DnDice.UK has been going far beyond your average dice shop. Since I was introduced to Grady, this company has continued to surprise me month after month with their dedication and hard work. Now we get a chance to look at their new precision milled aluminum dice – each of which are named after a Legendary dragon from D&D’s past iterations!
Today, we’re taking a look at Tekthyrios, a Storm Dragon who was fed mushrooms that let the portal in his belly open to fiends who nearly destroyed Celestia…. not making this up.
So right off the bat, DnDice has made a little change that carries a decent amount of weight – the addition of a cardboard sleeve around the metal dice box.
I think this looks very clean. A good design on all sides. I like the inclusion of the various dragons (dragons you’ll find on the lids of other dice boxes offered by the company) – sadly, the dragons do not correlate with the specific ones shown on the lid.
I cannot fault this little choice – to correlate each sleeve to a specific box would take twice as much work and, thereby, probably cost twice as much. It’s a smarter move to use an agnostic cover.
The addition of contact info is quite nice – it promotes a more accessible gift-giving look to the product, which I hope was appreciated during the holidays.
The little touches finish off with a magic-item blurb on the side. It’s not the full on experience of days past with adventures and dice towers, but that business model was probably very costly and didn’t do one key thing the new sleeve does –
Far fewer DINGS on the completely irreparable metal tin! The sleeve helps cushion the sides and bottom quite a lot while keeping the lid very secure. It’s not much – but it’s a step in a good direction from DnDice.
As always, the industry standard metal tins make another showing. I think DnDice has a great eye for branding and keeping their look unique and flashy. the dragon on the cover, as well as the font, is top notch.
If I had to make a suggestion – I’d decrease the font size of “from DnDice” a bit more. “LEGENDARY – from DnDice” not “Legendary from DnDice.” You people who read a lot know exactly what I mean. You folks scowling at the screen can just give me a minute, we’ll get there.
It looks like the newer tins have a different more plush foam padding on the lid, which is appreciated – as I bitched for days about the dents/scuffs on the older stuff. This one looks brand new, which… it’s just so beautiful.
True to form, every business card has a tiny map on the back for a dungeon. Looks like they cards have been split up into 10 to be collected. The cartography is wonderful and the novelty of it is to be commended!
Are you ready?
*sexy smooth jazz begins playing*
The color choice on these guys is “splish splash gold taking a bath” if I had to put a dumb name to it. I’m never a fan of hap-hazard dice placement, but… whatever. the immediate impression is quite striking with a vibrant yellow-gold contrasting to a deep sea-blue with silver numbers.
The speckled dice are, from what I can tell, completely random – which is great. Some faces have quite a lot of yellow, some are almost completely blue.
The contrast can be a bit much, but high-light, low light, or dark – the numbers are still visible and easy to make out, which is impressive.
On the faces of the dice, there is a very gentle ripple effect in the finish that gives an even greater sense of “Splish Splash.” Some of the gold specks are so faint they appear almost pastel, while others are incredibly sunflower-gold.
I do think that, personally, that this particular set, if indeed they are random, was made to TROLL ME with how much more yellow the d20 shows than the rest of the lineup when put in my traditional storage method (highest number up so it learns how it’s supposed to roll.)
But seriously, the yellow splashes of color just look incredible – from almost any angle there are interesting blends of color and contrast that left me with 81 photos of these dice. Whoops.
The dice have a very wild texture to them. It’s almost like an emery board, very grabby but still “smooth” (as in will not catch or hang on anything, nor cause damage.) Looking at the faces of the die also shows that the faces with yellow are much more textured than their blue counterparts.
Note the area surrounding the 1 on the d12, the edges on the faces of the d20, and the cut-off between the “20/80” and the 50 on the d%. Now, lets see these SAME DICE on the opposite side:
See the even horizontal (vertical in the photo) marks on the 6 side of the d20? How about the perfectly even lines on the 90, or the sharp edges on the 2 of the d12? In the hand these things aren’t so obvious, but looking at them like I do (unhealthily), you notice the tiny details. Flip between these two photos and see for yourself:
Taking a closer look at each die, we can touch on some of the cooler details.
Just look at the texture – the tiny fingerprint like ridges all over the place. It leads to a very interesting ‘grippy’ feel.
The letters are very lightly etched into the metal, so lightly that the surfaces feel near-smooth. Having shallow cutouts for the numbers lessens the effect cutting away material would have (cutting out ’20’ removes far more metal than ‘1’) keeping the die more stable and true when rolling.
Every die is very flat and even, no tilt or wobble. Good design for aluminum dice – shows they’re machined well. The 7 side also shows off that wavy texture as well! So cool.
The d10, d%, and d8 are the most impressive to me. They’re all cut like a gemstone – even, flat, stable faces on all sides. All three dice are nearly uniform in height.
The d8 is probably the most expertly cut of the group. Each edge is left “sharp” by comparison to the d10, leading to a very satisfying and stable roll.
These “rounded edges” d6s are not my favorite – but they’ve come a long way in the past year. Probably 2/3 of the market now offers this style: particularly when aluminum is involved. If a d6 landed on the edge on a hard surface, the coating could shatter. Having rounded corners minimizes that risk!
The d4… We’ve got some issues. As this photo suggests, the d4 is the hardest to read. It’s a standard size and weight, but the faces of the d4 are not quite up to snuff. The 1 on this side is bathed so much in yellow it’s hard to see, likewise:
The numbers on one side (yellow) are quite a bit deeper and well machined than the opposite side (blue) where the numbers are faint – to the point the 3 is vanishing.
Why might this happen? If I had to guess, the yellow side is left raw – only gentle abasives used on it. The ridges are very prominent and stiff, the numbers look great. The other side is extremely smooth and polished, the numbers are faint, and the coating is certainly not even (due to the 3 being half-gone).
Note: I’ve already talked to DnDice about this d4, and they’ve already assured me that they’d do anything they can to fix the issue. THESE THINGS HAPPEN. Quality control is to make sure it happens as little as possible, not so that it never happens at all. Just give them a call/email/facebook/twitter at them and they’ll take care of you.
Compared to Norse Foundry’s aluminum dice – these are much more compact and even. The Legendary DnDice d20 being 0.05 oz heavier and every other die being not only smaller but lighter (most by 0.05 oz).
The Legendary Tekthyrios set weighs in at a comfortable 2.2oz while the Norse Foundry aluminum weighs in just a bit over at 2.8oz. Differences in size and cut make up the added weight, and it’s so inconsequential I didn’t even bother photographing it – you can’t even feel the difference in your hand.
A set of Chessex dice weighs 0.8oz – while aluminum is incredibly light, it’s still metal!
There’s some missteps – the Webpage tab reads “Felgolos” instead of Tekthyrios, the D4 is a little screwy, and the finish isn’t as even as I’d like. Nine out of ten times, these things wouldn’t even merit discussing – but for £84.95 ($117.43) these things are a premium product and should be held to a much higher standard than everyday dice.
As far as machined aluminum go – these are a good buy. The colors are great, the tin is well done, with tight holding foam and great packaging. I understand UK delivery is fast as hell, and the company has proven to me time and time again that they’re not only excited and happy to work with customers to make sure they’re happy – they also bring a lot to the community and dice eccentrics like myself can’t get enough of this shit.
Great theme, awesome color, great packaging, and fantastic customer support – go check em out!
I don’t always advocate rolling, but when I do… be sure you have to Drop the Die.
Review by JB Little, Follow me on twitter for more “useful” information.