As a longtime player and Game-Master of tabletop roleplaying games (40+ years of experience), I have quite the collection of games amassed. I’m pretty sure you have all heard me speak about this, at length, many times before (especially if you listen to our podcasts). But do you know what is more impressive than my Tabletop RPG collection?
My dice collection.
I have so many dice sets that, were I to have stock in Chessex, I would be a rich man today! Alas… Anyway, I have bought so many dice that I’ve lost portions of some sets, forgotten about them, then bought new sets that were identical, and ended up with quite a few mismatched “Sets Plus”, that are quite awesome, if weird. The bag I have of partial sets alone is so large it could maim or kill someone, if it was dropped on them from about 100′ height or so.
I have way more full sets than partial ones, by the way.
Let’s just say, I have some fucking dice.
Anyway, among these many sets, the crown jewels are the premium metal sets My Lovely Bride™ bought me a few years back. I only have a few of them, but they feel so damn good to roll, and they are really fair in their randomness, I assume due to their extra weight. While I love many of my plastic die sets, especially the plain set of dice my Mother bequeathed to me (they were her very first set of dice for D&D), nothing can match my metal sets.
But the problem with metal dice sets is that they are just too damn pricey for causal purchases. Plastic dice sets can be found for less that $10 every damn day of the week, and twice on Sundays, but with metal polyhedral sets… Not so much.
At least that used to be the case.
I was looking at dice sets on Amazon recently, as I often do, since we have no local gaming store in my town that is currently open (I suspect it will never recover from the COVID-19 disaster, honestly). Of course my eye wandered over to the metal sets, because I’m a whore for dice, and I have a credit card. To my great surprise, when I started filtering the results by price, Low to High, I found that not only could I get some great prices on metal dice sets, they were damn nice sets, too!
Chessex plastic sets still run around $6 to $12 dollars. You can of course buy off-brand plastic dice sets for a bit less, but roughly $10-ish is the norm for plastic sets, right? What if I could tell you that you can get metal dice… and I mean nice metal dice… full sets (the standard seven polyhedral dice), for between $10-15?
And I mean all day, every day. Not sales prices, not selling the dice cheap and hitting you with exorbitant shipping charges (the ones I ordered were free Prime shipping). Just great, metal dice sets, for a very reasonable price!… and these are just a sampling of what I found!
Here’s the thing: I know these are off-brand dice. I know that many will say that they won’t match up with other, more expensive metal sets.
I get that. I also don’t care.
Metal dice are metal dice. They have the same heft. They roll just as smoothly. They are just as readable, if not moreso, than the higher-cost “quality” metal dice I received as a gift a few years back.
When I have the choice between a beautiful set of metal dice, and an equally-beautiful set of plastic dice, and both cost $10… I’m going with the metal set, no doubt!
It is now my goal, nigh, my sacred duty, to replace all of my primary dice sets in my famous “Black Dice Bag of Doom” (at least famous in my own mind), with metal dice sets! Yes, that even includes the FATE/FUDGE dice sets (I’m going to need at least a few sets of those, even though they are more expensive)!
Now then, I already have two sets of metal dice, and another two are on the way from Amazon, as we speak. I’m hoping to work my way up to ten standard sets, plus four sets of FATE dice, before I will feel my collection is complete. But why only ten sets, when I have dozens upon dozens of plastic sets? Because then I have enough standard sixes to play “Shadowrun”, and enough standard Tens (not counting the percentiles) for “World of Darkness” games, should I require them. Plus, that gives me plenty, should one or more sets need to spend a bit time in Dice Jail.
Hey, you never know.