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Dr.Bedlam

Weird Dice

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Luckily, I never was never stricken with the desire for more dice.  I had the blue and orange sets from the Basic and Expert sets, and later bought a few other sets.  But after my initial few sets, I never bought more dice until I started playing an Exalted game, where I had to reroll my d10s because godlike powers require lots of dice, apparently.

Several years ago, I did buy a few sets of Gamescience dice, because I knew which of my dice would roll better or worse if I were a player.  Strangely enough, the always rolled poorly when I GM’d. 

The best dice story I have surrounds a character in a long-running D&D game, Mikeleen Surefoot.  The player came up with the half-elven thief, and he was a good character.  But (there’s always a but, right?) the player could never make his Climb Walls rolls.  Never.  Naturally, “Surefoot” turned out to be the antiphrastic name (like you call the bald guy “Curly”).  That player, due to life, dropped the game, and the character went on to be an orphan, played by whoever came to learn about D&D, or forgot their character sheet, etc.  Sure, one guy usually played him, but the character got passed around  quite a bit.  No one could every make a climbing roll with that character.  No matter the dice, that character could not climb.  I don’t think in the six years of playing that poor Mikeleen was ever successful.  I like to think that, in his old age, he shouted at his grandchildren about the dangers of climbing trees and ladders.

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I'm not COMPULSIVE about it, but they do tend to accumulate. And so do the stories.

There's a metal six sider that looks like it's made of barbed wire. That was a stocking stuffer from Berni, 2013. And the stone onyx dice I got from a rock shop in South Park. The perfectly spherical d6 from Dragon's Lair (it works!), the spindle shaped d4 I was given that one time for DM service...

...they pile up. Every so often I assemble a set and give them away to some new gamer... but I can't part with the ones that have stories...

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I've played enough dice-intensive games that I have lots of dice. If you're playing Titan, you need enough d6s to be able to roll the hits for a serpent. (If you're playing Champions, you need enough d6s to build a fortress ... at 1:1 scale.)

 

And not all such games need d6s.

 

...

 

Which doesn't explain the various sets sorted by color, of course. That's just because I think they look good. :poke:

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I haven't gathered them and taken a photo in a couple of years (Aug 4, 2015 to be more precise), but here is where I was then... though, I'm not sure what this includes as it is multiple layers and I can't remember what is on the lower level(s):

IMG_1304.thumb.jpg.3bd4cabbd1e06a63ca04385d00d2fbb0.jpg

I'm thinking that at the time I was really excited about the FFG Star Wars dice and that i was still heavily using the metal dice.

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I like Koplow dice.  All of my dice are Koplow, in fact.  

 

I have a blue d8 and green d8 that I call Grace and Mercy.  They tend to roll 1s and 2s with extreme frequency.  I also have a second pair, orange and red, that I call Pain and Torment - on account of their extreme propensity for 7s and 8s.

 

Thus in order to randomize my rolls I have to put all four in a bag and randomly pick one out blind.  Which means I am so old school I combined the powers of chits AND dice.

 

Behold my powers!

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2 hours ago, buglips*the*goblin said:

Which means I am so old school I combined the powers of chits AND dice.

 

Behold my powers!

 

 Duuude.... If you were any more old-school, you'd be resolving all conflicts by yelling, "Did too!""Did not!""Did too!", until somebody punched the other guy in the face and made them cry... ::D:

 

 

At a rough estimate, I've given away at least as many dice as I currently own.

Edited by Mad Jack
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2 hours ago, buglips*the*goblin said:

I like Koplow dice.  All of my dice are Koplow, in fact.  

 

I don't much like Koplow dice, though Jim Koplow is one of the good guys in the games industry. (And he plays a mean trombone.)

 

Most of the dice I use regularly are Chessex. And since there can be a balance problem with dice using multiple colors of plastic, I've floated all of the d20s in that batch. (I don't worry as much about the other shapes, as the fewer the sides, the less effect a minor imbalance will have.) I only found one d20 that showed bias (to 13, IIRC), so I segregated it with my average dice so it won't get used inadvertently.

 

Note: If you want to float dice, you usually need something higher density than tap water. But if you saturate (or supersaturate) the water with salt, it works pretty well.

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I don't think that I have any truly weird dice (except maybe the two 100 siders that look like golf balls), but I have ENTIRELY too many plain white six siders from all the Games Workshop boxed sets I've bought in the past. 

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32 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

Note: If you want to float dice, you usually need something higher density than tap water. But if you saturate (or supersaturate) the water with salt, it works pretty well.

What's floating dice? I'm not sure I've heard of that

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Just now, Fire_Eyes said:

What's floating dice? I'm not sure I've heard of that

 

Drop the die into a fluid that will support it and spin it. If the same side wants to come up (and you can usually tell right away), the die is unbalanced. If you've ever seen the way that loaded dice roll, unbalanced dice roll kind of the same way when floating.

 

The problem is that high-impact plastics used for dice are often just a bit more dense than water, so the dice don't float. But if you add as much salt as the water will hold, that will usually raise the density of the fluid above that of the dice, so they will float.

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I think my own dice stories started in the late 80s. I think it was my brother who gave a pair of oversized d6s. About a 1.5in in size. Large enough to knock over most dragons on the game table.

 

And this was before I started playing RPGs.

 

The gathering:

  • Early 90s, once I got introduced to D&D and AD&D, I bought my first basic set of clear coloured dice (blue d4, red d6, yellow d8, orange d10, purple d12, green d20). Still my default dice set after nearly 25 years! In the summer time, I would throw the dice in the swimming pool and try to fetch them. The blue caltrop d4 was a treacherous one.
  • Then came my opaque set. I perfectly remember the colours of each dice. And to this day, the d10s of those first two sets are always my default d100. Clear orange for the tens, opaque purple for the single digits. ALWAYS!
  • Eventually, the need for more dice rose. Particularly d6s for high level spells. And anyone familiar with the White Wolf World of Darkness craze of the 90s will be familiar with the buckets of d10s.
  • I bought myself 3 novelty spherical d6s, that were hollowed with beads and notches in them to prevent over-rolling.
  • With the 90s vampire fad, I got a Vampire the Masquerade colour scheme set of dice. Pretty, but hard to read.
  • When I graduated college, I treated myself with a Chessex "Pound'O'Dice" that came with one guaranteed full set. Most of the dice were ordinary. Just a couple of dice cards. But I had oodles of d20s now.
  • My first dice bag was hand made! Some old jeans at home were cut down to make shorts, so with the leftover denim, I used the sewing machine to make a dice bad, using a big shoelace to close it. 25 years later, it's still going on strong! I've done two more, but were tiny in comparison, and never used.
  • Bought a larger dice bag when I got the Pound'O'Dice.
  • I have a few d20s that came with a set of Asian themed minis.
  • Several bonus dice from several KS (Stonehaven in particular)
  • Latest purchase is a MDF foldable compact dice tower from K. Now the dice don't go flying all over the table (and more importantly, the floor).

These days, I accept that I have "enough" dice. Now paints and minis on the other hand...

 

As for dice stories:

  • Karma's revenge: For AD&D character generation (3d6, or best 3 of 4), I was so frustrated of always rolling low that I made my own loaded dice out of d6s with pips. I took the #2 face, carefully drilled extra holes and coloured them black, so it would look exactly like a #5 face. And since they were on opposite sides, it could easily pass casual inspection. And yet I still rolled below average!
  • The high rolling boycott: When I GMed a Pathfinder adventure path, my d20s decided that they wouldn't roll above 20 for about 2 years. Sometimes they would forget and roll decently, but even my players were amazed at my consistently poor results. Critical hits were mostly absent from my side of the screen. Though when I did roll one, it would be devastating.
  • I've tried the dice floating technique. And even with boiling water super-saturated with salt, I had many dice that would not float. For the few that did, some were balanced, others not. I was told corn syrup is denser and would also work, but it would make a sticky tasty mess. There's already a stigma on brush licking. Imagine dice licking!

I have some friends who own the original disintegrating D&D dice, one with a d30, or the d100.

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4 hours ago, Cranky Dog said:

... my d20s decided that they wouldn't roll above 20 for about 2 years.

 

I hope not. What did you do to make them roll above 20 after the 2 years? :rolleyes:

Edited by Doug Sundseth
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32 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

I hope not. What did you do to make them roll above 20 after the 2 years? :rolleyes:

We completed the adventure.

 

Their job was done, so my dice returned to their normal duties of rolling high when in doesn't really matter. Like rolling a 20 on Knowledge (Local), DC12 when three other characters also succeeded.

Edited by Cranky Dog
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