Just about every game I play has a necessary element of randomness to work and be interesting. Sure the randomness can be an opponent, like in chess, but that’s mostly a deterministic game (the better player almost always wins) and therefore not much interesting to me. Add a random element, however, and ya just never know whether Lady Luck is going to smile upon you or not.
That’s why so many games have stacks or decks of cards. The latest game my daughter and I played, just last night, is Zombicide and that includes two decks of cards, one that reveals what you find when you search an empty room and a second deck that brings randomness to zombie spawning. The game also includes a third element that’s common in games going back thousands of years: dice.
The most common dice are six-sided and are always designed so that opposing faces add up to 7 (check it out on your own dice: 6 pairs with 1, 5 with 2, and so on), but the introduction of Dungeons and Dragons by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson back in 1974 brought different types of dice to the table: a four sided, six sided, eight sided, ten sided, twelve sided and twenty sided dice. Indeed, there’s now a standard set of seven dice you can buy from a wide variety of gaming supply companies, in shorthand: d4, d6, d8, d10, d10 (10), d12 and d20.
As someone who plays Dungeons and Dragons (yes, and it’s great fun, thank you very much!) I have my own set of dice, a motley set I’ve picked up from various vendors. So when Easy Roller Dice reached out and asked if I’d like to try out some of their dice, I was psyched: the company makes beautiful metal dice that have heft and substance to them. And when they arrived? Rockin!
The dice that really caught my attention are the metal ones. They’re heavy and have a great heft and solidity to them. And as a bonus, they’re super easy to read, as you can see in this picture of the fancifully called “Gunmetal Series: Serpent’s Blood Dice Set”:
The other metal dice the company sent for me to check out I like even more, they’re the “Legendary Copper Metal Dice Set” and they feel like I’m tapping into the power of the ancients and somehow envision that they could be found back in ancient Egypt, with the Pharaoh playing a quick game of Sennet (the precursor to Backgammon):
Aren’t they cool? Here’s a bit of a closeup of two of these awesome dice:
Not every gamer needs expensive dice, of course, so their starter D&D sets are nice too, and include a handy carrying bag:
Blue Ice not your color so much?
Here’s what Brown Swirl looks like:
Notice in all cases that the dice are super easy to read with nice contrasting digits. Turns out that’s really important and I always smile when my gaming buddy Steve has to pick up his well worn dice and hold them at an angle to the light to figure out what value he’s rolled because they aren’t high contrast. Dice add a valuable element of randomness, but not being able to read what you rolled? That’s just a bit annoying in my book.
Easy Roller Dice also included a couple of drawstring dice bags, nice felt bags with satin inserts, but I have to be candid that I’m not so enamored of them as they feel thick, not fluid and soft as I’d expect. Still, it’s the dice that are the win and these dice from the company, particularly the beautiful copper dice, are a huge win and have instantly moved to my favorite dice for every RPG adventure. I say check ’em out yourself if it’s time to up your dice game and impress your fellow gamers.
Gunmetal Series: Serpent’s Blood Dice Set = $44.00, Legendary Copper Metal Dice Set = $39.95, Blue Ice D&D set $12.95, Brown Swirl D&D set = $12.95 and satin-lined dice bags range from $5.95 to $11.95. All at EasyRollerDice.com.
Disclaimer: The company sent me all these dice for the purposes of this review. And they ain’t getting any of ’em back! 🙂