Romans may have used 20-Sided die almost two millennia before D&D, but people in ancient Egypt were casting icosahedra even earlier. Pictured above is a twenty-faced die dating from somewhere between 304 and 30 B.C., a timespan also known as Egypt’s Ptolemaic Period.
According to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the gamepiece is held, the die was once held in the collection of one Reverend Chauncey Murch, who acquired it between 1883 and 1906 while conducting missionary work in Egypt.
Got a 20-sided die that predates the Ptolemaic Period? Post about it in the comments.
Hat tip to Polter Dog!
Wiz Dice is having a contest. Asking what you would do with 100+ dice.
I entered and replied that I would create IEDs (Improvised Exploding Dice). As a new spell.
The contest/giveaway is here: What Would You Do With 100+ Dice?
Below is the new spell I would create using these Improvised Exploding Dice. Well, the sketch notes for when I actually create the parameters for the spell itself, anyway.
GAME OF DICE SPELL (aka, Game of Chance Spell)
I was thinking that characters could carry with them small clusters of gaming dice, as if they carried their own gaming dice for games of chance. Though technically it could be any small, easily potable object. But the gaming dice, and dice games go back thousands of years, would be both easily portable and a splendidly innocuous cover-device so the targets do not suspect the users intentions.
(Of course you could always just use a version of the spell to create IEDs out of other people’s dice, ad hoc.)
The spell could then be exercised in such a way that the dice explode upon contact, explode when thrown or rolled, after a certain number of rolls, or set to explode after a certain period of time has elapsed.
The dice could then be used at a dice game (say you encounter a Thieves’ Guild or group of assassins and as an infiltration method you play a game of dice with them or give the dice as a gift), as a pre-set trap, or simply thrown like small hand-grenades. You could also just leave them lying around and when someone touches them to investigate you have a cheap but effective improvised explosive.
They could also be set to glow, to smell attractive, or to make unusual noises, so as to attract attention or to encourage theft.
More advanced versions of the spell might allow the dice to be used as tracking locators or beacons before they detonate. And the most advanced version of IED spell would allow the user to create his own dice, and depending on how the faces are decorated, carved, or painted (or maybe due to the numerical value expressed on the various faces) that would determine detonation force and how big of an explosion they would create.
Some dice might even explode by dispensing magical shrapnel or by a ejecting gas or other toxins – like snake venom, or even dissolve into or explode as a corrosive acid.
Anyway those are my initial sketches for an IED spell.
As for more modern or futuristic games you could simply create technological/Real World versions of such dice (or such small objects) useful for everything from espionage to weaponry, and I have some ideas where that is concerned too.
When I get the details worked out I’ll post the completed spell here.