Friday, April 26, 2013

How Gaming Got Its Dice - Jon Peterson

"Thus, late in 1969, when chatter began in the "Must List" of Wargamer's Newsletter about the commercial availability of 20-sided dice, these implements were presented as a means of generating percentile numbers: the advertisement from the Bristol Wargames Society refers to them as "percentage dice" and doesn't even say how many sides they had. This is an area where the exotic icosahedron excels, as the models sold at the time were numbered 0-9 twice, rather than 1-20. With two throws, one could therefore generate a number from 1-100. Gary Gygax was among the readers of Wargamer's Newsletter at the time, and thus it is unsurprising that he chimed in with a letter in the February 1971 issue saying, "I imagine that sales of 20 sided dice will pick up when Mike Reese starts selling the [Tractics] rules." Then d20 gets an early mention in the Tractics rules published in the fall of 1971." 5 out of 5