Living in a Dice Hoarder’s Paradise

Living in a Dice Hoarder’s Paradise

I’ve written extensively about rediscovering my love for Dungeons and Dragons. The onset of digital toolsets designed to accommodate long-distance groups has certainly assisted. They grew particularly popular and well supported during the pandemic.

One thing I haven’t talked about is the most frustrating aspect of the game for me: failed rolls. I’ve never crunched the numbers because I’m not a math person. But I would say on average my rolls are low. I build magnificent characters, and they fail a lot.

Unfortunately, this is simply a fact of D&D life. Sometimes you roll poorly. Sometimes you have a night of rolling poorly. Sometimes you feel cursed by the dice gods. There isn’t much you can do.

Lots of people believe lots of things about dice. Like you shouldn’t touch another person’s dice without their permission. Or bad luck can rub off if dice are used by the wrong person. I’ve tested a lot of dice superstations from sleeping with my dice bag near my bed to pre-rolling my dice to prime them. (This just makes me feel like I waste potentially good rolls though, so I’ve stopped doing it.)

It took me awhile to get the hang of enjoying a game I appear to be bad at. Part of it is learning to roll with the punches, finding ways to have fun when your character fails spectacularly. I’ve also learned to build my characters in a way that partially mitigates constant failure (although it makes people scratch their heads at my stats a lot).

But the biggest key to rediscovering my love for D&D turns out to have lain with my dice. I find it’s a lot easier to get excited about my rolls (even the bad ones) when I have lots of pretty dice to choose from.

Kraken Dice

It has only taken 2 years for me to become a full-fledged dice hoarder. I have no regrets. My first source of ultra pretty dice was Kraken Dice.

Kraken Dice came highly recommended from a friend playing at the same physical table. He had a set of their metal dice and vouched for the quality of their production. Kraken has a wide variety of sets and tends to release their collections in various shades. So if you’re looking for a particular color / ink combo, chances are you’ll be able to find it there.

Kraken dice can be quite pricy, especially if you don’t live in the US. So I recommend keeping an eye out for their big sales. They appear to run them a few times every year to get rid of back stock and make space for new inventory.

I have three sets of their dice and love them to bits. My first set was the Mystic Shaman. At the same time I also ordered their blue Alchemy set. Later I was able to acquire a set of Celestial Twilight dice (which are my all time favorite).

The only down side to Kraken Dice I would say is that they often warn certain sets are about to go out of stock so that people will feel pressured to buy them quickly. My experience is that sets stay available on the site for quite some time after the warning is posted. And ‘retired’ or ‘sold out’ sets often come back after awhile. So take their site’s warnings with a grain of salt.

Critical Role

It probably comes as no surprise that a great source of pretty nerd accessories is other nerds. I remember watching old episodes of Critical Role and seeing how excited the cast was to make custom dice sets. At first I despaired of ever being able to own any because, let’s be honest, international shipping is brutal.

But as time has gone on, Critical Role has opened a lot more regional stores – and Canada is the happy recipient of one! Hello dice!

So far, I only have two sets of Critical Role dice, each based on characters from the first campaign. Although I think all the Critical Role sets are gorgeous, I decided to go for the Vex’ahlia and Keyleth sets. Blue is my favorite color (hence the Vex set) and I absolutely adore the earth tones in the druid set.

CR has continued to release dice sets based on subsequent campaign characters. And since you can never have too many dice, I’m starting to think it’s time to take a second crack at their store. I’m particularly eyeing the Taryon Darrington and Caduceus Clay sets (among others).

All I can say about these dice is that they’re of fabulous quality. I love the way the colors blend, and the numbers are large and easy to read. Plus the 20 on the d20 for each set is a symbol that represents the character the set is based on. (Keyleth’s is a deer head!)

Adventure Dice

Last but certainly not least is Adventure Dice, my most recent dice discovery. The best thing about Adventure Dice (for me) is that they’re a Canadian company and relatively local, so their shipping costs are strikingly reasonable for the fulfillment of my dice desires.

I have not yet had a chance to plumb the depths of the Adventure Dice store. That day is coming! But for the last two years, my husband and I have each ordered a copy of the Adventure Dice Advent Calendar. They have several versions (including both 24 and 31 day variants), but we went for the 1 dice a day plus a full set on the final day 31 day version each year and we have been greatly satisfied.

I admit I expected the sets included in the advent calendar to be fairly plain, but they aren’t. They’re actually beautiful. We received an ‘acid wash’ set (as I call it) in our first year that has become one of my all time favorites. And though I haven’t discovered all the 2023 calendar has to offer at the time of writing, I’m extremely excited by the galaxy sparkle D20 I received this morning. The best bit is that often the dice we get in the calendars are not dice I would chose for myself. But I still end up loving them!

I’m planning to write a more extensive post about Adventure Dice, including a complete rundown of both Advent Calendars. But the 2022 calendar included sets by the name of Wanderlust, Moose on the Loose, Nevermore and Purple Rhino. (The Wanderlust is my favorite, but all of them are beautiful!)

Again you’ll find the quality of these dice high from the blend of colors to the clarity of the numbers.

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