Bought some fancy dice on a whim recently, and wanted to share the photos / descriptions. Figured this would work marginally better as a blog post instead of Mastodon posts.

Dice? Like for craps?

No, like for nerdy tabletop roleplaying games. Your d20s and d12s and d4s and so forth.

So you play TTRPGs?

Well…I used to1, and never lost my love for the genre and its trappings. I’d probably give it another try these days if not for the whole pandemic thing (hint: it is still on, as much as you’d rather it weren’t.)

Then what’s with “bought some dice”?

The catalyst for this episode: earlier this year, I nostalgia-raided my late-childhood-through-college bedroom and carted home a pile of questionably preserved rulebooks, collectible card games, assorted paraphernalia…and my old dice!

I don’t remember where I got them, they feel cheap as fuck, and they’re not even in colors I like very much – but they sure smell like nostalgia. Or is that incense? Whatever.

A motley collection of cheap translucent acrylic(?) dice in pink, with some greens, and the odd blue or red.

You can tell most of these kinda go together; when I care enough I’ll probably skim the Dice Maniac’s Club identification guides (link goes to part 1 of N) to see what they are but I assume they’re Chessex since most of today’s dice makers weren’t operating back in the early 1990s.

The small reddish d6 is probably from an unrelated board game or something?

The big green fella might be a little esoteric to some of you – it’s a 30-sider! I have no clue what it was for exactly, it’s probably a donor like the rest. The joys of getting most of your stuff as hand-me-downs from the other local roleplayer who was years older…

Notably missing compared to contemporary sets is a “d%", which is a d10 marked with 00-90 instead of 1-(1)0, to be rolled alongside a regular d10 to fake rolling a d100. I never really needed this (if they even had such incredible, advanced technology back then) in part because aforementioned friend had a real actual d100!

Anyway. So that’s the spark. “Oh yea! Dice are fun to hold, and to look at, and even – gasp! – to roll!” I knew that the last ~10-20 years’ gaming/TTRPG/nostalgia renaissance had lead to lots of fancy dice being made/sold, but I’d never really mucked with them. Figured hey! Retail therapy. Why not.

Show us the goods already!

Sure, sure. So, these all came from Misty Mountain Gaming - I looked at a bunch of vendors (and even then it was clearly only scratching the surface!) and they had the overall most aesthetically pleasing selection for my needs, which was “kinda want one of each major new classification, just to see what’s what.”

I’ll do an effortpost later perhaps, with all my research, but for now suffice to say I got 3 sets of dice:

  • Kinda-sorta like my old pair, some plastic dice - but modern! Specifically, resin, with attractive colors/objects inside, and sharp-edged instead of tumbled.
  • The new hotness: metal dice! I don’t love the looks of the simpler metal dice, but some of them do a lot of neat stuff with multiple colors/textures and/or fancier engraving. These sound like they’re everyone’s favorite for actual use due to the heft.
  • Extra fancy: (gem)stone dice - it sounds like these are almost more for collecting/displaying, as they are liable to get damaged when used unless you make sure to only ever roll them in a padded box AND only one at a time. But goodness, are they gorgeous! Name a mineral or stone that holds up to mild stress, and you can get dice made from it.

Here we go.

Resin love

First, the resin set, specifically how it was packaged:

A plastic baggie filled with other, very small plastic baggies, one per die, containing a standard set of 7 roleplaying dice. There is also a small display/storage case with the store logo on top.

Very nice, individually wrapped “candies”, and a free display/storage case. Unwrapped:

A set of 7 sharp-edged resin dice seen from above, partly transparent, partly translucent-to-opaque with an ocean blue color, and partly filled with tiny white seashells. They are inked with bright, easily readable white font.

These are just gorgeous. I especially love how the font ‘pops’ despite how complex the insides are. The color work is also fantastic - the blue and the shells go together perfectly.

The same resin dice as before, from the front instead of above.

In the hand, they are very light, and of course a bit sharp. Especially the d4, which will absolutely work as a caltrop in a pinch.

The resin dice arrayed in a storage case; they are far too big for the holes in the foam!

I’m not sure why MMG gave me a free case that clearly doesn’t fit the resin dice. Maybe I’m supposed to manually cut out bigger holes in the foam? I’m not very smart.

Heavy metal

The metal dice, a two-tone set:

A set of 7 copper-and-blue metal dice seen from above. They have a Nordic/runic-inspired font face.

As expected, these have great heft to them, and are very pleasing to roll.

The same metal dice as before, from the front.

On the downside, they are way smaller than I expected. Reckon it makes sense due to being solid metal, but I’ll def be looking to see if this is normal or if these are unusually small.

The metal dice, arrayed in an opened storage case, showing how they fit relatively neatly into purpose-cut holes in a foam pad.

These fit perfectly in the accompanying storage box, making me wonder if I was accidentally given two “metal sized” boxes or if this is just their standard.

The metal dice, arrayed in a closed storage case, visible through the transparent lid.

Stone cold

Finally, the Labradorite/moonstone dice. Very very pretty. They came in their own display/storage box:

A closed dice box with the company logo on top.

Which of course has appropriately-sized foam holes:

A set of 7 whitish-gray moonstone dice with gold-engraved Nordic-style font, from above.

Good heft, much more than resin or acrylic, but not as much as the metal. Pretty obvious when you think about it.

A set of 7 whitish-gray moonstone dice with gold-engraved Nordic-style font, from above.

Guess I’ll have to be careful about using these. I’ll definitely think about getting one of those padded rolling trays, these want to roll a bit farther than the resin (which aren’t tumbled) and the metal (which are just that heavy) though they’re obviously not as fleet of foot as the old tumbled-acrylic dice.

The same moonstone dice as before, from the front.

Hope you had a dice time!

A parting size comparison shot for you, and a thanks for reading!

4d6 lined up in size order from above: the metal, the acrylic, the stone, and the resin.

  1. AD&D 2nd edition, “regular” D&D, RIFTS, Shadowrun, Werewolf, a tiny bit of Vampire and other White Wolf properties too, and probably a few I’ve forgotten. ↩︎