Dicecreator's Blog
Handmade dice, for the gamer and collector.

Utility polyhedrons.

Some time ago, I was running a campaign set in the end of WWII. Players where agents of a newborn BPRD agency. For the introductory game, I made them play war veterans in a war ending secret mission: Go get the bad guy (unbeknown to them, he is performing a occult ritual)

To give them random equipment at the beginning of the mission, and throughout the game, usually the GM would just do a simple table, and let players roll their equipment or findings. That is probably the best way, and also, if a player rolls a gun you don’t want them to have, you just give previous or next item on the list. From my point of view, though, there are not such guns that you don’t want your players to have, but a GM unable to handle and outsmart that. Also, in my games as GM I dislike to use tables. For me it’s troublesome to make them, and I’m not a GM wich is comfortable with tons of papers around the table.

So?, I made two special dice, one with heavy weapons, and other with firearms. As anyone needing custom dice, I wanted mine for a very special purpose, and only one of each, so I was not going to spend 65$ (around 50€) in two custom dice that might get used only once.

Many people do them with blank dice and stickers, and I was no exception to that. I didn’t even had blank dice at all, so I got two useless dice, and filled the gaps with bondo. As for the stickers themselves, Googled all the symbols I needed and just printed them in an adhesive white sheet. I suppose they might have looked better if the blank dice had been white instead of smurf blue.

Those are the actual dice I made, I still keep them ^^

The game was great, and the dice performed well, but that was a long time ago.

Flash forward to present time.

Inlaid metal looks gorgeous no matter what symbol gets done, but has a big drawback: max resolution is on the low end. Of course, pretty much always, dice symbols are just silhouettes, or simple imagery, wich is easy to do in a simplified way. Every now and then, though, a higher detail model might be needed, and there, metal inlaid dice just fail*, and I’ve been doing them for so long that sometimes I forget that I have developed other dicing techniques.

I’ll be running a similar campaign, but ambiented on the actual time. I decided to drop the players in a war zone, and let them pick up wichever guns they might found. As I pointed out, I hate to do equipment tables, so to do more or less the same,then, I had to update those old equipment dice I had made.

Since all players begin as war veterans, I want to reward that, so I give them the opportunity of getting their hands in good and powerful equipment. Not always new, not always working, but if in a war zone someone sees you with a grenade launcher, they probably won’t stop to argue if it’s a fully functioning gun, or not.

I was tempted to do a D20, but guns might have looked so small that I went for the second best option: a 10 sider D-Gun. (named by Mr. Jeremy Acord)

I selected a few examples of firearms used around the world:

  • Pistols: revolver, small and a big semi automatics.
  • Sub machineguns: MP7 and Mac11 (micro uzi clone, so to speak).
  • Assault rifles: M16, P90, and Ak-47 (paratrooper version).
  • Heavy guns: Grenade launcher.
  • Long guns: Generic looking sniper rifle.

When I started to make this die, I didn’t know how it was going to result. I know the printing process (as you do) but I didn’t expect such good results. Every time I look at the table, and by chance see the die, I just can’t believe I made it!. It looks awesomely gorgeous to me, and I’ll keep it  as a precious posession.

Just can’t compare them. And dice companies think we cannot make our own dice??

Complementary to this die, there are 3D6, green, yellow and red, wich will be used like this:

  • Green:    N, 1, 0, 0, 0, -1
  • Yellow:  1, 0, 0, -1, -2, !
  • Red:        0, -1, -2, !, !, X

Depending on players situation and “search” result, they’ll be given a D-gun plus one of those three dice, and I’ll give them the gun, and gun stats, modified as follows. Numbers and symbols will be read as:

  • N:    New gun, give a bonus on weapon stats.
  • 1:     Slightly used gun, but performing well, weapon stats.
  • 0:    Used gun, give a slight penalty on book stats.
  • -1:   Heavily used gun, give medium penalty on weapon stats.
  • -2:   Battered gun, working, but just slightly. Heavy penalties on weapon stats.
  • !:     Jammed. Repairable, but not during combat. When repairing, reroll this die.
  • X:    Broken. Gun beyond all possible repair.

Pricing: D-Gun 10 sider: 8€

Apart from the D-Gun 10 sider, I’ll be making a D-Mêleé and a D-Demolitions (heavy weapons). You’ll see them on further posts.  I hope this looong post keeps you entertained, as I have some issues to attend on Tuesday, so it will be four days for the next post, instead of the (now usual) alternate day post.

See you soon!

*Don’t get me wrong. It is possible to do high detail metal inlaid dice, but the inlaid sheet would be so thin, it would pop out with the slightest shock, so, there is a minimum practical thickness to do that. You don’t want to do smaller detail than twice the metal thickness you are using. For a 0,12mm sheet, that is about 0,3mm (12 mils).


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