There is no monopoly on RPG gaming gear, lucky for all of us. You’ve seen my take on the modern, very simple and clean design by Wyrmwood – so to contrast, we’re going to take a look at a more stylized and eye-catching product from the (very cordial) lumberjacks over at Dogmight Games.
A foreword on the company: Dog Might Games (Or Dogmight – they don’t seem to mind either one) does most of their work in house. From designing, cutting, sanding, finishing, to shipping. They seem to have a good grasp on the fun inherent in our hobby – so chances are if you have some wacky request, they can do a lot more than other companies to see that actually happen. Onward, to the review!
This guy measures a hefty 13″ x 9″- while most if it’s real estate is ornamental, it’s a capable amount of rolling surface, easy for 2 sets of dice to fit in comfortably.
In my opinion this is a good tray for two friends sharing a corner of a table – each of the axes that surround the shield handle up to 3 dice comfortably or 4 dice precariously (but they handle it) letting two full sets fit on each half of the tray.
So, here is something we need to get out of the way. This is a solid piece of Chechen wood (a wood I’ve only personally seen used for jewelry boxes). It’s a wood that’s incredibly resistant to rot and insects – it’s a wood that’s used to last for years.
On top of that, the actual lumberjacks at Dog Might finish their own products – it was even hard for me to CHIP the finish on this tray: I doubt you’ll ever have issues from the wood of the tray without fire being involved.
Each edge, corner, and connection of the axes is, you guessed it, a solid hunk of wood. There is absolutely no need to worry yourselves. Just look:
Having the entire tray as one single piece of wood goes a long way toward easing my mind when I hand it off to other players for inspection or use. There are few circumstances that would damage this tray more than a scuff or a crack unless you tried. Hard.
You can also see the “Demon Hide” upholstery here. It’s a fitting option, matching well with the deep brown tones of the wood. Warning, however, upholstery will show marks from rolling metal or heavy wooden dice, but most things do, if I’m being truthful. As a premium add-on, I would suggest it over felt only if you’re like me and loathe having to brush felt off every ten seconds. Upholstery is much easier to clean.
For a more honest representation of the tray’s “wood hunk-ness” just look at the back!
You can see the gorgeous color of the wood and the grain! Oh the GRAIN! *swoons*
However… we also begin to see the problem I have with this dice tray, and it’s a problem I sincerely hope Dog Might get a grip on as soon as possible: small details.
As you can see, the plastic feet that are used to keep the tray off of the table are quite haphazardly slapped onto the back, leading to an off kilter tipping to the tray on one half of this, fairly pricey, product.
To be honest, I’d have been happier to get the feet in a bag and attach them myself. But this is not the only issue: there were some problems with the lining – another premium upgrade for this particular tray.
You see, the most frustrating aspect of upholstry – it’s easy to screw up, miss-cut, and difficult to make lie flat. I’d like to see a better adhesion here. Again, on a cheap dice tray, it’s understandable, and given the FURY of their Kickstarters, I am understanding of the immense pressures Dog Might is under, but little details like this soil the overall experience.
I do, much to my surprise, LOVE that there is hanging hardware for this dice tray. It looks far better than I expected and – added bonus – it removes 90% of the between-game storage.
The guys at Dog Might have been fantastic. Their story is great (go to Dog Might’s About Us) section to read more about it. I love their choices of wood, I adore their in-house finish. Never before have I seen a more sturdy and well cut piece of Chechen (which is renowned for screwing up and chipping where the grain intersects).
There are small hiccups that muddy the experience, and few people I’ve talked to actually use/care for the small wells most of their products sport – but in my experience, they do not hurt the overall presence of the tray.
Simply – starting at $100 for the basic options ($244 for this exact tray) makes these trays an “upper premium premium” item for the vast majority of gamers, but don’t discount them for the flamboyant design choices or small inconsistencies: wood works of this quality will last for ever. If not abused, this single tray can be passed down for 80+ years at a time … entire LIFETIMES, you guys. And you couldn’t hope to buy from better people.
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.