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Dr.Bedlam

Weird Dice

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Sitting on the bedside table on my side of the bed is a large glass jar full of dice.

It's not ALL my dice, of course. There's a dicebag at school, loaded with disposables that I don't much care if they're lost or stolen. There's my MAIN dicebag, on the dining table downstairs, with my favorite twenty siders, my weather die, directional die, body parts twelve sider, and spindle D6s, and my EMERGENCY dicebag, with two each of the classic Platonian polyhedrons. In the drawer of the nightstand, there's the poker dice for use in games that use poker hands, and the Dungeon Crawl Classics dice, which include the d3, the d14, the d24, and other weird dice used to play that particular game... all in their respective themed dicebags.

There's a thread on these boards right now for a Kickstarter, selling tool steel dice that you could apparently load into a gauss launcher and blast square holes through buildings, they're so tough. Every Reapercon the last few years has had lovely artisinal dice made from rare woods and exotic elements for sale. Fulfilling in the next couple weeks is a Kickstarter I signed up for, selling Wizard Dice, complete with a d2 shaped like a spell book. Looking forward to that.

So many dice have stories. There's the speckled blue that rolled three twenties in a row the night we took down the Serpent Wizard.

 

There's the soft plastic d10s that came with the boxed Marvel Super Heroes game, and have rolled so many times they barely have corners any more.

 

There's the chipped green ones I got in the swag bag at my first convention, chipping so bad I ought to throw them out but I get sentimental.

 

There's the crystal d20, one of the first clear Gamescience dice ever made, that rolled multiple fumbles the night Kaltos the Rogue couldn't backstab anything to save his life, and he threw it out the window, and I found it later when I was mowing the yard, and it's never rolled a 1 since. Did it learn its lesson?

 

And the three black d6s with red pips given to me by Cerberus, the Guardian Of Hell, the night his little girl was born, because with a baby in the house, it was going to be a few years before he had time for games, and then he moved his family to Tennessee and never asked for them back. For some reason, all three dice tend to roll high.... mostly 5s and 6s. I've tested them.

 

There's the little set of miniature lavender translucent dice that my ex wife had to have. Woman never played a game in her life that wasn't Monopoly, Scrabble, or Gin Rummy, but she saw those dice and had to buy them. 

There's the fake ivory d6 that when rolled fair, even out of a cup, will roll ones more than half the time. I have no idea where it came from.

There's the little plastic box full of tiny d6s I got out of Pirates Of The Spanish Main boosterpacks, and I just shake the box and drop it when I wanna roll fireballs. There's the d20 that's as big as my fist and weighs nearly a pound.

And I wonder: Is this fascinated acquisitiveness the result of starting my gaming career with a D&D Basic Box that had the little laminated chits instead of dice? Or do other people have this weird fascination for collector dice? Given the number of Kickstarters, I figure it CAN'T be just ME...

 



 

dice-illusion.jpg

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I like fancy dice, and horde them to a degree

 

glass coffee jar containing all of my used RPG dice including my original D&D basic set dice that you had to colour in the numbers with crayon from the 80's, plus dice that have accreted there from other games and boardgames plus a few silly odds and ends like my d30 and the round d6's that theoretically settle with a ball bearing inside but in practice never stop rolling

 

plus the large glass jar of dice downstairs I've bought just because they look good with no real intention of using, the jar keeps getting upgraded to a larger one and next is going to have to be one of those huge ones boiled sweets used to come in (they're plastic now but i'd need an old glass one)

 

but the fact I like other shiney stuff more helps keep my dice collecting under control

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 I was apparently a crow in a past life, as I have a deep fascination with small shiny things, particularly if they're complex, well-made, or serve some clever purpose... I tend to accrue collections of small stones, glass beads, marbles, shiny metal bits, bubblegum machine toys, etc., without consciously intending to do so.

 

I collect dice that are attractive, interesting, or unusual. Thus, I have a lot of standard dice that are very pretty, although "pretty" is about evenly split between flashy multi-colored or decorated dice and dice with simple solid colors with clean lines and highly contrasting numbers that I simply like the look of... And then I have some of the less standard ones like the oversized and really tiny D20s, the D30, the D100 and a couple of dice-within-dice.

 

If I had more disposable income (and more space for stuff), my dice collection would be much larger and contain a much larger selection of unusual dice.

 

Edited by Mad Jack
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I have a love for pretty and unusual dice, and I hoard them too. Even my less lucky dice get hoarded and played with. My brother is a strong believer in getting rid of dice that don't roll well, but I just can't. I think the badly rolling dice are funny, and create their own stories too.

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Most gamers I know have mountains of dice, for various reasons.

 

My wife has to have a new set for every new character, and if the new set does not seem to be favoring her in the first couple of sessions, she gets another.

 

I not only buy a new set for every - very rare - instance where I get to play, instead of GMing, but also buy a new set for every new campaign/adventure I start, even small, one-shots. That is a habit I have had going back to the 1980s, so you can imagine how many freaking dice I have.

 

Then there is just The Pretty. You see The Pretty, you have to have them. Most gamers I know are a combination of these things.

 

One thing I do not understand at all, is why the world should need more metal dice. It was clever enough the first time, I guess. But seriously. Do we need Kickstarter after Kickstarter for dice that are going to get banned from the table anyway, for all the noise and/or chipped teeth? The resultant price of those things is astronomical comparatively, so I am not sure who is buying them once the Kickstarter ends.

 

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I'm feeling a bit jealous. I only have 2 set of dice.

 

The most recent is an Easy Roller dice, Gunmetal Black, with red numbering in a nice leather box. 

(kickstarter reward)

 

The other set is a bit older...

There's a Blue D4, White D6, Yellow D8, Red-ish D10, Brown D12, and Black D20.

I believe it's from early 1989, but it could also be from late fall 1988, since I belive I bought those, together with a Warhammer Rulebook and scenario back then. (I was serving in the RNoAF back then, and thought it might be something to do during the weekends, but could never find anyone else woh also wanted to try) 

I can also be completely off about what the rulebook was, of course. But I know I DID buy one back then. 

 

Anyway, neither set has ever been used for gaming. 

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53 minutes ago, Bruunwald said:

Most gamers I know have mountains of dice, for various reasons.

 

My wife has to have a new set for every new character, and if the new set does not seem to be favoring her in the first couple of sessions, she gets another.

 

I not only buy a new set for every - very rare - instance where I get to play, instead of GMing, but also buy a new set for every new campaign/adventure I start, even small, one-shots. That is a habit I have had going back to the 1980s, so you can imagine how many freaking dice I have.

 

Then there is just The Pretty. You see The Pretty, you have to have them. Most gamers I know are a combination of these things.

 

One thing I do not understand at all, is why the world should need more metal dice. It was clever enough the first time, I guess. But seriously. Do we need Kickstarter after Kickstarter for dice that are going to get banned from the table anyway, for all the noise and/or chipped teeth? The resultant price of those things is astronomical comparatively, so I am not sure who is buying them once the Kickstarter ends.

 

All of the people that I know that use the metal dice, roll them in a dice tray with padding, so there is no table damage or noise.  Plus all of the game tables at the FLGS have sheets of foam mat (like sturdy mouse pad material in sheets cut to size) on them so that's not even an issue.

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You'd WANT a specialized dice rolling tray or box; I have a metal set that was given to me as a gift, and while they're fine dice, they're LOUD, even if they're not ruining the wood finish...

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When I first started playing AD&D TSR still had the reigns, though barely, and you could still buy the "Official Dungeons and Dragons Roleplaying Dice" at Wal-Mart on the gaming isle. They were the multicolored packs, and I remember that the D20s were both orange, and the D4s were both green. I think one D8 was black, and another blue. The D10s were white. The D12s yellow. And the D6 were red. I bought two packs. As with all the rest of my original gaming stuff it went up in our house fire. I would love to replace those two sets of multicolored dice. I also cribbed all the d6s from all the board games in the house.

 

Right now I own a dozen or so sets. Most of them came from a pound of dice I bought, and are all terrible, awful colors. I have them separated out into sets by color in ziplock baggies. I also own a set of  Koplow and a set of Chessex dice. There are lots of dice I want to buy, but I always remind myself that I have too much crap as it is, and it's  hard to justify when I no longer game. 

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Having used metal dice (I have two sets of d10s for WoD games and a regular set of mixed polyhedrals), I love the feel of them.  They are smaller than regular dice, so are easy to transport.  And I have a love of rolling them.  I always pack a square of leather (about a foot square) that I roll them on.  Do I have hundreds of others?  You bet, but the feeling of rolling metal dice brings me back game after game after game.  They are also easy to read where some of the color combinations are not.  

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I have my obsidian dice, tiny sharp chipped black stone with blood red numbers. I use them when I want to look formal and/or evil.

 

I have my skull die, it's a d20 with a skull in place of the 1. I got it for free at a con, a prize I hadn't won since everyone else hightailed it out of the (admittedly running late) game and I was the only one left when the GM brought out the prizes. It's my GM die, it always rolls the exact number I need in order to make the story go the way I want it to. If I need a 20 it rolls a 20. If I need a 5 it rolls a 5. I forego a GM screen because nobody believes me if they don't see it for themselves.

 

I have my character creation dice. 2d6, one is an impressionable unassuming d6, the other is cracked and chipped and I rescued it out of a parking lot after it was run over by a car. I use them as damage die against my players when I want to make my players suffer. They both roll disproportionately 5s and 6s. If I had a whole brick of them I'd win Shadowrun...

 

I have my specimen jar of dice on the bookshelf. I have my GMing dice scattered around the table. I have a d20 the size of a knuckleball I can threaten to throw at players. I have cthulhu dice. I have race, class, alignment, and mood dice around here somewhere...

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Ha! On the art of Character Creation (I forgot about that), I have a full set of white dice with black pips so that I can roll the entire block at once.  I do them in groups of four dropping off the worst one.  So, yeah, there's a bag that has 24 white dice in it just for character creation.  I tend to roll up grids at once (6x6) on graph paper and separate them into blocks and fill up the entire sheet of graph paper.  Then I'll use them over the course of a lot of characters that I'm creating (mostly NPCs, but sometimes the PCs too if I am creating the characters as well) and mark them out.  This way if I see a number block I like going either direction I'll take it.  And it's fun to fill a page full of numbers from dice rolls.  Therapeutic even...

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I don't even game but I have a dice collection for some reason.

Any time I buy a starter set/board game for the minis, everything else gets binned (or sold if there's a market for it) but the dice always go in a little box.

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I see from the kickstarter subforum that dice season has snuck up on us again.

I don't have any super expensive or unusually weird dice, but I do have a collection of those that have caught my eye which are MY dice as well as a plastic jar of dice that I use for sharing.

 

IMG_0925.PNG

IMG_0926.PNG

These are photos I've shared before. More dice may have been added since.

Edited by Darsc Zacal
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5 hours ago, Dilvish the Deliverer said:

All of the people that I know that use the metal dice, roll them in a dice tray with padding, so there is no table damage or noise.  Plus all of the game tables at the FLGS have sheets of foam mat (like sturdy mouse pad material in sheets cut to size) on them so that's not even an issue.

Sigh... yes, I also game and am aware of such things. I also have leather and felt-lined rolling trays at my table.

 

However, the advent of metal dice at said table would be too tempting for certain players, and believe me, it would be less than an hour before something was scratched, then something broken, then something shattered that could not be replaced. Experience teaches me that this behavior is hardly rare, and probably inevitable.

 

Why, you may ask? Because what is the purpose of rolling a die whose most easily recognized unique trait is its heaviness and potential noisiness and destructiveness if you are only going to roll it in a medium that nullifies those things? After the initial novelty of the thing wears off, there is not much else. Just like there is little purpose in owning a Ferrari if you are not going to cut people off, or in owning a Harley if you are not going to wake the whole neighborhood with it.

 

Like those things, I can only imagine that one major draw of metal dice is to get attention by being obnoxious with them. Though I have no doubt that some gamers are content to enjoy the weighty feel of the thing in their hands, I also have no doubt that human nature, gloriously obnoxious, must eventually assert itself in most of us.

 

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