Dice Nostalgia

I started playing roleplaying games in 1981 with some friends from university. We tinkered with various systems — EPT, Traveller, Space Opera, C&S, Runequest, and more — but the system we played the most was AD&D. We played almost every day, for a while.

The only shop in Palmerston North that stocked any D&D stuff at all was Bennett's University Book Shop, and the range of stuff available was pitifully small. They did, however, have a few sets of dice available, and these were the very first non-six-sided dice I ever bought.

The red ones came in a D&D-branded blister, along with a yellow crayon to fill in the numbers with. They're made of some sort of plastic about the hardness and consistency of hard, dry cheese. I don't think the set included any kind of d10, which would explain why I bought the two shown here, a couple of pale blue Gamescience (?) dice. I used them for about six months before getting some much better dice — some more of Lou Zocchi's earlyish products, I think — and the Crumbly Ones went into honourable retirement, which is why they're still identifiable as dice.

Even in the short time they were in use, their edges started crumbling away. I've seen some of the same brand of dice belonging to friends in much, much worse condition — a d20 that has practically been reduced to a sphere, for example.

It's plain how little I ever used the d4 — it still has points.

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