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 1980-something I started going to my first game conventions. These were not just for Dungeons & Dragons, but full of so much more. One of these things was a tabletop game played with toy soldiers – hundreds of them really. This was Warhammer and this game inspired me in new ways.
Miniature wargaming is one aspect of my tabletop gaming hobby, perhaps a smaller part these last few years, but extremely influential in how I enjoy these games. Warhammer was clearly the culprit that propelled me down this path, inspired me to pick-up a brush, amass hordes of “lead figures”, and build railroad scenery like a man processed.
Warhammer during this time was… odd. Army composition was left to the players, there were few restrictions on how games were organized and even fewer supporting materials beyond the core rules. The good ‘ol days.
The first Citadel book I cherished after the rules – more cover art by John Blanche.
This magazine provided a complete scenario; 3 unique forces each with competing objectives; card stock buildings to cut, fold, and assemble; advertisements for special miniatures; comics strips…
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.