Dice Overload

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A while back, oldest daughter declared she wanted to try a pencil and paper fantasy role playing game. Of course I stepped up to the plate and offered to dust off my ancient GMing skills to run an intro campaign for her and any friends she might scrape up who were interested.

On the one hand, I’m not sure that was such a good idea as I really haven’t done the RPG thing since about my fourth year of university, and that’s longer ago than I like to think about.

On the other hand, I’m not sure that was such a good idea since she passed over pretty much every game I pulled out of a box I haven’t opened in far too many years, and instead glommed onto the game she’s heard about and even seen referenced on TV: Dungeons and Dragons. Youngest daughter joined the party at this point.

I don’t own D&D. Haven’t played it since university, and that was only sporadic among other things. That’s okay, though. I know people I can borrow stuff from, including a bunch of modules to avoid having to start from scratch. In particular, I now have on extended loan all of the hard copy core materials for D&D 4e and the pdfs for the first six modules of the “War of the Burning Sky” campaign.

IMGA0364

My remaining problem, okay my remaining hardware problem, is a lack of dice, or it was. Scouring the house, I can up with a paltry few. Where the rest have gone over the years, I have no idea. Maybe they went to visit the missing dryer socks. It doesn’t really matter. I quickly decided I needed more.

Last year at Fan Expo, I saw a booth with a bin of polyhedral dice. A small sign had the at $0.30 each or some dollar figure I can’t remember. At the time, I thought it was neat, but as yet had no idea of my daughters’ future interest in RPGs, so I kept walking.

Knowing better this year, I hoped to find the same booth. It’s a lot of the same vendors every year, right? I told myself that several times, but as we crisscrossed the floor on Thursday, I didn’t catch even a glimpse of it.

On Friday afternoon, I suddenly found myself alone and headed for the con floor with 20 minutes to myself. The first aisle I turned down, I saw it. The Bin of Dice.

30 cents each, a random scoop for $12, or as hand selecting as many as you could get in the cup for $15.

Jasper with my little finger
Jasper with my little finger

I dove in and started hand picking colours and sizes, making sure I’d get some that would please the girls, too, paying attention to things that would meet their approval for colours and sizes. $15 later, I had 67 dice of various sides, sizes, and colours including a small 6-sided die carved from blue jasper.

Set for whatever game might come up, I vowed to bring the girls back to choose a few of their own, knowing, as any father of daughters must, that though I have the best of intentions, my perceptions of the proper colours are obviously and fatally flawed in some small way and they will certainly be able to pick something better. I noted the aisle and even took a business card.

And never found it again.

Not during the remainder of Friday, not Saturday, and not Sunday. I lost the aisle and the business card disappeared from my pocket even though I have all of the rest of the ones I picked up that day. It gave me a feeling of the overused fantasy trope of Ye Olde Magic Shoppe, or in this case Ye Olde Bin o’ Dice.

Warning, not edible.
Warning, not edible.

But still, I did well, and the girls agreed, not having seen the bin themselves, that I managed to pick out some pretty cool dice. They were particularly impressed by the ones that came closest, or even matched, their favourite colours.

I brought them safely back to the hotel and eventually home in a style of box we somehow all recognize as Chinese Take Out, even though I’ve never actually seen real food come in one.

 

 

The treasure inside.
The treasure inside.

And sorting through the dice, I find this distribution:

  • 13 20-sided dice
  • 6 12-sided dice, including 1 itty-bitty one
  • 13 10-sided dice
  • 8 10-sided dice numbered 00-90 by tens
  • 10 8-sided dice
  • 8 6-sided dice
  • 9 4-sided dice, including one that doesn’t work because all of the 1s have been replaced by D’oh and at least one of the sides has been rotated so things can’t line up. It’s obviously intentional.

Add these to the five I found in the house, and we should be good for any game that comes up. I’m not fooling myself, though. If I’d found the bin again with the girls, we would have had a second Take Out box of dice to bring home, but that would have been fine, too. Maybe next year.

Be well, everyone.

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Lance
Lance Schonberg is an eclectic genre fiction author with more than two dozen stories published or on the way. 2019 is the year he dives into independent publishing, starting with "Thorvald's Wyrd", "Skip To My Luu", and "Turn the World Around". And he needs a more exciting short bio.

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