On a regular chessboard you can play 2, 3, or 4 player games. But after a 3 player game something didn't feel quite right. The play wasn't symmetrical, so I set out to make a board symmetrical for 3 player games. And once I did that, I couldn't stop myself from making a 5 player board, and 6 player board.

Right now I consider the game version 1.0, because I have not done enough testing. There aren’t enough hours in the week to do the kind of playtesting I want for a game like this. And I could sit for days, weeks, months, or years while I fine tune the rules of the game. But, I am instead releasing the first version out into the world for others to try. Play the game, experiment with the rules, and share your findings with me and I will try out your ideas and see if they help to make Dicers a more balanced and fun experience.

Here are the docs:
Dicers - Rules v1.0 - With Illustrations 

Share these files with anyone you want. “Dicers” is distributed under a Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license. That means you can use, remix for personal use, and share the game for free, but you can't sell it without permission, or take the rules/boards and make an app out of it.

If you have questions, suggestions for new rules, or  you simply want to share your personal experience with the game please feel free to comment below, or email me at

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

No comments: