Saturday, March 12, 2011

Good Dice Hunting

After learning more about the Order of the d30, I wanted to go get one of those strangely shaped things.   I decided to forgo the online experience and honor my FLGS.  There are two decent gaming stores within comfortable driving distance, so the boy and I set out for adventure.  I call one the stores the 'Grumpy Man Store,' and the other the 'Cool Dude Store.' 

The 'Grumpy Man Store' is run by the Grumpy Man(tm) and his Grumpy Employees.  It is a store with an amazing amount of gaming stuff.  There are shelves and shelves of rpg books from big and small publishers, board games, boxes of ancient games stretching back decades, thousands of minis, and various gaming paraphernalia that boggles the mind.  And that is just one half of it - the other half of the store is devoted to comics and all of action figures and resin busts and other stuff involved in that particular addiction.

I have a habit of pissing off Grumpy Man(tm.)  I do this by asking for things.  It's his own fault.  He does that whole 'how can I help you' bit.  He doesn't really mean it.

"I'd looking for some dice . . "

He points to the dice rack.

" . . . some unusual dice . . ."

The vein in his forehead starts twitching.  I get the feeling that I'm about to experience a Grumpy Man(tm) moment.

" . . . in particular, a 30-sider."

His teeth clench. "What the hell?  No.  I don't have any 30-siders.  I never have had any 30-siders."

"Really?  Are you sure? I mean, you've got a lot of dice here." I ask, trying not to smile.  Am I an asshole if I like to wind up other assholes? Hmm, I shall have to ponder that during meditation.

"I don't have the money to stock weird inventory no one could afford to buy."

"So how much would a die like that cost?" I ask. 

He thinks for a second.  "Four dollars."

I shrug.  "That's not much."

"That's not the point.  You are the first person ever, in the history of this store, to walk up and ask for a thirty sided die.  Ever."

"Oh," I nodded.

He turned to his computer near the cash register and smacked the keyboard around, then wiggled the mouse.  "See," he said, pointing to what may have been a porn site.  "The company that makes those thirty sided dice went out of business years ago."

I try not to laugh.  I used to be really offended by Grumpy Man(tm.)  I did my research.  I know that several companies man 30-siders.  I know he was lying.  I've never quite understood why he hates his customers (or maybe it's just me) so much.  I stopped trying to understand a while ago.  To me, Grumpy Man(tm) is less of a store owner and more of a carnival ride.

"Oh well," I said.  "So . . . do you have any 24-siders?"

After the fun at Grumpy Man Store, (it's an absolutely wonderful place to browse games,) we went to the Cool Dude Store.  The Cool Dude(tm) devotes most of his floor space to gaming tables.  His inventory has been shrinking over the years as he makes space for more and more gamers.  He's just about abandoned aisle shelves, instead bolting everything to the walls.

I walked in and ask for a 30-sider.

"Sorry, I don't carry those," the Cool Dude says.  He whipped out a catalog.  "If you want, I'll order you one though.  They are right here on this page.  What color?"

Give the man a prize.  I ordered one.  Heck, I should have ordered fifty.

I did, however, pick up nifty pack of GameScience dice.  I always want to call the company "Science Diet.'  I'm not sure why.  Anyway, it's a twelve-piece set, so not I can roll d3, d4, d5, d14. d16, and d24 with the rest of the uber-geeks - and I can do it with complete randomity.  I think my nether regions just swelled with gamer excitement.

There is a big problem, however.  The beautiful ruby red gems have no color to the actual numbers.  I'm having flashbacks of 1981 all over again.  I'm wondering - rather than whip out my crayon box (yes, I have a crayon box - mine - no they are not the boy's - he has his own and is not allowed to touch my crayons,) I'm wondering if I could color the numbers in some other way.

So, does anyone out there have experience with 'inking' or whatever, dice?  I figure I might could use acrylics, but I'm also thinking that the acrylics won't hold very well and will chip and fall off.  But then again, I just don't know.  Does anyone have experience with this?

Otherwise, I'll have to write a blog entry about how I screwed up a pack of Science Diet dice.

- Ark


  1. I went to an 'art' store and got what is essentially an oil-based crayon (white) to do some of my GS dice. I use ultra-fine point Sharpies for ones that can show color well. But ruby almost screams white- to show the numbers easily. Hence the artists' crayon thingy.

    I smear it all over the sides. Let it dry/set for a bit and then take a tissue and rub the excess off; hoping the rest stays in the numbers. Sometimes I have to do it a second time to get full coverage.


  2. No dice advice but thanks for the laugh out loud post.

  3. Modern acrylics should work ok for numbering the dice. The paint will be in the recesses of the die so there shouldn't be much chipping or flaking.

  4. Awesome story, and congrats on the GS dice!

  5. @Gratuitious - I happened to have some oil pastels laying around so I used the white one. I can't say it did any better than the crayons I used 30 odd years ago. Some places took three applications - but in the end, it worked, and they look good. And it took a hell of a lot less squinting than trying to paint them would. Thanks. :)

    @Jovial - I'm happy to entertain. :)

    @Chris - I think at some point I'll try acrylics, since I already have a set done and can use them. Note that already implies that I intend on buying more. :)

    @Carter - Thanks. They rock! Yeah Game Science!

    - Ark