THE TWELVES DICE GAME ("GODSDICE")

HISTORY
- EQUIPMENT - GAME SETUP - RULES

Twelves is a popular Santharian tavern game, played with dice for money, sometimes called "Godsdice" because of the relation to the number of Santharian Gods. Twelves is most common in portside taverns and similar establishments, and is rarely played among those not of a travelling sort.

The Twelves Dice Game
View picture in full size Image description. One of the most popular tavern games in Santharia: The Twelves Dice Game - best enjoyed with some drinks and a bowl of baych nuts! Illustration drawn by Seeker.

History. Twelves is by and large a tavern game, played for small sums of money rarely as much as a copperbard. The men who play at Twelves are of all sorts and walks, though sailors, caravan guards and mercenaries are known to favour the game to supplement their pay and the game is unknown among those not of lower class, who prefer more sophisticated games, on the order of the Game of Four Houses. The origins of Twelves, like so many other games are lost to time. The game is known to have been played since the days of Thar at least, put probably date to before that. The game is known to have been a favourite among the Swiftsword Mercenaries in their early days, though cheating sometimes led to fighting among the players involved. Twelves is named for the riskiest way in which a player can win, by rolling two twelves in a row, and some of its alternative names note the number of Santharian gods is the same. Similar games with more sides to the dice have not caught on however, because it becomes increasingly easy to win with the same number of players. Return to the top

Equipment. A simple pair of dice is all that is needed to play Twelves, though some opt for cups to roll the dice from, and of course money to bet with. Return to the top

Game Setup. The setup is rather uninvolved, and completely unnecessary unless betting is involved. Before a round begins, each player puts in what money they are willing to bet. The rules for betting at Twelves are simple. The first person, after the first round this is whoever won the previous round, to bet sets the “bar”. From there other players must bet within half the value of the largest coin in the bar. If one person places an od as the bar, the other players can bet up to 15 san, or as low as 5 san, or anywhere in between. Wise players tend to place the bar low, so as to avoid great loss and to keep other players in the game. Return to the top

Rules. Twelves is played in a series of rounds, in between which players bet and may leave or join the game. A round begins with the first roll of the dice and ends when one person takes the pot. No more than five players can play a single round, though four is more common, and taverns usually have two or three games running if the game is popular. The first person to roll the dice rolls. This individual is usually the lowest better or the newest person to the table and is called the First, as is their roll. The number they arrive at is the number to be beaten by the other players, who each roll in turn. If at any time, someone rolls a twelve they must roll again. If the dice make twelve a second time, the person who rolled it takes the pot, or else the round restarts with this second roll as the new First. Slight variations on the game are not uncommon but not as popular, and some actually force players to roll until one of them can make twelve. The most common variation reverses the ordinary rules of play so that players must roll lower than the First in order to win.
Return to the top

 Date of last edit 7th Rising Sun 1669 a.S.

Information provided by Valan Nonesuch View Profile