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DICE from classic Call of Cthulhu box sets: Some reference pics (1981-5)


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On 12/9/2020 at 12:44 PM, Grimmshade said:

I don't remember them being those colors. 

Second ed. CoC here, though I'm uncertain if it was first or later printing.  Ditto on the dice colors, though -- mine were different from those shown, but clearly the same manufacturer.  Good quality dice that I use to this day.  None of that cheap, chippy, resinous stuff that turned up in certain other companies' boxes.

I've long appreciated how dice in my old Chaosium boxes came in contemporary interior design colors.  At least my Superworld dice did, all mauve and seafoam.

!i!

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Believe it or not, the scholarly pursuit of understanding and cataloging the specific color of the dice included in each Chaosium boxed set (that included dice) was seriously undertaken by more than one gaming historian. Knowledge is good. I helped each of the efforts to gain enlightenment. I'm a big "list" sort of guy by nature and habit.

Unfortunately, the answer is somewhat disappointing. The Chaosium was absolutely not "The Orderium" when it came to the dice used in any specific boxed set. In the late 70s and for much of the 80's Chaosium purchased most of their dice in bulk from Chessex. Greg Stafford and Don Reents (Chessex) go way, way back. The Chaosium bought the most economically priced dice they could, as long as they were of the right number of sides, and not factory seconds, the color of the dice did not matter at all. If Chessex had too many red D20s or Yellow D12s as overstock and were willing to sell them a little more cheaply, all the better for Chaosium. Back in the Chaosium warehouse each type of die was in a big box or fish bowl for the collators of the boxed sets to collate into the boxed sets. Chaosium collated and shrink-wrapped all of their boxed sets in house. Enduring the heat from the shrink-wrapping process was a right of passage on team Chaosium. As long as you put the required number of dice of the correct type in the box before shrink-wrapping it, all was good in the world. You wouldn't be forced to clean out the room where the goats were kept at night. The only thing that was pretty standard when it came to the dice included was that the D6s were white, smaller, and had pips instead of numbers because, wait for it, they were cheaper that way.

I've spoken with Chaosium warehouse people from back in the day, including Greg's kids who would pitch in from time to time, and the answer was always the same. Color didn't matter. It was the type of dice and the quantity required that mattered.

NOTE: One common characteristic of the polyhedral dice (all but the D6s) is that they almost never had paint filling in the numbers. In the early days people were used to using a crayon or their own paint to make the numbers easier to read. 

Edited by Rick Meints
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Here in the UK I remember that all the GW games came with dice that look just like the ones in the photo, but they were terrible quality soft plastic like that found in cheap army men. Getting 'proper' dice was quite a thing. I still have my very first d20, it's practically round now at 35+ years old 

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2 hours ago, Psullie said:

Here in the UK I remember that all the GW games came with dice that look just like the ones in the photo

That's weird because the dice that came in my GW 2nd Edition box ( 1985 GW York ) are really top quality, shiny, hard plastic, painted-number dice like you would want to buy from a dice seller. The d6s are white and pipped and the rest are decent RPG dice; a green and a maroon 20-sided d10 and a blue d8. ( How can I remember crap like that when I can't remember loads of other important stuff ? )

Edited by groovyclam
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5 hours ago, groovyclam said:

Oh Jeebus, you don't mean I'm some sort of Lovecraftian throwback do you ? I am rather short.

We are all funny-looking apes poised to touch the Monolith.  The perfect solids aren't just dice, they're a code.  Why do you suppose we enjoy playing "games" so much?

!I!

Edited by Ian Absentia
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Any remember if Chessex was making their own dice at that point or just acting a distributor? I remember Gamescience and The Armory being the big players at the time, but I do have some mystery Windmill from that period which bear a pretty solid resemblance to the smallish-looking d20/percentile dice in the photos.

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