Dungeonmorph Dice, Cards and Font Review
Dungeonmorph Dice was the first kickstarter to which I ever pledged, back in May. The dice just arrived yesterday, and to be blunt, I’m underwhelmed. I appreciate Joe’s hard work with the manufacturer in trying to make the best product possible, but in the end perhaps the idea was too ambitious. The concept was to create dice that had sections of dungeons on the sides that could be connected to form a truly random, endless dungeon. The original design looked much like the deck of cards turned out with the retro white-on-blue look. Due to manufacturing concerns, that design was scrapped in favor of black-on-white. The level of detail required to show features like secret doors and stairways is incredibly fine. Unfortunately, it ends up being too fine for the manufacturer to consistently produce. This leads to the dice being blotchy or missing lines in some sections. (Sorry for the crappy phone photos. Maybe Santa will bring me a decent camera!)
To his credit, Joe was very up front with all his backers and sent out surveys showing the issues and asking what amount of defects most people would feel would be acceptable. He always kept us in the loop as he struggled with one manufacturer, then another. He hand-inked some dice with a fine pen that were missing sections. But when all the dust settles, what do you end up with? A product that isn’t premium quality, that is asking a premium price. The kickstarter price was $20 a 5 die set, now going for $23.95, with a set of 5 “seconds” going for $14.95. I can’t imagine that the “seconds” would be usable at all.
The font is cool. It has all the designs, rotated all the different ways (0, 90, 180, 270 degrees), and flipped (mirrored) and rotated again. It’s a bit hard to mix and match all the rotations due to the fact that each is its own sub-font. That being said, just one will give you a lot of variety and inspiration. They’re also easy to print, but watch out for your ink levels as all negative space is solid black. At $7 bucks, it’s the most I’ve ever spent on a font (I don’t recall ever purchasing a font, to be honest), but not a bad value. The PDF key that comes with it is a very useful overview of what the font contains.
The cards are pretty awesome, and excellent quality. They each have a custom design with the old school aesthetic, and on the reverse of the design is on the back, providing nearly endless combinations. They feature all the designs from all 3 sets of dice. $15.95 is a bit steep, but they are completely custom, printed on both sides right to the edge. If you’re a DM that loves the old school crawl, or are looking for a map idea for a climatic encounter, this deck will definitely cure DM writer’s block. I would say out of all the products involved in the dungeonmorph project, this is the one to get.
To summarize, skip the dice, the font is cool, but the cards are the best thing to come out of this project.