Sunday, October 24, 2010

[Weekly Whimsy] Dice

Welcome to Weekly Whimsy! Discussing dueling dodecahedrons, dancing deciders of destiny, denizens of dicebags and deliverers of defeat.

[I don't think I'll ever get tired of that...onto today's topic!]

Roll With It, Baby- Steve Winwood, Roll With It

We women have a terrible reputation for taking a long time to get ready, and being extra-particular about accessories and styling.

I've stumbled upon an area that puts girls to shame, and it's pretty universal across the board.Guys, girls, old or young, the subject at hand is one that fascinates us all.


Put a gamer in front of a dice display, and you get the same general response all over.- "OOOOOOOOH, shiny!"

Aside from general fascination, there are some things we all share in regards to dice. Things like superstitions, obsessions and silly tendencies.

We've all heard of cursed dice- or worse, cursed people. There are a couple of guys down at the game store who are forbidden from touching other guys' dice for fear of "tainting" them.

Some people collect dice according to special themes- color, according to their army faction, shapes or other inscrutable reasons. TheDude is one of those collectors, with a great assortment according to a particular idea.

Here's a shot of his SPARE dice:

Can you guess the theme?

A better shot, about half full.

This is not a die! It's one of the "Rainbow Ninja"- universally known in our gaming circle. There's a pink one and a blue one, too.

Another one of TheDude's dice. With another die inside it.

And an orange round die.

No idea yet? The Dude collects the weirdest, strangest, most unusual dice he can find. Which usually end up being ugly. Our friends have all gotten in on the action, and bring home some of the craziest dice I've ever seen from conventions, game stores in other towns and other locations unknown. As seen above, he now has a HUGE collection and keeps his spare dice in a huge ice cream bucket. Spares- the ones he doesn't use every day.

These are my dice. The red ones are my spares. The black ones are my regular gaming dice.

This is what's inside my black bag.

These are the dice I use for Eile.

These are some of my favorites- custom dice from our game store! 

Now we have some themed  collections out of the way. Buying dice is pretty personal. Some guys get new dice every convention (TheDude), new game (TheDude) or  new character (TheDude). Some match their dice to their character's outfits. Some take the dice out of the shell and look at them in depth- others just grab whatever looks good. Some guys order straight from the catalog- but we all buy dice in a way that makes sense to us. 

There's even different approaches to dice- Crystal Caste, Game Science and Chessex are all different ways of making a gamer's heart leap with excitement. 

I see a lot of "wishful thinking" with dice- the tendency to sit them with the optimal number facing up, in hopes that doing so will encourage the dice to roll that way more often. 

I also see lots of crazy dice carrying methods. Plastic ziplocks, cigar boxes, dice bags, tupperdudes, deck boxes and much more. I love seeing how they're treated and what we make of them. 

I think we all love dice in some way. Sometimes, they are a pain- like when you play --IG-- or Orks and have cover saves or to hit rolls for 40+ figures. 

So what do you with mass rolls? With the rise of the iPod and iPhone, electronic dice rollers are becoming more common. The apps for deciding outcomes have gotten more sophisticated and easy to use, and some guys have been using them at the store. They certainly have a place and I like them for what they are, but they are not as fun to me as rolling big handfuls of dice.  I remember 20 or more years ago, my dad had a Dragonbone that he used, but it felt more like a remote control than a way to determine chances. 

I love dice- picking them, rolling them, and buying them for TheDude. (Especially really ugly ones!)

Come on and share some of YOUR dice stories!


  1. I got a friend with a bajillion dice one of these as a handy travel system:

  2. Judging by all your d10 and d6s I can tell you are not a D&Der. ;)

  3. Sons- I didn't post the picture of TheDude's BigBagOfHolding. It holds all his dice with tons of room left over and folds to about the size of a sandwich bag.

    Christian: I own a couple D20's. I really only use them for MtG, though. =p

  4. Nomatter how many times I've been jinxed by them, I stick with the same dice I've always had. I did upgrade my 40k D6's a while ago though, as I came across a block w/ a marble metallic blue/gold that was Alaitoc all in.

    As for digital.. well, I'll never forget when I programmed myself a dice rolled for a tabletop White Wolf game I was running. The first few encounters went alright, but the party started just getting pwned. Then I discovered I forgot to reset the totals after each encounter... oops.

  5. Nice collections there. Most of the time I just use the same cube of d6s that I use for 40k, though I think my Ogres are going to need their own cube before long. For WoD I had some white and orange ones before my awesome girlfriend got me the Changeling dice set, now know as the GM's dice. Seeing the thorny skull come up always makes me happy...

    I also have a set of 10 FromTheWarp themed dice which I use for 40k as special weapons dice. When I got them from Ron he had a little message inside saying that the dice spirits needed to be appeased before they could be used, leading to me purifying them in blood as objectives or kill point counters before they could enter standard use.

  6. Dave- those Alaitoc sound cool. - Digital WW... that sounds interesting. But definitely oops!

    Max- the CtL dice are pretty- they don't match my colors, though. From The Warp dice? AWESOME!

  7. Let's see now...

    - the bag of D&D dice started about fifteen years ago, when I needed 'em for second edition 40K, and quadrupled in number when I started playing Savage Worlds.

    - my old Vampire: the Masquerade d10s, now forever known as the Angst Dice, and not seeing anything like enough use since my Mage chronicle wound up. The Angst Dice have a lot of blood on their hands, being responsible for more character deaths than any other polyhedra in the collection.

    - the cursed Trollblood dice, which were so badly made that they were as good as loaded. We don't talk about what happened to the Trollblood dice, or the pointy-edged Warmachine dice that followed them...

    - the Cuboids. Thirty-six bone-white d6s, eighteen red 'uns and eighteen green 'uns, co-ordinated for all the silliness that goes on with my Dark Elf armies. The worst part is, I still occasionally run out...

  8. We all know someone who can't roll dice to save themselves. Then there's the guy you hate to sit across the table from because he always seems to roll just what he needs to beat you. Every. Time. You roll 2 hits, he rolls three.

    When playing miniatures games you almost never want to face off against a first timer or a young kid.


  9. Not sure where they even came from at this point, but here is a brief collection of my weirdest dice:
    1. music notes for pips
    2. round d6
    3. trap icons/tunnel curve directions
    4. pizza toppings

  10. I have a blog here as well. I am everywhere

  11. I have a friend who is mutual friends to us who uses them for (his own divine self created) divination purposes. I give you three guesses and the first two don't count.

  12. I like your black ones with the pixie dust. Too rounded for me though! I need those Gamescience units. You know, just a little edgier. Yeah, I'm that guy... :P

  13. Von: Yeah, Shane likes to use all the dice you own.

    I had a set like that for Vampire, but they were lost in a move. Shame =/

    Trollblood cursed? I thought only Menites had that problem. Yeah, the WM dice WERE pointy.

    Tom: I'd be careful of underestimating kids- they've been known to grow into pretty good gamers =p

    Dethtron: Music dice?!?! Awesome!

    Amanda: Oh, hon- we knew so many crazy people it could be anyone!

    Ze: I like them too- but they're actually really dark grey.

    Gamescience dice are fruity=p

  14. You know its funny when you talk about superstitions. For all the shiny awesome colourful dice I have its the plainest white with black pips that always do the best, I call them "the Pure white dice of hope and redemption" :D

  15. I am very fond of my dice. I've never yet discarded any, and I genuinely miss using my lovely matching dice-set-in-a-tin since I moved away from my D+D group (3.5Ed, obviously).

    For 40K I'm particularly enamoured with my original From the Warp dice.

    Nice post!

  16. Von Drakin- Love the "PWDoH&R" . So retro!

    My husband has some we reverently call the "Little Red Fiends"- they were actually retired due to the amount of player damage done.

    Admiral Drax: That's the second time I've heard of FTW dice. They sound very cool.

  17. Here you go - from way back in ol' 2009:

  18. I don't actually have my own dice as such. As a gamer, my gaming club(Which i set up and ran for 2 years before going to uni) just shares dice all over the place.
    My only real superstition is that it feels weird if I roll dice of more than one colour at the same time.
    Y'know, if I'm rolling my Swordmasters attacks in combat, I'll scrounge all round the club to find enough red dice, rather than just mix red and white.