Role playing gamers are an unusual bunch, and I should know. I’ve been active in the RPG scene since Ronald Reagan was President. Of course, like most gamers I cut my teeth on Dungeons and Dragons, but I’ve played just about everything through the years, including Call of Cthulhu, Paranoia, Traveller, Starblazer Adventures, and the Ghostbusters RPG (please, don’t remind me!). Though the games I’ve played are different and have varying mechanics (everything from D6 to D20 systems), one thing remains constant: if there is one signature trait of role playing it’s undoubtedly the game dice.
For years, role playing game dice have pretty much been standardized. A traditional polyhedral dice set includes all the favorites (d4, d6, d8, d10, d%, d12, and d20) in those funky geometric shapes that we’re all familiar with. Familiarity though can breed contempt, and like I said, role playing gamers are an unusual bunch. I have more dice in my collection than one gamer could possibly need in a lifetime — an entire shoe box full of RPG dice in every color you could imagine. Sure, I have my favorites, but I’m always on the lookout for something different.
Last year at GenCon I found that different “something” in the form of Oblivion Crystal Dice. These dice are quite unusual, looking nothing like the traditional polyhedral sets that have been around for decades. Each die has its own unique crystal shape with sides exactly the same size to guarantee they roll true (probably the most important thing to look for in a set of RPG dice). All the necessary dice are present and accounted for in a crystal set (d4, d6, d8, d10, d%, d12, and d20), but they look totally different. As the crystal dice increase in number and facets, they grow fatter, giving rise to the name “barrel dice” by some gamers. For me though, “barrel” is an unflattering term and these dice are far from it, looking more like gemstones than containers used to store beer.
American dice manufacturer Crystal Caste owns the intellectual property rights to these uniquely shaped dice (at one time they sued and beat Hasbro in court for ripping off their crystal design). I personally own the orange and red sets, but the dice are available in a total of six Oblivion colors. If you’re looking for something different to roll on game night, these dice may be just what you’re looking for.