Gaming tools: 20+

Hopefully, you’ve already seen these two videos.

In them, Lou Zocchi explains in grand style why his GameScience dice are the best around. They’re pointy, sharp, untumbled and unpolished. GameScience dice are also usually sold uninked, and they’re available in a bunch of pretty translucent colors. The dice feel solid, and they’re well-made; I’ve got GameScience dice that are 30 years old and still have sharp edges. I’ve been a fan of their dice for a long time.

My favorite type are the 20+, which are 20-siders with 0-9 twice; half the numbers have a little “+” symbol next to them. This makes the dice really easy to use as both 20-siders and as 10-siders. You might say “why not just use a twenty-sider marked 1-20 as a ten-sider?” I’d respond that it takes just that fraction of a second longer to interpret, say, a 17 as a 7. “Fine,” you say, “then why not just use regular ten-siders?” Because they don’t have the spherical, solid feel of icosahedrons. Naturally, it just comes down to personal preference — and those are mine.

Photo of purple 20+ dice

My new tanzanite 20+ dice

Blade & Crown, as you may know, mostly uses ten-siders. For many years, I’ve used non-GameScience ten-siders, because those were what I had. But this past year, I finally admitted to myself what my dream dice were: translucent, purple, inked, 20+. I did some checking and found that Gamestation sells GameScience dice in “tanzanite”, which was supposed to be a darker purple than the “amethyst” color. I already had some GameScience dice in amethyst, so tanzanite sounded enticing. And, I discovered, Gamestation sells the dice inked! Must mean hand-inking, which is kind of amazing, but it’d work better than crayon or whiteout. I didn’t see any 20+ dice in that color on their website, but they were the only site advertising tanzanite — in fact, the only place where I’ve ever heard tanzanite mentioned. Gamestation had 20+ in other colors and they had inked dice, so why not try? I wrote them an email and asked if there was such a thing as inked 20+ tanzanite dice.

Photo of tanzanite and amethyst GameScience dice

Amethyst (left) and tanzanite (right)

James Means wrote back very quickly, checked the stock and said there were, indeed, tanzanite, inked 20+ dice. I first got a quote for six dice, then decided on eight (about the most you ever need in a B&C roll), and when I asked for eight, James gave me free shipping! Wow, that’s good customer service.

I got the dice with gold ink, which doesn’t quite go with the purple as well as I thought it would; if I could do it again, I’d have gotten white ink. Also, it turns out that tanzanite isn’t as dark or as indigo as I’d hoped — I already had a tanzanite die in my collection and hadn’t realized it.

But overall, I’m very satisfied, and I now have all the 20+ dice I could need. (Although, of course, ‘need’ and ‘desire’ are two different things.)

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