Dice Digest — October 2020 (#10)

Time for no. 10 of my Dice Digest — this time on an all new blogging platform that I will be using for these from now on. I hope you like the design and find it easy to navigate and read. Older editions of the Dice Digest are available here in PDF format.

The Dice Digest is likely not going to be the sole content of the blog, but since I have a busy life with D&D playing and a full time job, updates will likely be somewhat irregular.

Disclaimer:
This newsletter is impartial, editorial content and is not aimed at commercially advertising products. I don’t receive any payment or free products for any content in this newsletter. Products mentioned here are things I personally find interesting and would like to keep the dice community informed about.


New Chessex Borealis Colours

On October 21, Chessex announced the two new Borealis colours they’ll be releasing — a new version of Smoke (called Light Smoke), and a wholly new colour they named Icicle.

Chessex Borealis Light Smoke and Icicle
Photos by Chessex

Both these new colours are a clear design with Nebula-style wisps and the Borealis-typical additional colour-shifting glitter. Light Smoke appears to have black wisps and Icicle white ones. The blue ink for the Icicle line gives them a distinct wintery feeling. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, both of these lines now also have the luminary particles inside that glow in the dark.

The street date (= date when you can buy them) is said to be Nov 20, 2020.


Chessex Borealis Revamp

Along with the announcements of the two new colours, Chessex dropped a pretty big bomb by disclosing that they’d be giving their complete Borealis line an overhaul. From late November onwards, all available Borealis dice will contain luminary particles, while the general design of the Borealis dice (material colour and glitter) stays the same.

The luminary Borealis will replace the currently available ones, so that the sets without the luminary particles will be phased out and go out of print when all remaining stock has been sold. Chessex recently ran more production batches of the regular “new glitter” Borealis before they started producing the luminary ones, so that the non-luminary sets might still be available for certain amount of time.

The luminary Borealis will be available in stores from Nov 20, 2020 onwards.

Chessex Borealis Luminary
Chessex Borealis Luminary
Photos by Chessex

Crystal Caste Porcelain up for grabs

If you’re still missing some of the out of print Crystal Caste Porcelain dice in your collection, the German store We Love Dice has recently added a whole slew of singles for very affordable prices to their webstore. They ship internationally, and are a 100% recommended. Perhaps they have what some collectors may still need to complete their sets.

We Love Dice Porcelain
We Love Dice Porcelain
We Love Dice Porcelain

em4 Miniatures Dice News

This isn’t terribly exciting, but in a recent video on Facebook, Charlie from eM4 Miniatures (who are tied to D&G) explained they are planning to fully restock the Gem (= translucent) polyhedral lines. More updates regarding their dice will follow later, but he said (presumably about the ones listed as in production on their website),

“All the dice will be back in stock soon.”

Charlie also mentioned that they can do custom dice, currently only d6s with a 6 or a 1 custom logo. They’re planning to expand this to other shapes beyond d6s in the future.


New from Die Hard Dice

Die Hard Dice Avalore
Photos by Die Hard Dice

DHD is still expading their Avalore line. Just in time for Halloween, they released Avalore sets in orange and purple, both as inked and uninked versions.

It’s a little hard to tell from the photos, but it looks like the orange line is semi-translucent, while the purple one is a bit more opaque but has blue-ish shimmering glitter.


Wiz Dice Naming Contest

Wiz Dice Naming Contest
Photo by Wiz Dice

All through October, Wiz Dice has been running a naming contest for upcoming new releases on their Facebook. Anyone can suggest names for the new lines, and it’s also a great way to see what they have planned in the future.


New from Udixi

Udixi butterfly dice sets
Photos by Udixi

Udixi is expanding their wizard font iridescent glitter line with six new colours: dark grey, pink, teal, green, pink/blue and blue/teal. These can now be pre-ordered in several online stores.

From personal experience, I will add that these acrylic glitter sets will likely contain a fair amount of visible bubbles, judging by the previous release of these in other colours.

Also new from Udixi are a few sets with butterfly inclusions in different colours.


New from Bescon

Colour shifting glitter is still going strong, and Bescon is following the trend as well. Three new colours are now available in their Moostone line: blue/red, blue/purple and blue/green.


New from CozyGamer

Photos by CozyGamer

CozyGamer has some new exclusive designs in their store, among them water creatures d20s, white swan sets and tropical fish ones. Check these out in the CozyGamer store if you like inclusion in dice.


New from Haxtec

Haxtec 11-piece dice set
Photos by Haxtec

Haxtec is now offering 11-piece sets for the avid RPG player who likes extended sets. These are available in different colourways, including the pictured yellow-purple but also yellow-green, orange-green, blue-teal and blue-pink. These sets are all two-tone translucents.

Haxtec sells these in their own webstore, as well as on some of the local Amazon platforms.


New from YuSun

YuSun striped metal dice sets
Photos by YuSun

If you like the striped metal design dice from YuSun, you will be happy to hear that they’re making more of these in different colour options.


Kickstarters

Some new Kickstarters this month, please see below what I’ve found that I haven’t mentioned in previous Dice Digests.


Astral Anomalies Kickstarter

Astral Anomalies Kickstarter

Tabletop Loot is getting sharp-edged dice made in space-inspired designs reminiscent of nebulae. The Kickstarter says they are handmade, but they do explain that they are working with a small factory in China that handpours and finishes these — much the same concept as most of the commerically available sharp edged dice these days.

The Kickstarter is already funded, sets run at a price point of $50 per set, and you can also get additional items such as pins and dice vaults. You have 20 more days to back this one.

URL: http://kck.st/37wqjrZ


Birds of ParaDice Kickstarter

Birds of ParaDice Kickstarter

This Kickstarter is special insofar that the dice offered are with colourblind users in mind to ensure optimal readability when you have trouble seeing the full colour spectrum. The dice comes in a variety of designs with a custom font, all inspired by bird species (hence the name).

They currently offer six different designs and some add-ons and stretch goals if the Kickstarter gets there. It’s currently just over 80% funded, with a price point of $13 per set. The Kickstarter has 14 days to go.

URL: http://kck.st/3k2Vi2q


Kitty Clacks Kickstarter

Kitty Clacks Kickstarter

Cat lovers may be excited for this Kickstarter. Black Oak Worshop is back, this time with cat-themed dice sets. The dice will be slightly larger than regular polysets, and there’s several different designs to choose from. All dice will have cat logos as the highest number.

The lowest tier run at $15 per set with a pin included. The Kickstarter is fully funded with a few stretch goals still waiting to be unlocked. You can back this one for another 15 days.

URL: http://kck.st/2FEmju4


Draconis Vitae Dice Kickstarter

This Kickstarter is for truly handmade dice that are actually more like resin dioramas with dragons inside. For £95, you can get a 50mm clear resin d20 that has a sculpted scene inside, centered around a dragon theme. They are planning up to 10 different designs with different colour schemes, some of them stretch goals. Also available are dragon-themed stickers, dice trays and dice guardians.

The Kickstarter is already funded, but please note that part of the funding will go towards the owners expanding their private business to a larger workshop space. The Kickstarter ends in 18 days.

URL: http://kck.st/37LdNVE


News

What else is new in the dice world? Take a look!


Introducing The Dice Channel

The Dice Channel YouTube channel
Photos by The Dice Channel
YouTube logo

If you haven’t already, check out the new The Dice Channel on YouTube. Run by dice collector and enthusiast Jeff, he records vlogs that are entirely dedicated to dice, including unboxing, product reviews and video diaries of dice hunting trips and interviews with FLGS owners he met along the way.


Dice Advent Calendars

Christmas is fast approaching, and this year there are several stores and brands again that offer advent calendars with dice. I can’t personally vouch for quality or return on investment, but if information from the dice community can be trusted, only Black Oak Workshop and Q-Workshop guarantee new or exclusive sets, and most others will have more generic dice that you can also buy outside of the advent calendar.

Q-Workshop dice advent calendar
Photo by Q-Workshop

Below are brands or retailers I’m aware of where you can buy dice avent calendars (in no particular order):

  • Q-Workshop
    (now sold out from QW directly, potentially still available from some retailers)
  • Beholder’s Gaze
  • Adventure Dice
  • Critical Kit
  • Black Oak Workshop
  • Pips Mountain
  • The Thornless Rose
  • The Geek Zone
  • Critical Treasures (on Etsy)
  • Green Leaf Geek (US/Canada only)
  • Behold Games (AUS/NZ only)
  • Imaginary Adventures (AUS only)

Busting Dice Myths

A Spotlight on Chessex Aryclic Mould Variations

Chessex d20 font comparison

Some people may be aware of differences in moulds for the older and newer Chessex Speckled lines. But did you know that there are also variations in the newer German Chessex moulds they use for their acrylic dice?

Granted, these variations are very minor, and only recognizable to the trained eye, but they are there all the same. Take a look on the right.

Most notably, the differences can be seen in the curve of the 2, where the tip of the 2 sits lower in some moulds, and higher in others. There’s also one specific mould where the 2 and 0 in the 20 are closer together.

When asking Chessex about their moulds, they confirmed that they have several different moulds that are all still in use. There are these differences between the moulds as pointed out above. Some are more notable because the early moulds were handmade, whereas the newer ones are machine-made.

Chessex also said there is no predetermined association of certain moulds with certain designs or time of production. All available moulds are still being used to date, sometimes for the same lines, sometimes for different ones.

This means the same Chessex line can be produced at the same time, using different machines that have these very minor mould differences. It can also happen that different machines (i.e. different moulds) are used at different times for the same line. This is not documented or tracked by Chessex, as it is inconsequential to the overall characteristics, quality or value of the dice.

Chessex d20 font comparison

Unfortunately, there isn’t any hard evidence to attribute these different moulds to certain years when they were starting to be used, but based on information from fellow collectors, it appears that the mould with the shorter curve on the 2 didn’t appear before 2012, and the one with the 2 and 0 closer together is the newest one that had its debut around late 2018 or early 2019.

On the left you can see four different dice from the same year (2019) with three different d20 mould designs.

On moulds other than the d20, fellow collector John A. shared the following information with me:
Similar variations occur on the other shapes as well. I don’t think all the molds from the second series started production at the same time; the d4 I believe was already in use by 2009 while the d% and d8 didn’t seem to appear until 2014-15.

While this information doesn’t really help as a reliable method to tell the age of Chessex dice or as a tangible indication of old glitter vs. new glitter, it can help in determining if certain dice are newer than others.

One somewhat useful conclusion that can be drawn is that any Borealis dice with the mould from 2018/19 (with the 2 and 0 closer together) have to be new glitter versions, as this mould wasn’t yet in use when the old glitter dice were made (with the exception of Borealis Maple Green).

However, claims such as saying that Borealis old glitter dice with the 2012 mould are categorically sub-par and faulty are a bit far-fetched. Production variations like, for instance, different levels of clarity were and are entirely unintented.