A place wherein this Dwarven Cleric can share his love of maps, dice, miniatures, and all things involving gaming and general geekery--not to mention the occasional witty non-gaming observations--whilst escaping from the humdrum existence of his routine Terran existence.

Hail and Well Met, fellow traveler! May my Stronghold provide a place for enlightenment and amusement, and somewhere to keep your dice dry. Enter and rest awhile.

07 May 2015

[review] Pounded By This Pound Of Dice

You all know how much I love dice, right? You all know that I believe that there's no such thing as too many dice, right?

Well, I may have to eat those words. I've been mulling this over for a while and finally need to post it to get it out of my craw. My review may not be startling news to anyone but myself. I freely admit that I could in fact be late to the party. [Aside1: I'm reminded of the News Radio episode (Season 3, entitled "Rap") in which Bill McNeal discovers that his beloved rap music has lyrics and wants to run an expose to proclaim his outrage at the "disgusting" lyrics. The station manager tells him in response: "Put aside the editorial, invent a time machine, travel back to the year 1988, and you might actually be one of the first thousand journalists to break this story." Yeah, this post may be like that. End aside.]

So, I watch and read with great interest reviews concerning "pounds of dice" (or "PoD")from the various dice companies. There's the ubiquitous Chessex "Pound-o-dice" of course; I hear tell there's another company on eBay that's even cheaper, and (depending on the review you read) has similar quality of dice. The reviews ALWAYS state (and often show) that one can pick out several complete 7-die sets from each of these massive bags. Even given my earlier-stated opinion, I prefer full and complete 7-die RPG die sets.

Heaven knows that I have a bag-load of loose singles (especially d6) from my years of gaming.

Well, I've looked at them as they've crossed my awareness, but I've never been really "in the market" for a PoD until now. But now, my eldest son has decided to pick up the DM screen for his buddies and I thought a PoD would be a cheap way to get him a bunch of dice to let his players use.

Unfortunately, when I was first looking for it, I couldn't fine a PoD at ANY of the local game and game-related stores. So I put it off.

So, imagine my glee when I went to my FLGS and, although they had only the d6 version of the Chessex PoD, I learned that Crystal Caste had started selling their own version of the PoD. I was excited that I wouldn't have to mail-order myself a PoD...plus it was at least $10 than the Chessex PoD (and it came in one of Crystal Caste's nifty "skull" bags. Now, as I said, I haven't seriously looked for a PoD for purchase until now, so this may not be a new thing.

Apparently they're calling their PoD, Skull Bag: Skull + Bones. At least, that's what the tag on the dice bag says. Perhaps it's just referring to the bag, I'm not sure. I'm guessing it's the PoD name; one of the selling points was that each bag contains one of Crystal Caste's awesome Dwarven Stones dice. At any rate, let's open it up and see what's inside, shall we?

So I got home and cracked it open. This is what I found. At first glance, there seems to be a heckuva lot of d6...NOT my favorite die. (I don't often play wizards or other characters with massive d6 attacks, after all.)

So I spread them out, grouping them by type. Hmm.... I'm starting to worry at this point.

Not nerve-shattering, teeth-rattling concern, mind you. Just a mild sense of unease. The FATE dice didn't help me feel much better, as I don't play any FATE-driven games. And I've already got a handful of +/- dice as it is.

Then I spread them back out and sorted them out to collect my 7-piece set(s) before turning the singles over to the boy. And THAT looked like THIS:


[Aside 2: OK, technically I suppose you could say I have a couple complete sets...if you're counting d6 sets. I don't. End aside 2.]

Not one. The closest I got was one matching set of 4 out of 7. There were several that had 4 (or in one case 5) matching dice...but they were 3 or 4 of the same die, with 1 different die. There were a couple 3 out of 7, but nothing close to 7 out of 7. Not a single complete set. I mean, look at the yellow ones in the upper left, for crying out loud: 1 d6 and 4 d%. No joke.

Oh, and right below the yellow dice, do you see that little "L"-shaped bit? That was another bonus: a piece of sprue.

So, I did what any anal-retentive nerd would do. I started counting. Here's what I found, out of 162 total dice.

Percent (Decimal)
(Percentages are rounded up.)

As you can tell from the picture, a few of these dice are from Crystal Caste's "Crystal" range. (Specifically, and just for the record: 1 d4; 3 d6s; 2 d8s; 7 d10s.)

[Aside 3: a d1000 for Pete's sake? Not only did I not know Crystal Caste made such a thing, I already have one, made by Koplow. I mean, I'm a dice freak, but really...how many d1000s does a person need? How often am I going to need a second d1000? End aside 3.]

I suppose if you're looking for a cheap bag of dice to let your players (or kids) play with, without regard to matching dice or complete sets, this is the deal for you. If you're looking for a good source of a cheap stack of d6 mixed with a few other polyhedrals, then this is the deal for you.

If you're looking for some random complete sets + loose dice, however, at a cheap price, I'd try the following:

  1. Chessex Pound-O-Dice ($24.95 on Amazon, MSRP $35.00)
  2. Easy Roller Dice Co. -- 105 Polyhedral Dice (15 Complete Sets), plus a velvet dice bag ($24.95 on Amazon, MSRP $39.00)
  3. Wiz Dice -- 100+ dice (guaranteed at least one matching set in a velvet dice bag; also guaranteed 6 different colors) ($19.99 on Amazon)
And that's just from a quick search. Now, I WILL confess that the Dwarven Stone included in this set kinda makes up for some of the other disappointment: it's a mini d20; I haven't been able to identify which stone range it's from, but it's a pretty li'l thing. It also contained the largest d6 in my collection; that will be good for hucking at inattentive players. As for the rest of the set? YMMV.


Doug said...

The link for Chessex dice and Easy Roller dice at Amazon are the same.

Thanks for the review!

Boric Glanduum said...

Thanks for the heads up!

Terl Obar said...

Another one you might consider is this pack of 6 complete 10 dice sets. Each set has the normal 7 plus 3 extra matching d6's (I know you're not fond of extra d6's). Personally I prefer the 10 dice sets to the 7 dice ones but that's just me. It's only half a pound and a little more expensive but if you like those sets it's nice.

Of course I mainly just play Star Frontiers and this is the set I need.

Boric Glanduum said...

Terl: good catch. I saw that one, but the picture I was looking at was too small to see that there were complete sets...it looked like lots of duplicates. Glad to be proven wrong.
And I like that set of d10s. That's fantastic. Star Frontiers is where most of my d10s got their use back in the day.

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