Saturday, February 9, 2013

Expert Set brown dice

Brown dice from a first print Expert Set

In the early days my friend E.H. had the B/X sets, Moldvay Basic and Marsh/Cook Expert Sets. I'll always remember the dice from those sets, because they were so different than my pale blue Dragon Dice, which had replaced the chits in my Holmes Basic Set. His Basic Set dice were pea soup green, and his Expert Set dice were mud brown, and each set had a faint swirled pattern. On Tome of Treasures, a collecting site, I found a post with a picture of dice from a first print Expert Set that are exactly the same color as the brown ones I remember (see screenshot above). These dice came uninked, and the set also had a crayon for coloring them. There's been some discussion of the B/X dice on the Acaeum recently here. I haven't found a picture of the green dice yet.

In those days we'd try to play D&D anywhere. Once we were in his dad's brown Subaru, with E.H. DMing in the front with the green/brown dice in a flat space on the dash. Unfortunately the window was also open, and when his dad made a U-turn some of the dice went flying out the window. We had to dodge traffic to try to recover them, and I don't think we found all of them.


  1. At first I thought those were the product of that chocolate dice mould you can get.

    That's a sad story - I still have my three polyhedral RuneQuest 2 dice (red D4, blue D8 and green D10/D20), but my D6s from that set and all my pale blue polyhedrals from my Moldvay set are long gone. :(

  2. The dice I got with Moldvay Basic were red, but otherwise the same as these brown dice from the expert set. I had them for several years, but I remember that they were cheaply made of a relatively soft material. In the summer we used to play outside on the driveway, and I recall that weeks of rolling the dice on the blacktop wore down the edges really bad. Most of the dice chipped and flaked and became unusable. I think actually deterioration of my dice is what forced me to go to an actual hobby store for the first time. You could get dice at most bookstores!


  3. I really hated those dice. I didn't care much for the small pale blue ones either. I can't remember if my first set were the hard ones that ended up coming apart but I don't think I've ever seen dice decay like those.

  4. My B/X dice were brick red (Basic Set) and blue (Expert Set). I also have a green one from someone else's B/X set. They're terrible soft crumbly resin, but I still use them regularly. I like the compact shape of those old 10-siders better than the big lumpy Gamescience 10-sider, and the Gamescience 8-sider is too pointy to be used as anything but a weapon while the old worn Basic Set 8-sider almost "rolls".