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Fun With Dice



"Funny" Dice

There are a number of different types of dice you can get your paws on. Here are some of the ones I've come across, some common, some more obscure.

Big Dice

These are standard dice, but about two or three times normal size.

The great thing about these, other than their intrinsic stupidity, is:

a) They make a really loud distracting thump as they roll.

b) They appear to roll slower, and due to their larger size, the numbers are more visible as they roll.

I noticed the second advantage the first time I tried rolling my giant-sized D20. When you roll a normal D20, it's generally a bouncing blur until it settles on a number.

But when I rolled my D20 it was different. I - and the others at the table - clearly saw it bounce onto a 20, then bounce onto a 14, then bounce onto a 6. It was like watching a slow motion reply. It was so weird in fact that I shouted something like: "Did you just see that, 20, then 14, then 6!" and got the replies that yes they had seen that, and it had looked very bizarre.

D20 Barrel

The D20 barrel is a neat little dice I picked up from the games shop in Aldershot. Sorry, but I can't remember either the name of the games shop or the company that made the dice, which makes this a pretty crap product review.

Anyhow, this is what it looks like:

The great thing about this dice is that it takes forever to settle. My favourite technique when rolling it (a technique which my group hated so much that they banned the dice within fifteen minutes) is to roll it slowly away from me, leaning over the table as it moves so that my head is at all times directly over it, looking down at it.

Then, when it has stopped moving forward, and is now rocking backwards and forwards, I then move my entire body backwards and forwards in sync with its rocking, until it settles.

Great stuff.


You've probably seen one of these, but if you haven't, this is what it looks like:

It's probably the most magnificently pointless endeavour I've ever seen in the field of roleplaying, and I think that's damn fine. The way it works (so I've been told) is that the interior is hollow, with loads of little ball-bearings. The outside has a little flattened spot for each number. So what happens is that eventually all the ball-bearings settle at the bottom, leaving it resting on one of the flattened spots, thus bringing the rolling to an end (and bringing forth a debate about which of the one hundred numbers is at the top-most point of the dice).

I don't think this dice is quite as good as the D20 barrel, because it doesn't have that wonderful rock-back-and-forth nature, but it does roll forever in a thoroughly stupid way.

Making Towers

Okay, so you've exhausted all possibilities in the rolling of dice, and are probably now feeling pretty bored. How about making towers of dice? Now you might in the past have idly stacked D6s on top of each other, but there's no challenge in that.

But with the right kind of dice you can make one of these.

And no, I didn't use glue.

And here's a movie to prove it:

AVI version (289k)

MPG version (553k)

What you need is old fashioned "dotted" D6s with very deep dots. Get them deep enough and they can act as a socket to receive the point of a D4 or a D8, and - with a bit of dexterousness - make rather nifty towers of the type shown. Hours of fun.

And if your new found hobby starts to annoy the more method-roleplayer types within the group, just practise looking up with a confused expression and saying "What..?"

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