Monday, May 21, 2012

A Few Of My Favorite Dice

If you'd only read this blog for the last week or two, I could see how you might think the only die I own is a d30. And while I am quite proud of my d30 (#1 in the picture above), it is by no means the favorite of my dice, though it is among the echelon. I thought that, in fairness to my other dice and gaming interests, I would feature several dice in my collection, most of which are reaching the age of retirement.

1. This is the 1982 smoky Armory precision d30 that I wrote about in my very first blog post. And while the idea of a d30-based pulp RPG system morphed into a d30-based mutant/barbarian/sorcery RPG system (an idea which I have not abandoned, only sidetracked), it is what launched me into what would become the d30 DM Companion.

2. My co-conspirator Dave Welborn got me these Traveller dice a couple of months ago. I've never really played Traveller (though some of my gaming buddies in high school in the 80s did), but I always dug the dice. I'd see the ads in Dragon, and think... "I gotta get those!" And finally, "I got those." Thanks, Dave.

3. This die, which features a teal dot on two sides, a red dot on two sides, and a yellow dot on the other two sides, came in a pack of mixed dice that I bought sometime in the late 80s. For years, I've been trying to develop a basic resolution mechanic that would use dice like this. And when I discovered the Toss Up dice, I thought I'd figured it out. Honestly, it's the same concept as Fudge's +/- dice, but does not support the simple addition/subtraction. I'm going to figure this out one day!

4. There's nothing special about these d10s from the mid-90s, except the concept of three opposing forces (in this case, physical/mental/spiritual) which spurned something that evolved into The System: Expanded, the foundation system for Starmasters. It's amazing how the simple purchase of dice could spawn an entire game system concept.

5. I love the old orange d6s from the Avalon Hill bookcase games. One of these came from Amoeba Wars which has, in my opinion, one of the most awesome pieces of cover art... ever! Hell, the cover art alone is why I bought the game.

6. I honestly can't remember where these green d6s came from. I'm guessing some other boxed game, either an RPG that uses d6s, or another bookcase game. But unfortunately they're just not as cool as the orange ones.

7. These tiny d6s came from a variety of games, but I didn't use them for those games. Everyone in our Champions group in 1985-6 had their own personal fistfuls of dice (which, if you've never played Champions, is pretty much a requirement for higher-powered characters) and these were mine. There's nothing like rolling a couple of dozen dice, adding up all the stun damage, then picking out the 6s for body damage. That mechanic alone is why we played Champions and never looked back at V&V. But looking back now, I prefer the older-school vibe of V&V and, as I've mentioned before, would love to get a V&V group going.

8. Like the d10s, these dice are newer. But they've become my Starmasters playtest dice. And hopefully one day, they'll become my Starmasters convention demo game dice.

9.Yep. Those of us that have these love them. But here's the odd part... I did not get them in with Holmes Basic. I started with the Moldvay set and own the "mud" dice that came with the red and blue boxed sets at that time. Like Grognardia James, I bought my set of low impact dice from Kay-Bee Toys.

I own a lot of newer dice sets, and plenty of other dice, but keep most of my older dice are housed in this (below), a re-purposed tackle box purchased with S&H Green Stamps. After I lost most of the lures that came in it, I threw the leftover lures in my dad's tackle box and... voila! Dice box!

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