The Thought Eater podcast recently jogged my memory on dice towers. Which I find to be an interesting table top accessory. Probably speaks to my neat’freak ascetic – everything in it’s place. That along with my appreciation for mechanical / tactile tools.
I’ve heard from some who are defiantly anti-dice tower. The basic complaint is they are too big, take up too much space, are noisy, and ugly. I do agree that a dice tower can create these problems. Imagine a table where everyone had their own personal dice tower – maybe that’s not such a bad thing.
A few years back a good friend, Dave S. told me a tale of a fabulous game where the DM had a dice tower – all their rolls done in the open – with the advantage of the being decorated in the the theme of the game. That story sparked a moment of creativity – I made a tower for Dave as a gift.
I made two more of these with the same collage theme and was always frustrated with the actual construction. Plans sketched on paper – cut lines drawn in pencil on 1/8” press board – hand cut w/ carpet knife and steel ruler – all contributed a good deal of wonky variance that I would try and resolve during construction with predictable results.
Solution – a template – grabbing my trusty iPad I laid out in iDesign a simple pattern template – print without scaling and paste directly to the press board – hand cuts still not 100% but much much better. Download the template here.
In my hobby today I use so much tech, it’s like I was born and raised in Silicon Valley or something. Desktop publishing was the boon of the 90s while teetering on the edge of the always connected internet age. Now digital is everywhere, it is everything, it is the tools I use daily – you probably do too.
One of my favorite aspects of RPGs are deeply nested random tables which create a staggering array of combinations while yielding unexpected results. The best of these can take a good deal of dice rolling, note taking, and inspired interpretation. Not really a tool that can be used “in game”, but that all changes when we go digital.
Behold the power of: =index(Lookup!Y3:Y32,match(RANDBETWEEN(1,30),Lookup!$K3:$K32,0))
What is this strange gibberish you say? Simply the logical power of a digital array (spread sheet) that provides instantaneous lookup against random entry (dice rolls) from a given table.
Want to know something special about a city – push a button:
Maybe you need an NPC for that city – push a button:
Or maybe you have favorite tables you’d like to convert to a digital solution, for instant generation from nearly anywhere. Here’s a Google Sheet sample that you can study and build your own thing. Doesn’t make sense? Ping me and I’ll walk you through it, we’ll record a video of that and post it here.