Zocchihedron

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The Zocchihedron is approximately 1.5 inches (38 mm) in diameter

Zocchihedron is the trademark of a 100-sided die invented by Lou Zocchi, which debuted in 1985. Rather than being a polyhedron, it is more like a ball with 100 flattened planes. It is sometimes called "Zocchi's Golfball".

Zocchihedra are designed to handle percentage rolls in games, particularly in role-playing games.

History[edit]

It took three years for Zocchi to design his dice, and three more years to get it into production. Zocchi discovered that the dice would perform best in water at a depth of 13.85 mm, so it floats. Since its introduction, Zocchi has improved the design of the Zocchihedron, filling it with teardrop-shaped free-falling weights to make it settle more swiftly when rolled.

The Zocchihedron II is a further improved model, and has another filler.

Probability distribution of rolls[edit]

A test published in White Dwarf magazine concluded that the frequency distribution of the Zocchihedron was substantially uneven. Jason Mills noticed that some numbers were spaced closer together than others, and suspected that this non-uniform placement would cause some numbers to predictably come up more than others. Mills performed 5,164 rolls and the results confirmed these suspicions; some numbers came up significantly more than others. Most notably, rolls of more than 93 or less than 8 were significantly rarer than middling results. Not coincidentally, these numbers were all spaced closer together near the "poles" of the die, as opposed to numbers near the "equator" that are more widely spaced.[1]

After the test was published, the numbering on the Zocchihedron was redesigned with higher and lower numbers placed more evenly across all parts of the die. While numbers spaced closely together near the "poles" still come up less often, the numbers that are placed in these areas are more evenly distributed between 1 and 100, instead of consisting mainly of very high and very low numbers.

Patents[edit]

The aesthetic appearance of the Zocchihedron was protected by United States design patent D303,553,[2] which expired on 19 September 2003. There was never a utility patent for the original Zocchihedron, although United States patent 6,926,276[3] may protect the braking mechanism of the Zocchihedron II. That patent will expire on 9 August 2025 and applies only to "spherical dice" containing "multi sized and irregularly shaped particles."

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ White Dwarf 85, January 1987 Text of letter and photo of graph at FreakyTrigger.co.uk
  2. ^ United States Patent: D303553 (Patent Full Text and Image Database)
  3. ^ United States Patent: 6926276 (Patent Full Text and Image Database)