30 June 2017
Are these custom dice an Eldritch star or cosmic horror?
Themed dice are one of the smaller but effective ways to add a touch of atmosphere to your roleplaying games. Q Workshop has made a name for itself with its plastic and metal sets designed specifically for everything from Pathfinder and Doctor Who to Batman and Call of Cthulhu, and it’s the latter seminal Lovecraftian RPG that the accessories' specialist's latest pack of premium metal dice takes as its inspiration.
The set, which was originally funded on Kickstarter earlier this uear but is now headed for a wider release, includes seven dice – one each of D4, D6, D8, D10, D12, D20 and D100 – cast in tin and accentuated using black paint.
There are some nice details across the dice, from the raised twisting tentacles along each edge to the gaping mouths lined with teeth at each corner. The highest critical hit value on each dice has been replaced with an Eldritch star, which helps to adds to the atmospheric design but can end up lost a little into the overly-busy background of each panel.
This is an issue that affects all the dice: the numbers become increasingly harder to read as the smaller values are crammed among the tentacles and tendrils – we found that the black paint used to bring out the numbers only went so far as helping us to easily identify the rolled result quickly.
The finish of each die is similarly inconsistent. While the tentacles and mouths are beautifully highlighted on some faces and edges, others weren’t cast or painted with as high a level of accuracy, leading to a noticeable loss of detail.
It’s a shame, as the dice feel satisfying to roll thanks to their solid construction and density, giving the impression they would last for years to come – even if it seems that the paint may eventually wear off and leave the faces even harder to distinguish.
The designs have clearly been considered with the cosmic horror of Lovecraft in mind, but impact the dice’s legibility – at some point you question whether it’s worth surrendering substance over style. For us, sadly, it’s too great a sacrifice to make.
Manufacturer: Q Workshop
This review originally appeared in the June/July 2017 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here – or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.
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