We’ve done boxes, we’ve done bags, we’ve done trays and coinage and NOW… We tackle the truly ostentatious. We tackle the most iconically one-use item at your gaming table: Dice Towers! Let’s start inspecting the various layers to this parfait of wooden pleasure… I have no idea where that came from, but lets start our review of the Zebrawood Dice Tower
What You Get
In the complete system offered from Wyrmwood Gaming – you get a Personal Dice Tray, a Dice Vault, a collapsible magnetic Dice Tower, and a leather carrying strap. The absolute coolest part: they all fit together to make a single, tight, easy to store package!
I will note: I DO advise you actually store your product like this, opposed to how you see it done elsewhere. It lets the wood lie perfectly flat with the two large panels on the bottom, it displays the wonderful Wyrmwood logo right on top, you can SEE that you remembered to put your goddamn dice in there (yes, I’ve forgotten it before) and the strap can be buttoned without smashing it into your extremely beautiful wooden panels. You can have that bit of info for free. But keep it between us.
As always, these dice vaults are simply amazing. Well crafted, sanded to a satin finish, and a wonderful display for your favorite dice. These things contain a very large portion of the precious woods you’re paying for. Inside and out, you can rest assured that it’s as pure-blood as woodworking can be.
I also just love how refined and clear the laser etching is on these dice vaults. The thick portion of wood allows for a much deeper and clean etching, both on top and on the sides. If you’re looking to get something personal engraved – I’d suggest you get it done on this guy. It always looks quite striking.
Personal Dice Tray
I cannot overstate this: I absolutely love this thing. Sincerely, every DM/GM could use one of these! It’s the perfect height for discrete rolling, small enough (8.75″x4″) to fit behind or beside a DM Screen, and absolutely gorgeous to boot.
The sides are 2.5″ tall beautifully crafted rails of pure Zebrawood (in my case). You can barely even see the corners! It’s truly marvelous woodworking.
Any heavy dice rolled in this thing makes a wonderful, tactile, ‘thunk’ and ‘clatter.’ To keep the uniformity and build quality identical, the base of the tray is made of tight-pressed plywood. I’ve heard some people actually complain about the use of plywood. But would you really like four rubber feet drilled and screwed, and a sheet of buffalo leather fitted onto a relatively large plank of incredibly expensive exotic wood… that you never see?
Overall, the personal tray and the dice vault make an iconic pair! They truly have a place at any and every table. If you buy dice that cost more than $11 and roll them with any regularity – rest assured that this is a safe purchase for you.
Magnetic Dice Tower
Alright. We’re going to dump a few hundred words here and I’ll explain this step by step so everyone can adequately know how these things fit together and what to expect when you get one.
The vast, and I do mean vast, majority of these dice towers is made of solid lengths of whatever your choice of wood may be. Inside, out, around, under, across: all of it!
Along predetermined lines, magnetized metal rods are inserted into the wood and marked with a number, so that they snap into place and are held firmly in place, while being completely collapsible.
(Note: I did fill these numbers in with graphite to allow them to show better on camera)
Snapping it together is as easy as 1-2-3..4-5!
The end result of this labor intensive 15 seconds: Remarkable!
The tower is manufactured, any laymen can see, with great care to it’s compatibility with the personal dice tray. Not only do the pieces fit perfectly inside the tray, the unloading slope of the tower fits within the U-shaped opening on the personal tray, allowing for a secure and smooth transition from tower to surface.
I’ve commended Wyrmwood on their use of mechanical fastenings in the past – screws trump glue every day of the week on both a production front and on a longevity scale. In this case, both an epoxy and a great deal of friction keep the magnetic tabs embedded in the wood. I’d be amazed if they were removable at all without cutting away the wood itself.
But with the incredibly anchored connectors comes the only drawback of a completely collapsible system: it will rarely ever be as perfectly square as their other products.
.5mm askew, the face of the tower never quite sits correctly: one side is tilted outward just a hair, the other side is tilted inward. For someone with a persnickety streak, this could be quite the annoyance.
Likewise, at a tiny 0.34mm off-true, the whole tower does not sit perfectly flat. The entire thing is every so slightly twisted to favor the right side, while the left front-most corner hovers from the table about the thickness of a thin business card.
The thing I love most about the “complete system” dice tower is just how efficient every bit of space is utilized. I hope that the guys and gals at Wyrmwood can take that same talent and aim it at utilizing the “Harry Potter Closet” of empty space left under/behind the unloading slope.
I hoped that the carrying strap fit in there comfortably, but sadly it’s a bit too stiff and caused the entire assembly to tilt. This is the most minor of all observations and, honestly, should be ignored. But this is quite literally the only space not used to 100% capacity within the entire package.
Zebrawood is one of my favorites. It has a beautiful marbled color and a fantastic smell and grain. I highly recommend it.
I feel that the Dice Vault (Previously Reviewed) is forever a classic staple of the brand and brings added value to any and all combination packages.
The Personal Dice Tray as well is marvelous. It has both utility and style. Wyrmwood did an excellent job making it a universally appropriate size for all but the smallest of gaming set-ups. The price can swing wildly – as the Zebrawood version is $95, but for the amount of exotic wood present and the (no lie) incredible standards each of these trays are manufactured to… you’re doing yourself a disservice if you spend $75 on a tray you think is okay versus $95 on a tray you think is gorgeous. Make the purchase knowing that it will last you for years of gaming – and since some people spend more money than that replacing a lost car key, it’s not an unfair value!
The real “iffy” part of the system for most people, however, is the dice tower itself. I hear from people every. single. day. that they’d rather just _____ than pay ____ for a ____. Allow me to go on record as saying: you must determine your own level of investment in the hobby. If you want to go in on 1/10 the cost of a Pound of Dice with friends and roll them into and empty shoe box – that’s sincerely a wise and commendable option.
I don’t go out to eat. I have one pair of shoes, two pairs of pants, and still wear the same jacket from 2005. But I spend my money on dice and dice accessories – it makes me happy and improves my mood at the table.
Unpacking this set, especially the Dice Tower, is the best moment of my day leading up to a game. I feel the same level of excitement every single time I do it. So for me, the cost is worth it. And if I’ve done my job correctly, this review will help you make an informed and wise decision of your own!
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 product highlights and dice giveaways!