Dice Hoarding: Accumulating Treasure

Why We Collect Dice

When I tell people I collect dice, they usually don‘t understand.  I’ve been speculating about why we collect dice – what are our reasons? I’ve identified some factors that compel people to collect. This is not a comprehensive list, but it’s a glimpse into why we acquire so many dice.

Gotta Catch ‘em All

When I first began collecting dice, I thought “hey, I can just get them all.” I had this overwhelming Pokemon need to complete sets of different styles. It started with frosted and progressed from there. I’ve since backed way off because there are so many styles and brands, and the amount of dice companies producing unique products have increased even since I’ve joined the DMC. It’s much more realistic to focus on a single brand or even style. And it’s cheaper, if you’re going the Chessex route, to collect the in-print sets of a style. Even the most hardcore collectors in the group (Kevin Cook, Michael Schaffer) can’t get every single die ever made. Between casino dice, promotional d6s, polyhedral sets, board game dice, expensive artisan dice, and more… it’s just too overwhelming. But DMCers get the urge in us to finish collections, check item numbers off a list, and get all the dicey goodness they can.

Variety/Appearance

People are dynamic. We might pick favorite colors, styles, or types of dice, but many of us own a wide variety.  DMC members have different tastes and can collect on a spectrum of colors, styles, and shapes. That’s why you’ll see someone ask something like “I don’t own any purple dice – what do you recommend?” My first set I bought for myself was Chessex opaque grey. Grey is my favorite color, but I still buy sparkly dice, swirly dice, bright pink dice, etc. You know those gamers who have a single set of polyhedral and that’s it? They might have a set that fits them, but they can’t change sets based on mood.

Multiple Characters

People also collect dice for different characters.  For example, I’m a dungeon master in D&D. I might play with my black/red dice if my players are fighting demons. I could bring out teal Borealis for an underwater adventure. When I’m a player, I have 3-4 sets I’ll use for my wizard (and only my wizard); I use my Q-workshop dragons only for my dragon-slayer paladin. So we get an array of dice to represent out tastes, personalities, or character’s personalities.

We like Choosing Which We Are

Though individual dice collectors are more diverse than a single colorway or style, we still like identifying with a certain element or category. I’m in this Harry Potter house. I’m in that Game of Thrones house. I’d be this power ranger. I’m this character in Star Trek. We like to select something that represents us whether it’s a zodiac sign, Meyers Briggs test, or – that’s right – DICE! When the new Chessex test sets came out in 2018, I didn‘t want them all. I saw Marble Oxi-Copper and said “that one is me.” Even when I’m culling my collection, I said the frosted smoke and clear were the most “me.” So, wait… wouldn’t that be the opposite of collecting – just choosing one? Nope! Because I own several sets of Gamescience that are “me.” And maybe I pick an entire Chessex style that is “me.”

Happiness/Mental Health

This is more serious of a subject, but dice bring many of us happiness and stability. It’s a distraction to get online and look at dice pictures, to browse shops for dice, to ink dice, to sort dice, etc. Sometimes it’s a welcome distraction from serious mental health problems, and sometimes it’s a distraction from daily stress in life.  At a time when people plug into social media 24/7 and news can be depressing, it’s important to spend some of your plugged-in time with something pleasant. That’s why the DMC is so important – no religion, no politics, no tragedy – just a comforting space we try to keep drama free. Some DMCers have made substantial connections to other collectors. There are meet-ups at cons, and even friending other members can gain you lifelong friends.

Conclusion

Embrace the hobby! While keeping dice purchases reasonable and on-budget is important, it’s also important to keep yourself happy. Connecting with others in the DMC community is rewarding. So whether you‘re scratching the need for completion, considering color styles, or distracting yourself from everyday life, dice hoarding can be therapeutic! Do you collect for a different reason? Let us know in the comments!

photo credit: Michael Schäffer

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Customs: Shipping Dice to Other Countries

by Paulina Drozdowska

If you’ve shipped dice internationally, you will have been asked to fill in a customs form/declaration. This informs the destination country about the contents and value of the package, and it helps them make a decision as to whether or not to apply tax and import fees.

When trading out-of-production dice, it is often difficult to decide on their value. As we know, some dice can go for astronomical prices on eBay, but they will also cost you $1 if you find them in an FLGS dice bin. Which one should you choose?

The lower one. A high declared value (or even worse, an overestimated one) will almost certainly result in your trading partner having to pay additional fees when receiving your dice. As a rule, I ship my dice with declared value of no more than £1 per die (which, realistically, is a very appropriate value for most mass produced dice). This is because in most countries, packages below certain value are not subject to the extra fees.

Additionally, marking the package as “gift” reduces the chances of tax/import duties being applied to it (and isn’t *technically* wrong!). In lots of countries, gifts are allowed to be of higher value before being considered for import fees.

As an example, in the UK a package below £18 total value (this is SHIPPING PRICE + DECLARED CONTENTS VALUE) will not have customs fees applied to it. Packages marked as gifts can have a total value of up to £39 before being considered for fees.

So if you’re shipping from USA to the UK (USPS: $14 = ca. £10), and declare the value of the dice as £20, the total value of the package is about £30. Assuming you haven’t marked it as a gift, the recipient will be required to pay £6 VAT (20% of total value) as well as £8 Royal Mail handling fee, so your trade will cost them £14.

For more examples on the threshold for customs fees for different countries, see the original discussion thread in the DMC, as the comments may be helpful:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiceManiacsClub/permalink/2475163099191192/

Please remember when shipping internationally to declare the value of dice as low as possible in order to help the recipient avoid unnecessary additional costs.

Buying Expensive Dice

By Melissa Alexandria

Ok, so as many of you likely know, I have a thing for buying and trading expensive dice. Recently I bought a pair of Mammoth Ivory Nickel Silver Inlayed dice from Artisan Dice for over $2,300.  However, this wasn’t my first, and it certainly won’t be my last, expensive purchase. A few of my friends remarked that it was “risky” and “weren’t you scared to spend that much money” on something that I might not get? When I shared with them how I protected myself, they encouraged me to share it here to the DMC as well.

This is *not* about Artisan Dice, Level Up Dice, or any other specific company but rather a general op-ed offering my humble advice on what works for me. Obviously, I also can’t guarantee your results, and you should always do your own due diligence and never extend yourself in a way that makes you financially or emotionally uncomfortable.  The dice in the picture for reference are Level Up’s Damascus Steel & Artisan Dice’s aforementioned Mammoth Ivory. I am going to walk you through some “real life” examples of what I did on this most recent purchase.

My first bit of advice is to do your research within our great DMC community. What experiences have others had?  When, how, and for what? Look for warning flags and areas you might want to avoid or mitigate your risk. This is a great community and a terrific resource. In this case I was considering spending $2000+ on a set of dice from a maker that has had some issues with both delivery, timing, and quality control particularly in the past, and I’d used DMC to both do my research and to find and speak with past customers. Whether I believe they have turned things around or not is irrelevant when we are talking about “my” money, so I wanted safeguards.

After that checking with the community, look into the company you are considering purchasing from: what is their policy on customer satisfaction, guarantees, and returns/refunds and exchanges? If it’s not clearly spelled out for you, ask questions and get it in writing (email is fine, it doesn’t have to be an actual letter). Do, however, make sure that the terms are spelled out clearly and specifically to your proposed purchase. In this case I contacted the shop owner directly. I asked how long it was going to take from payment to delivery. I was told 6 weeks.  I asked if he had faith in his ability to deliver, and he said he did. I then said “Fair enough. I know that custom work often involves complications, so I’ll even allow for extra time.  But would you guarantee that I will have my dice completed to my satisfaction of quality within 10 weeks, or I am entitled to a full refund?” He agreed, and this was all conducted in writing.

I would always recommend large purchases be made with a credit card. This is frankly your best bet to avoid all manner of complications. Specifically, you want their muscle for buyers protection. Again, if you aren’t sure, ask! In this case I felt comfortable about purchase protection for 30 day issues, but this was 6-10 weeks! So I called my credit card company and asked “If I buy something with your card and have a written/email agreement that it be delivered to my satisfaction within 10 weeks or I am entitled to a full refund and the company gives me an issue, will you have my back?” The credit card company said “we got you.” So I asked that this be annotated in the record of my call, and I proceeded.

I outlined my expectations to the owner, and again without placing any blame or giving attitude just plainly stated what I would expect from this transaction, and the protections I had in place. He acknowledged his understanding and agreed to the terms of sale (again in writing!).

Finally be ready to ‘walk away’, if any of these protections weren’t able to be landed, and/or we hit the 10 week mark…I would have pulled the plug at once…both by notifying the company and then my credit card company as needed.

My order was then placed, and, of course, I kept the records, but throughout the process I was updated on each step and in 7 weeks I had my dice (a one-week delay for custom work is not bad!). They are amazing, and I love not only that I have a new heirloom quality set for my collection, but that I had a worry-free amazing experience, completely comfortable in my purchase.

So, that’s it!  I hope this helps some of you who might be considering big purchases from *any* of the dice manufacturers out there. Let’s face it, most of the companies are small operations, and while they mean well, sometimes things happen.

I know I post a lot of pictures of dice, some expensive and some not so much, but I am always careful about my decisions.
Lastly I want to state:
– This is not about any specific company
– This is regarding purchases direct from a company, your options (and risk) with person-to-person or Kickstarter type purchases become a lot more complicated and risky (for the record I often use Paypal ‘goods and services,’ and I usually run that through a credit card for 2 layers of protection).

Hope this helps.

October Dice Kickstarters

The dice Kickstarters are still in full swing, prompting another big blog post showcasing current projects.  Because of the high number of dice KSes, this blog post will focus only on dice.  However, there will be a brief mention and links for the dice storage and accessory projects currently ongoing.  Remember that there is no special action for creators to get listed here – it costs nothing for companies to be featured.  I simply search for dice projects and prioritize dice-only projects first.  I often put them in the order in which they appear in the search, and this is meant to be informational, not a review of the product or company.  

Polyhedral Dice

Divination Dice (Doug Out Crafts)

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Divination Dice is a project by Doug Out Crafts and will be manufactured by Q Workshop.  Each die has a different “divination” themed design, with the d10/d% differentiated by sun and moon.  The d6 design allows the die to function as a d6 and fate/fudge dice, and extra fate/fudge are available as add-ons.  The color schemes are black/white or black/teal, but funding has still not been reached.

Good Luck, Crit, and Lucky Dice (Good More)

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Good Luck, Crit, and Lucky Dice are polyhedral sets where backers can choose the color scheme of dice from 8 options and then choose from “lucky,” “grit,” and “good luck” for the “20” spot on the d20.  In addition to the different color schemes, there are also d20 packs, extended sets, a coin stretch goal, and a hexagon bag add-on.

 

 

Table Breakers (Kakapopotcg Gaming)

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Table Breakers are hefty polyhedral dice sets weighing in at 207 grams.  For reference, most zinc alloy sets are closer to the 90-100 gram range, with polymer sets around 25-30 grams.  Table breakers are available in black w/red, copper/bronze, gold, silver w/blue, and likely soon to be unlocked in purple w/white.  They come in a case called “The protector,” and a new case is available in a later stretch goal (likely as an add on).  Backers can also add d20s and d30s from previous KS projects to their pledge, which match the color styles of the polyhedral sets.

Gorgeous RPG Dice (Paladin Roleplaying)

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Paladin Roleplaying relaunched their Kickstarter for custom dice combinations.  The relaunch allowed backers to choose starting sets.  The project had three starting options, but has since unlocked several stretch goals for 9 total colors.  There are still 8 prototypes shown that can be voted into future goals as of the time of this blog posting.

D.O.U.S. Dice of Unusual Size (Impact Miniatures)

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Impact Miniatures returns to KS with a campaign featuring five new dice designs:  d21, consonant d21, vowel d5, d36 and 2d6, and Pulse Dice (fate/fudge).  The company is known for dice chains starting at d3s and going up to d30, and those chains can be purchased through this campaign as well.  They feature color styles unlocked in the last campaign like cotton candy and silver glitter along with more traditional black and translucent teal options.

Dragon Scales Dice – Dual Drake Metal Gaming Dice (Ulfsark Games)

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Dragon Scales dice is a KS offering polyhedral dice sets in new dual mix colors.  The dice are available in five new dual colors plus the eight original solid colors.  There are stretch goals for an additional dual color unlock and designs for dice.  Backers can pledge for full sets, d20s, or d6s, and add-on dice are available as well.

D6 Dice

Suit Dice:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/timothykremer/suits-dice-modern-technologies-in-metal

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Movie Dice: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/markgonyea/movie-dice-what-to-watch

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Finally, there are some some dice accessory projects currently on KS:

Wyrmwood Dice Vault:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wyrmwood/the-wyrmwood-dice-vault-cthulhu-mythos-edition
Parsec:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1027107105/the-parsec-for-rpgs
Munchkin Metropolis Dice Cases:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rwgdesign/2018-special-d20-dice-cases-for-dandd-pathfinder-o
Tome of Holding:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ingramwoodworking/tome-of-holding-the-hardwood-dice-box-and-rolling
Dragon Slayer Cosplay Wands:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1658949603/dragon-slayer-rpg-and-cosplay-wands
Dice Tower: 180:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/carlschenkenberger/dice-tower-180

Wrapping Up

Dice Kickstarters have continued to be plentiful.  In addition to the above-mentioned projects, it’s worthwhile to note that the Mad Designs Kickstarter mentioned in the September Kickstarter Blog Post has relaunched and is still up and running.  On the horizon, we can expect upcoming Kickstarters for Roll With Advantage, Gio Lasar Designs, and Lucky Hand Dice.  Stay tuned to the DMC blog for more Kickstarter round ups!

A Guide For Commercial Members

Page, group, market, threads – what is this all about? And what the heck is a commercial thread?

A Guide for Our Commercial Members

DMC Fanpage (https://www.facebook.com/DiceManiacsClub/)

  • On this public page, we share news from other dice related Facebook pages. There is usually no discussion.
  • You can’t post there.
  • If you want to see your dice related pages news shared, please contact us. We are sharing news daily.

DMC Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiceManiacsClub/)

  • This non public group is for discussion of any dice-related topics.
  • This is where you get your commercial thread or a post for your Kickstarter (send the fanpage a private message).
  • Please also see the group rules: (https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiceManiacsClub/about/).
  • You will notice that commercial members are allowed to share pictures of prototypes and starting market research.
  • This should not have the appearance of advertising.
  • Your commercial thread has all the information that is interesting for a customer.
  • The contact person (you) and links to web and social media pages.
  • When starting prototype or market research posts, always make sure to add a link to your commercial thread. People will see all your business information.
  • In your commercial thread you are allowed to share new products for sale, contest and discounts.

Dice Market (https://www.facebook.com/groups/dicemarket/)

  • This is for advertising. Post the same things you are allowed to post on your commercial thread.

Dice Market Advice

As the DMC has grown, trading and buying/selling have become a bigger part of the group.  We keep buying and selling in the Market only, but trades are welcome on the main DMC group.  We’re happy that members can connect and exchange dice to find the pieces they’re looking for.  But we also want members to feel comfortable making the transaction, especially if they’re less familiar with how to trade or buy and sell online.  This blog will help mention some ways to safeguard yourself and others in a transaction.

They’re Your Dice

Your dice are your own.  The number one most important thing is to not trade dice because you feel pressured to make the exchange.  Just because you might be dealing with someone who “knows more” about dice or has been in the group longer does not mean you have to follow what they suggest or what they say is fair.  

IMPORTANT:  No DMC member should ever message you and suggest that you’re selling for too high a price, or that you’re a bad person for not making a trade.  If you ever receive such a message, please let the DiceManiacsClub – Fanpage know.  Your dice are your own, and no one should be pressuring others to trade or sell.

Ask The Group!

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Do you have dice that you’re not sure what they are?  Or is someone telling you they’re not valuable, but you think they might be?  If you’re curious about general value or identification, the DMC group is more than happy to help.  There are some people who have become masters at dice identification!  And if you explain a trade you’re considering, we can usually chime in and say if it’s fair.  We might not always be able to give an exact value – and it may differ from person to person, but the DMC can help you know if it’s a fair deal.

Use PayPal or Another Trusted Service

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PayPal (and some similar online payment services) have protections built in.  If you buy something from someone, PayPal will reimburse you if you never receive the item.  To receive this protection, you have to pay via “goods and services.”  If you are close enough with the member, you CAN pay “friends and family” if you trust them.  However, you should never feel pressured to pay for dice using anything but goods and services.  Frankly, if someone insisted that I paid “friends and family,” I would become highly suspicious and immediately state that I’m not interested. 

Is PayPal 100% protective?  No.  If the buyer sends something incorrect, I’ve seen people not be reimbursed because there was tracking and a package arrived.  To help ensure that’s not a problem, be clear in the “note” what you’re buying (that might help if there’s an issue).  But never ever send cash or give credit card info.

Check The Feedback!

We have a feedback thread in the market to provide some insight on who are reliable traders.  This is especially important when trading because you are essentially crossing your fingers and hoping that the other person comes through.  To safeguard yourself, find someone who is reliable to trade with.  If the person isn’t mentioned in the comments but has completed successful trades, you can always ask for “references” in the comments.  Some people who have traded might vouch for the person!

Conclusion

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Keeping these tips in mind well help safeguard you in trading and buying/selling dice.  Keeping in mind that your dice are your own, that the group can help, that feedback is available, and that PayPal can help protect you can go a long way from preventing you from being taken advantage of.  But keep in mind that this is not a common occurrence.  If you check the feedback thread pinned at the top of the market, you’ll see that you’re in a group with reliable dice maniacs.  But since anyone can buy and sell in the marketplace, we want to make sure that you have ways to feel comfortable about exchanging dice with other DMCers.

September Dice Kickstarters

September has been a busy month for Kickstarter campaigns so far.  With the Upstart line from Legendary pants having come and gone and some notable projects from Dice Envy, we still have some ongoing treasures out there to find in crowdfunding land.  Keep in mind that this is in no way a review or a comprehensive account of dicey goodness.  This is merely a test-run for an article highlighting the Kickstarter dice projects that are currently popular – or should be.  So if you enjoy this article, please let us know that you did so we’re aware that there’s interest in this sort of writing.

Now, without further ado . . . 

Top Drawer Dice (Q-Workshop)

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Q-Workshop has come to Kickstarter with some new designs in need of funding.  Among the designs are Wizard, Arcade, Halloween, Dragon Slayer, and Bloodsucker.  There are stretch goals unlocking different color options for each set, bags for the sets, and play mats.  There were steampunk dice rewards for day 1 backers, the complete set of which is now being offered as an add-on.  However, as of writing this post, there are only a couple of days left on this Kickstarter.  Please jump on fast if you’re interested in backing.

Diffusion Dice (Role4Initiative)

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Diffusion Dice is a nebula-style translucent clear die with a drop of color distributed (or diffused) throughout.  The campaign started off with 8 based colors including Sea Foam, Elven Spirits, Storm Front, Wraith, Majesty, Fool’s Gold, Cherry Blossom, and Bloodstone.  There are stretch goals to go beyond that, some of which have already been unlocked.  In addition to dice and several options for dice add-ons, the campaign is offering T-Shirts (both r4i and Dice Maniacs Club) as well as dice boxes and towers from Adventure Guild, which also include engraving options with the r4i logo and the DMC logo.

Reality Shard, Supernova, & Neutron RPG Dice Sets (Gate Keeper Games)

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Gate Keeper Games has unleashed a slew of new styles with Reality Shards, a five layer product based on previous halfsies’ color schemes.  The style follows a layered A-B-C-B-A pattern and features the GKG logo as the 20 on the d20.  Supernova die, on the other hand, are halfsies with a clear translucent stripe down the middle.  When the halfsies go “supernova,” they create a Neutron dice set for each color in the halfsies.  Neutron is a translucent clear with a stripe of color – sort of like a geometrically interesting take on the nebula style.  Finally, Inminity are 12mm pipped versions of the neutron and reality shard dice.  As if that wasn’t enough new terminology and dice to drool over, there’s also a lot of swag like pins, stickers, and Thinking Monk dice boxes.  At funding, the project unlocked two styles – Truth and Thought.  There are many more stretch goals for additional colors, almost all of which are styled after one of the first or second generation halfsies dice.  There are also a few new color combinations such as black/yellow and black/purple, coming soon to the halfsies line.

Dice Coins: 2018 2nd Release (J.M. Ward)

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Dice Coins is a popular dice project that has been on Kickstarter multiple times previously with different styles and mintings.  The company produces metal coins that spin and can be used as dice.  There is an outer ring with numbers on each coin. When the user stops the spinning dice coin with a finger, the number to the left of the finger is the result.  The dice coins come in a variety of d20s, and new options are unlocking periodically for d4-d12.  There are also two specialty coins, a d3 cerebus and an alphabet book coin.

Dragon Egg Gift Candles w/Metal D20s Inside! (Lunar Wolf Treats)

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Lunar Wolf Treats launched a KS for dragon egg candles that burn to reveal d20 metal dice of your choosing.  Candles are scented but can be unscented upon request. Each candle matches up to a d20 that compliments its style, and rewards can get you a single, pair, or multiple dragon egg candles.  There’s a pledge level for a set of seven candles that reveal a complete metal RPG set.  Stretch goals include bonus “themes” of candle/dice pairings, but the 5k stretch goal (already unlocked) opened up gift box add-ons.

Oblit-O-Tron D6 Dice – Explore the Stars! (Black Oak Workshop)

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Black Oak Workshop has returned to KS with a set of retro laser gun d6’s.  The same art is on each face, accompanied by a number.  Black is currently the only unlocked, but the project is slowly approaching the green variety stretch goal.  The dice are sparkly, and a bag and RPG set are later stretch goals in addition to more color options.  Black Oak Workshop have previously brought Light Speed dice, Bullseye dice, and the asian Dragon set of red polyhedrals, just to name a few.

Mad Dice aka Mood Dice (Trilania)

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Trilania/Mad Designs has released a color changing mood dice that functions like a mood ring in color changing.  The dice come in a 7-piece standard polyhedral set, with or without a standing bag, and as a super extended set of 19.  The project also offers add-ons for individual dice in any of the standard RPG polys.  The delivery is a bit far off at September 2019, but is due to hand painting.  The dice themselves are darker colored but obviously shift depending on temperature.

Retro Dice: D-PAD D6 – Control your destiny! (Dirty Vortex)

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Currently in need of more backers to fund, the Retro Game D-Pad dice KS is a non-numbered set of dice with symbols from old school gaming controller.  The sets come in grey, black, and pink/blue.  The sides include the select, start, direction pad, and gaming buttons like A, B, X, Y.  The project previously was hoping to unlock an accompanying RPG called Bulletproof Heroes, but changed direction and decided to offer it outright as a PDF to all backers.

Big 20 (Big 20)

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The Big 20 is a magic eight ball crossed with a dungeon master and a 90’s cell phone.  Or at least, that’s the description on the campaign page!  The Big 20 provides randomized results and can mimic any dice in a standard RPG set.  The project has big potential for visibility in gaming, but the funding goal is around 70k.  The Big 20 itself isn’t offered until the $60 pledge level, but there are also more affordable options with swag like drink cozies and enamel pins.

Wrap Up

Those are some of the more popular dice projects.  We plan to only cover those projects that are quite popular or where the creator has reached out to the DMC.  If you wish to get your project here, please contact the Dice Maniacs Club – Fanpage.  Note that these are unpaid write-ups and are not reviews of the products, but rather an overview of what’s happening in dice crowdfunding!