Apart from it being an everyone-for-himself game, one of the most dreaded things about Blood Red Sands is the sheer number of dice needed:

Total Dice Needed for a full game of 5 players: 25d10, 25d8, 25d6, 25d4 for a total of 100 dice.

As the keeper of a large hoard of dice for conventioning purposes, I have the needed d6s and d10s, and enough d6s of a different color to simulate d4s (rerolling 5s and 6s), but not enough d8s.

Apart from using several d12s and d10s and other bigger dice to simulate d8s, is there anything I can do to avoid using all those dice at once? I suppose that, since the dice get divided among 5 players and seeing as the game focuses around duels, having lots of dice rolled at the same time is infrequent, but since it's my first time playing I don't really know for sure.

I guess I could prepare tokens representing unrolled d8s, to keep on the appropriate Battle Mats or on the Record Sheets, then hand d8s to those in real need of rolling them, but that might be confusing (dice gets moved, token stays there, ending up with some token more in the end).

Have you had any experience with BRS or with similar dice-hoard needs in games where dice are assigned to in-game elements? What's a good way to solve such issues?

Note: since I only need those dice for a single game, buying around 20 of them is... well, a complete waste of money, in my opinion. I'd rather resort to cutout pieces of cardboard or other things I already have.


D&D has a similar requirement for keeping dice on the table, namely Bardic Inspiration. In my game, I have got around this by buying cheap plastic counters and poker chips from Two-Dollar Stores and writing on them with a permanent marker. I'm using a silver coloured marker. It is more expensive than a black marker but looks much nicer.

So I suggest that you buy a pile of small plastic counters and write "1", "2", "3" and so on.

When a player rolls a 6, give them a plastic counter with "6" written on it to leave on their character sheet.

You still need lots of pieces of plastic on the table but plastic counters are a lot cheaper than dice.


For games that use a lot of different dice as both randomisers and tokens, there isn't really any substitute for real dice.

Especially when learning a game for the first time, having makeshift representations that you're constantly swapping around for the real thing adds a layer of mental effort that not only complicates learning, but distracts everyone from the intended experience, and thus detracts from the game. (There is a reason that nice, clear components are highly appreciated in board games.) Players have better things to do during the game.

Really, you're only missing the d8s. If you can't persuade your players to bring their own dice (they probably already have at least a few d8s, possibly as many as the 5 they need), it's not much outlay to buy 25 × d8s @ 55¢ plus shipping for $20.75. Cheaper if you already have some and need fewer.

In a similarly dice-hoard game (though with a very different premise) where exact dice and their positions are important, Bacchanal, dice aren't really replaceable since they're constantly moving around the table and need to be understood at a glance. Its requirements are even more picky (35× purple d6s, 3× brown d8s, 3× gold d8s, 1× purple d8, 1× black d8, 1× red d8, 1× metallic silver d6, 1× white d6, 1× pearlescent white d4) and the dice are important for the game to flow as intended, and there was no way I had anything close in my dice collection — so I bought them. Similarly, when I was getting into The Riddle of Steel I didn't have sets of d10s in matching colours (I missed the whole WoD thing in the 90s) and had no decent alternative — so I bought three sets. I wanted to play Fiasco and didn't have enough d6s in contrasting colours — so I bought two bricks. When I wanted to use a D&D supplement built around d30 tables — I bought one.

I've never regretted any of these dice purchases, and I don't even have conventioning levels of dice needs. These purchases were spread out over years, too, so the cost over time has been very low.

Dice aren't very expensive, and unless they're custom dice they're always useful later in other games. And having the right dice makes the experience of the game they're for much, much better.


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