Poly Hero Dice
Publisher: Tabletop Tycoon
Players, Age, Time: N/A
I recently had the opportunity to take some new-fangled polyhedral dice out for a test run. Call me a traditionalist, but usually I’ve stuck to the cheapest most generic polyhedral dice – buying bulk sets in a variety of colors that I can then use for my boardgames. As an example: https://amzn.to/3LFIVWQ. I have also been known to carry around a set of mini-polyhedral dice in my game kits because they’re handy to have around – https://amzn.to/3LAhQUZ
But those dice are so boring. In my younger days, I used to play D&D a lot, and I was pleased to see that new technologies in dice have come about. Now, the dice actually can look like the things a Cleric, Warrior or Thief or Mage might carry around! That’s the gist of these new Poly Hero Dice. And while I’m really not much of a role-player any more, it’s actually a pretty common thing for us to use dice in our regular boardgame nights to stand in as counters, score keepers, or a multitude of other things.
It’s quite interesting to see how they managed to design a full set of dice for each of the most common RPG character classes. The different shapes are perhaps best seen in the schematics – below are a couple to examine:
As you should be able to see; the different diagrams still have the usual 7 dice that are included in most sets – though the percentile “tens dice” doesn’t have a tailing zero on it, instead it has a dot underneath the number so you know which one is the tens and which is the units.
The sets are extremely customizable – each different set of character dice is offered in a multitude of different colors – so let’s say that Luke is your usual Rogue in your group. You’ll be able to order the Rogue set of dice in his preferred Green color. Heck, you have two shades to choose from!
As I mentioned above, I usually don’t play much D+D, so when I was offered some dice to try out, I opted to get one of each of the main sets (Wizard, Cleric, Rogus and Warrior), one of each in the four basic gaming colors (red, blue, green and yellow).
(My green set also came with an alternate d20 which is a functional top as well as a d2 book)
They are definitely thematic, and all of my boardgame friends were duly impressed by them. We replaced our usual dice counters with these for a few weeks, and it was a decent exchange. A few notes though – of course, seeing these dice through the lens of a boardgamer, not an RPG-er.
The dice need a lot of space to be rolled. As they are not regular shaped, they will bounce all over the place. I’d definitely recommend rolling them in a box. The super weird shaped ones, like the axe/halberd can go literally anywhere as they try to settle down. The dice are also a bit larger than your usual polyhedrals, and this also increases their need for space.
Second, I’d definitely take a look at the dice and have everyone agree on how to interpret the roll. Yes, admittedly, this isn’t something that should have to come up when using dice – but take the yellow axe. Which number is rolled in this picture? is it the 4, which is closer to the table? Or is it the 2, because it is the ‘higher” of the visible numbers?
We elected to take the number lying off the table, in this case, the die roll is a “2”. But, as it could just as easily be interpreted the other way, I’d make sure that all are in agreement on which number is actually rolled.
Some of the higher sided dice have very fine gradations and you’ll have to look closely to make sure that you’re reading the right number! (For us, the hardest one is the top d20)
For counters/scorekeepers, they worked just fine. And it was nice to have them in the usual set of colors. For us, the only change is that we only used one of the d10. As the dot is pretty small to distinguish between the tens and the units, we found it easier to use a d12 or d20 for one number just to not mistakenly rotate the wrong die.
If we were playing a RPG, I can definitely see how they would add some extra theme to the game, and I think they would be a welcome addition to the overall experience. At the current moment, the KS fulfillment is still in progress, I believe that this should be done by mid-summer 2022, and then I would expect that dice should also then be available in the usual retail channels. If you’re looking for something to add a bit of theme or spice to your game night, or perhaps to give as a gift to that gamer who is hard to shop for – this might be a good answer to your problems!
Until your next appointment,
The Gaming Doctor