Q-Workshop is known for making quality, themed dice for gaming. Now let’s be clear; any, cheap die will accomplish the same thing a die from Q-Workshop will do – generate a random number from 1 to the number of sides of the die. What these dice bring to the table is style and flavor. It just feels right to play a fantasy swords and sorcery game with dice that etched with dragons or Dwarven symbols on each side.
If you are nodding in approval, your geek is showing. I’m cool with it but if you aren’t, click over to Sports Illustrated, quick.
In the case of the Metal Steampunk Dice, they also add a distinct feel. These are D6 (six-sided dice like you get with Monopoly, for the uninitiated). And what a difference with these dice – silver, solid metal cubes, slightly smaller than the usual 16mm dice (the box does not specify the exact size, but I estimate them to be 14mm-15mm), with the numbers 1-6 engraved ornately on each side.
Just picking up the box of 5 dice, you immediately get a sense of the heft. As the box says, “These dice were made to last ages!” The dice are solid metal – not hollow. The engraving is well crafted on each face, and the dice are uniform, as you would expect. The manufacturer claims the black paint in the engravings will never wear off. Time will tell, but I think that’s probably true as long as they are properly stored and kept away from moisture.
Rolling these dice, they do not tumble like plastic dice do. They roll, but not far. And you want to have a proper game table to do this on. Rolling on a wood or (forbid the thought) a glass table is just too noisy and could possibly damage the table surface. So yes, it’s different, playing with solid metal dice. But it also feels solid and earthen and real. When you roll metal dice to say, deal damage to a random encounter monster in Talisman, you feel like you put your fingers through a pair of brass knuckles and threw a punch. You sense the weight of a sword in your hand. In Risk, you feel the mighty weight of your forces attempting to occupy a new territory. In Illuminati, you feel the power of your Illuminati, attempting to control, neutralize or destroy a group.
And that is what you bought; the atmosphere and feeling that solid metal dice bring to the gaming table. Gaming is after all, a simulation that is enriched by how our minds perceive it. For some people, something like metal dice seems a foolish extravagance, but to me, it enhances the precious little time I have to play games with family and friends. It enriches the experience and makes it feel extraordinary. At least, that’s how I choose to feel. Plastic dice would work absolutely fine. But they are plastic.
So, what must one pay for a boxed set of 5 Metal D6 Steampunk Dice? I paid $39.99 at a local retailer, Sci-Fi Factory. You can get them on Amazon for $34.99, but I’d rather patronize my local brick and mortar store. Lord knows, B&M stores have a tough go of it competing with online retailers, and I try to support them whenever I can.
If your gaming budget allows for extravagant accessories, Metal Steampunk Dice from Q-Workshop are definitely a quality addition you can enjoy for years and years.
Note that Q-Workshop also make a metal steampunk set of 6 dice, one each of: d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20.