Bryce’s Chessex Updates

Bryce Lickfield of BrycesDice gave us at the DMC a recent update on Chessex news.  This is a consolidation of his posts with formatting adjustment but no content changes.

“Who would like a Chessex update straight from their recent supplier news letter? It is a lot, but it was what I thought this group would like to see.”

New Dice: Dice Menagerie #10:
Four of these six colors were sold at the summer shows last year. These are Festive™ Waterlily™/white, Festive™ Pop-Art™/blue, Festive™ Sunburst™/red, and Marble Oxi-Copper™/white. They were the four most popular colors that we showed last summer at consumer shows. Added to these four are two new colors that have not been shown previously, but we are confident they will be very popular. The fifth color is a new Borealis™ color using some old material that can no longer be bought. It was found
when the new owners of the factory were going through their stocks of material after their purchase and came across some of this “Maple” Borealis™ material. From the factory estimates, we think they can make enough dice to last us 3-4 years even with fantastic sales. The sixth color has a new effect that we think is particularly surprising and stunning. We don’t want to say what it is at this time so are naming it for now as the Mystery #7 Die Color.

If anyone is interested in or doesn’t remember what the first six mystery dice colors were, they were the first six colors of Frosted dice released in 2001. We will have samples to popularize this mystery dice color at the GAMA Trade Show in March in Reno, NV. Then it will be a mystery no more. If you can believe us, though, it will be very popular. Of the few people who have seen it, it truly is a die that will make you say “Wow!”

April through June 2019: “From the Laboratory™” Polyhedral 7-Die Sets:
We have spent a lot of time in the laboratory at the German dice factory these past few years creating new colors. We now have many good colors that will be popular. Concurrently, the factory has figured out a way to produce smaller production runs. We decided the best way to introduce these colors into the market is by releasing them with smaller production runs and only making the polyhedral shapes and some 16mm d6 with pips available. Because of the shorter production runs, the retail for these polyhedral 7-die sets will be $11.98 instead of the usual $9.98. If any of these dice are really popular, we will re-release them in the future in all shapes, most likely in another Dice Menagerie. If the initial orders for these dice are more than we made, then we will allocate based on each customers overall purchases in 2018 and their percentage of our overall sales. We anticipate not needing to allocate, though. We will release around 24 colors between the beginning of April and the end of June, most likely in two
releases. After that, we should be able to release another 24 colors in the last quarter of this year.

July 2019: Gemini™ Dice #8:
We have not finalized all six of these new Gemini™ colors, but we should know them by March.  August 2019 and Beyond:  There are many more new colors of dice that we want to release this year. They include six new colors of Speckled dice, at least the before mentioned 24 more “from the Laboratory™” colors, and some dice using new effects. All-in-all, we are releasing a lot of new dice this year! Changes for 2019 from 2018
Other than the changes to the translucent dice detailed earlier, there aren’t any changes to the retail prices or the product range from 2018 to 2019 at this time and aren’t likely to be any the rest of this year. Some discontinued colors are running out of stock, though. These will be detailed in an upcoming Chessex Scoop™ publication. The biggest changes for us have been external and are mentioned later on this page. Change from “KIS™” to “Classic” Designated Name We never liked the term “KIS” for the “Keeping In Stock” dice colors. These colors have been good selling colors but not quite as good as others that end up in the Signature™ or main Gemini™ ranges of dice. The concept is to aid retailers with their purchasing decisions. There are no stock number or name changes for the dice themselves involved with this category name change.

Changes at Our Dice Factory Sources:
Last year, the German dice factory changed owners. The former owner was 96 years old and did not want to invest in expanding the production capacity of his factory. The new owners are much younger and owned a factory that made similar items. They have been able to combine the production capacity of the two factories and we have been receiving more dice than before the sale. This is wonderful news as our fill ratio has improved dramatically over these past few months and we are now able to bring out many new dice colors, ones we have wanted to release for some time. The dice factory in Denmark, where we purchase our opaque and speckled dice, has also changed owners. Sadly, the former owner suddenly passed away this past August 21st. We had been purchasing from him since 1990. He was responsible for Chessex focusing more on dice because he was the first person that made a unique and exclusive dice range (speckled, which the factory first tested in the 1950’s but never developed until we met in 1990) that we were able to offer to the market. This led us eventually making contact with the dice factory in Germany and the development of the dice ranges from them. It is pretty safe to say that without him, there would be no speckled, Signature™, Classic (formerly KIS™), or
Gemini dice ranges that we have today. The former owner’s son is taking over the factory and we don’t expect to see any drop in their production capacity. Actually, we should see a slight increase because just before the former owner’s passing, he ordered a new mold for the Tens 10 die which will increase their production capacity. We are sorry to see the passing of the former owner but are heartened that his son is taking over to continue the family business.

Borealis Update:
Change to new Borealis Maple Green Color! On our 2019 update we released that one of our new colors set for a March release would be Borealis Maple Green w/silver. Instead of silver, the paint color for the numbers will now be yellow. The new color will be Borealis Maple Green w/yellow.

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Chessex News, Part 4: The Company

At Spiel in October, Michael Schäffer from the DMC sat down with Donald Reents from Chessex. The interview lasted 2 1/2 hours, and we’ll be releasing the information in parts. Part 1: Borealis, Part 2: Test Sets , and Part 3: Speckled Dice were already published.  This is the fourth and final part:  The Company.

One of the most common questions that we see about Chessex in the DMC is “what’s going on with their website?”  Chessex is one of the most popular brands of dice and perhaps the most well known, but the website is outdated and difficult to navigate.  So why is that the case?

Donald Reents has the surprising answer:

“At the moment, the worst thing that could happen would be for us to have a great webpage, great social media presence, and suddenly increase sales by 20%”

One of the reasons Chessex is so well known is that in addition to being a manufacturer and seller of dice, they also supply gaming stores around the world.  They simply don’t have the capacity to increase sales right now.  Donald did mention that he’d like to eventually have a website with an archived section so that people could still see discontinued sets, but that they simply don’t have the staff to dedicate to updating the site.

Regarding social media, the answer is largely the same.  Donald explained that he did manage to get some promotional items like pens and tapestries, but the reason they don’t have more social media presence is the same reason for the outdated website: a combination of a lack of time to dedicate to it and a lack of supply to meet any increased demand that could come from that.

So what does Chessex think of the DMC, and swarms of peculiar questions about dice in particular?

“I view the DMC as our fans, and everybody likes fans!…”I really appreciate that there’s other people who agree with me on that, who like what we’ve produced.  Thank you for the recognition.”

Is Donald a collector, too?  He’s denies having any sort of personal fascination with dice, but adds that “dice hate me,” a statement all too relatable to those of us who use them in RPGs and end up cursing the rolls of that which we hold so precious to us.

He compared dice collecting while working at Chessex to eating ice cream or chocolate when making ice cream or chocolate for a living.  Since he’s around it all the time, he doesn’t really have a collection.  But he did mention having “some Vortex dice, which look particularly cool.”  Perhaps there’s a window-admiring DMC nerd within him after all!  When asked if he had a white whale, he said he didn’t really have a set he was searching for, but he did mention that they used to keep a dice board with one die from each set glued onto it for reference, but that it hadn’t been updated since nebula circa 2002.  If your reaction to that is “oh, man…I’d love to see that and cry over what precious OOP dice are glued on….” ….me too, me too.

So what is he into if not dice?  Donald mentioned being into the chess world and wheat beer with a chuckle.  But he came back to dice, pointing out that though he doesn’t exactly have a dice fascination, he is interested in producing fascinating colors.

So how does Chessex feel about the production of dice using Chessex’s molds or those who base their colors off of Chessex’s existing or out of production lines?

The short answer is that Donald doesn’t really have time to worry about it, so it isn’t a big deal.  He says that D&G produced their own borealis line, and that he doesn’t mind.  He added that the molds were originally created by Jorgen, a valued employee of the factory who recently passed away.  Chessex asked permission to use them.  Donald points out that he doesn’t mind, especially for personal use, but that it can be confusing in the market.  He is annoyed about large scale Chinese factories using molds close to their shape, but that there’s really nothing that can be done about it.  Making their own, new molds isn’t something on Chessex’s agenda.  They are staying focused on current production plans.

Want to read more about the expanding market or what Chessex thinks about layered dice?  Read the complete interview yourself!  The interview contains content from Chessex News Part 1-4 as well as unreleased content: DMC Chessex interview

Thanks again to Michael for conducting the interview, Donald Reents for participating and sharing Chessex news, and Paulina for transcribing the interview!

Image Credit:  Steven Kahn, Chessex Tapestry

Chessex News, Part 1: Borealis

This year at Spiel on October 26, Michael Schäffer, admin for the Dice Maniacs Club, interviewed Donald Reents from Chessex and asked him member-submitted questions.  The interview lasted about two and a half hours and was then transcribed by Paulina Drozdowska.  The Dice Maniacs Club Blog will be publishing a multi-part story to relay the latest Chessex news and answers to DMC members’ questions about Chessex!

This is part one:  Borealis.

A NEW Borealis Color?  Perhaps the hottest news from Donald Reents is a new upcoming set for Borealis – a Maple Green color set for release in March of 2019. Rather than in the actual interview, this information was released by Donald in a follow-up e-mail to Michael. He explained that the effect is a “translucent green with a maple additive.”  Though the run will technically be limited, Donald expects the quantities to last about 3-4 years of production, so it will not be technically designated as a limited run.

Old Glitter Unavailable: Confirmed.  Donald provided further confirmation that the Borealis’s green sparkly pigment was discontinued because it began to be used in European currency. Chessex actually continued to produce borealis with the pigment for about 3 years longer than they would have been able to if they had ordered less of the pigment in bulk.  Donald also mentioned that Chessex considered a more condensed Aquerple, but that the pricing of using that much of the pigment would make the retail about 40 Euros per die.  Hmmm… 40 Euros a die for Aquerple… that sounds somehow familiar and reasonable now, doesn’t it? Haha!

Bye Forever Old Glitter?  So is the old sparkly green borealis pigment gone forever? The bad news is that it’s likely a yes. Donald explained that if someone would have been able to replicate it, it would have happened already.  But don’t lose heart entirely – Donald attends something called Fakuma, a trade show attended by the color pigment producers. They’re always on the lookout for pigments that look like old borealis.  In fact, Donald mentioned that if they ever found pigment like the old one that they’d definitely try to bring back confetti, Aquerple, and clear borealis lines.

What About Current Borealis?  What about the rumors that some of the current borealis are gone forever? Fortunately, that was just a rumor. Six of the seven colors were sold out and a little behind on reproduction.  Donald explained that one of the varieties weren’t back until October. But the current Borealis options are still in production.  They are still being produced:  sky blue, light purple, royal purple, smoke, pink, teal, and light green.

Stay tuned for additional parts of the interview released, including a discussion of test colors, speckled dice, Chessex company info, and other fun dice news! We’re releasing this in pieces to keep the information easier to read than one massive article.  At the end of the short series, we’ll provide the complete transcript for your viewing pleasure!  A big thank you to Donald from Chessex for sharing company news with us, and thanks to Michael from the DMC for conducting the interview, Paulina for transcribing the content,  and all of the DMCers who asked questions.

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

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!