Over the last few years I have been reading books on management and starting a business. I really enjoy reading books on these topics and I have benefited greatly from reading them.
One book that has had the biggest impact on my life is Getting Things Done by David Allen. This book has taught me how to manage myself and others. No book has had a greater effect on me then this one. It is filled with priceless advice and tips that have helped me get my work done, reduce stress and keep everything in order. I can not recommend this book enough. Even if you have no desire to write or start your own business, this is just a good book for life general.
The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss has been the biggest motivator for me to produce something and to start my own business. Whether I will or not has yet to be seen. This book has motivated me to create something, to make something and put it out for the masses. What I have chosen to create is a Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition adventure.
I hope to use Stargazer’s World as a platform to chronicle my progress and share with everyone what I have learned and how I am overcoming any obstacles along the way. I will continue do posts on other RPG topics. I have no intention of only writing about the progress I am making on my D&D adventure. I still have a video review of GameScience dice coming up. I also will be attending PAX in Seattle this year. Something I am very excited about attending as well as writing about, but more on all of that later.
For now I just want to announce to you, the readers of Stargazer’s World, that I am creating a Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition adventure. I have completed a lot of work on this project so far and I have a lot more work to do before it’s all done. I hope when it’s all over I have something to be proud of and something other will get enjoyment from.
Last March I wrote a post titled The Importance of Dice where I talked about how important dice are to both players and game masters alike. It seems like everywhere I look every person has their own unique way of holding and rolling their dice. Some people wont let anyone else touch their dice for fear of negative consequences as a result. The options of dice we have to choose from as participants in this role-playing game hobby of ours have is staggering, but today I am just going to focused on one brand of dice. Gamescience dice, and what my personal experience has been with them.
Shortly after I wrote The Importance of Dice I placed an order with Comic Lair for a set of green opaque Gamescience dice with white numbering. I chose to go through the Comic Lair because they where one of the first places I searched for that would ship to Juneau, Alaska. Finding companies that will ship to Alaska can be a challenge. I also chose to go through the Comic Lair because I called them and got to speak with the owner Chad, who took his time to help me out and answer all of my questions. Who says customer service is dead?
Chad explained to me that Gamescience don’t look perfect. They don’t ship from the manufacture with painted numbers for starters. All number painting is done third-party either I as a buyer could paint them in myself and save a couple of bucks, or Chad could do it for me if I choose. Gamescience recommends using deco paint pens with an ultra fine tip which is what Chad used. Recently he has been testing out Sharpies new enamel paint pens and him they seem to be adhering better to the dice and he has been experimenting with different color choices on his eBay store. It will take some time to know if they last any longer then the deco paint pens that Gamescience recommends. I also asked Chad about the blemishes, or imperfections on Gamescience dice that I had been reading about. He explained that yes, these dice do have imperfections on them as result of how they are molded. This is something easily fixed with an emery board. He also cautioned me that no matter what, these dice will not ever look 100% flawless like other dice. Unlike other dice, Gamescience dice do not go through a tumbling process to smooth out these imperfections, but that is why some RPG hobbiest prefer them. As a result you have a set of dice with sharp edges that cause the dice to come to a stop more quickly. This produces a more random dice roll then most other bands of dice with their smoothed down rounded edges. What this means is a dice with rounded edges will roll across your table longer allowing it to find its center of gravity. The result is that a dice with rounded edges are more likely to roll a particular number depended on where it’s center of gravity is. A Gamescience dice, with its sharp edges will not roll as far and as a result will not find its center of gravity making each roll more authentically random then other bands of dice with rounded edges.
I thanked Chad for all his time and asked him to send me a set of Green opaque dice with white numbers. I wanted to leave the number coloring up to someone who had more experience than myself. Less than a week later I got my first set of Gamescience dice in the mail.
The dice came well packaged and survived the trip from Trenton, New Jersey all the way to Juneau, Alaska. When I took them out of their package the first thing you really notice is how sharp the sides of each dice are. It really sands out. I spent a good ten minutes just squeezing them in my hand and feeling all the edges.
The next thing I noticed was the blemishes on each dice. They did stick out and they did not allow the dice to lay flat on the side that had the blemish, but just as Chad had said, a quick file with my fiancée emery board leveled off the imperfection so the dice would lay flat on the affected side. Also like Chad said the dice do not look flawless. Leveling off the imperfection made it so the dice would lay flat but you can still see where it was. Some of the dice also look a bit lighter or darker from one another. It’s just how it is.
Ever since I got my set of green Gamescience dice I have been using them at every game I have played since. I have noticed that the white numbering is starting to slowly flaking off. I think when and if it gets to a point where I want to redo the numbers on my dice I will try the crayon method.
I do not miss using my other dice at all. I feel that as a game master it is my job to provide a far balanced game. Having a set of dice that I feel are producing a more random result is part of that job. It’s also important to remember that when you are playing an RPG having fun is key. I am not requesting my players to go out and buy Gamescience dice. (but some have, including my Fiancée, who has bought several sets now.) I want my players to have fun and that means everyone gets to use the dice they like the most. Mine just happen to be Gamescience dice.
Dice are a very important part of most role playing games. Without out a good set of dice you would not be able to roll up your character, let alone slay a dragon. They are just as important to people who play roll playing games as the story they are playing through. Some people take this very seriously. I remember reading a story some time back about a player who buried his dice in the back yard after a bad roll that resulted in the death of his character. Yet others are more than willing to share their game dice with a new player. It all depends on the person.
As important as dice are to players, the way they roll their dice is just as important. Some people give them a quick shake in the hand and let them fly. Others will spin their dice high into the air and let them drop down right in front of them. Yet, others will blow on their dice casino style before they roll. Each person is hopping that these little rituals they do with their game dice will improve the out come of what they roll. You can witness this first hand by watching Chris Perkins and the writers from robot chicken playing Dungeons & Dragons. Each person (most of which are new to roll playing and have never touched a d20 before) has their own roll style.
When I was looking at getting into Dungeons & Dragons last year I started by picking up the Dungeons & Dragons Foruth Edition RPG Starter Set. When I got home and opened the box one of the first things that poured out into my hands was my first set of dice. Up till this moment I had never owned my own set of dice. With the six multi-colored dice in my hand my mind exploded with possibilities of the other kinds of cool dice I could get. I think I spent hours that first night searching the internet for dice. That should show you how important dice are to me.
After looking though all the Steel, Bone, Hematite, Opaque, Translucent, Glitter, Speckled dice the internet had to offer I settled on a set of Green opaque dice with white numbers. Green being my favorite color and opaque making it easy to read the white numbers. Sometimes settling on the simplicity of just being able to read quickly what you have rolled is more important and time-saving then getting a crazy translucent yellow dice with elvish print that takes you way to long to read after it’s stopped rolling. That’s just my preference. Everyone has their own and that is what makes this topic so fascinating to me.
Recently my views on dice all came crashing to the ground thanks to a company called Game Science. One of the things Game Science states about their own dice is:
“My company makes polyhedral dice closer to casino specifications” (casino dice must be exact to a tolerance of .005″ – Gamescience dice have been measured with a side to side variation of .002″ to .006″)
So with a sharp edge on the Game Science Dice, your roll is truly random since their are no curvature variations. The sharp edges also allow for better stopping power.
Now, is all this true? I honestly don’t know. I think casino’s have have sharp edge dice for a reason and I think that holds some weight. Game Science has two videos on their website with the owner talking about his dice and why they are better then all other roll playing dice on the market. After watching the videos the guy lays down a pretty convincing argument. But he is such a good salesmen I also think he could sell sand to a guy living in the desert.
After watching these videos it’s hard for me to know if one brand of dice is truly better then any other brand on the market. I just don’t have enough validated facts to say one way or the other. As important as dice are to me and to roll playing games in general the biggest reason I play D&D is to have time set aside in my week to meet up with my friends and socialize. I don’t need casino grade dice to do that.
With all that said I drank the Kool-Aid and ordered a set of Lime Green Game Science dice.
So I can review them…
A Roleplaying Games blog
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