Dice should be random

Dungeons and Dragons has become a regular part of our routine here in the Dave from Albury Compound. Thursday nights bring a combination of miniature figurines, beer, my Dungeon Master’s screen, beer, half-elves,beer kobolds, beer, and of course polyhedral dice.

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Now I’ll admit that I haven’t ever really given much thought to dice in the past, the most common type I’ve used are the cubes that we’re all familiar with (a d6 in D&D terminology). But in Dungeons and Dragons, every action succeeds or fails based on the roll of a d20, that’s a 20 sided die. When the difference between continuing the game with your character or having them die on you comes down to a good roll, you want to make damn sure that the d20 is good quality.

Enter Colonel Louis Zocchi, proprietor of GameScience Dice. Now Louis takes umbrage at the performance of low cost, tumbled dice with curved edges because of their non uniformity. In fact, the idea that players’ characters could be killed off because of a d20 that can’t make a saving throw really irritates him no end. If you have 20 minutes to see the results of an obsession with a product, take a look the following two Youtube videos.

Now I don’t know if Lou Zocchi is right or whether he’s just peddling quack science in an attempt to sell his stuff, but I am impressed with his passion. I’m so impressed that I’ve ordered a set of GameScience dice and so has everyone else in my game.

Imagine how wonderful the world would be if everyone was so committed to making things as good as they possibly could be, if every manufacturer and consumer refused to settle for lower quality crap. I think we could do with a few more Louis Zocchis.

16 thoughts on “Dice should be random

  1. The big question is – are there enough D&D fans willing to part with Rudd dollars to keep this poor misguided Colonel Louis Zocchi afloat through the recession?

    He will probably write the book titled, “How I beat the recession was a roll of the dice”

  2. What we often forget Greg, is that the tiny market that we have in Australia is not representative of the rest of the world. With a domestic US market of 300 million people, even a niche, low cost product like this can keep you in beer and pretzels for a good while.

    Think about what you could do if Dungeons and Dragons became a hit in India or China though.

  3. You’re right about our market clout here in oz, Dave. When I attended the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany a few years ago, it consisted of over 9,000 exhibitors, spread over a number of multi storied buildings. Staggering!

    But this quote of yours …

    “Imagine how wonderful the world would be if everyone was so committed to making things as good as they possibly could be, if every manufacturer and consumer refused to settle for lower quality crap. I think we could do with a few more Louis Zocchi”

    … isn’t that just a continuation of excuses for buying a space pen?

  4. jr, it’s actually an excuse for my new crumpler bag, moleskine journals and macbook. The Space Pen requires no more reason than climbing Everest, because it’s there.

  5. Tell me Dave, this D & D thing on Thursday nights at your place, does it involve ‘dress-ups’? If it’s a sex thing then I understand the obsession. Otherwise I’ll stick to the Footy Show.

  6. Looks like your original blog has now been officially hijacked

    No JR, it’s right on track:

    Thursday nights bring a combination of miniature figurines, beer, my Dungeon Master’s screen, beer, half-elves,beer kobolds, beer …

    The “Dungeon Master” has definite sexual overtones. What does he do behind that screen?

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