Category: Five Star


Festive Fantasy isn’t a huge dice company just now, but based on these dice I think I want to keep an eye on them going forward. These dice were from a Kickstarter that really excited me. It was one set of dice, no stretch goals, and a fairly short time frame. The campaign was really well run and delivered on time, so I’m definitely backing Festive Fantasy’s current Kickstarter for their new Floral Fantasy line.  They have about twelve days left as of posting, so if you’re interested go check it out!

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It isn’t well captured here, but a big part of what interested me in these dice was the iridescent red throughout. It’s a pretty fantastic effect that catches the light fantastically and is kind of swirled through the acrylic, interrupting the iridescence and making nice patterns. The breaks in the iridescence has an interesting side effect of almost making the white of the acrylic seem tinted green, it’s nifty. Something about it makes me think about the way velvet looks when the light catches it just right.

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Despite the red sparkles the inking is super legible and easy to read. It’s also well done with few notable thin spots that do not take away from the dices’ usability. In addition to being nicely legible, the Bloodstones set rolls well. I haven’t found where any of the ones in my set tend to favor certain sides more than others. I’ve been using them for my Saturday night game lately and they are really nice to roll and feel good in hand.

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I really like these dice and find myself hoping that Festive Fantasy will make more dice in a similar vein after their current Kickstarter ends. The red iridescence makes for a fantastic trick of the light, leaving them with shining swirls of color that make me very much want to use them for a magic using character. I’m definitely sold on the quality of Festive Fantasy’s dice and the Bloodstones set gets a five out of five from me.

Jazz Dice

More dice! Always more dice, but I’m enjoying the chance to work through the ones I’d wanted to review while classes ate my life. It’s almost energizing in a way. These guys are from Dice Envy as usual. All the same, enjoy!

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The Jazz Dice set is, all told pretty basic compared to some of the other sets I’ve reviewed. It’s a clear blue acrylic with swirls of opaque purple throughout. There’s a nice clean effect from that. The colors pop separately and blend where the purple is thin in a way that makes both seem richer. It’s a good combination.

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The inking shows up well against both colors and I just liked the silver with them. There also don’t seem to be any thin spots, and the inking is cleanly done. My set of Jazz Dice had no bubbles, so the balance on them is good. None of them seem to have any favorite sides or anything. And, like most acrylic dice, these feel nice in hand and to roll.

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So this one is pretty short. The Jazz Dice are a nice looking set. The combination of clear and opaque acrylic works really well for me and I really enjoy the color combination. I give it a five out of five. I’m thinking I would want to use these for a magic caster of some stripe, maybe a sorcerer or a cleric.

Pumpkin Dice Latte

I return to the realm of talking about shiny math rocks with a set that I really wanted to cover back during pumpkin spice season, but I figure this time of year tasty coffee drinks are still appreciated. While these guys might be more fall than Christmas, they’re definitely a set worth taking a look at. Plus, they’re just fun to look at. Clumsy side bar, if you’re still looking for dice for a table top nerd friend’s gift or yourself, Dice Envy has 19% off of everything in stock until 11:59pm tonight, just use the coupon code “DICETHEHALLS”.

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The Pumpkin Dice Latte set combines two things that have been ongoing positives in all of my dice reviews, sparkles and interesting inclusions. In this case both the flakes of glitter and the micro glitter sparklies are gold colored to better emphasize the warm pumpkin orange of the acrylic. As with most uses of larger glitter pieces in dice, the flakes have mostly sunk to one side of the dice, which can create some really nice visual interest.

Due to the contrasting grey inking, the dice remain easy to read from across the table. In addition to the visibility, the inking is well done with no notable thin spots.

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As is pretty standard with acrylic dice, these feel nice in hand and roll well. None of the dice in my set seem to have favorite sides, so the balance is good.

While this set is aesthetically very different from a lot of the dice I usually go for the color works really well and the glitter flakes and sparklies enhance that rather than being the main feature. They roll well, as expected. And I just plain like them. So the Pumpkin Dice Latte dice get a five out of five from me.

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There was one more thing I wanted to cover with this one, while I’m here. The Pumpkin Dice Latte set is one of several that Dice Envy has customization options for. The options vary from being able to build a World of Darkness style set of ten d10s, to picking up extra d6s for your rogue, to just buying a standard set and adding on an extra d20 like I’ve done with these. Right now the individual dice range from around a dollar per to around five dollars per on some of the metal sets, so there are some limits to how viable it might be. I am personally hoping that they will start having sets of d6s and d10s  that are priced more like the standard sets some time in the coming year, largely because I would love to get a set of the Numa Blight, Mermage, or Wizard’s Unpaid Intern for my next World of Darkness campaign. It is definitely worth checking out though.

Warlock’s Work Study

I’m pretty glad to be back to this. Not sure how long it’ll last this go round, but I’m going to do all I can while this little burst of energy lasts. Let’s go with a bit of a trick of a dice set, given that these guys aren’t available on Dice Envy anymore. Similar sets of the same style, Wizard’s Unpaid Intern and Mage’s Indentured Servant, are still available.

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The Warlock’s Work Study dice set is one of those that my camera just doesn’t nearly do justice. Like a lot of the sets I wind up favoring lately, it is full of sparklies that catch the light even when it’s just sitting there and make it look vaguely like it should be a prop in a magical girl anime. The purple star glitter doesn’t hurt that effect either.

This is kind of a thing for me though, even with the sparkling and sort of business that glitter or confetti tend to bring to a dice set, the inking is still nicely clear and easy to read. The gold contrasts nicely with the purple and sort of silver/lavender, making them both enjoyable to look at and to use. And, of course, the inking is well done here with no notable thin spots or overfills.

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As is pretty standard for acrylic dice, the Warlock’s Work Study set feels nice in the hand. In my set at least, there aren’t any places where the star glitter sticks out. The balance on them seems pretty good, no sticking or favorite numbers that I’ve noticed so far.

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This is very much a set that leaves me wanting to collect the others that are similar to it, just so that I can compare them. I really like the Warlock’s Work Study set and feel like I’m going to wind up using them regardless of how appropriate they are for any given character. Which means that the Warlock’s Work Study dice set gets a five out of five from me.

Heart Dice

I get to talk about dice again, definitely excited for that. This is the set from September’s Dice Envy Originals box. I’ve been meaning to talk about it for the past couple of weeks, but work and classes and all that stuff. No time like the present to get to them, right?

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Not going to lie, the Heart Dice kind of threw me for a loop when they arrived. The theme feels a bit out of season and I had been hoping for something spooky going into October. That said, the inking is really clean on all of the dice and I appreciate the second d20 being a different color. It’s a little touch and not totally necessary, but I still dig the difference for advantage/disadvantage rolls.

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I do like the look of them, separate from seasonal expectations. They’re easy to read. The pattern is nice and simple, it doesn’t crowd out the numbers and gets the point across well. Something about how clean they look is just oddly nice.

Of note, this is a ten dice set rather than the standard seven. I like the novelty of that, it feels like a nice bonus to have the extra d20 and the extra two d6. It’s a set that I could roll up a new rogue with and use immediately without needing to pull more d6 from other sets.

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The Heart Dice set feels good in hand. Pretty standard there, but it always feels worth mentioning. I don’t know that I have a character concept that comes to mind for these. I mentioned a rogue earlier, but the theming seems a bit more appropriate for a cleric or a bard. I do know that I want to use these at some point. I really enjoyed the extra three dice and the second d20 contrasting the other dice. So, I’m going to hold these back until February and give them a five out of five.

Mammoth Bone d6

So, this one is a little different than usual, both because it’s a single die instead of a set and because the material is fascinating.

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Back during Magic City Con in June Misty Mountain Gaming ran a charity drawing for one of two dice made from fossilized mammoth bone. All proceeds went to the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, so I figured I’d buy a few tickets. This is a d6 that I should by no means have been able to get my hands on, the tickets were sold all three days of the con and this one had two winners before I was drawn. Sometimes luck shines through.

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This is a truly gorgeous d6. The colors are amazing and I love the way the brown peeks through the clear bits and the black banding throughout. That it’s all natural just adds to my appreciation of it. The only bit about it that I’m not entirely about is the numbering. While the numbers are well engraved, they’re also very thin and the red of the inking doesn’t show up well against the bone itself which makes it a little difficult to read.

The mammoth bone d6 is also a dice that I’m not likely to use much for a variety of reasons. Largely this is down to the material itself, being made of fossilized bone means that if anything happened to the dice I wouldn’t be able to fix or replace it. It also means that, with bone being porous and the stone filling in being stone, I don’t know how balanced a die like this could be. Testing so far suggests that it tends to land on the 5 side more often than the others, though I would want to do more testing before confirming.

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That said though, I can’t really knock the die for being unbalanced because of its material. And, since I’m not planning on using it much, the numbers not being super visible is only a minor issue. Once I’ve got a good place to display it and a fine enough brush, I might re-ink it in a blue or something that’ll show up better. My score is mostly based on how cool I find the concept of a dice made from fossilized mammoth bone, and I really can’t say that enough because seriously, and how happy it made me to win something like a dice made of fossilized mammoth bone. So, all told, I’m giving it a five out of five.

Divination Dice

Running late, explanations for that tomorrow, tonight I’m gonna talk about dice. And these guys are gonna get a fair amount of talking about. Before that though, there’s a little time left on Dice Envy’s Dumbledice sale, use the code ACCIODICE to get 25% off your purchase. If nothing else, it’s worth checking out to see how they’ve renamed things for the event. Also,  Dougout Crafts is currently running a Kickstarter to do a restock of the Divination Dice, so now is a great time to check that out.

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These were a seriously nice surprise, when the last Kickstarter for the Divination Dice ended I hadn’t been able to back them and it was really disappointing because they looked cool. And I like dice with a nifty theme. So it was really cool to open my dice of the month and see these.

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The colors themselves are a special edition combination, purple dice with tan inking. It works really well with all the detail, they contrast enough for the details to stand out well and not get muddied. Even the really small details, like the d10s being individualized by having a sun on the tip of the planchet for one and a moon for the other. The d4 features each of the four suites for a tarot deck with crisp details on each side. Even the tiny planetary signs for the d12’s palmistry theming are nicely legible. This all, of course, means that the dice are also easily read even with all the detail work going on.

They feel nice to roll and seem well balanced. That second part is kind of impressive given the variety of pattern changes across some of the individual die. And, of course, the changes just makes the whole thing more fun.

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The Divination Dice are definitely a set that I would have gotten even if the Original box for July hadn’t had this particular variation on it. So a lot of my score here comes from having gotten something that really surprised and excited me. But I’m giving the Divination Dice a five out of five. If you like the theme and get the chance, check them out.

Eureka! Dice

Excited to get back into the swing of things here. I’ve been meaning to talk about this set for the past couple of weeks. What can I say, I’m a fan of shiny objects.

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Given how much I liked the Confetti Dice, when I heard about Dice Envy’s Eureka! Dice I really wanted to check them out. Bonus fun there when the page for them contains a blurb about the Gold Rush of ’49 and description of why clear dice with gold flakes and black lettering.

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I really dig the look of these. The clear acrylic is clean and I didn’t see any bubbles. The gold flakes, while tending to gather at one end of the dice, are scattered well throughout and don’t poke through the acrylic. And the paint job on the numbers is well done, there aren’t any notable thin spots or anything similar. The clearness and stark numbering can make these a little hard to read if you aren’t paying attention, but that’s a matter of paying attention rather than a fault in the dice.

The dice also feel nice in the hand. That’s pretty expected with acrylic dice, but still worth noting. Special note here is the second 33mm d20, it’s way bigger than standard and nicely heavy as a result.

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I think I actually like the bigger d20 better than most of the dice I own because it feels nifty. I like the novelty of it and that it was made for this set instead of being a one off dice.

As usual, I find myself really pleased with this set. The quality is good. The set looks good. And the Eureka! Dice feel nice to roll. So, all totaled up, the Eureka! set gets a five out of five.

This is one that’s been giving me all kinds of trouble writing a review for. It’s one that I really enjoyed reading, but that is really hard to talk about without risking serious spoilers. Obviously something I want to avoid there. This one’s courtesy of netGalley. Here’s Mira Grant’s In the Shadow of Spindrift House. Enjoy!

In the Shadow of Spindrift House cover

Straight lines don’t exist in nature. There is no place for them among the curves, the twists, the softened edges. The House stands, all ruler straight lines and sharply measured angles, above a dying town that the sea reclaims street by street. The House stands, holding tight to its secrets and waiting. Harlowe Upton-Jones has been searching for answers for as long as she can remember. It’s what found her the teen detective group that would become her family. It’s what she’s good at. But a teen detective group can only stay teens so long and it’s all Harlowe can hope to do is find one last big case. One last big case to keep the band together or give the group a proper send off. One last big case that might find her the answers she’s been looking for since her parents’ murder. The legends surrounding Spindrift House twist in on themselves bending the Answer Squad’s story into something it was always meant to be, something it was never meant to be.

In the Shadow of Spindrift House by Mira Grant is decidedly Lovecraftian in its horror, which in a lot of ways makes it kind of hard to talk about. The house itself is this inescapable thing for Harlowe, something she’s been keeping back from showing the other members of the Answer Squad for years but that she also knows is the big mystery. The one that could make them hit the big time, the one she hopes will keep her friends together for a little longer. The book is a story of losing battles and inevitabilities, buried family secrets and friends growing up and growing apart.

A lot of the story is driven by Harlowe being desperate to hold on to her present, to avoid facing the future for just a little longer. She doesn’t see any prospects for herself, no colleges that would take her that she could afford to go to, the girl she loves is planning on moving on with her life now that the mysteries are drying up. It’s that desperate fear that takes them to the Spindrift house and let’s Harlowe make excuses to just stay a little longer and a little longer. After all, Addison would be so mad if they left  and missed out on the reward money. Or maybe she just imagined the truly creepy things going on, they should just take a little longer and keep looking. There’s a fair amount of that.

In a lot of ways, the atmosphere of the story builds on mundane fears and frustrations. The Answer Squad are at a point in their lives where they can’t really be teen detectives anymore, and Harlowe feels more than a little trapped by the changes she’s staring down. She’s the one with no plan. She’s the one that weird things are happening to in Spindrift house. In a lot of ways it feels like the mundane is the root of all Harlowe and, by extension, the Answer Squad’s troubles within the story. They’re high school graduates, so the local authorities don’t have as much patience for them solving mysteries the police couldn’t. There aren’t many mysteries headed their way anymore, so they can’t support themselves with it, so Addison is getting ready to go make something of herself and start a career. Harlowe feels adrift and scared that she’s going to lose the people closest to her, so she pulls out the nuclear option of final mysteries.

Then Spindrift house itself has this fantastic oppressive atmosphere. The weight of time and all the fears that have driven Harlowe to lead her friends here. The things that are just off, that are wrong in little ways that add up. Then, there’s a reprieve, a moment with the Answer Squad just being a group of friends. It eases up for a little while to let the reader breath and to restart the cycle of rising tension. The writing in In the Shadow of Spindrift House is tight and satisfying even as a number of things begin to feel more and more inevitable.

This is much further on the horror end of things than a lot of things I read. But a slow creeping sort of horror, an internal horror that’s too big to properly fight, as opposed to something more action oriented. That is absolutely to its credit. Grant did a fantastic job here, especially with regard to the atmosphere. So, of course In the Shadow of Spindrift House gets a five out of five from me. It makes me want more of this setting and this type of horror.

Yellow Sign of Hastur

Late again, late again. But the dice are worth waiting for. I should know, I spend more than a month looking forward to Magic City Con to check out the Infinite Black booth. The Yellow Sign of Hastur dice are from Infinite Black’s Unspeakable Tomes collection. Enjoy!

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These are a fantastically presented set of dice. The grimoire dice box looks fantastic with the Yellow Sign on its spine and cover and the printed on details of the metal latches to hold it closed and the magic symbols on the front cover. It even has printed on page edges, giving it the look of a worn and well read tome. There’s a little bit of resistance from the magnetic closure when you open it, enough to be felt but not enough to be annoying. There’s a fantastic piece of art on the inside cover that’s also used on the “White Night, Black Stars, Dim Carcosa” play mat. All fun stuff.

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Inside the box, there’s both the dice and a lore card. Describing the Yellow Sign and its effect on those not dedicated to the Yellow King, the madness it can bring, the lore card is well made. It makes me look forward to reading the ones on other sets of these dice.

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On to the dice themselves though. I love the look of these dice both the places where the yellow and black clash and the parts where the black just sort of seeps through like an infection or a creeping mold. It’s lovely and bright and just pleasing to look at. There is the downside of the coloring though, that the gold inking is really hard to read from any distance. There’s not really a good way to fix that though and, I admit, I like the gold for thematic reasons

The Elder Dice sets come with the standard seven dice as well as two more d6, for a grand total of nine dice. Which is useful. The dice are pretty standard as far as feel goes. The inking is even and the detail on the Yellow Sign on the high sides is fantastic. They seem to be well balanced, though I haven’t tested these as much as I want to yet.

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So, I’m definitely going to be getting more of these. This particular set I feel like I would use for a character who’s having a face heel turn or who’s being revealed as an antagonist. The packaging makes for a fantastic display piece, I like the dice themselves, and the issue with the inking is something I can work around. So, yeah five out of five.