Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dice - By the Set or By the Bucket - What Memories Do They Hold?

I still remember my first dice set. I got it for my birthday many moons ago, along with the AD&D 1e Player's Handbook and the DM's Guide. Solid dice of different colors with rounded edges. Red d4, black 6d, white d8, blue d12 and a brown d20 (with the numbers from 0-9 twice - so i colored them in with green and orange crayons for Hi and Lo). No d10 was included.

My next set was a gem set. Crappy rounded edges and scars from the molding process.

My third set was from my boxed set of Gamma World - you know the ones - waxy, irregular, barely able to read the numbers. Made my percentile set included with Top Secret (these dice actually gained stress fractures) seem like high quality.

Now I own so many dice I'd be hard pressed to tell you the history of 5% of them, if that much. The d10's that came with the different Pacesetter games, the dice that never came with my Paranoia Boxed Set, the 3d6 that came with my boxed Traveller Starter Set. I don't recall the dice that came with my AH Runequest 3e boxed set, but I know there were some. I think.

Dice hold memories, not just of their rolls, but of their time of acquisition.

Now I own hundreds of dice. Some bought by the pound. Some picked out by hand as a youth.

What are your dice stories?


  1. A lot of my older dice have disappeared over the years. Although I still have my d20 from the red box edition of Dungeons and Dragons that my brother bought for me. This is where I acquired my first set.

    I can clearly point out which D6s came with the Space Marine boxed set. We used to play the hell out of epic scale on the weekends.

    A tube of the Vampire D10s from White Wolf. One of the first runs before they put the red tips on them and they were just the marble greens. Another game we played merry hell with for days on end, pulling all nighters that would probably kill me now.

  2. i still have most of my dice from my holmes basic set - the white d20, the yellow d4, the green d8 (maybe the d6). Those bad boys are really worn, such that the d20 is getting close to circular. I don't use them anymore but they do lend the dicebag some gravitas!

    I experimented with some Zocchi sets, but in the translucent variety, and just don't like them, however much Zocchi's videos are cool and inspiring.

    A few years back I bought dice every time I went to teh FLGS, and now I've got too many - at least too many to remember their origins. I am liking some orange chessex ones these days. That and the set of black d10s I got a few years back. Oh, and the pair of d30s for that special Rients-ian moment.

  3. Not stories so much as I brought sets of dice from every, I mean EVERY gaming store I have been to from Fairbanks and Anchorage, Alaska, to Northeast and Central Pennsylvania, to Northern and Central Virginia. I can remember where most of them came from.

    I now buy loose dice just about every time I go into my FLGS. The thought was that if I lost them to players that forget theirs, I would not mind so much. Unfortunately I do.

    Hello, my name is JasperAK and I am a diceoholic.

  4. Sounds like you and I started out similar pack, mine had a yellow d4, dark blue d8, light blue d12, brown d20 and the d6 I have no clue. I still have the d4, d8 and d20. I used permanent marker black for low, red for high for the d20 and black marker for the numbers for the rest.

    There were only two stores in my town that carried any D&D stuff. One was a hobby shop that carried more train and airplane models. In the back there was a small rack, floor level with a few modules, minis and when they had them the core books. I think only two were out at the time. I'd saved up enough money to finally get the 'real' D&D dice, but when I got to that store they were out. Crushed. So I went to the second store "The Danylion', it was a strange store with a mean owner who disliked us kids coming in, but she had a turn style rack with a few D&D things on it. So I braved my way inside and she eyeballed me the entire time. She had one set of dice left and I scarfed them up. But...I thought they only cost $4, but they were $4.50. I was short. Luckily one of my good friends loaned me enough to get them. I believe this was in the spring of '80.

  5. My first set of dice was made of orange construction paper and glue. Due to making them myself they were not the best quality and the d12 and d20 were about 5 cm across. A lot of hours with a compass, pencil and Xacto knife went into those dice. For reasons I still can't explain I made d6s as well.

    It was probably a year or so after this first set before I actually found a store that sold actual dice.

  6. by the bucket... I keep buying dice for no real reason (maybe I just like dice :))... My first dice are from old tabletop and war games lots of pip d6 (the one I lost more). Then the red box and then I bought a few sets.... Many were lost in the rolling but still hundreds are with me :)

    my preferences is for platonic ones, I don't love d10 with ten sides.... I prefer the d30, d24 from the non platonic

  7. I recall my first set of dice my father made a special trip to a store in the city and came back with a d20 labelled 0 to 9 twice, a d4, a d12, and a d8 with , "A" where the one should go. The yahtzee game got raided for six siders.
    Except for the d20 the dice were in pretty good shape.

  8. I still have my first D20. After 25+ years, whether I've used it as a player or GM, it has never EVER rolled well for me. Yet, I cannot bring myself to get rid of it.

  9. I got a set of off-white D&D dice when I first started B/X as an easier game between other games. I called them my Bone Dice, made of the bones of PCs. Good times.

    I also got two oversized d20s for playing d20, a dark blue one and an off white one. They were about golf ball sized. I called them the Testicle of Chance and the Testicle of Fate. When they came out, players trembled.

  10. Dragonquest came with two 20 side dice number 0 through 9. We had to pass those dice around to each other to play the game. Boot Hill came with some softer 20 siders that got rounded on the edges and took forever to stop rolling. They eventually got thrown off the upstairs porch. Today in the my office I keep a pair of 10 siders as a fond reminder of gaming days. You never know when you will need to roll for percentages.


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