Thursday, May 10, 2012

In the days before dice

The version of the Holmes basic Dungeons & Dragons boxed set I received as a kid was missing a crucial component--dice.  Because of the Great Polyhedron Shortage of the late 1970s, some printings of the game didn't include the 4-, 6-, 8-, 12-, and 20-siders needed to play the game.  So instead TSR included a crappy set of numbered chits you had to cut out and draw from a cup to generate random numbers.  And it even came with instructions! (Draw them from a cup? Really?)
They did give you a coupon for dice, either from your local game store or via mail order.  I was unable to obtain the dice the first few months I had the game, but I did liberate the three red attack dice from our family copy of Risk so I could roll up characters without conducting a raffle drawing.  Anyone else get stuck with the chits instead of dice?

4 comments:

Dan Higdon said...

Yes! I totally got stuck with the crappy chits. I even took my little bag of chits on a boyscout camping trip once. I have no doubt that I lost a few. Man, that sucked.

However, I still have a few of the soft plastic dice that you got from the coupon. Now of course all the corners are worn down, and they're hard to find in my huge Crown Royal bag of dice. (Doesn't *everyone* use a Crown Royal bag?)

ckutalik said...

I have an uncut set of them (actually two since I ended up winning another Holmes box in a lot auction). I would suggest that we use them in our next session, but you know there really are a few things that are progress.

JDJarvis said...

I had chits, I don't recall a coupon for dice. My dad went into the city and got a set of dice for me a d20 numbered 0 to 9 twice, d4, d12 and d8 with an "A" in place of the 1. I liberated the dice from some family games for d6's.

Sean Robson said...

Yep, I had the chits, too. I never used them, though. I went out and bought a proper set of dice as soon as I could - I was absolutely enthralled by the weird, and arcane-seeming polyhedra; and I still have them.