Monday, May 6, 2013


I don't spend much time pondering the "stuff" that goes along with our hobby but I have been dealing with dice a lot lately and figured I would share.

Dice in the Box!
Those are the heavy-hitters, the D&D dice. They get used more than any others. I used to use normal size dice, then I came across the larger black set on a business trip in San Francisco back in the 90's and later found the red set locally and they have been "the dice" for all of 3rd and now 4th edition D&D. That big one came along a few years later. The "Die of Judgement" doesn't get used a whole lot because there's rarely enough room behind the screen and it causes carnage when it rolls across the table full of mini's. That said, when it comes out you know it!

So ... why do they live in a box? Well, because it's what I had at the time, which was about 1983. I didn't have a bag and I needed a way to carry them over to a friend's house and, well, they fit in it. Not a method for he stealth-conscious, but they've been hauled all over Texas like this so it works for me. Plus it stacks up nicely on a shelf if you're need them to go there.

Next up are the D6's. I had not bought new dice in quite a few years and then the group started talking about a possible Shadowrun campaign, and maybe a Champions game on the side. I realized that I did not have a big bunch of d6's other than the little white ones that come with the Warhammer games. So I picked up the blue set and really liked the way the translucent blue looked.

A few years later we started playing ICONS and I needed some d6's for the positive and negative dice so I picked up the red and green versions of the same set. green = plus, red = minus and the Apprentices never have to think about it again, it's  almost automatic.

I keep these things in their original cages because I don't want them to get lost or mixed in with my other sets. Unlike when I was 13 I can actually manage to keep specific dice for specific games.

The 40K Tray!
Over the years the Warhammer games have used some unique dice for things and all of mine live here. Back in the 1E/2E days when it used everything from d3' s to d12's there more types in here but those have migrated out since they were removed from the rules. The red & yellow pair go with my Howling Griffon marines, the chaos dice go with my chaos army, and the rest get used indiscriminately.

So we started playing the new Marvel game and I had heard it used a lot of dice but I wasn't worried - I have tons of dice! I've bee doing this for decades! Then we actually started and I realized that after equipping the apprentices with a couple of sets each and with some attrition over the years, I did not in fact have a ton of dice any more! Especially d8's and d12's which seem to get used a lot in Marvel.

I looked around online and decided that I would need to order multiple sets to have enough. I decided to theme it too - comic book colors! None of that fancy-schmancy translucent swirly speckled stuff for this game - it needed to be solid, opaque primary type colors. As it turns out Chessex had a nice selection of these so I ordered six of them.

It wasn't enough.

As we got our latest campaign rolling I was running out of dice again - with six sets! It turns out Chessex actually makes ten different colors like this - so I ordered the remaining four and dumped them in. I now have ten full sets of dice in this little box TEN! So far it has been enough. I hope it stays that way as I don't want to compromise the theme!

A veritable pyramid of power!
Since Marvel doesn't use the d20 this had the secondary benefit of setting up a nice new pool of comic book dice for Mutants and Masterminds which only uses d20's! Synergy between rule sets!

The Leftovers
...and these are the rest. The spares. The misfits. The scrappy rag-tag bunch of extra dice. Some of them came in with eBay trades, some came from old games long tossed, some just showed up somehow and were never reclaimed. Some of them are quite ugly. They are the backups, only dragged out into the light when someone forgets their "starters". Or if we play Marvel  - the boys sometimes run low and I make them use these rather than loaning out my color dice.

Those two down in front though, are special. The blue d8 is the only survivor from my first set of polyhedral D&D dice. I don't know who made them but they showed up under the Christmas tree a long time ago and were my only set for years. Time and multiple moves and hundreds if not thousands of sessions have claimed the others but the d8 remains. The orange d4 is form one of the old Moldvay Basic sets I picked up back then. It was at best a second or third d4 so it has managed to survive with all corners intact since the early 80's. I suspect it's a fairly rare animal as those dice were not great. I like to think of those two as "retired", only coming out in times of great need.

Yeah I can be kinda funny about this stuff

Finally, just to show it's not all weird hobby games, here is my Risk set. Each army has 3 dice in matching colors. Why? Because I could. I have one of the wooden piece sets too, and one of the infantry-cavalry-cannon sets, but I like the Roman Numeral set best, and this one also has double pieces - I don't like to run out of things.

Anyway there's a hugely informative post about my dice. At some point I realized  they get used more than some of the books I have discussed, so I thought they deserved a post of their own.

1 comment:

Doc Savage said...

That's a LOT of dice! My wife thinks I have a lot; I'll have to show her this.

A little OCD about keeping those sets separate!