Stackstones Tradition / Ritual in Istralar | World Anvil


Aw, you got a great ditrigonal icosidodecahedron?! Euclid's blessing you! I got like, six cubes!
— pouty gnome child to their friend
  There is absolutely no secret that the Polyhedral Gnomes of Polyhedra have a serious obsession with shapes of all kinds. That this obsession extends to the games their children play should be wholly unsurprising. At least Stackstones is relatively harmless, unlike the Gnome Punting traditional game that originated in the vicinity of Soniuch Zan.


The historians of Polyhedra are in constant argument as to whether the Stacks or stackstones came first, as both were born early on in the foundation of Polyhedra. Either way, the manner of housing and play is consistent between the gnomes - expert stackstone players are often later given apprenticeships into architectural fields due to their understanding of stability, and Polyhedra's finest architects are reportedly experts at the game.


Using a nonconvex great rhombicosidodecahedron isn't fair! That's practically a sphere!
  Stackstones is a simple enough game in concept. At the start, a small circle is drawn in the centre of a flat surface with a larger circle drawn around it, generally with a radius of 10cm. Each player - and it's generally accepted that the maximum number of players should be no more than 6 - draws a stone from their bag, and must place it in the circle. Once this initial setup is complete, the player who drew the shape with the highest amount of sides must draw again from their bag and place it so that it is touching the face of another stone and does not move. Turn order proceeds from the left of this first player.   The first few rounds are most commonly players filling up the bottom of the circle with a layer of varied shapes, with very few failing at such an early stage. When this bottom layer is full, however, the fun truly begins as players must lay down their randomly-drawn shapes atop the mess of polyhedrons without causing any other shape to disrupt the others. It's a very precise and careful balancing act, and one that hones instincts of carefulness within polyhedral children. Most games of stackstones end up being intense competitions between two particularly patient gnomes, each constructing towers until they give way.

Components and tools

The kids enjoy the weirder sets, but honestly? Outsiders have it right this time. Simple is better.
  A bag of stackstones can be bought at most shops in Polyhedra, with each containing different shapes and sizes of stackstone. Some try to stay closer to more common forms of polyhedron (for instance, cubes, hexahedrons, and pentahedrons).   Others challenge themselves to form bags of the most utterly bizarre shapes possible, with such tokens as the great retrosnub icosidodecahedron and the small stellated truncated dodecahedron. Foreigners will often join with simple bags filled with the 7-piece polyhedral dice sets sold elsewhere.
Stackstones by Hanhula
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Sam Gyseman
30 Jul, 2019 08:53

This is a very interesting game. I love the tongue in cheek references to dice and dice stacking IRL. I had to look up those Euclidian names for the solids which was quite an interesting delve into geometry. Well done for stacking your own stones to get the photos of the game in progress. I suspect you had quite a good time writing this. Tiny grammatical point, you say " carefulness within polyhedral children" which suggests that the children are polyhedral. Perhaps instead say "children of Polyhedra"? Great article, well done :)

1 Aug, 2019 06:50

That grammatical point is entirely intentional! They refer to each other as 'polyhedrals' - it's an entire part of their culture ^^ Hell, the ethnicity is referred to as the 'Polyhedral Gnomes'!   I'm glad you enjoyed this, and yes: it was absolutely fun to write X] I just wish I'd had a better setup, I've been able to stack my dice way higher in the past ;)

welcome to my signature! check out istralar!
Dr Jimothy
Jimmy Shrekson
31 Jul, 2019 23:55

Fastest way to win: place your thing somewhere where it will slowly dislodge something else but nobody will notice and with it looking like a super stable spot until, in the next few turns, someone takes the bait and makes it fall. Or just very subtly blow on the structure... I can imagine these reaching points where even the flap of a butterfly's wings could send it all tumbling down and even cases of both players liking what they've made so much that they don't even coax one another.