Monday, 4 August 2014

Dice Dice Baby

Keep rollin' rollin' rollin' rollin'

These nerdy games I post about all the time - board games, wargames, role playing games and the others - tend to have something in common.  Many of them use dice as a randomiser.  Some of them use regular garden six-sided dice as lives in your monopoly boxed set; some use different shaped dice with 4, 8, 10, 12, 20 or even weirder numbers of sides.  Some of them don't use numbers but have letter, symbols or colours as part of the game mechanics.

When one plays these games you acquire a lot of these odd dice.  You go scavenging every old board game in the house; you come across a weird new set of dice in a new boxed game; you pick up an extra pack of dice here and there at nerd shops.  You even start trawling websites that sell nothing but dice and dice alone.  The worst might even get custom dice made.

Few people get this bad though.  And fewer still would intentionally pose in a stupid way with their dice collection.

Doing my best Bryan Ansell 80s photo impersonation with my three tables of dice.

So this is more or less my entire dice collection as it resides in my many dice bags.  Not every board game I own has been raided for dice: Talisman and Trivial Pursuit 20th Anniversary Edition have pretty six sided dice that still live in their game boxes, for example and Formula D has a bunch of weird dice for the different car gears which stay with the game.  If I store the dice seperately, though, they are there!

Below the fold I'll post some "highlights", such as they are.  And why not share your own dice collection with me?  I even have a sort of prize to offer.  :-)

The three tables split my dice into three general category.

Believe it or not, these are "normal" dice.
 First up on largest table is the contents of my main dice bag.  These are comparatively normal dice as nerds consider them and is mostly pulled out during roleplaying.

The special service dice

Next up are the game specific dice - dice I hang on to especially for certain games.  There's a few dice bags and boxes that make up this wee table, split by the various games.

Here's where shit gets weird.
Finally there's the odd stuff: dice that don't go from 1 to whatever but have odd symbols or what have you, usually to do with a game I don't actually play.

Out of all these dice, let's tour some particularly strange examples.

These are a mixed bag of dice which, rather than a "1" have a picture of an animal.  There's quite a lot of these available and I have a fair mix - my favourites are the unicorn and penguin.  The dinosaur one is different and has a different dino on each side.

A real blast from the past here: those red and white dice up the top are from Space Crusade, the first nerdy board game I ever owned - the red and white dice were for heavy and light weapons fire respectively.  Below in white are Heroquest dice for combat (with skulls and shields), and to the left in red are dice from obscure Bluebird Toys game Havok.  (Which I bought on a trip to the shops the day Princess Diana died.  THANKS FOR THAT TRIVIA, BRAIN.)

My Blood Bowl dice!  The white block dice are from two copies of the core game (my original and the one I bought on ebay years later) while the others comes from Impact Miniatures.  The coloured block dice are a little hard to read but the football-shaped dice are ace.

The left hand box is full of black D6s and though often used for Warhammer, I originally bought it for D6 heavy roleplaying games.  (More on one particular game in my next post)  The right hand ivory box I bought when I got D&D 4th edition and I use exclusively for that.  The middle two actually game packaged with D&D boxed sets originally - the left blue set from the 80s "red box" basic set, the right hand multi-coloured set from the 90s black box, and I reserve those for when I'm playing classic D&D versions.

This is a custom dice I made myself with paper, varnish and a cube of plastic as a convoluted practical joke.  A friend called Robert wrote his own roleplaying game that didn't use dice but points - I argued spending points was just rolling a one sided dice.  To continue the joke I made my own one-sided dice - or rather a six sided dice whose different sides all show different ways of saying one.  These are One, 1, I, True, 00000001 and 0.99...That last one is a great way to start a nerd argument.

Ailsa knows I love stupid dice so almost every Christmas I get some new weird dice from her.  The latest set were dice in foreign languages - these ten sided dice count in Japanese (red), Italian (green) and German (black).

 Here's a mixed bag of weird and wonderful dice.  There's symbols to roll random starsigns, weather, compass directions, days of the week, treasure and monsters; there's random letters; and there's some really obscure dice types like 3, 5, 7, 16, 24, 30 and 100 sided.

These two dice have weird symbols instead of 1s.  The union jack dice is a particular favourite of mine when playing historical games.

The left hand dice was a gift at Free RPG Day.  The right hand dice is a very battered metal D20, often used as my GM dice these days for games that use D20s like our superhero or King Arthur games.

Not all of them survive but this set of blue dice were the first dice I ever bought singly.  I was in Mall 2 of the Belz Outlet Mall in Orlando, Florida and found a weird shop which sold roleplaying games and display knives.  A few years later this was gone, but visiting this weird shop was a vital part of my nerdy formative years.

These purple oversized dice were my go-to dice for my D&D campaign for most of the campaign.  Even now I think of them as my "GM Dice" even though I hardly use them in my other games.

And of course we can't forget the dice I paid to get made in honour of the completion of my 6 year D&D campaign!  Every player got four dice; enough to roll up a new character with.  I also gave a dice to a bunch of my other game friends.  I still have a bag full of about twenty or so of these, mind, because I had to get about 40 to 50 made.

So, as mentioned earlier, why not show me your dice collection?  I'll even post people who show me their dice collection a Phratil dice if they ask.  :-)

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