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. The concept of each die having a story and carrying that memory with it greatly reminds me of a recurring theme in the movie, “With Honors.”
    Joe Pesci’s character has lived a hard but interesting life and when he’s somewhere fondly memorable, he picks up a small stone to add to a collection. He says he can then hold each one and go back to that good memory when he wants to. The concept of an object having memorable significance is certainly not new to humanity, so why not a die? :)

  2. Wil,
    I wasn’t sure where else to put this, but I wanted to drop you a line. Your PAX speeches have been inspiring. I’m not a gamer; my friends and I came up on comics. After meeting you at the LA Festival of Books and at SD Con this year, we’ve been talking about getting into gaming. For reasons passing understanding, it got decided that I’d be DM, so I’ve been doing my research.
    Today, UPS knocked on my door and handed my my first Red Box. I’m so excited.
    Just wanted to say thank you.
    Vincent

  3. I noticed the GURPS in the background…Nice! At least I wasn’t the only one playing it! If you ever make your way to Edmonton, Alberta (a mere 18 hour drive from Vancouver) I have a couple of dice I can part with. Chaos d6’s, always rolled well for me, I figure you’ll need some ‘good vibes’ to counteract the ‘evil dice’. Heck I can probably convince my brother to part with one or two of his “+5 dice of rolling”.

  4. What is it about those dice. They standout in my memory from years ago. Is it the time of your life, or the doorway into other limiless worlds, or is it the link to you imagined fate ? Maybe its the fact that D&D is the first time you see a non-D6 and that first awe-inspiring read of the Manual. Wizards of the Coast be toasted.

  5. Too bad you can’t physically hand someone virtual dice… @wilw please scope my software @d20pro, I think you will dig what it is and what it will become. @thraxxis

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