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What is the best place to get quality polyhedral dice? Or what is the best brand of gaming dice?

My dice are old and chipped and it's time for new ones. I'm getting back in the game after a break of a couple of decades.

Criteria:

-High quality: Solid materials, great workmanship. They must not break or chip when dropped from excessive heights onto stone-like surfaces.

-Readable: Nice big numbers, easy-to-read, high contrast. My eyes are getting older :)

-Shiny!! Something flashy or cool looking. Solid metal dice would match my first criteria, but all the metal dice I've seen are just too drab.

EDIT

Initially, I didn't really care about accuracy or 'fairness' of the dice. Then, I checked out the links posted by Pat Ludwig and gomad. After listening to Lou Zocchi for 20 minutes, I'm sold on the importance of accuracy; he's quite a salesman.

I even got out my caliper and measured the Chessex d20s that I had purchased about a month ago for my kids. All of these d20s were egg-shaped by as much as 0.020"! Biased towards rolling 9, 10, 11, and 12s. None of the faces were parallel with opposite faces and there was a very different amount of radius on every edge. No wonder my monsters were slaughtering those poor 1st level newbies. I measured my 25 yr old sharp-edged (well, almost sharp-edged) dice that I use as GM, and the variation was less than 0.003". Very consistent.

I think I'm going to try some GameScience dice or PrecisionEdge from Chessex. GameScience has some very pretty translucent colors that I can complement nicely with some custom number painting. That is, if I can find Gamescience dice in stock anywhere. Every place I've checked so far has been sold out. :)

Thanks to everyone for all the help. +1 all around; too bad I can't accept more than 1 answer.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 8 down vote accepted

You said it didn't matter - but Gamescience dice are the fairest dice I've ever used. And in my experience as a player and a GM, an uneven roller is a cheat - one way or the other, somebody is going to feel cheated.

I'm not thrilled with my Crystal Caste barrel dice, though they are unique.

For pure looks, I agree that Q-Workshop makes some nice dice. But I also get a lot of satisfaction from some of my Chessex dice - especially the Borealis and Gemini lines. Their Precision Edge dice are very similar to Gamescience products, but I haven't actually owned any of them.

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Heh, I was thinking of Gamescience when I asked how important true randomness was. They aren't the prettiest though, so I didn't think they fit with the questioner's criteria. –  Pat Ludwig Oct 5 '10 at 20:53
    
What statistical analyses have you completed with your GameScience dice? There's a lot of hype out there. –  okeefe Oct 5 '10 at 21:06
    
Feel free to google "dice statistical analysis" if you want. Is there really any doubt that dice with rounded edges and different areas for each face don't roll with the same flat distribution as sharp-edged dice with even face areas? I have some very nice custom dice that were made for me as a present. But I'll tell you, some of them roll a LOT of 1s. Now, that's not saying that I never use anything but GS dice - I do. Almost all the time. But when I or one of my players is feeling put upon by dice, I drag out the GS dice. So what SAs have you completed showing that they're no better? –  gomad Oct 5 '10 at 21:56
    
@gomad, thanks for the Gamescience link. I like the super sharp edges on those dice. Everything I had seen to this point had rounded-off edges. My old set was sharp-edged (emphasis on 'was') so I'm partial to that. The 'Peridot' set has some cool factor to it my opinion. –  Stewbob Oct 6 '10 at 1:38
    
If you like Gamescience, don't miss out on Colonel Lou's <a href=youtube.com/watch?v=bR2fxoNHIuU">videos</a>;. The man is a true character and a joy to talk to. His dice have visible blemishes and you have to ink them yourself so I didn't think they would meet with your approval. They're very cool though. –  Pat Ludwig Oct 6 '10 at 5:53

I don't have any Q-workshop D&D dice, but I've been enjoying their Arkham Horror dice for a while now. They are very well made and quite artistic. Everyone that has seen them covets 'em. :) They have a bunch of unique designs for general D&D dice that may tickle your fancy.

Here is a sample, but check out their web page.

alt text

My current favorite D&D dice are Dwarven Metal from Crystal Caste. I love the heft and easy readability. You've expressed a distaste for metal dice that you've seen. They are probably these dice as I believe they are the most readily available metal dice, but just in case, here is a sample.

alt text

Crystal Caste has a bunch of other designs to check out as well. I don't believe I've seen the acyrlic dice in person but they look cool. Their Dwarven Stones are very cool, made out of solid rock and gemstones. Unfortunately they proved to be unusable with several sets chipping after only a few weeks of play. They appear to be dice made only to look at, and who really wants those?

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Those are some sweet dice! –  C. Ross Oct 5 '10 at 19:58
    
Those Dwarven Metal dice actually look nicer than I thought. Thanks for the link. –  Stewbob Oct 6 '10 at 1:49
    
The Dwarven are super nice, they are what I was going to recommend. They feel and roll very very well. –  BBischof Oct 6 '10 at 4:34
    
No problem, I've had, and used the Dwarven Metal for years. They show a little wear, but they're freaking metal, I ain't worried about 'em :) I just picked up one of the larger d20's and it is getting a bit of a reputation as a crit-die. 20's just seem to pour out of it! –  Pat Ludwig Oct 6 '10 at 5:49

I've used both Chessex dice and q-workshops rune carved dice. I like both, the q-workshops aren't as easy to read in my opinion but the chessex are rather plain. I haven't used them but I also hear good things about the gamescience dice.

alt text vs. alt text

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Those rune-carved dice are very cool, but I'm not sure I could read the numbers on the fly. Thanks for the links. –  Stewbob Oct 6 '10 at 1:48

For craftsmanship, readability, variety, and arresting looks and design, there's nothing else quite like the hand-machined metal and metal-inlaid dice of Dice Creator. They are quite pricey, but for metal dice that stand out and will never need to be replaced, you might judge it worth the investment.

Apart from his regular store, he takes orders for many of the experiments posted on his blog, and does custom-designed dice as well.

Even if you consider them out of your price range, the dice on his blog are nice to drool over. His "Structural Integrity" d6 is particularly nice to look at.

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Wow! That 'Structural Integrity' is the coolest d6 I've ever seen. –  Stewbob Oct 6 '10 at 1:41
    
Link's dead. Did they move or go out of business entirely? –  Alex P May 7 at 7:54

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