GameScience Dice Review

Last March I wrote a post titled The Importance of Dice where I talked about how important dice are to both players and game masters alike. It seems like everywhere I look every person has their own unique way of holding and rolling their dice. Some people wont let anyone else touch their dice for fear of negative consequences as a result. The options of dice we have to choose from as participants in this role-playing game hobby of ours have is staggering, but today I am just going to focused on one brand of dice. Gamescience dice, and what my personal experience has been with them.

Shortly after I wrote The Importance of Dice I placed an order with Comic Lair for a set of green opaque Gamescience dice with white numbering. I chose to go through the Comic Lair because they where one of the first places I searched for that would ship to Juneau, Alaska. Finding companies that will ship to Alaska can be a challenge. I also chose to go through the Comic Lair because I called them and got to speak with the owner Chad, who took his time to help me out and answer all of my questions. Who says customer service is dead?

GameScience Dice Unpainted

Chad explained to me that Gamescience don’t look perfect. They don’t ship from the manufacture with painted numbers for starters. All number painting is done third-party either I as a buyer could paint them in myself and save a couple of bucks, or Chad could do it for me if I choose. Gamescience recommends using deco paint pens with an ultra fine tip which is what Chad used. Recently he has been testing out Sharpies new enamel paint pens and him they seem to be adhering better to the dice and he has been experimenting with different color choices on his eBay store. It will take some time to know if they last any longer then the deco paint pens that Gamescience recommends. I also asked Chad about the blemishes, or imperfections on Gamescience dice that I had been reading about. He explained that yes, these dice do have imperfections on them as result of how they are molded. This is something easily fixed with an emery board. He also cautioned me that no matter what, these dice will not ever look 100% flawless like other dice. Unlike other dice, Gamescience dice do not go through a tumbling process to smooth out these imperfections, but that is why some RPG hobbiest prefer them. As a result you have a set of dice with sharp edges that cause the dice to come to a stop more quickly. This produces a more random dice roll then most other bands of dice with their smoothed down rounded edges. What this means is a dice with rounded edges will roll across your table longer allowing it to find its center of gravity. The result is that a dice with rounded edges are more likely to roll a particular number depended on where it’s center of gravity is. A Gamescience dice, with its sharp edges will not roll as far and as a result will not find its center of gravity making each roll more authentically random then other bands of dice with rounded edges.

I thanked Chad for all his time and asked him to send me a set of Green opaque dice with white numbers. I wanted to leave the number coloring up to someone who had more experience than myself. Less than a week later I got my first set of Gamescience dice in the mail.

The dice came well packaged and survived the trip from Trenton, New Jersey all the way to Juneau, Alaska. When I took them out of their package the first thing you really notice is how sharp the sides of each dice are. It really sands out. I spent a good ten minutes just squeezing them in my hand and feeling all the edges.

GameScience Dice Blemishes

The next thing I noticed was the blemishes on each dice. They did stick out and they did not allow the dice to lay flat on the side that had the blemish, but just as Chad had said, a quick file with my fiancée emery board leveled off the imperfection so the dice would lay flat on the affected side. Also like Chad said the dice do not look flawless. Leveling off the imperfection made it so the dice would lay flat but you can still see where it was. Some of the dice also look a bit lighter or darker from one another. It’s just how it is.

Ever since I got my set of green Gamescience dice I have been using them at every game I have played since. I have noticed that the white numbering is starting to slowly flaking off. I think when and if it gets to a point where I want to redo the numbers on my dice I will try the crayon method.

I do not miss using my other dice at all. I feel that as a game master it is my job to provide a far balanced game. Having a set of dice that I feel are producing a more random result is part of that job. It’s also important to remember that when you are playing an RPG having fun is key. I am not requesting my players to go out and buy Gamescience dice. (but some have, including my Fiancée, who has bought several sets now.) I want my players to have fun and that means everyone gets to use the dice they like the most. Mine just happen to be Gamescience dice.

Check out Bridget’s post at Dicemonkey.net to see what she thinks of Gamescience dice.

15 thoughts on “GameScience Dice Review”

  1. After a long string of bad dice mojo, I picked up three sets of Game Science dice. Love them. As far as marking goes, I just bought light colored dice and used a normal Sharpie.

  2. Back in the day when you used to go to the hobby store to buy dice you got to choose from individual sets of various gem colors but they were all sharp edged! Most of the time, at least at my hobby store, back then you couldn't even get a full set of one color! Even the "mud dice" put in the original box sets had sharp edges. I think it was the armory (or at least they were the ones I first encountered at my hobby shop) that were the highly polished glimmering jewels with white ink'd letters that most are familiar with today. At the time it was the "new thing" and they were pretty, my precious, and we must have them!

    Ahem, I love dice, pick up sets now "just because" sometimes, either hand them out as gifts to new players or give them to my nieces and nephews to encourage them to play rpgs and to share my love of the little bits o'plastic.

    I recently wrote up an article about dice in general and you might be interested in looking at the pictures on the blog (click on them for super sized pics) http://www.d4d6d8d10d12d20.com/2010/06/dice-oath-
    The top set is my original dnd box set dice. As you can see the edges are indeed no longer sharp but the dice themselves are in pretty good condition considering their age and the number of games they've played in. I used a blue thin pen back then equivillant to a micron 03 or sharpie ultra fine point and inked them myself. I've not retouced the color and its held up well. Further down you can see two percentile d20s one pink and one white each with markings only going from 1 to 0, 0 being the ten spot. These were from boot hill box set and unlike the dnd dice haven't faired as well and have played in far less games so you can see they indeed had a "quality" issue back then. The last pic is one of the individual die's I purchased in the 70's-80s with the sharp edges and shows the various marking differences (+9 for 19, +20 for nat 20!) with alongside them a polished die from the 80's with its inked markings.

    I didn't display the rest of my collection but most of the old die's were indeeded filled with the crayon method typicallying using a black or white. Its really easy to do just color hard onto each face then when you're done put it it in a paper town and rub, until you only have crayon in the numbers, you'll notices that "blemish" will also usually keep some crayon adhered, just accept it or "work around it" and do one face at a time slowly. I made the mistake on some clear die's using "siliver crayon" thinking it would be cool and other wordly like a shiny diamond ring. I was wrong not only are those die hard to read the silver crayons look pasty, you'd be better off using silver enameled paint but you would still have a difficult time reading them. So be wary of the color you choose to fill in your numbers. Just like a website you don't want your txt color fading into the background.

    Lastly the gamescience dice are indeed great dice to own and use and despite what others say they are beautiful in their own special way. However its ok to also use those polished sparkley dice too especially when you announce to your players "Because of that wisecrack I'm going to be rolling Mr. Green for the balors attack against you!" and your players beg you not to use your lucky die that rolls 19's and 20's at your whim! Mwhahaha!

    hehe.

    Loved the article, then again i love hearing and seeing dice, dice and more dice!

    Cheers!
    -david http://www.d4d6d8d10d12d20.com – My Game Blog

  3. @Chuck, Glad to hear your enjoying the dice!

    @David, Great comments and thank you for the Crayon advice. It's something I have been wanting to try myself.

    @Zachary, Thanks for your comments! I agree!

  4. Last year I got a set of Gamescience dice, after having some rolling issues with some dice that I had gotten that looked to be less than random.

    I have clear blue and red GS dice, and I too had to file down the part where they are cut from the mold. The highest complement I can pay my GS dice is that they roll random.

  5. @DNAphil, That's just how i feel. You know I love my green GameScience dice. But i have also recently gotten a set of pumpkin colored dice with black numbering. They to me look super cool. Green has always been my favorite color but now I am torn since I got these pumpkin colored dice on a whim.

  6. I have to admit that I finally gave in and ordered a set of Gamescience dice. I have been skeptical about those dice before and I didn't pick up any at Gen Con, but I just have to give them a try.

  7. I still have a set of precision dice back from when Chessex (I think it was Chessex) still made them. I also have a set of the new GameScience dice. I love both but to be honest I prefer the older ones because the quality is slightly better (you didn't have to file them down yourself for instance). I don't know why they stopped selling them. My guess is they couldn't produce them for the price people were willing to pay at the time.

    Edit: now that I think about it, the older dice may be from GameScience too. Did they exist around 1990?

  8. Love to see people talking about GameScience dice. Just wanted to chim in and let you know that here at GameScience we have also found Sharpies to be the easiest to work with. There new paint pens with the ultra fine tip are awesome. However, we do actually sell them directly pre-inked by us if you find it too tedious. Thank you for the review!

  9. so, my boyfriend got a big box of dice (about 50) of random dice for $6.00 at a yard sale and included in the the box were 2 d100′s. the d100 were still in their original packing. in the bag for the d100 he gave me was some literature about game science dice from 1990. one of the thing things mentioned in the the literature was about how a lot of the other dice on the market (at that time) were really lop sided. I have been looking around and I found a video by the created of game science dice made in 2008. he was using the same pictures in the video as were in the literature with the d100. what I have been looking for is how current dice ( chessex in particular since that is all i have ever been able to get) stack up to game science dice in regards to being lop sided and what not. though, I am sure when I do get some money I will buy me some game science dice because the maker was so old and contrary even though he was comparing his dice to older dice

    here is where I found the video. http://www.gamescience.com/

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