Saturday, April 6, 2019

My Unusual Dice Collection

A couple of weeks ago, in my glossary of gamer jargon, I mentioned that I personally own some oddly shaped dice. I thought it might be fun to share some of those with you today. Of course, my collection is nowhere near as large as the amazing dice collection shown at dice collector dot com (warning: that site is very much stuck in the mid-90s, webdesign-wise). But I do like the small collection of odd dice that I have.

So, here we go.

Now, when I say that I have some odd dice, I'm not talking about dice that are just alternate shapes of 'normal' dice, like these two unusual d6s:

A small black ball with white dots painted on the sides as if it were a cube, and a length of a hexagonal steel rod with holes punched into the sides, a different number of holes on each side.

That's one that's a sphere (it has a small weight inside it, and ridges in which the weight can sit, so that it will always stop with one of the numbers on top, even though it's just a sphere) and one that's a length of hexagonal steel with 'pips' punched into the sides.


Nor am I talking about odd dice like this interesting d6:

A wooden object shaped somewhat like a dreidel, but with six sides instead of four, and a series of black dots painted on each side in the configuration normally found on regular cubical dice.

Yes, that's a wooden dreidel-style six-sided die.

Neither am I talking about this alternate form of the standard d12:

A blue d12 manufactured in such a way as to have each face shaped like a diamond rather than a pentagon.

I'm also not talking about this cute d8:

A small blue plastic top, of the type that often comes as a prize in cracker jack boxes. The horizontal part of the top looks like the steering wheel of a pirate ship, with eight spokes running from the centre to extend beyond the circle. It's hard to see, but there are raised numbers on the wheel between each spoke.

Yes, that's a top. When it lands, it's resting on two of the spokes. The number between those two spokes is the result of your 'roll.'

I'm not even talking about this spinner ring d10:

A closeup of the author's left hand, showing a black metal ring on the ring finger. The ring is made of two bands, an inner band which sits against the finger, and the outer band, which spins freely around the inner band. The outer band is painted in alternating blocks of black and grey, with a different number printed in each block. There are two small arrows on the inner band to indicate which number is the result of the 'roll.'

That ring, in case you're curious, was a gift from the Dork Spouse many years ago. It can be purchased from CritSuccress (as well as many other forms of dice rings; not just the standard d4, d6, d8, etc, but d%, dF, yes/no decision rings, poker card rings, and many more).

And when I talk about odd rings, I'm also not talking about normal dice made of strange materials, like these oversize foam dice:

A large blue d12 and a large yellow d8, both made of the same foam used to make stress squeeze toys.

Nor am I talking about these delightful dice-shaped lollipops:

Two lollipops, both shaped like dice. The one on the left is a lime-green d6, and the one on the right is a red d20. They are both still in the cellophane.

I'm not even talking about these wonderful dice candles:


Those candles were made by Eades Beades, who also make jewellery out of dice. I recommend them!

I'm not even talking about dice that are normal dice with non-standard markings, like this one:

A white cube with the sides marked 'minor value,' 'medium value,' and 'major value.'

A friend of mine gave that to me. She used to drive me crazy playing in games I was running by stealing everything she could get her character's hands on. She presented this as a 'gift' so that I could determine the value of whatever item she next stole.

No, I'm talking about dice of unusual numerical configurations. For example, I have a d24:

a yellow d24. In a sense, it looks like a cube, but each face has been bulged out to form four triangles, each a quarter of the side of the cube.

I have another d24 in another shape:

A blue d24, of a rounded shape with each face shaped like a diamond.

I also have a couple of 'dice in dice' sets.

On the left is a large, hollow, clear plastic d6 with red pips, inside of which are two tiny red d6s with white pips. Beside that is a clear green plastic d6 with white pips, slightly larger than a normal d6, that is also hollow, and inside is a tiny white d6. On the right is a clear hollow d10 with white numbers, which has a small red d10 inside of it.

Then there are my two enormous dice, the d60 and the d120:

A large red die with so many faces it's little more than a sphere with a few pointy areas, with white numbers printed in a circle around each point, and a slightly smaller blue die with a series of white number on each face, which are diamond-shaped.

I'm rather fond of my d7:

A chunk of black plastic which, when viewed from the end, is shaped like a pentagon, but when viewed from the side, is just a rectangle. The number 7 can be seen in white on the pentagonal face, white two green dots marked on one corner of the edge, five red dots marked on another corner, and so on.

And I have found this unusual die to be quite useful on occasion:

An oddly-shaped chunk of blue plastic. It has a variety of numbers between 1 and 4 printed on it in white, some of those numbers in a circle or a triangle. The die is shaped such that whenever it lands, a number with no shape will land on top, and beside that number is one number in a circle, and one number in a triangle.

This fun little die is a multi-purpose die. It can serve as a d2, a d3, or a d4. Whenever you roll it, the number on top (the one that's not in a circle or triangle) is the result of a d3. If you want it to serve as a d2, look at the number in a circle that is next to the number on top. Or you can look for the number that's in a triangle next to the number on top to get the result of a d4.

Several of the dice above including the d120, the d60, the alternate form of d12, the alternate form d24, and the d2/3/4 multi-die, came from The Dice Lab. That interesting site has several other variations as well, including the d48 and some interesting d13s.

Obviously, most of these dice are completely useless. When will I ever need a d24? Maybe I can use the d7 to randomly choose a day of the week, but otherwise? Like I said, I'm not aware of any games that use these dice. I'd love to create one, but I don't know if I'll ever be able to.

Still, they're fun to have as a novelty item.

Anyway, there's a peek at my collection of unusual dice. Not much, I know, but it brings me some small level of joy. Which is all we can really ask of anything we do, right? So have fun out there, whatever type of dice you use, and remember to always

Game on!

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