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Goodman Games and Col. Lou Zocchi bring you a unique polyhedron and 50 ways to use it in your fantasy and sci-fi RPG’s!
Goodman Games and Col. Lou Zocchi bring you a unique polyhedron and 50 ways to use it in your fantasy and sci-fi RPG’s!
481 backers pledged $18,289 to help bring this project to life.

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This Kickstarter is a limited-time-offer to fund the creation of a 112-page book of uses for the 50-sided die, to be shipped with said 50-sided die. It's a very niche product for a pretty specific use so hey...we hope this works.

The Kickstarter runs for two weeks centered around Black Friday. We are prepared to ship up to 275 orders in time for Christmas arrival to US addresses, with the balance arriving after Christmas (see below for details).

The Story Behind This Project

Gaming pioneer Col. Lou Zocchi, creator of the 100-sided die and inductee into the Adventure Gaming Hall of Fame, has a long history with unique polyhedrons. He shares an interest in dice with Goodman Games founder Joseph Goodman. At a recent game convention, Lou and Joseph were talking about dice. Lou showed Joseph his 50-sided die, a large heavy polyhedron that resembles a child’s top. As with all things Lou sells, the die has a fun origin story. It was created long ago in a failed scheme to profit from the Wisconsin state lottery, and Lou came into possession of a great number of surplus 50-sided dice when the original creator divorced and was forced to liquidate his possessions. (See below for the full story.)

While talking to Joseph, Lou lamented the lack of games that utilize the D50. “It’s a fun die and more gamers would buy it if it had more uses in the games,” said Lou.

“Hmm,” thought Joseph. “I can do something about that…"

The 50-sided die.
The 50-sided die.

Behold: Fifty Fantastic Functions for the D50

This 112-page book has more than 50 ways to use a D50. (55, to be exact.) You can also use the book by rolling d% (d100) and dividing by 2. But let’s face it…rolling a D50 is a lot more fun.

Created by the usual gang of strangely creative Goodman Games authors, Fifty Fantastic Functions for the D50 will enrich any fantasy, horror or science fiction game. And it’s just plain fun. Get your D50 and start rolling on entries such as these:

  • 50 Super-Scientific Treasures
  • 50 Meaningful Motivations for NPCs
  • What has it gots in its' pockets? 50 Pickpocketing Results
  • D50 Assassin Generator
  • 50 Gems for your Glittering Horde
  • 50 Potent Poisons
  • 50 Oddities Found in the Necromancer’s Lair
  • 50 Dungeon Doors…and What Lies Beyond Them
50 Fantastic Functions for the D50!
50 Fantastic Functions for the D50!

The book includes tables specifically designed for use with Dungeon Crawl Classics Role Playing Game (DCC RPG) and Metamorphosis Alpha, as well as several tables suited for any Cthulhu-style horror game. For DCC RPG:

  • D50-Powered Spell Dueling
  • 50 Minor Mercurial Effects for DCC

For Metamorphosis Alpha (and similar post-apocalyptic games):

  • 50 Seemingly Innocuous Things That Will Kill You on the Warden
  • d50 Random Table for Metamorphosis Alpha: 50 Passive Red Herring Encounters
  • 50 Artifacts of the Ancient Ones

For games focused on Cthulhu:

  • 50 Lurid Lovecraftian Insanities
  • d50 Treacherous Temples
  • 50 Weird Altars for your Eerie Fane
  • 50 Eldritch Gateways
  • 50 Ways to Make an Elder God of Your Very Own!

Fantasy gamers will find a wide variety of generic tables suitable for any fantasy campaign:

  • 50 Things Found in that Bag, Box, or Hole
  • 50 Cursed Magic Trinkets
  • 50 Fantastic Mythical Treasures
  • Fifty Community Customs: Quaint, Cute, and Occasionally Creepy
  • 50 Tavern Names and their Crusty, Crotchety Proprietors
  • d50-Powered Eldritch Tower Generator
  • d50-Concocted Craven Consortiums
  • Patchwork Predators and Amalgam Antagonists
  • D50 Venomous Creatures
  • 50 Fantastic Faeries and Nature Spirits

Artists Stefan Poag and Doug Kovacs created visual tables that utilize the D50, such as Fifty Faces and 50 Things Found In That Bag, Box or Hole. There are several other graphical tables, as well as some drop tables.

There are a few tables that are just weird, such as 50 ‘80s Teens for “Old School” Adventuring, or Fifty Felines. But we're sure you'll find a use for them!

There are many more tables we didn’t mention here. What the heck, let’s just share the table of contents! (And remember that there are two additional “visual tables” on the inside covers that aren’t in the TOC, as shown on this page.)

Click to see the Table Of Contents.
Click to see the Table Of Contents.

And yes…you can roll a d50 on the table of contents to determine which of the entries you start reading first. Why read the book in numerical page order when you could use a D50 to randomly determine the tables you go to? 

Fifty Fantastic Functions for the D50 is written by Steven Bean, Daniel J. Bishop, Jobe Bittman, Tim Callahan, Michael Curtis, Tom Denmark, Jon Hershberger, Jon Hook, Edgar Johnson, Doug Kovacs, Brendan LaSalle, Brad McDevitt, Peter Mullen, Stephen Newton, Terry Olson, Stefan Poag, Harley Stroh, Jim Wampler, James M. Ward and Colonel Lou Zocchi. Cover art is by Stefan Poag, with layout and illustrations by Tom Denmark with Stefan Poag and Doug Kovacs.

1987 newspaper article covering Lou Zocchi's creation of the 100-sided die
1987 newspaper article covering Lou Zocchi's creation of the 100-sided die

Some Words from Col. Lou Zocchi on The 50 Sided Die

Colonel Lou Zocchi is the creator of the 100-sided die, “the original dice guy,” a professional magician, and inductee in the Adventure Gaming Hall of Fame. He is best known for his company Gamescience, which has manufactured and distributed high-quality gaming polyhedrons for decades. He also founded Zocchi Distribution and, in the earliest days of the RPG industry, was one of the first distributors of Dungeons & Dragons. Here he tells us the story of the 50-sided die.

I can’t remember how I first became aware of the 50-sided die, but I found its designer, Kayce Thompson, living in Janesville, Wisconsin. In l996, the State of Wisconsin was going to have a state lottery that used the number 50 or less to identify its winner. Mr. Thompson contacted Koplow Games and told them he wanted to buy a 50-sided die. They informed him that he would have to buy 10,000 or more to justify the expenses involved. He sent them the money, and, months later, he received the dice. He and his wife spent hours putting each die into a 4”x4” Ziplock bag, along with a Big Winner card which provided instructions on how to read the die.

The dice were packaged in cartons of 24 under the Big Winner brand, so that they could be sold in stores. Unfortunately, the State never went into the lottery business, and Thompson was stuck with dice he couldn’t sell. When I offered to buy 100 of them, he was interested and offered to deliver them to me in a Janesville restaurant. I picked them up the day before I needed to load in to the Gen Con convention in another nearby town. I sold about 25 of them at the con, and the rest of them trickled out at other cons, or went to collectors, and hardcore adventure game hobby shops. 

When I tried to order more, he wasn’t interested. He said he spent too much time taking them out of their packages. Furthermore, he had a friend who would sell them on the computer. 

Each time I called him, the computer friend was going to list those dice soon, but never did. Finally, Mr. Thompson and his wife got a divorce. The state of Wisconsin has a law that states that the husband must pay half of the cash value of every asset to the wife. Those unsold dice were an asset that he had to sell. After attending a Gen Con, I visited his home, paid him his asking price, and loaded up all of his unsold dice. 

I put his dice into 3”x4” ziplock bags along with a very simple set of use instructions and a contest for customers to send me suggestions on how to use this die. I received only one suggestion, so I declared that submitter the winner after a year passed with no other suggestions. The suggestion was to use the die to identify the number and types of coins found in a purse: copper pieces, silver pieces, or gold pieces. The first roll of the die told how many coins were found. Let’s say that the number was 40. If the second roll was higher than the first, all of the coins were copper. If the second roll was less, let’s say 35, 5 of the coins would be silver, and the die would be rolled again to see what would become of the 35 remaining coins. Every time the die roll is higher than the last number rolled, the remaining coins have the same value as those rolled last. If the 3rd roll generates a number smaller than the 2nd number, let’s say 25, the 10 new coins are gold. If the next roll is greater than 25, all remaining 25 coins are gold. If the next number is smaller than 25, lets say 5, the older 20 coins become gold and the remaining 5 coins become magic or enchanted. I wanted uses for the die that were easy to remember, and didn’t require a table or chart, and this was a perfect example. 

This book gives a whole bunch of other uses for the 50-sided die. Enjoy!

Lou Zocchi being inducted into the Adventure Gaming Hall of Fame at Origins in July 1987. Presenting the award is Charles Roberts, founder of Avalon Hill.
Lou Zocchi being inducted into the Adventure Gaming Hall of Fame at Origins in July 1987. Presenting the award is Charles Roberts, founder of Avalon Hill.

Pledge Levels

The basic pledge is $30 for a D50 and a copy of the book.

You can also pledge $20 for “just the book” or $10 for “just the die.”

And we have set aside 275 copies of the D50+Book for a pre-Christmas arrival. See below… 

Pledges to Ship In Time for Christmas

If there’s a hard-to-satisfy gamer in your life, this book and a D50 are the perfect gift! We’ve done some prep work to ensure we can ship 275 copies of the die+book to US backers to arrive in time for Christmas. Select the “Pre-Christmas arrival for D50+book” pledge for this option. The shipping cost is +$3 extra, there are a limited number of these pledges, and this option is only available for US backers. Please note that if you add on extra copies of the book or dice, those extra copies won’t necessarily ship in time for Christmas. Only the 275 “defined copies” are guaranteed to arrive in time.

Stretch Goals

We don’t anticipate any stretch goals for this Kickstarter. This is a fun, small project to fill a very specific need. You didn’t even know you had this need until you read this far, did you? But you do have this need. You NEED a D50! 

And that’s it!

We’re excited to start rolling our D50 on the tables in this book, and we hope you are too! If you have any questions, just ask!

Risks and challenges

Goodman Games has been in business for more than a decade. We have published hundreds of game books. We don't anticipate any risks on the production side. If anything there may be delays if there are any shipping delays.

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    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

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    Just the D50. You'll receive a 50-sided die in the mail. What more could you possibly want? Well, you could also want the book to go with it! So up your pledge to $30, bub!

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    Just the book, PDF edition. You'll receive an electronic PDF copy of Fifty Fantastic Functions for the D50.

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    Just the book, print edition. You'll receive a print & PDF copy of Fifty Fantastic Functions for the D50. But you won't get the 50-sided die. Up your pledge to $30 to get the die!

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    A PDF of the book and a physical copy of the D50. You'll receive a PDF copy of Fifty Fantastic Functions for the D50. And we will ship you a physical copy of the die.

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    D50+book. You'll receive a 50-sided die plus a print & PDF copy of Fifty Fantastic Functions for the D50.

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    Pre-Christmas arrival for D50+book (US backers only). You'll receive a 50-sided die plus a print & PDF copy of Fifty Fantastic Functions for the D50. Provided you complete your survey accurately and on time, your copy will be shipped to arrive before Christmas.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Retailer pledge. Proof of retailer status required. You'll received 3x D50's and 3x print copies of Fifty Fantastic Functions for the D50, at a wholesale discount.

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Funding period

- (13 days)