Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Review Of The Pathfinder & Q-workshop Metal RPG Dice Set

The TL;DR of this article... "After getting these dice would you buy them again?" In short, No!  No, I wouldn't! (Read on to see why!)

Kickstarter backed, Pathfinder & Q-workshop Metal RPG Dice Set.
Kickstarter Origin Date Oct 2015.
Kickstarter Planned Delivery Date - March 2016.
Kickstarter Actual Delivery Date - Sept 2016. (6-7 Months LATE)

(Side note, I'm no longer backing anything with a year projected delivery date or really any Kickstarter these days. I've been burned by one entirely, the peachy printer debacle, and I've YET to see any of the Kickstarters involving a physical product actually on their promised delivery date.)

My gaming friends weren't impressed with the dice either, and in fact got more of a kick out of using the Laser Cut Dice Tower perk that came with the dice! (You can find the assembly instructions here.)

Don't get me wrong, the dice are indeed ALL metal, but I wouldn't pay $69 USD for these dice if I saw them at my local game store.   The funny thing is, according to the Kickstarter project marketing wank, they were to be valued at $99 USD!  Hahaha! The dice themselves are just "OK".

The Kickstarter included along with the all metal dice, a set of normal plastic "Goblin Dice", a linin dice bag, and the laser cut Dice Tower perks.  I believe I received them on a Wed, which was lucky for me as I had a 5th edition session that Saturday.  These pics, along with the pics from the Dice Tower build were all taken at the same time the Saturday before the game, some with my phone and some with my dSLR. (I'll try and include some at the end of the article that shows how they look after one month of light game play about two sessions.  (They are already beat up looking!)

Now the packaging the dice come in is very nice.  The box is of sturdy and textured cardboard and very lavishly done, along with some nice dense foam to separate individual die.    You get  d4, d6, d8, d12, d10, d%, d12, and a d20.

With that said, I'm not sure why Q-Workshop/Pathfinder/Paizo put the effort and cost into this area of the kickstarter since you are not likely to keep your dice between game sessions in this box, especially when they sent along as a "perk" a linen dice bag.   Personally I use a crown royal bag as many of you already know!  It just seems an area they could have save a bit of cash on, and passed along the "savings" or included a few more "perks".

Also another pet peeve of mine is the replacement of the high or low  numbers with a company logo, and in this case all the die have the high number replaced with a "P", that is except the d4.

They also used a tin alloy with 83% tin as the  base metal.  While they indicate the material is durable, with just two play sessions the dice seet looks dull, scratched and worn, unlike other metal dice sets I own and used far more!

Also there are other manufacturers  out there which you can get metal dice sets from  that look far better than these dice, some are cheaper too!

Here are some examples:

https://www.dnddice.com/metal-dice.html  Most sets $50 usd.
http://norsefoundry.com/product-category/7-piece-rpg-metal-dice-set/ Most sets $34.99 usd.

As well as a few people out there crafting their own dice via 3d modeling and then using places like Shapeways to get custom dice sets and even others making dice via CNC machining or old skewl milling & machining .  The following is a set of pics taken showing both the Paizo/Q-Workshop Kickstarter dice and the other metal dice I own as well as my friends metal d6's he has used from day 1 of our current set of campaigns which started in about 2008 ish.
(all the images can be clicked on for a  larger view)

These are my Crystal Caste Dwarven Metal Dice, which I've measured all of the other metal dice against.  These are durable, have a great finish, look awesome, and are heavy as hell!  (These d20's are more for intimidation of the players than anything else, as they are the LARGE d20 (size of a golf ball ish and could kill you if thrown and hit in the head!)   I believe my friends d6's are also of similar make(see the photos of those below).  I'm unsure if crystal caste is even in business any longer, their website seems to be out of stock of all the metal dice, and I heard a rumor that the one and only molds for these dice were broken and lost, but i've seen similar dice pop up on ebay from Noble Knight Games and they list 2015 as the manufacture date, so who knows for sure!

As you can see HEAVY at 140 grams! The Pathfinders set is only 190 grams in total!
You can see here the sizes of the d20s I own currently.
From left to right top, Crystal Caste 12mm Dwarven Metal die, light blue "Mud Dice" from my original D&D set,
Modern plastic d20 from chessex 16mm, The "GIANT" Crystal Caste Metal d20,
Mini d20 12mm plastic die, and the d20 Paizo Q-Workshop Die (this was taken before any play had occurred!)

This was my first set of rpg dice, from the 77 or 78 edition of D&D boxed set.
These were called the "mud dice" as overtime and heavy use the edges would break down
and cause a rounding of the edges.  These were as sharp as www.gamesciencedice.com when I
first had my own D&D box set way back in the day.  These dice are OLD, but are still in good shape I think,
and I still use them in games!
This is my most recent acquisition, I bought two sets to go with playing my Gnome Illusionist Ip! 

These are my pure solid silver dice 12mm that I bought from Crystal Caste
back in the day for I believe $75.  They certainly are tarnished!  Also very heavy.
These are the 12 mm crystal caste metal dice, as you can see they are in GREAT condition
despite being used quite often in games, the finish really holds up, I have the three colors offered,
Brass, Copper, and Brushed Nickel.
As you can see these are the Paizo/Q-Workshop dice.
They're not 190g as was stated in the Kickstarter, maybe even lighter,
as my kitchen scale isn't that sensitive and if you add up the numbers below,
of the individual die's, you'll see they don't add up to 155! Also, you can 
see the issue with the 2's, 8's 3's and 5's all looking similar. They picked a 
terrible font for the various numbers and depending on the angle and lighting
conditions you really have to get a close up view to determine what you rolled, which
is the second thing a company should be shooting for visibility, the first of course is accuracy!

That's a TWO on top not an 8, and you can see the three underneath.
Grrrrr, Thats the 6 on the d6.  Which could be the 1 for all your DM knows Unless
you know ahead of time, also gets confusing when you've not played in a bit and you have other dice sets
that use the "logo" for the high number where other company's (like dice for craps) put their logo on the snake eyes.
I hate when companies do this!
Only die in the set that hasn't a high or low replaced with a "P".  So yay for
consistancy?!  Also I prefer the d4 where you read the number off the base vs the top
of the pyramid.  Potatoes/Patados.  ;)

Again that's a TWO, could be a 8, could be 3(look below at the 3 and 5)
Legibility is a pain in the ASS on these dice for certain numbers.
Yeah that dot on the 9 is pretty small, when your DM asks you to roll a d12,
and you roll that you could argue 6 OR 9 if they're at the other end of the table!
(but regardless I bet your ass just got eaten! :D )

These are the goblin dice, they about on par with a low quality of plastic dice you get in a starter set these days, a bit on the light side feel wise but they roll nice. However as you can see legibility is again shit here.  The high numbers are again replaced, but this time with differing symbols! WTF! (all the following pics show the high number for the Goblin Dice)

Here again you can see the perfect finish of the 12 mm "old" skewl metal dice,
the left is the pure silver dice, and the right is the brushed steel, both from crystal caste.

Again more of that terrible TWO and "P".
The finish is just subpar for these dice and isn't holding up to even light
game play, are these the new "MUD DICE?"

Here is the other "Perk" that you get with the Kickstater.  Its a linen dice bag.

As you can see the linen bag is of very nice quality, roomy with nice cordage and a screen printed bag, not just some sticker on top of the cloth, though i would have liked to see some embroidery or pipping along the edges.  I'm likely to give this to a friend just getting into the game or my girlfriend who isn't as picky as when it comes to dice bags (crown royal is the ONLY way!)

Well that's it, I don't wholly regret getting these dice, but if I had to "do over" I certainly wouldn't have taken the plunge, especially with their initial imagery, which looked like a physical prototype, and many were miffed when they found out it was a CGI pic of the final product.  I even fell for the pics and I work with 3d imagery and rendering all the time.  Eventually they labeled all the images with "visualization" to avoid further confusion.  With that said I am a lover of dice (except those wooden ones! YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID!) so i'm ok with keeping this dice set and using it from time to time specifically for playing pathfinder games. (thankfully have been just playing more 5th edtion these days ;) hehe!)

Update: Here are a few pics from TODAY of how they have held up! (not the greatest!)

#gaming, #gamingaccessory, #geek, #kickstarter, #lasercut, #nerd, #pathfinder, #polyhedrons, #qworkshop, #amazon, #dnd, #dungeonanddragons, 

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  1. Thanks David, I now knows my Pathfinder Qworkshop metal dice have to stay in their own box, and not with other kinds in a purse or the linen bag received.
    I have also been a little ashamed of the numbers typo, difficult not to mix sometimes
    Best Regards, Ben

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