Dice   10 comments

This is an old set. The 2011 dice are gray.

Every year when I go to GenCon or Origins, I try to get some interesting new dice.   In 2011 I bought the GenCon polyhedral dice set for the first time ever.  In truth, I have no use for polyhedrad dice, except that I use D20s for life counters when playing Magic the Gathering ™.  But I must admit that they are intrinsically cool, and so I have some, and if I found a D7 lying in the street, I wold stop and pick it up.

Over the last several years I have watched as the dice available have gotten cooler and cooler.  My Tunnels and Trolls game uses D6es.  The Death Dice from Flying Buffalo are excellent for playing T & T.  Their gimmick is that the ones have been replaces by skulls on the dice.  Thusly:

These dice come in many colors. I prefer the black ones, but I like them all. Note the nicely beveled corners for better rolling.

Flying Buffalo has several other distinctive dice.  Many of them are gimmicks, good for a laugh, and not much else.  Examples include the Pizza Dice and Decision Dice.

Can't decide what to put on your pizza? Let the dice decide for you--one roll per person involved.

Need an impartial decision? Let the dice decide for you. Choices include oldest, youngest, alphabetical, owner, left, right.

Game Science, a company founded by Lou Zocchi, is famous for their many strange dice.  I saw some real beauties at their booth during Gencon.  The one I just had to buy was this everything die.  Each face has a value for all the regular solid dice.  See if you can figure it out!

To use this die, you have to be enough of a dice geek to recognize the different faces. Do you see a D6, a D4, a D20 and a D12 here. D30 is in the center.

Perhaps Zoccchi’s most famous die is the D100.  The first time I saw one, I knew I had to have one.  It is practically a ball, and you want to roll it in a box or something so that it won’t simply roll away from you and disappear into the far corners of the room.

I have a white one. Don't think it was available yet in black when I bought mine from Lou Zocchi in person.

While I’m talking about Mr. Zocchi, let me put in my belief that this man is the single greatest expert on dice and the creation of dice in the 20th century, and maybe the 21st.  It is an education just to hear him talk about what it takes to create a D100 or D30 or everything die.  Being an extremely lucky person, I have had these experiences.

Lou Zocchi, wizard, hard at work selling dice and games at a convention.

A big hit at GenCon were the so-called Iron Dice.  These were metallic dice in various colors–gold, silver, bronze, iron, coldsteel, etc.  They were gorgeous to look at, heavy as hell, and cost a fortune.  It was a minimum of $12 for a single die.  I didn’t buy any.  Don’t know what I would have done with them if I had, but they sure looked fine.

Nobbly and heavy. Talk about dice weapons. If you got hit with one of these, it would really hurt.

Dice aren’t just about numbers.  Sometimes they are all about pictures or symbols.  Steve Jackson Games is especially good at producing such monsterpieces.

Madness! It's madness I tell you, and the tentacles don't help.

Losing your sanity has never been quite this much fun before.  And if gibbering mindlessly to the Elder Gods doesn’t turn you on, how about the neverending quest for brains.  As food.  Yes, it’s zombie dice from the same lunatics that brought your Cthulhu dice and Flux.

The first zombie to collect 13 brains wins, but watch out for the shotgun blasts.

Well, I could go on, but by now you either see the fascination of dice collecting or you don’t.  I like them.  I have a lot of them.  I’ve invented several little games that are really nothing but dice rolling.  Tunnels and Trolls uses lots of dice, mostly because I like dice.

(I began this blog in August of 2011 shortly after GenCon was over.  I finished it on March 19, 2012.  Just goes to show that when one of my projects gets interrupted I have a very hard time coming back to it.  Sigh.  But, at least this one is done now.)

If you like any of these dice, or have some pretty cool ones of your own, why not leave a comment about them?


10 responses to “Dice

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  1. IronDice are for a dice game (http://irondie.com/). I don’t know if it ever took off, but it sounds like they must have been pretty swanky items. One site describes them as “crafted with care in a small metal shop in Milan, Italy.” High fashion dice!


  2. Where is my camera when I want it? I have two different kinds of brass dice, either of which count as low grade weapons. I have a pair of brass D6 cubes, and a pair of brass hexagon rods, which actually have eight sides, but only six of them count. I bought them from a chain mail vendor who claimed they were a Roman pattern. It makes sense, even if it isn’t true…


  3. I’m always buying random d6s when I find ones I really like. My wife just rolls her eyes. Zombie Dice is a great family game. The clan plays it quite a lot.

  4. I sometimes teach maths to young children – a bag of dice gets them all gaping with amazement 🙂 I don’t really need anything other than d6s for Tunnels & Trolls but a game wouldn’t be the same without rolling each of a d4, a d8, a d10, a d12 and a d20 at least once – kinda keeps the players on their toes too as they anticipate something nasty when the funny dice get rolled…

  5. There are so many ways to roll a pair (or three) of six sided dice. Not that the others are not cool as Antarctica, but since I began to do Bean I am gonna buy some D2’s and D3’s too!
    Great blog, trollgod! Neat photos

  6. I too have a bag full of unusual dice.

  7. Great post, Khenn. I’ll have to post some pictures of dice on blog…. My eldest trollson (13) recently got the “everything” die for his birthday, as he fancies playing the DCC RPG when it is finally released.


  8. I have 2 full gallon jars full of dice. Red ones, blue ones-6 sided, 20 sided, you name & I probably have it. I don’t have any of those cool metal dice though. I love dice!

  9. I have tons of dice, and dice relatives. I even have my first polyhedrals that came with that ‘other game’ back from 1980 or so. I have a set of Knucklebones, wooden dice, and more types of d6s than I ever could recount, including a handful of FBI’s skull dice in various colors. I have the Cthulu dice game you mention, but haven’t gotten a set of zombie dice yet. I also collect Put and Takes, which come as spinners most often, but also as dice and some other strange pieces. I have always wanted to write about my Put and Take and dice collection at Troll Hammer, you just may have inspired me to work on it some time soon. Great post!

  10. I also have lots and lots of dice. I like to have sets of dice for various games.

    For example, I have a poly set of black with white speckles for Traveller. I have both poly and d6 dice which are burgandy & gold for my Barsoom games. I have a set of uninked amber-colored dice for my Amber Diceless games, since you can’t read the numbers and don’t need dice in a diceless game.

    And of course I have several cubes of d6’s for my TUNNELS & TROLLS games. I like having one color for the player and another color for the monsters and roll them all together, then cancel out similar numbers of different colors to make adding faster to see who wins the round and by how much.

    Recently I have been looking at 12-piece dice sets for the DCC RPG (Goodman Games). They call for a d3, d7, d14, d24, and other “non standard” dice not found in a regular poly set.

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