Testing the theory that one can not have too many dice

Just before I went out to GenCon in August, I wrote:

I have one request, which I hope isn't unreasonable: I'd like to test the theory that you can't have too many dice. If I see you at GenCon, would you give me one gaming die? I'll bring home as many as I get, dump them all on my office floor, and take a picture. I think it could be pretty cool … or very, very sad. Either way, it will be something, you can be sure of that

Before I even left, the response was epic, including this hilarious and brilliant comic my friend Joel drew for his webcomic, Hijinks Ensue.

I hoped I'd get a fair amount of dice, but I was totally unprepared for how many, and the incredible stories that came with just about each one. For three straight days, hundreds of people gave me probably close to a thousand dice, total, and each one had a story: "This is from my original red box" and "These dice killed all my players and I need to get rid of them or they won't play with me again" and "This is my first set of GenCon dice, I wanted you to have it" and the most common: "These dice are evil. They are out to get me. Here you go. Good riddance."

Since I came home from GenCon, I've been too busy to take a proper photo of the giant haul of dice I got, but I made some time this morning to take a few shots. They're all at Flickr, and none of them truly capture the enormity and beauty the way I can experience it with my own eyes, (especially pouring out close to 15 pounds from the big GenCon bag I keep them all in) but this is my favorite one:

GenCon Dice Haul #1

Now, to the important question: Can you have too many dice? I require further research and testing, but the early results of my experiment clearly say "No. No you can not have too many dice, especially when each die or set of dice you get comes with a story from the person who gave it to you, allowing you to make a personal connection that merely talking to each other does."

Enormous thanks to everyone who gave me dice at GenCon and at PAX. I think I'm going to keep doing this, until one day I have enough dice to cover my entire floor.

109 thoughts on “Testing the theory that one can not have too many dice”

  1. What if you had enough dice to fill a kiddie pool and then you could swim in them? Like a ball pit at chuck e. cheese, or when scrooge mcduck swam in his money?
    I guess that would be pretty dirty though…

  2. ” I think I’m going to keep doing this, until one day I have enough dice to cover my entire floor.”
    …and on that day, you will have enough dice, but not too many.

  3. I met you at GenCon, briefly, at Palomino the first night. You were leaving as I was walking in, shook your hand even though I was freaking out on the inside. I didn’t know about your request for dice otherwise I’m sure I would have given you one. (I never leave home without my dice.)
    Meeting you was awesome. And this sentiment was shared by any of my friends who were lucky enough to hand you their dice as well.
    And I agree, one can NEVER have too many dice.

  4. I would totally have a wall sized plexi-glass case built about 2 inches deep that you could just drop in dice from the top as you got them. It would be a beautiful display when it was completely filled and you would be able to gaze and marvel at the dice easily.

  5. There’s something macigal about dice. I haven’t roleplayed in years, but I still got my litte bag of dice on my desk all the time. For non-geeks that may seem strange but those litte fellas helped me slay goblins, climb trees, that were very difficult to climb and hack into corporate networks … they’re not just dice, no sir. They are my eyes, ears and hands in other worlds. They didn’t always do what I needed them to do but all in all they made it possible for me to do all kind of fun stuff back in the day I used them regularly

  6. I aspire to someday be in a position where I can ask people from around the world to give me dice, and they just will. How amazing! My collection are currently housed in small plastic containers, by type, but those photos make me yearn to add more =)
    Also, Fiend Folio, nice touch. I just catalogued all our 1st edition books at work. It was a great wander down memory lane.

  7. That’s awesome. Though my eye’s went directly to the Fiend Folio…I remember that cover, and had my own. Wish I would’ve taken better care of it, it got a lot of use. I bought it the day it was released at a little game store in Spokane, WA – Merlin’s I do believe..
    Still there too from what I’m told.
    It was hammered.

  8. Awesome collection!
    What do the other faces of the big yellow D6 in the back of the picture say? Do you know if it’s for a specific game or just random?

  9. I was one of the “these dice suck!” guys. What I didn’t get to say was that, even though my dice have never rolled well for me, it was still really hard to give them up. Truthfully, it seems like all of my dice are against me, but I still don’t want anyone getting their damn dirty hands on them!

  10. If inappropriate feel free to delete this, Wil.
    But I want to give everyone a chance to test your theory. Can you have too many dice?
    I’m giving away two sets of Chessex dice, you have until Wedneday to enter. http://bit.ly/aOo6RD

  11. I agree, but! with one caveat! I love all the weird dice. I don’t need 5 sets of the same dice just in different colors. I like to have a wide variety of styles. I even gave my hubby a dice with hebrew characters on it.
    Each has a story though as you said. I will though say that I do try to suit the dice to the character without getting crazy. :D

  12. You seriously need a research grant for this.
    Once you’re finished proving one can never have enough dice, we can build a space elevator out of them.

  13. Why do I have the vision of Wil laying in the middle of his office floor making dice angels, laughing hysterically, while Anne, with hammer and nail, is busy boarding up the door?

  14. No joke, my cat dove into the dice and rolled around in them. My camera was uploading pictures to the computer, so I missed it.

  15. I need to apologize to you for not sharing my die story with you (I had a massive sudden attack of fangirl derpitis and have been kicking myself over it ever since), but better late than never so here goes.
    I had won my little red and yellow speckled ten-sider the night before meeting you, at my very first Cthulhu-related event. I am finally making it a point to get into CoC-related gaming and the vast Cthulhu mythos for not only the sake of my own enjoyment, but because I get the honor of intro-ing some new-to-us gaming to my group of friends, as they were the ones that taught me MtG and D&D 15+ years back (and well, we’ve all been in a bit of a rut ever since :D). Sadly, the die itself never saw any gameplay but what it symbolizes overall, something I can say, “Hey, let me me show you guys something for once,” it’s a point of pride for me.

  16. Those look absolutely lovely. I had some dice for you, but I couldn’t get there.
    Any thoughts on what you are going to do with all of them? Actually going to go gaming with them all?
    Oh, and if you don’t want it, I’d love to have the blue casino die that is there. I’m trying to make an all blue gaming set. Have most of it, just have to get the 5 casino blue dice. ;-)
    But as a project, I think it worked.

  17. D: I’m drooling. I want to plaster all of those into the most amazing wall mosaic the world has ever seen. What would the mosaic depict? Why, a gigantic D-20, of course. Oh my god that would be amazing!! *flail!*
    …will you be accepting dice at RinCon?

  18. Hey cool! I can see the die I gave you! It’s a little weird how my eyes went right to it when I saw each photo. :)
    I think part of it is because it’s so old, pitted and rounded that it actually looks blurry even while the dice around it are in focus. heh.

  19. Orlando, I feel the same way about my dice. I haven’t had anyone to play with in decades (shit I’m old) but I can put my hands on 3 different sets of dice. My original green set with crayon-colored numbers are my favorite simply because I played the most with them. Every time I see them, I’m 12 again and leading my party down into the caves to being back untold riches.

  20. Holy shit- that Fiend Folio in the background just brought back a flood of memories.
    Sadly, I never got a chance to actually play D&D (although I did MUD for a while), but from about 4th grade thru middle school I used to check out the Fiend Folio & Monster Manual from the local public library and just read through all the monsters. I actually used “Githyanki” (the guy on the cover) as a code word to write a secret admirer note to a girl I had a crush on in 4th grade- sadly, I was unprepared for the fact that she’d show it to a bunch of her friends, who would try to figure out who it was instead of her going up to people & saying the code word to verify herself- my friends all figured it out and she never actually came up & said it to me.
    In 8th grade I carried the Fiend Folio around w/ a collection of several sketch pads and proceeded to draw every single monster in it (even the ones w/ boobies!). I even (literally!) single-handedly changed the theme of the school yearbook, since I was drawing all the art for it- it was supposed to be McKinley Munchies, w/ pictures of food, only I was like “pictures of food? that’s lame! I wanna draw monsters!” So I drew the D&D monsters eating the food, thus changing it to McKinley Monster Munchies! The cover had some four-armed bug-eyed creature, which I believe started with an X, holding a candy bar & a sucker in addition to his sword (and a note from the staff saying it was all my idea- heh). Ah, good times… ^_^

  21. Let us know when you have five billion quintiplitilion unptuplatillion multuplatillion impossibidillion fantasticatrillion dollars (and sixteen cents) worth of dice, and then please take a picture of yourself “diving into them like a porpoise, burrowing through ‘em like a gopher, and throwing dice into the air to let them fall upon your head!” …not that I read a few too many Scrooge comics back in the day. Though that does beg the question what would be in your “lucky dime” pedestal.

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