Dice maintenance 101 - How to Keep Your Metal Dice Sets Looking Their Best
Jun 07 , 2022
Produced by notable game designers Ernest Gary Gygax and David Arneson, the tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons has been around since 1974. As the game has evolved over the years, so have many of the materials and methods. Metal dice, for instance, have become one of the more popular accessories used by players in the gaming community. With so many players using these items, the need for proper care and maintenance education has also increased. If you are one of the many users of metal dice, here are some tips to help you keep your dice in tip top shape!
Storing Your Metal Dice
It may seem irrelevant, but the way you store your metal dice set can have a great impact on how well it is maintained. Your dice should be stored in a bag, box, or container that is dry and soft. Whatever you choose to use as storage, you must make sure that there is proper padding to restrict movement. If not, chipping could occur, causing extensive damage.
Restricting movement may seem simpler in a box or container, however there are ways to keep your dice safe when being stored in a bag. For example, if you are using a velvet bag you could wrap each die in a piece of cloth before placing them in the bag. Make sure the dice are wrapped securely, because if they happen to fall out of the cloth wrapping, scuffs and scratches are almost inevitable.
The Cleaning Process
Properly cleaning your dungeons and dragons dice is just as important as storing them correctly. For a simple clean, you will need to use a soft cloth that doesn’t contain any lint. Simply wipe off each die, eliminating fingerprints, grease, dust, and any other material or surface markings. This simple clean should be completed after every game.
If your dice require a more thorough clean or polish, you can use a small amount of dish soap. Use a wet paper towel or a non-abrasive washcloth to create a lather. Apply the soap lather to each die, then rinse with cool or lukewarm water. After rinsing, make sure you dry them completely with a microfiber cloth or non-abrasive towel. Try to dry them as quickly and as thoroughly as possible, as moisture can cause discoloration and rust. Depending on the amount of sides and crevices your dice contain, a cotton swab could also be useful to help get to the hard-to-reach areas. Although it isn’t necessary to clean with soap often, it should be done periodically.
The Dice Roll
How you roll your metal dice can also affect maintenance and appearance. Rolling them on a tile or wooden surface can dull their corners and cause noticeable wear. To extend the life of your dnd dice sets, it’s best to use a soft surface that has been specifically designed for these accessories. This includes dice mats or dice boxes, as well as a notebook or a large mousepad.
Using a dice rolling tray can provide protection for table surfaces and floors, and can also provide protection for the dice themselves. Let's face it, dice can sometimes make their way to the floor and, similar to tables, some floor surfaces can cause wear to your metal dice over time. This could even cause indentations and damage to your flooring. Because of their raised sides, dice trays are particularly helpful when it comes to alleviating this issue.
While the heavier weight of metal dice makes them a little easier to control than their plastic cousins, it’s always better to be safe than sorry so we HIGHLY recommend the use of a dice tray!
Why Use Metal Dice?
With all of the care it takes to maintain metal dice, it may leave you wondering why you should use them at all. Metal itself is a versatile material, which is why it is used to create so many things. Metal and metal alloys can be made into everything from jewelry orbital satellites. Metals are opaque, dense, malleable, and are able to transmit heat and electricity.
Metal dice are durable and built evenly. Their center of gravity is well balanced within the center of the die, giving fair results from each roll. They have a satisfying heft when held and tossed, and roll around less when released onto a table (or, preferably, a dice tray!). All of these attributes make a metal dice set a great choice for you and your character!
Metal dice are sturdy and resilient, but not indestructible. Not only can tarnished and deteriorated dice influence appearance, they can also impact your game. Dice storage, correct cleaning, and proper rolling techniques can help to extend the life of your purchase. With the proper maintenance, your metal dice set can accompany you and your players through countless adventures.