Game Science Dice – 12 piece set – Review
I purchased the GameScience Precision 12 piece dice set with one goal in mind. I wanted the funky shaped dice for Goodman Games Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG beta. The DCC RPG beta merits its own review which will come at a later date (spoiler alert: I pre-ordered my copy, release date Feb. 2012). There was plenty of discussion on the forums about the weird d3, d5, d7, d14, d16, d24 and d30 as being unnecessary and raising the buy-in to play in this new system. I’m not going to rehash the debate here, but my first attraction to D&D when I was a kid was the crazy shaped dice that looked nothing like the regular six-siders I was used to in other games. The idea of shapes that were “too weird” even for RPG fans just made me want them more.
Not that I don’t understand the other side of the story. Especially after they arrived.
I did a bit of research on Zocchi dice in general, and watched the videos from GenCon from a few years ago. I was sold. I love dice in general, and figured I might as well own a Cadillac set of dice with edges so precise they could almost hurt your hand if picked up carelessly. One thing you should be aware of, and something that was not made at all clear on their site, while these dice aren’t tumble-sanded and rounded off unevenly, they do have pretty significant plastic nubs or craters where the die is cut off from the mold. According to Mr. Zocchi that doesn’t matter as the uniform edges give you equal access to all surfaces of the dice. Which may be true, but damned if they aren’t ugly.
A regular 7-piece RPG set will run you $6.25 + $4 shipping, uninked. If, like me, you want the 12-piece set, shipped and inked, you’re looking at $37. Thats a lot of money for dice to not be 100% satisfied. That being said, the dice do have a vivid sapphire-blue color to them, and they certainly have a unique feel. One unadvertised feature was that the d14 also has days of the week on it. They are uninked, and a bit hard to read unless you’re in really good light, but if you needed to randomize which day of the week it is, you’ve got your die. Something that surprised me was the difference in color between the two d10s. The rest of the set is a deep, rich blue, but the tens d10 is a bit more of a sky blue. I could understand the difference in color if they were numbered the same, as we often rolled two regular d10s back in the day and just called which color die was the 10s place before a roll was thrown; but since its specially numbered as the tens place already, why the difference in color? Maybe I’m just getting a bit nit-picky, but at $37, can you blame me? The other thing I didn’t really like is that the d24 is essentially a d6, with 4 sides on each side of the d6. Its strange that they didn’t raise center vertex on each side to give them a more uniform shape, rather than 6 sides with 4 sides on each. Its kind of hard to describe unless you hold one in your hand and give it a roll.
All and all I do enjoy the set. It seems to me that for the money, the manufacturer should take a bit more care about the size of the spurs left on the die before they leave the factory, but if that were to drive up the price any further, no one would be them. Buyer beware.