Ratmaster2000

Remember coloring dice numbers???

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I'm too young for those dice, but what's the deal with people coloring in the numbers on dice that don't need it? Like, sitting there with a pencil, shading in white numbers. Why don't you just go write in a book, too, you heathen.

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I've engraved some of my own dice and have plenty of blanks left, so this will be an activity I'll be engaging in after I finish some other projects first. 

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11 hours ago, Dr.Bedlam said:

I remember being thrilled that you could buy dice in a set by mail.

 

dragondice.jpg

 

Because of the rarity/nostalgia of these dice, my old game group house ruled them into a save your broccoli, roll whatever number needed special item. 

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3 hours ago, buglips*the*goblin said:

[...]

I thought these were an urban legend until somebody showed me their old set.  While the internet is handy for finding out truthful trivia around gaming, there was something special about questing for an old hippie wizard who would tell tales of The Old Time and show you rare artifacts.  Like this:

[...]

And then show you mystical treasures from their Gen Con adventure, and it was actually a big deal that they went there. 

 

IMG_4740.thumb.JPG.ced7247856304753c50f5dd1bb70d292.JPG

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Posted (edited)

10 hours ago, Ratmaster2000 said:

wow never saw them in that color, mine were blue and red.

 

If you google image "TSR Dragon Dice," you will find that they came in a variety of colors and packaging, although the packaging was largely just palette swapped; in those ancient days, you'd switch out the offset printing plate for something with different colored ink, and that's how you did palette swaps.

My Holmes basic set was purchased at Spencer Gifts in Laredo, Texas, in 1978. It did not contain dice; it had the "randomizer chits" that you were supposed to cut out and put in Dixie cups. I tried this. Later when I got the dice, I much preferred them. It was quicker, and you didn't have to worry about putting the chit back in the wrong cup.

I later discovered that the reason this had been done was that Gary Gygax couldn't get enough dice from his supplier to fill the boxes! He'd originally bought "platonic solids" sets from an educational supply place because he thought the platonic solids would make interesting dice, and he liked the idea of a twenty sider being used to expand the probability spread. This led directly to a MASSIVE demand for the things when Dungeons and Dragons hit it big, and by the time the Holmes Set was selling well, he couldn't get enough dice to put a set in every box!

I later bought the Erol Otus basic and expert sets, just to get the modules and the dice.

You could get polyhedral dice then, but they were cheap and prone to chipping. The twenty siders were marked 0-9, twice; the thing to DO was to carefully paint one set of numbers red and the other set blue, and simply add ten to one color or the other. By universal fiat, the red zero was the natural twenty.

I remember when Gamescience dice first appeared; they were harder, and had sharper edges than other dice, and they didn't chip. Jimmy Morgendorfer could peg one clear across the dining room, and that booger would NOT chip or shatter. These were the dice that popularized the crayon method, because the numbers were engraved sharply and deeply enough that rubbing a crayon across the numbers was easy. Trouble was, the only way to get Gamescience dice, for me, at the time, was at the Dungeon Hobby Shop, in San Antonio, some 200 miles from where I lived. 

...and then... Dragon Dice from TSR. They were dice, they were cheap, and they were mail orderable from The Dungeon Hobby Shop ... in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Also noteworthy: Dragon Dice had the first tensiders I'd ever seen. Tensiders are not a platonic solid. Before that, we simply rolled twenty siders, and didn't add ten to the red numbers. My first Top Secret set had two twenty siders in red and green; the red was the hundreds, and the green was the tens.

Weirdly, I also had... and still have... a Gamescience twenty sider where instead of 10-20, it's marked +1-+0. Half the numbers have little plus signs next to them. It apparently hadn't occurred to them yet that you could just make a mold with the numbers one through twenty.

Regrettably, I only have two or three of those ancient original dice, worn and chipped to the point of uselessness. But I hold a secret delight in having at least one die in the jar that's forty years old...

Edited by Dr.Bedlam
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2 hours ago, Marvin said:

I'm too young for those dice, but what's the deal with people coloring in the numbers on dice that don't need it? Like, sitting there with a pencil, shading in white numbers. Why don't you just go write in a book, too, you heathen.

Back in the beginning dice had NO color in the numbers (never heard of pencil shading numbers, heresy!), so you had to color them in. I don't write in books, I highlight:)

 

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I didn't have any that needed colouring in, but I do still have these from my old D&D blue-book boxed set (approximately 1978, I think).

 

dice.jpg.d220420e31df76ec290f47a5d21fb02d.jpg

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48 minutes ago, Ratmaster2000 said:

I don't write in books, I highlight:)

 

 

IMG_0108.jpg

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5 hours ago, Cranky Dog said:

I got my first dice long after those days, but I still have friends that have those old dice.

 

The disintegrating, near spherical, half of the faces colored, light blue d20 still got regular use at our game table.

 

7 hours ago, Chaoswolf said:

Yes, I also remember this; still have a few of them around here someplace.

 

Thrown away?!?

HERESY!!!

 

 

Man, maybe I'm a bit persnickety... but I didn't jive on the look. I try to get rid of things I won't use.

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We had a set of these show up at the game store when I was working there (2007). Clear blue dice with a red crayon. They got "lost" at my ex's place along with most of my minis and all of my good art <_<

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34 minutes ago, NebulousMissy said:

We had a set of these show up at the game store when I was working there (2007). Clear blue dice with a red crayon. They got "lost" at my ex's place along with most of my minis and all of my good art <_<

Yup, don't think those were TSR, but I have a few of those clear dice to somewhere that also needed coloring:) Man, now I feel the need to tear through my garage:)

 

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49 minutes ago, Thes Hunter said:

 

 

 

Man, maybe I'm a bit persnickety... but I didn't jive on the look. I try to get rid of things I won't use.

 

Well, the mud dice and the Dragon Dice were HIGH SCHOOL dice. When I went to college, I got the COLLEGE dice. You know... the complimentary set in the swag bag from NanCon, the stylin' clear Gamescience dice, the marbled set from England, and so forth. When I was in college, I could go to hobby shops all over central TEXAS, for potato's sake. And I was a COLLEGE man. Cool dice went with the beard, the meerschaum pipe, the subscription to Playboy, and the occasional drinking myself into a drooling stupor.

Those smelly ole mud dice were a thing of the PAST, a JUNIOR HIGH and HIGH SCHOOL thing... and over time... most of 'em disappeared. I didn't throw them OUT, of course... you DON'T throw away DICE, any more than you throw away fingers because of hangnails... but most of them sort of went the way of all things, over time.

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Posted (edited)

32 minutes ago, Dr.Bedlam said:

... you DON'T throw away DICE, any more than you throw away fingers because of hangnails... 

 

Well, you can throw away misbehaving dice, after you've extracted a true confession out of them with a saltwater bath!  Unless you can convince them to ...weight... their rolls in your favor.

 

All this talk about old dice made me look at my college dice bag and want to clean up some of the dingiest among them.  In particular, one white die twenty-sider got its dual 0-9's colored Punk Rock Pink and LED Blue, giving it a bit of a Michael Mann 80's vibe.  So appropriate, since it dates from that time:

 

IMG_4744.thumb.JPG.257e9b31d833edac36f16f725075a5a0.JPG

 

There'll people saying that it's not good to color each half the same color throughout, because it's too easy to favor one side while rolling.  But there's another wrinkle in a paint-it-yourself die: when the colors are randomly distributed, it's easy to hide two zeroes painted the high color (double crit successes), or two ones (no crit fails).  Half and half keeps the colorist honest.

 

EDIT:  Could I move the bars on the sixes to make double nines and nineteens?  Would the (hypothetical) GM notice?  He can't remember which color is the high one half the time anyway!

 

Edited by Grumpy Cave Bear
... evil planning ...
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1 hour ago, Grumpy Cave Bear said:

 

Well, you can throw away misbehaving dice, after you've extracted a true confession out of them with a saltwater bath!

 

 

I must respectfully disagree.

Had a badly balanced set of dice, once; a set of six siders, black with red pips. 

Three of them were fine. Two rolled nothing but fives and sixes. The last rolled ones, almost exclusively. Seriously. I tested all the dice, individually, after noticing the tendency of those three dice to skew to one end of the bell curve.

Two of them rolled fives and sixes more than half the rolls, and I rolled a LOT. But the other one was worse; it would roll ones more than eighty percent of the time. And worse, you had to keep that one AWAY from the other five dice, because all of them were identical, and until you began rolling a string of ones, you didn't know which one you HAD....

Naturally, I had no use for it. Who wants to roll ones all the time?

Until TITAN.

The old Avalon Hill monster stomp game. You roll a d6 for movement, but you have to follow the arrows. You can recruit bonus creatures by entering a Tower, but to get into a Tower, you have to be positioned right NEXT to the tower... and roll a one on your next movement. You can spend a hell of a lot of time, leaving that one stack of counters right next to a Tower, waiting for a one to come up.

But I could get into towers like nobody's business. Eventually, my roommates figured it out, and insisted that I quit using that die. Then whenever I got lucky, we'd have to stop the game and make SURE I wasn't using that die. And then, one game, Bobo was about to lose his mind, trying to roll a one to get into a Tower, and finally said, "Can I use that one die of yours, next turn?"

"What's in it for me?"

"Cold beer?"

He went and got me one of his brews from the fridge, and he got into the Tower the following turn. Eventually, we ALL wound up taking turns using it, and we had to take turns using the High Rollers whenever there was a battle. 

I lost one of the High Rollers when I loaned it to a friend for an out of house D&D game... and he lost it. Naturally. Hung onto the other two like the Crown Jewels, though...

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Buglips, I very rarely played Wizards.  I admit I am a bearded Hippy, but others already had the Wizards so I played the thief.  I also used paint or sharpies to darken the numbers.  Even the blue box dice needed recoloring after a bit.

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