Until a shiny new set of metal polyhedral dice from Easy Roller Dice Co. arrived a few weeks back, I didn’t think much about the dice I used. Sure, I have my lucky set, and there are certain patterns I like more than others, but in the end, unless a D20 had become possessed and seemed intent to kill my character as quickly and mercilessly as possible, I didn’t think much about the dice I used.
And now I have discovered that my general ambiguity toward dice was because I had always used crappy dice. Cheap, plastic, boring dice that do the same thing every other die does, regardless of color or pattern.
I had never used a set of gun metal, polished, and heavy as hell dice like the ones from Easy Roller. And for good reason. Admittedly, these are very pricey – about four times the cost of a standard 7-piece set.
But, that’s what makes them special. These aren’t just another set of polyhedral dice. It’s not just another set of shiny, plastic dice in a plastic container with a weird black lid. It’s something different entirely, but are they as practical as they are pretty? That’s the real question.
What to Like About These Dice
Easy Rider isn’t the only company making metal polyhedral dice, so what makes these dice special?
To start, the presentation is great. Slipped in a small black box with the calligraphic logo of the company on the top (and inside), the dice fit snuggly into cut foam – perfect for display. They don’t move around in transit, the box doesn’t open without some pressure, and the dice remain clean and polished between uses. This is important because these things are sharp and heavy. Far heavier than any dice you’ve probably used in the past.
Combined with the beautiful storage solution and the careful attention to detail, the dice themselves are well crafted. The Gunmetal Series Serpent’s Blood set (one of two I tested) looks fantastic with bright green lettering on black, polished metal. And because the metal polyhedral dice are plated and not painted, they don’t chip according to the manufacturer (and thus far have not for me).
There Are Some Quirks
Look, these are metal dice. They are heavy, they are sharp, and they are beautiful. But they don’t roll like your standard, chuckable plastic dice. Roll most of these dice and they clang to the table and die pretty quickly. If you roll too hard on a wood or glass surface…well, you can imagine what happens next. Dents in your kitchen table may not go over well with the family.
That said, they still feel and roll well balanced if rolled hard enough and there are plenty of ways to get around the excess weight. You can shake them up a bit extra in your hand or you can use a dice tower to handle the randomization, and they just feel so solid. For a dramatic, major roll at the climax of a long session, nothing is better than a copper or gun metal D20 rolling across the table, making more sound than the thunder of the gods.
Another interesting side effect of these dice is that they make standard non-metal 16mm dice feel like nothing. Light as feathers. Not a bad thing, but an interesting side effect – even a couple days later playing a game of Battlelore, I marveled at how light standard dice really are. The average Chessex plastic 7 piece set is 0.9oz. The copper set from Easy Roller is 4.5oz. Even more interesting is the fact that copper is a softer metal and you can get even heavier dice.
Who Are These Metal Polyhedral Dice For?
Here’s the real question. You want to know if there’s a good reason to buy these. Can you justify the added expense for the top shelf design of some truly spectacular metal polyhedral dice?
The answer is tricky. I’ll be honest – I think these are amazing. They are superbly crafted. They feel fantastic in your hands, and they are incredibly durable. If you’re going to make metal dice, this is how you do it. And the crisp, polished, smudgeproof surface makes for easier to care-for dice than several other top tier options.
But at the same time, metal dice have their downsides. They require regular care, the softer metals can scratch slightly and require cleanup, and they need to be transported carefully (ideally in the box in which they came). They are a center piece – a premium item you keep in your game collection for really special events, or displayed on your shelf to show your geek cred (and love of dice).
If you’re a casual RPGer who gets together once every month or two with buddies for a quick run through your favorite RPG, these may not be for you. But if you’re a hardcore gamer, a lover of dice, and an aficionado of all things beautiful in gaming, these are well worth taking a look at. And for the gamer in your family, these make a fantastic gift.
Other Items from Easy Roller
Okay, for those of you who don’t quite need a set of metal dice, but who LOVE having a lot of dice on hand for big groups, Easy Rider does sell the good old stuff as well. Along with the metal dice we tested, we also received a bulk bag of 15 sets of 7-count polyhedral dice. The bag is fantastic and big enough for all 100+ dice, the dice are solid and offer a range of colors, and the price is very good. Plus you can throw in one of the branded dice bags (a nice upgrade over that Crown Royale bag you’ve been using) and you’re still spending a lot less than you might on the cubed dice packs at your FLGS.
Bottom line – if you love dice, check out Easy Roller’s shop. They’re not the only company making premium-tier metal polyhedral dice, but they are among the best when it comes to sleek, modern style.
Review copies of the dice pictured in this post were provided by Easy Roller Dice Co.
SUMMARY & RESULTS