#RPGaDay 9

Day 9 — Favourite Die/Dice Set

This one’s easy. My favorite dice are my dice. My first dice. My only dice.

In the early spring of 1981, I bought my first dice at a store in Vancouver called Dragon’s Lair (Broadway near Cambie; if anyone else but me remembers the place, I’d love to hear about it). These were the days when sets of dice didn’t exist (at least I never saw them); you bought them exclusively as singles. My first set of dice were an old-style d20/d10 (0–9 twice), a d12, a d6, and a d4, all in transparent emerald green (what were called “ice dice” back in the day). My first d8 was purple transparent, just because they didn’t have the green in stock to complete the set. In subsequent trips to Dragon’s Lair, I picked up the green d8 and eventually added a new-style d20 and a new-style d10.

I don’t know the manufacturer, but these are the same style and hard-edged, unpainted goodness of the Gamescience dice you can still buy these days. I used to fill in the numbers with crayon for long ages, then finally got around to painting in the numbers a few years ago. When the paint starts to flake, I paint them again. The only distinguishing feature on them is one weird thing about the d4 — one of the “1” marks along the bottom is an “A” for some reason.

Though I now own a whole lot more dice than these, these are the dice I’ve used for every single game of D&D I’ve ever played. For thirty-three years now, the old-style d20 is the only d20 I’ve ever rolled for any of my PCs. (I use the new-style d20 when I’m rolling as a DM.) When I’m rolling 10d6 lightning bolt damage in my current Pathfinder game, I roll my original d6 alongside whatever assortment of newer d6s are at hand. When I’m rolling the result of a cure spell, my original d8 is always in the mix. My magic missiles always include my original d4, which means I occasionally do A + 1 damage. I’m still not sure what that means.