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Dice Tabletop RPGs

The pound of Gamescience dice was odder than I thought

When I opened and sorted the pound of Gamescience dice I ordered from their website (here’s the listing), I didn’t notice that there were some odd dice “masquerading” as ordinary dice.

At least for me, it’s hard to tell what’s on a Gamescience die until I’ve inked it — I see a decahedron, I assume it’s a d10. Not so! This assortment is weirder than I was giving it credit for, and I didn’t notice until I started inking some of my favorite colors last night.

Here are the first three oddballs I discovered — each has its highest face up.

From left to right, that’s a die numbered 00-40 twice, a decehedral d5 (a d10 numbered 1-5 twice), and a die numbered 10-50 twice.

The d5 I get: Before there were five-sided d5s, there were 10-sided d5s. But for the moment, at least, I can’t think of a situation where I’d need either of the other two — which, now that I’ve typed it, feels like a challenge.

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Dice Tabletop RPGs

What do you get in a pound of Gamescience dice?

I ordered a pound of dice from Gamescience the hot minute they came back in stock, and I figured I’d break it down here so folks could see what’s in the current assortment.

Das basics

At $55, it’s not cheap — but neither are Gamescience dice in general, and you get a lot of dice which are currently a bit of a pain to find. The current run apparently doesn’t include any d6s, which is fine by me.[1] I’m in it for the variety, the surprise factor, and to bulk up my stash of precision-edge dice.

I assumed they’d all be uninked (I was wrong!), but that’s easily remedied and I enjoy inking dice. I use an extra-fine point Sharpie white paint marker when light numbers are best, and an ultra-fine point Sharpie marker when other colors will work (most often black, which turns out nice and bold).

So what did I get in my pound of Gamescience goodness?

Oontz oontz oontz

A total of 143 dice, about 43 more than I was expecting! That puts the cost per die at about $0.38, which is really low for Gamescience dice.

Here they are out of their bag.

…And broken into groups of five so I could count them.

From here I’ll just go die type by die type, more or less.

22 d4

I’m a fan of Gamescience’s distinctive “truncated” d4s, which have flat tips instead of pointed ones. Some great colors in this mix, too.

11 d6

Yep, although the product page said there wouldn’t be any d6s, my bag included some. Three are printed dice, without etched/indented numbers — not the usual Gamescience approach, although I know they’ve done some of these over the years.

9 funky dice

DCC RPG made these popular, and I love funky dice. My mix included 1d3, 1d5, 2d14, 3d16, and 2d24.

11 d8

Check out that oversized blue monster! Oversized dice were one of the surprises in this bag.

Approximately one million d10s

Okay, not quite one million. Actually 13 — sort of! Here are the 13.

But wait, 20-sided d10s!

There were 24 old school d10s in my bag — 20-siders numbered 0-9 twice, sometimes with a “+” next to one set of numbers, sometimes not.

Buuuut wait, teeny-tiny ones!

There are also 8 micro dice, all of which are also 20-sided d10s.

How tiny? This tiny:

13 d%

I got a nice complement of these.

22 d12

Giving the d10s a run for their money, I got a lot of d12s. I love d12s!

8 d20

Well, 8 unless you count the 24 old school d20s — which, after all, is the other way they can be used. (Either ink each set of numbers in different colors, or treat the “+” numbers — on dice that have them — as 10+#.)

Favorites and surprises

I was expecting a few funky dice, but what I wasn’t expecting were dice I didn’t know Gamescience even made: oversized dice, some low-impact dice I wouldn’t have pegged as Gamescience at all, sparkle/glitter dice (which I love), flourescent green and orange dice, and a couple of blank d10s — no numbers or markings, just the little circles where the numbers would go.

A big bag of happiness

This bag of dice makes me happy.

There are some dice in the mix I don’t love, of course, but there are many more I’m looking forward to inking up. There’s a even a complete poly set (minus the d%) in tiger eye, inked in silver — one of the classiest combos I’ve ever seen in Gamescience dice.

I’ll probably start with the flourescent and glitter dice, and then see what else jumps out at me.

Overall, I’m thrilled. If you’re in the market for some Gamescience dice, snag a pound of dice and see what you get — I bet you’ll dig it.

[1] Apparently, they’re not producing d6s at all at the moment. My understanding is that Gamescience licensed their dice, and production, to another company for several years, and only recently reclaimed the license and started producing dice themselves again.

Categories
Dice Tabletop RPGs

Inking dice with a paint marker

Tonight’s dice inking project: a ruby Gamescience set I found in my dice box, and a big, beautiful Armory d30 Guy Fullerton​ gave me. I used an extra-fine point Sharpie white paint marker (paid link) on these.

Ultra-fine point is a great size because it fits the grooves on most dice perfectly, and it’s my inking weapon of choice. But as far as I know, Sharpie doesn’t make an ultra-fine point marker in white, and extra-fine point is as precise as it gets in the world of white paint markers.

The paint is more forgiving of slip-ups that permanent marker by virtue of being easier to wipe off, but it tends to ink around the grooves as well as inside them. I’m willing to bet a few weeks of being used, and bouncing around with other dice, will take care of that.

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Dice Tabletop RPGs

Removing crayon from old-school precision-edge dice

I’ve discovered that if I’m careful I can de-ink — de-crayon, really — old precision-edge dice, then ink them anew with a Sharpie. My first real test of this was tonight, using the dice from my Cook Expert set. They’d been nicely crayoned years ago (by someone else), but crayon isn’t really my jam.[1]

Here are my Cook dice, all cleaned up and with the d6 re-inked:

Needle me, baby

I use a sewing needle (the kind with the little plastic ball on the butt end) to pick out the crayon. I start on the end of a number (any end), slip the needle in, and gently push forward while popping it up. Sometimes the whole number will just come right out in one piece; more often, it comes out in little bits after some poking around.

I do one pass, then massage the die under hot water (as hot as my hands can take), then do another pass with the needle, and then finally clean the dice with hand soap and hot water. I dry them off with a paper towel and let them sit for a couple of minutes. The whole process takes several minutes a die, and the smaller the numbers the harder they are to pick clean.

Per Jeff Rients’ excellent post on inking GameScience dice, I use an ultra-fine point Sharpie (paid link), which is a perfect fit for the grooves. So far, it’s fit both some GameScience dice I experimented with and these old TSR dice (which may have also been made by GameScience, I’m not sure).

I’ve found that the crayon doesn’t need to be 100% removed — just get as close to 100% as you can. The Sharpie will push around or cover over little flecks as you run it up and down the grooves.

The results

Here’s how my Cook dice turned out:

These Sharpies also come in a variety of colors (paid link), but not in white. In white, I can only find them as fine-point paint markers (paid link), not ultra-fine.

I’ve tried a few colors on gem dice, and they don’t show up at all. In the past, I’ve also used the white paint markers, and the points are just wide enough to spill over the edges of the grooves. I’m going to fiddle with some of those options as I acquire other precision-edge dice. If my fiddling is productive, I’ll post about it here.

[1] I find that crayon-inked dice look great at first, and I enjoy the actual inking process. But the crayon chips, rubs away, and gets banged up by the other dice in my bag, and over time that just kind of bugs me. I prefer a cleaner, more permanent solution. These won’t be perfect, and all of my favorite dice are all worn and dinged up in any case, but I can’t get past the crayon.